Smoked Chicken Wings

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Do you smoke?  If there's any kind of smoking I can get behind, it's smoking meat.  Drew is our resident grill master, and he's been experimenting with smoking chicken in our kettle grill, and has been pretty successful with his outcomes.  Most recently he smoked chicken wings as opposed to a whole chicken, and they are good. 

The the three part chicken wing fold
Smoking can either be done cold or hot.  This one falls into the hot category (I think).  The process is a bit detailed and it has several steps.  The recipe, from start to finish, will take around two hours.  The techniques, though, are simple, and I'd say even a pretty inexperienced person could do this if he or she pays attention to the steps. 


What makes the detail and time spent worth it is the huge payload of flavor.  Somehow the meat retains its moisture, and picks up a nice smokiness that complements rather than overpowers the flavor.



The technique that Drew employed is called the Snake Method, and it utilizes a combination of unlit coals, wood, and lit coals.  The pictures above demonstrate the setup steps.  The Snake Method allows the unlit coals to begin burning and continue the smoking process without having to disturb the meat as it smokes/cooks to replenish coals.  This method has so far given us consistent temperature and longevity of coals.

The first chicken wings go on- notice the drip pan below!

Alchemy- from this

To this.

He has now also done a whole chicken, turkey, and I think chicken leg quarters, all using this method, and it comes out nice.  The meat is great straight off the grill, on sandwiches, whatever.

Smoked Chicken Wings
feeds 2 people

2 lbs chicken wings
Salt and pepper

Place 4-5 chunks of wood (we used hickory) in a bowl and cover with water.  Keep submerged using a plate covered with water.  Soak approx. 30 minutes.

Prep your chicken by folding the wing tip under, making a triangle with the wings.  Pat dry with paper towels, and season well with salt and pepper.  Set aside until grill is ready.

Prep your grill:  in a kettle grill, lay down two rows of charcoal briquettes, about 1/3 of the way around the circumference.  Stack coals on top of these, about 3 briquettes high.  Put enough coals in a chimney starter to cover the bottom and light the chimney starter using newspaper.  Since there are so few, this only takes about 10-15 minutes.  When the coals are hot, dump the coals on one side of the charcoal snake, and lay the wood on top of the lit and the first part of the unlit coals, with even spacing of about 1-2 inches in between.

Place an aluminum drip pan (or a makeshift one from 3 layers of aluminum foil) in the middle of the grill and place the grate on top.  Oil your grate, and place your chicken directly over the drip pan.

Place the lid on the grill, and maintain grill temperature between 250 and 275.  Cook for about an hour or until the wings have an internal temp. of 165.  Remove from grill and allow to rest before eating, about 5-10 minutes.


  • The wings take the shortest of anything we've done so far.  The method stays the same, but the temperature and cook times may vary.  
  • These were really good with bbq sauce.

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