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A plate of smoked chicken wings with celery, carrots, and bleu cheese dressing.

Smoked Chicken Wings

  • Author: Clint
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: About 1 hour
  • Total Time: About 1 hour
  • Yield: Approx. 30 wings
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Smoke
  • Cuisine: Barbecue


Sweet and smoky, crispy skin, these smoked chicken wings have got it all!  Make a big batch at your next game day event and watch your guests devour these killer wings.



  • 3 pounds chicken wings – drumettes and flats
  • 1/4 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika, Hungarian or sweet
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Mix the sugar and spices in a small bowl, making sure to break up any lumps.  This will make more rub than you need, but it’s nice to have it on hand for your next cook.
  2. Generously rub the wings all over with the spice rub.  Seal in a zip lock back and let the wings cure overnight (see notes).
  3. Prepare your smoker for a 250°F cook.
  4. Place the wings on the smoker, skin-side down if that is where the heat is concentrated in your smoker, otherwise, skin-side up (see notes).
  5. Close your smoker and don’t peek for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, check on the wings, rotating them as necessary for even cooking.
  6. After the initial 30 minutes, check the wings for doneness every 10-15 mins or so.  They should read 165°F in the thickest part of the wing.  This will probably take another 30 mins – 1 hour.  When done, take off the smoker and place on a wire rack set in a sheet pan.
  7. Now it’s time to crisp the skin. You’ll want high heat, 425°F in your oven or smoker, or you can do this on a hot grill.  Once your chosen method is up to temp, cook the wings for a few minutes on each side until the skin is crisp.  It won’t take long and be careful not to burn your wings.
  8. Remove the wings back to a wire rack and immediately dust with some more of the rub.  Serve with celery and carrot sticks, and a batch of my bleu cheese dressing.


  • I prefer Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt for its flakiness, but Morton’s is fine too.  If using Morton’s kosher salt, use about half as much since it is nearly twice as salty by volume.
  • You can just rub the wings and smoke them, but they turn out much better if they are allowed to cure overnight.
  • It’s important to know where the heat is concentrated in your smoker.  In most, it will come from underneath  the grate, but in some offset stick-burners, the heat can actually flow up and over the top of the food more than from the bottom.

Keywords: chicken, wings, barbecue, bbq, smoked wings