The Secrets To Amazing Smoked Chicken Wings Every Time

Amazing Smoked Chicken Wings - The Secrets to making amazingly delicious smoked wings with step by step instructions. These will be a smashing success at any kind of get-together. MUST TRY!

Smoked chicken wings … really? Yes. Heartedly YES! Emphatically YES!

One of the first and most basic secrets about delicious chicken wings is that you can, indeed, smoke them. Most people will either fry or bake their chicken wings and they, more often than not, are good. Nothing wrong with a plate full of fried up wings. But if you’re interested in an entirely new flavor profile to your wings, if you want to blow away your guests at the next get-together at your house, please read on. I guarantee that if you follow these very basic steps, you will amaze them and they will clamor for more. It’s so easy, it’s like magic.

The steps are easy to making your smoked chicken wings:

  • Apply Rub
  • Smoke
  • Eat

So let’s get to it.

Apply Rub

rub spices separated on white plate

The first thing you want to do is prepare your wings and rub. We usually buy our wings whole so we separate the wing, drumette, and tip by cutting them between the joints. We toss the tips and pat down the drumettes and wings, removing the moisture and put the wings in a large mixing bowl or zip lock bag.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl then pour the oil over the wings. Mix it around to coat all the wings. Next, pour some of your rub over the wings and mix it around. Keep adding and moving the wings around so they are equally coated with the rub.

chicken wings coated with dry rub in gallon zip top bag

Once complete, set them aside in the fridge for a few hours, one hour at the least.


This particular recipe calls for pecan wood for the smoke, but I know that hickory will do well too. You can decide to use any kind of wood that you like but know your flavor profiles. If this is your first time, I would recommend running up to Lowe’s or Home Depot and picking up some pecan wood. It is a milder smoke than hickory. If you do you use hickory, I would only smoke the wings for about an hour then just finish them up without smoke as it’s profile is much stronger.

You can use a grill with indirect heat, or a smoker to make these wings. You will need to get your cooker, whichever you’re going to use, to a temperature of 225-250 F. If using a grill, push all your coals to one side, or along the edges as you want your wings to cook on indirect heat, not directly over the coals.

raw chicken wings covered in dry rub on the grill

Once you get your cooker to temperature, place your wings on the grill, toss in your wood chips and close it up. Keep an eye on your grill temperature, keeping it between 225 and 250 degrees F. You also want to make sure that smoke is pouring out at your desired level. I smoke the wings for a full two hours.

 Smoked Chicken Wings on the grill

Doesn’t that look amazing? Smoked chicken wings just like that!

After 2 1/2 hours, the wings are ready. If you want to make sure, use a meat thermometer and cook your wings to 165. The wings will be cooked, but we like ours with some char and really crispy so we put them over the heat for about 5 minutes each side to get them really crispy.


Once done, pull them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. At this point, you can apply a sauce if desired. I urge you to eat a smoked wing BEFORE adding the sauce. You may find that you just want to eat them plain. This is because they’re amazingly good with just the smoke.

close up of Smoked Chicken Wings with bbq sauce in white ramekin

If you want to put the proverbial cherry on the top with these smoked chicken wings, you need to make up a batch of Alabama White BBQ Sauce for these. The sauce pairs so well with these wings. Something about a slightly vinegary peppery sauce with the smoke of the wings that makes it all come together to form a perfect ‘whole’. Making the sauce is a breeze, check it out here.

We love wings at our house. We love them this way and that way. Baked, fried, smoked … it doesn’t matter. I will say, without reservation, that this is the most surprisingly delicious. I will make this recipe 2-3 times more than the standard baking or frying method.

smoked Chicken Wings on white plate with bbq sauce in white ramekinWe hope that you give this recipe a go, and we would love to hear from you to see what you think. Thanks, and happy smoking!



Smoked Chicken Wings

4.3 from 3 reviews
The Secrets To Amazing Smoked Chicken Wings Every Time
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
All the Secrets to making amazingly delicious smoked chicken wings with step by step instructions. These will be a smashing success at any kind of get-together. MUST TRY!
Recipe type: BBQ
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 Servings
  • 6 LBS Chicken Wings

  • Rub
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne
  1. Separate wings into drumettes and wings, if necessary.
  2. Pat wings dry.
  3. Combine spices to form the rub.
  4. Place wings in a container, add and mix rub over chicken.
  5. Let wings rest for at least an hour.
  6. Heat the smoker or grill to a temperature between 225-250 F.
  7. Place wings over indirect heat.
  8. Add wood for the smoke to coals.
  9. Smoke for 2 to 2½ hours, maintaining a constant smoke for at least 1½ hours, the chicken should have an internal temperature of 160.
  10. Place directly over coals to crisp, approximately 5 minutes each side.
  11. Remove from heat and let rest for approximately 10 minutes.
  12. Serve

Amazing Smoked Chicken Wings - The Secrets to making amazingly delicious smoked wings with step by step instructions. These will be a smashing success at any kind of get-together. MUST TRY!


Try this Alabama White BBQ sauce

White BBQ Sauce in white ramekin with a smoked chicken wing dipped

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  1. Reply

    Such a yummy idea and those wings look scrumptious! This recipe is Featured at the Merry Monday party right now! So glad you party with us!

    1. Reply

      Thank you so much, Shirley!

  2. Reply

    what is the ingredient “fresh” on the grilled smoked chicken wings?

    1. Reply

      Sorry about that, Debi! It was just an error, corrected now. Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention.

  3. Reply

    What king of smoker do you recommend?

    1. Reply

      Hey Jeff,

      Wow .. that is a question! If you’re only planning on SMOKING, I would recommend a cylinder style smoker. They’re very affordable and do exactly what it’s designed to do: smoke the meat.

      I personally use an offset firebox style smoker. This gives me the versatility of being able to grill AND smoke. I have also used my Weber to smoke by setting my charcoal to one side. This is good for when you’re smoking a very small amount of food that cooks rather quickly, such as poultry.

      In the end, it rather boils down to getting good at what you have. I use my offset firebox and use charcoal, but you can also use a standard grill that runs off of gas (with a wood chip box).

      Here is a link explaining different types, but in answer to your question “What do I recommend?” Use Charcoal … run away from gas.

  4. Reply

    Tried it. Perfect recipe to follow. We just bought a kamado and this was the first thing we tried. The smoking and grilling worked perfectly. But the rub was WAY to spicy for our taste. Thats way its only a 3 star.

    1. Reply

      We are so happy you liked the smoked wings, Petra! If you try them again just cut back on the cayenne pepper and they should be to your heat level. Thank you so much for coming by to let us know! 🙂

  5. Reply

    Delicious, I gone try it..

  6. Reply

    g’day. looks great. have been smoking jerky and fish. now ready to try some chicken. i live in australia and was wondering if your temperature is in F or centigrade. eg is it 225-250f or 115-125 c. thank you

    1. Reply

      G’day mate! It IS in Fahrenheit, not Celsius. Thanks for pointing that out, I will fix the post to indicate which.

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