These Smoked Hot Wings are one of my all-time favorite recipes. They’re packed with smoky, spicy flavors that’ll have you and your guests coming back for more.
If you’re wondering about the level of expertise required for this recipe, don’t worry – whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a newbie to the smoking game, this recipe is simple enough for anyone to follow. With clear, step-by-step instructions, you’ll be enjoying these mouthwatering wings in no time.
For this recipe, you’ll need a few essential tools like a smoker and an instant-read thermometer. With these tools, you’ll have a smooth and stress-free cooking process.
As a BBQ enthusiast who’s been grilling and smoking for years, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with fellow BBQ fans. My mission is to help you improve your skills and create amazing meals, so let’s fire up that smoker and get started on these incredible Smoked Chicken Hot Wings!
How To Make This Smoked Chicken Hot Wings Recipe
Prepare the Smoker
Get your smoker ready by heating it to 225°F. We used a pellet grill for this recipe and trust us when we say that Traeger smoked chicken wings are next level good! If you don’t have a pellet grill, it might be time to invest one! We recommend the Traeger Pro 575 WiFi Pellet Grill.
Season The Chicken Wings
While the smoker is preheating, prepare the dry rub and season the chicken wings. In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, ground black pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Stir them together and sprinkle it evenly over the chicken wings. Make sure to cover each wing completely with the rub.
Start Smoking Wings
Place the seasoned chicken wings on wire racks, making sure they don’t overlap. Put the racks into your heated smoker. Add your preferred wood chips or wood pellets (we recommend hickory) to the smoke and smoke chicken wings for one hour.
Make the Sauce
It might seem like it takes long to smoke chicken wings, but that just means you’ll have extra time to prepare your sauce!
In a saucepan, combine the hot sauce, butter, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Cook this mixture over low heat, stirring often, until the butter has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Heat the Grill
Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate so your wings don’t stick while cooking. Don’t skip this step, this is how you get the delicious crispy skin that just screams 5 stars!
Sauce the Wings
Transfer the smoked chicken wings to a large bowl, then pour half of the sauce over them. Stir the smoked wings around to make sure they’re evenly coated with the sauce.
Grill the Wings
Put the sauced wings on the preheated grill, and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. The skin should be browned and crispy, and an instant-read thermometer should read 165°F.
Final Toss in Sauce
Take the cooked wings off the grill and put them back in the large bowl. Pour the remaining sauce over the wings, then toss them until they’re well coated.
Now you’re ready to enjoy your amazing Crispy Smoked Wings! Happy grilling, everyone!
Tips For Making Smoked Hot Wings
If you’re trying out this Smoked Chicken Hot Wings recipe for the first time, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Here are some easy-to-understand tips that’ll help you make these wings a hit:
- Be Patient: Smoking takes time, so be patient when smoking your wings. The 1-hour smoking time is crucial for developing that rich, smoky flavor.
- Pick Your Wood Flavor: Hickory wood chips are my personal favorite for this recipe, but you can experiment with other wood chips like apple, cherry, or mesquite to find the taste you love.
- Watch the Grill: Keep an eye on the wings while grilling. You want them to be crispy and brown, but not burnt. The suggested 4-5 minutes per side should be just right.
- Check the Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure your wings are cooked through. They should reach 165°F near the bone.
- Customize Your Sauce: If you prefer a milder or spicier sauce, feel free to adjust the hot pepper sauce amount to your taste. You can also try different hot sauces or change up the flavor altogether using bbq sauce instead.
Customize Your Smoked Hot Wings
We all have different taste buds and preferences, and that’s what makes the world of BBQ so exciting! Let’s explore some fun and creative ways to customize your Smoked Chicken Hot Wings, so you can make this recipe truly your own. Whether you want to experiment with new flavors like Guga does, accommodate dietary restrictions, or just switch things up, these suggestions have got you covered.
- Seasoning Variations: Swap the Cajun seasoning in the dry rub with your favorite spice blend, like a smoky barbecue rub or a zesty lemon pepper mix or add some brown sugar to give them a subtle sweetness. This simple change can completely transform the flavor profile of your wings.
- Heat Levels: Adjust the heat level of your wings by using a milder or hotter hot sauce, or by adding more or less cayenne pepper to the dry rub. This way, you can cater to everyone’s spice tolerance.
- Dietary Adjustments: For a gluten-free version, make sure your hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce are both gluten-free. If you need to make the wings dairy-free, use a dairy-free butter substitute in the sauce.
- Cooking Methods: If you don’t have an outdoor grill or want to try a different cooking method, you can finish the wings in the oven instead. After smoking, arrange the wings on a baking sheet, brush with sauce, and bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes or until crispy, turning and basting with more sauce halfway through.
Serving Suggestions & Side Dishes
When you’re chowing down on these scrumptious Smoked Chicken Hot Wings, you’ll want some tasty sides and accompaniments to round out your BBQ feast. Here are a few suggestions to make your meal complete.
While the wings themselves are packed with flavor, you can elevate your hot wings experience even further with a variety of dipping sauces. Offer a classic blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing to cool things down, or get creative with a tangy honey mustard or smoky barbecue sauce to complement the wings’ rich flavors.
Balance the heat and smokiness of the wings with a light, refreshing salad on the side. A crisp coleslaw or a zesty cucumber salad can work wonders in cleansing your palate between bites of the spicy wings. For something heartier, try a classic potato salad or a zesty pasta salad.
No BBQ is complete without a variety of delicious sides. Serve your Smoked Chicken Hot Wings alongside crowd-pleasers like grilled corn on the cob, baked beans, or loaded baked potatoes. These options are sure to satisfy everyone’s taste buds and complement the wings beautifully.
Keep the finger-licking theme going with some additional appetizers and snacks. Offer a platter of veggies and dip, a bowl of tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa, or some crunchy jalapeño poppers to spice things up even more.
Best Beer To Serve With Smoked Hot Wings
What’s a smoked chicken wing recipe without the perfect beer to go with it? Here are the top 3 types of beer that’ll elevate your hot wings experience to a whole new level!
New England IPA
With its juicy, hazy, and fruity flavors, a New England IPA is perfect for balancing the heat of these hot wings. The fruity notes complement the spiciness of the sauce, and the hoppy bitterness refreshes your palate, getting you ready for the next bite.
A light, crisp blonde ale brings a refreshing contrast to the bold flavors of our Smoked Chicken Hot Wings. The subtle malt sweetness and low hop bitterness in a blonde ale help to cleanse your taste buds while not overpowering the wings’ smoky, spicy goodness.
If you’re in for a long day of BBQ, you’ll want a session beer by your side. These brews are lower in alcohol, making them perfect for extended grill sessions. They’re usually light and crisp, which helps to quench your thirst and balance out the richness of the wings.
More Delicious Chicken Wings Recipes
Smoked Hot Wings Recipe
- Outdoor Grill
- Small bowl (for dry rub)
- Large bowl (for tossing wings)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 ½ tsp Cajun seasoning
- 2-3 lbs lbs chicken wings
- ⅔ cup hot sauce (like Frank's RedHot or Buffalo Sauce)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ tbsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch salt to taste
- Heat your smoker to 225°F
- Mix salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl for the dry rub
- Sprinkle dry rub all over chicken wings
- Put wings on wire racks evenly spaced out
- Place racks in the smoker.
- Smoke wings for 1 hour
- In a saucepan, mix hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until butter melts and sauce is smooth.
- Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat and oil the grate.
- Put smoked wings in a large bowl and coat with half of the sauce.
- Grill wings for 4-5 minutes per side until skin is browned and crispy. The instant-read thermometer should read 165°F
- Transfer wings back to the large bowl and toss with remaining sauce.
Smoked Hot Wings FAQs
Smoked Hot Wings FAQs
It takes about 1 hour to smoke chicken wings at a temperature of 225°F (110°C).
What temperature should chicken smoked hot wings be cooked to?
Smoked chicken wings should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) near the bone.
What type of wood chips should I use for smoking chicken wings?
Hickory wood chips are a popular choice for smoking chicken wings, but you can also experiment with other wood chips like apple, cherry, or mesquite to find the flavor you prefer.
Can I smoke frozen chicken wings?
It’s best to thaw your chicken wings before smoking them to ensure even cooking and better flavor absorption.
How do I store leftover smoked hot wings?
Store leftover smoked chicken wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.
How can I reheat smoked chicken wings without drying them out?
Reheat smoked chicken wings in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat them on a grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until warmed up.