Welcome. Love Spicy Wings? So Do We.
WingsAblazin is all about the love affair with spicy hot wings (and sometimes, not so spicy, yet still awesomely declicious wings). Specifically, we're in love with smoked chicken wings. We know you'd like to come on down to our place and enjoy them without having to do all the work.
But sometimes, you'd just like to stay home and nothing is more satisfying than enjoying the labor of your efforts. That's why we'd like to share with you, how we get these amazing wings. Of course, we will have to hold back a little on our secret ingredients (we have to make sure the restaurant stays in business to feed our family) and I thank you for understanding. Don't worry though, it's just some of our secret ingredients for our special sauces and rubs that we hold back on. Everything else, we'll teach you exactly how we make them here in our restaurant.
Now then, let's get started on how we smoke our chicken wings here. Once you've read through the page, don't forget to check out individual recipes for some of our favorite menu items including:
Smoked chicken wings may more time and effort, but what you get is well worth it; a juicy, moist, and flavor rich wing that will be better than any other you’ve had. Stick around find out how to prepare and cook them. I promise you will not regret putting in the time to get this right.
How to Smoke Chicken Wings
For this to work, you will need a smoker. If you already have one, then use what you have. I’m sure you already know the basics of smoking meat and you already have a basic understanding and some basic experience with your smoker. You won’t need much, but you do need to know how to use your smoker and how to control and maintain the temperature. Being able to maintain the temperature of your smoker is critical because you do not want to overcook your wings.
Smoking your chicken wings to just the perfect temperature (I’ll get more into that below) does make all the difference. Yes, chicken wings do have a little more room to work when it comes to temperatures, but ideally, you still want to be spot on. Don’t be fooled just because you have a little more room for error though. You can still overcook them and end up with dry wings that are just painful to eat.
To get the best temperature control, I really recommend an electric smoker. I find these do a much better job of maintaining the temperature and there are a lot less room for errors. Traditional smokers and propane smokers aren’t any more inferior if you are already a master at smoking. For details about the different smokers, go here. But if you are new to smoking and want to get the perfect results easily all the time then I really recommend spending a little bit more for an electric smoker.
Thaw the Wings
If you’re using frozen chicken wings, you will need to properly thaw them first. To thaw them, place them in refrigerator and let them thaw slowly. I usually like to take mine out 24 hours before I plan to prepare my wings for smoking. If you don’t want to deal with this whole thawing process, or you just want your wings faster then I’d recommend just buying some unfrozen wings from the grocery store. You can always thaw those wings, and then go buy some unfrozen wings. Trust me, these things are so good, you won’t mind having that second batch the next day or two after.
Rinse and Dry
Before anything else, you need to make sure to rinse your chicken wings with cold running water. After rinsing them, make sure to pat them dry with paper towels. I like to lay some clean paper towels on a baking sheet and place the dried wings on them. I then place them in the fridge uncovered and let them air dry some more for a few hours (or sometimes even overnight). The drier you can get your wings, the better because you will be able to get a crispier skin. Of course, you can completely skip the air drying step if you’re in a hurry.
Oil and Rub
After drying your chicken wings, the next step is to toss it in oil (alternatively, you can also coat the wings with melted butter and then add your rub) and add your favorite rub. I like to use olive oil and make sure I thoroughly cover the wings with olive oil. Afterwards, I will add the rub and make sure each wing is well covered with my chosen rub. Cover and refrigerate afterwards to give the chicken wings time to absorb the rub. I usually wait at least a couple of hours at minimum. I like to leave it overnight to get the best flavor.
Here at the restaurant, we actually do this process a few days ahead of time because we kind of have to do large batches. What we actually do is, once we have thoroughly covered our wings in the rub, we use a vacuum sealer to seal the flavors in and keep the wings fresh. Not only does this process make it a lot easier to manage large batches of chicken wings, but also allows the chicken to really absorb the flavors from the rub (which leads to some mighty tasty wings). You can actually use this method to prepare some chicken wings ahead of them and then freeze them for some easier to make wings at a later date. I won’t go into too much details about vacuum sealers, but these guys explain vac sealers better than I can. Besides, I’m here to teach you how to make some tasty chicken wings.
Ready to Smoke Them
Alright, at this point you are finally ready to smoke those wings. Before you start, make sure you presoak your chosen wood chips in a bowl of cold water. You will want to make sure you have enough to last at least 2 hours. Now then, preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature of your smoker has reached 250 degrees, you can place the chicken wings on the racks. Make sure the wings are not touching each other, and make sure they are not overlapping at all. Place bigger and thicker wings towards the bottom where it is closer to the heat source. You may want to consider a wingrack to make this easy.
Close up the smoker and set your timer to one hour and thirty minutes. After 1.5 hours, take a quick read digital thermometer and take the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat. The temperature should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything less can be a little risky to eat, so be patient and let it smoke for a little longer. Just make sure to check on it, so it doesn’t over cook. If the temperature is a little higher than 165 degrees, don’t worry. Anything under 175 degrees and it should still be quite enjoyable.
If you are planning to add sauce to your smoked chicken wings, then you need to wait until the last 30 minutes of smoking. Never sauce your wings earlier, or worse, before you smoke them. Smoking the wings first and then applying the sauce in the last 30 minutes is done for two very good reasons.
- It gives time for the smoke to penetrate the meat and impart that rich, and smoky flavor to the wings.
- Giving the sauce 30 minutes to cook with the wings gives it time for the flavors of the sauce to be absorbed into the wings. The sauce will also absorb the smoke, giving a richer and smokier flavor.
Crisping the Skin
Once you have finished smoking your wings, the final step you will need to do before you can sit down and enjoy it is to crisp the skin. Now, you can just enjoy the wings right out of the smoker. They will be plenty good enough that way. However, they can be even better if you do this final step. It add in that extra texture that really just completes them and truly make these wings the best wings you’ll ever have.
There are a few methods you can use to crisp up the skin. The quickest method is to quickly deep fry the smoked wings in oil for about 2 minutes. If you truly love your wings deep fried, this can really add that extra touch that will satisfy your taste buds. If you have an air fryer, you can also use that as well. An air fryer will require a bit longer, but you’ll want to turn up the temp and keep and check on it after a few minutes. Cooking time will vary with air fryers so the best way to go about this is to check on it every few minutes to make sure you’re not overcooking or burning the wings. You can also broil it in the oven if you’d like. Just turn the broiler to the highest setting and broil it for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the wings to make sure they do not burn. If your oven doesn’t have a broiler, you aren’t out of luck just yet. Chances are, you will have the bottom drawer at the bottom of your oven (you know, the drawer you use to store pans and such). That drawer is actually for broiling. Turn the oven on as high as possible and let it broil.
If you’d like to keep all the cooking outdoors, you can fire up the grill and finish the wings on the grill. Time things right and make sure the grill is ready right when the wings finish smoking. That way, you don’t’ have to wait for the grill to be ready. Well, that’s assuming you are using charcoal. I personally like charcoal, but there’s nothing wrong with propane, so use it if that’s what you prefer, or if that is what you have.
Once you’re done with the final crisping step, you can finally sit down and enjoy the hard work you put towards them. Take your time, and enjoy those smoked chicken wings. Savor the rich flavors. Try some with your favorite dip, or try them without any dips. They’ll will be amazing either way.