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.

There is 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 make your smoked chicken wings:

  • Apply Rub
  • Smoke
  • Eat

So let’s get to it.

Try our sausage balls recipe!

Apply Rub

rub spices separated on white plate

Try our street tacos recipe or our stuffed bell pepper recipe!

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 charcoal or gas 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 charcoal 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.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Wings

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 an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

The wings will be cooked, but we like ours with some char and really crispy so we put them over high 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 on any baking pan or cutting board. At this point, you can apply a sauce if desired. Just toss them in a small bowl and add your favorite sauce and give them a toss to apply evenly.

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 and a delicious dessert to go along with your smoked chicken wings. Try this Peanut Butter Ball recipe.

Of course, they will be the bomb with a favorite wing hot sauce or barbecue sauce of your choice.

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 ramekin

We 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!

Try our street tacos recipe or our stuffed bell pepper recipe!

Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

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!
Print Recipe
4.89 from 45 votes

The Secrets To Amazing Smoked Chicken Wings Every 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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: BBQ
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken wings, smoked
Servings: 6
Calories: 607kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe


  • 6 LBS Chicken Wings


  • 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


  • Separate wings into drumettes and wings, if necessary.
  • Pat wings dry.
  • Combine spices to form the rub.
  • Place wings in a container, add and mix rub and olive oil over chicken.
  • Let wings rest for at least an hour.
  • Heat the smoker or grill to a temperature between 225-250 F.
  • Place wings over indirect heat.
  • Add wood for the smoke to coals.
  • Smoke for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, maintaining a constant smoke for at least 1 1/2 hours, the chicken should have an internal temperature of 160.
  • Place directly over coals to crisp, approximately 5 minutes each side.
  • Remove from heat and let rest for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Serve


Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 1001mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2439IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg

Share With Your Friends And Family!


    1. Reply

      5 stars
      I have made this recipe once before and didn’t read the whole thing and didn’t grill them at the end. So they were not crunchy, the texture wasn’t so great but they were delicious. I am making it today for a potluck end of summer pool party and I’m getting it right this time!

      1. Reply

        Awesome, Senita! Let us know how they turn out the second time around.

      2. Reply

        4 stars
        I just did that too. My wife and I both said they weren’t crunchy. Then I looked back at the recipe and said dumba$$

      3. Reply

        Got my husband a smoker for Father’s Day. Your wing recipe was our first try, brought them to July 4thparty… huge hit, delicious and the bbq sauce was amazing compliment to the Smokey wings! Great recipe highly recommend

        1. Reply

          That’s awesome, and what a great Father’s Day gift!

  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

    5 stars
    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.

    2. Reply

      5 stars
      Ugly drum smoker is the way to go. You may be able to find one for sale but most people build them.

  4. Reply

    3 stars
    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! πŸ™‚

    2. Reply

      4 stars
      Leave out the cayenne and smoked paprika. Use regular paprika and add brown sugar. I use an electric smoker for 2 hours with apple or cherry wood. Both are mild and add good flavor. After 2 hours I throw them on the grill for some color and lightly coat with bbq sauce. Very good wings

      1. Reply

        Try red oak. Pecan is also great but red oak is awesome imo.

  5. Reply

    Delicious, I gone try it..

  6. Reply

    5 stars
    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.

  7. Reply

    5 stars
    First time I’ve smoked wings. Awesome recipe! The wings were a little spicy for my 4 year old, but he still polished off 5 of them. I may reduce cayenne for people who can’t handle the spice as much, but keep it the same for my batch. I will make them again. Thanks!

    1. Reply

      Thanks, Danny! Glad you liked them. I was really surprised myself the first time I made them. Awesome that your progeny killed off 5 of em!! That’s a healthy portion for a 4-year-old. πŸ™‚ Yeah, cut back on the cayenne to reduce the spiciness for those that are sensitive, it’s always a safe bet. We’re getting geared up for the grilling season this year, so check back!

  8. Reply

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! Another option to get the crisp skin is instead of putting the wings over direct heat, just flash fry them in a deep oil fryer for about half a minute. Finish with a sprinkling of the rub afterward. Still has the smoke, color and the spiciness.

    1. Reply

      A few seconds not half minute

  9. Reply

    5 stars
    What kind of wood do you use in this recipe?

    1. Reply

      Jim, I used a 50/50 mix of pecan wood and hickory.

  10. Reply

    5 stars
    Do you use a water pan in the smoker for the wings when using the smoker or grill?

    1. Reply

      I know some people that do, Mark. I, personally, do not.

    2. Reply

      Wings cook so quick a water pan isn’t really necessary. They won’t dry out unless you over cook them.

  11. Reply

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe, Smoked them with pecan wood in the offset smoker. I brought some to work everyone loved them!

  12. Reply

    Great recipe but the skin turned out tough . Any suggestions on what I did wrong. I think maybe I didn’t grill over coals long enough.

    1. Reply

      Hey Brian,

      The smoking on the wings WILL give the skin a bit more of a ‘chew’ than just straight up grilling or frying. You definitely want to finish them off over the hot coals will as this will crisp up the skin, making it much easier to bite through. I think your observations are correct, a bit more time over that direct heat is the perfect fix.

  13. Reply

    Smoked these with mesquite (all I had) and they turned out amazing! Wonderful combination of spices in the rub.

  14. Reply

    5 stars
    I made these today. I added some honey. They were great. Thanks!

  15. Reply

    5 stars
    Just wanted to send a thank you for sharing this recipe! Just made a batch of wings for my wife and I, fifty of them to be precise, and only have fifteen leftover for lunch tomorrow!!!! Could not stop enjoying them!

    1. Reply

      Hey, Tony! Thank you so much for coming by to let us know you enjoyed the wings!!!

  16. Reply

    5 stars
    I just finished eating. i made these wings, some polish sausage, and a few whiskey Chuck burgers. Everything was excellent but these wings stole the show. Make the recipe as is, don’t change a thing. You taste buds will be doing somersaults!

    1. Reply

      Glad to hear it, Tom. Whiskey Chuck burgers??? Tell me more!

  17. Reply

    I just wanted to say that a great way to “crisp” up your wings is to line a cooking sheet with foil and put a wire rack on It. Set your oven to broil. Then put your wings on the wire rack and put into oven for about 2-3 mins each side of wing. It makes for a crispy smoky wing.

  18. Reply

    5 stars
    I’ve been doing something similar to what you do for about 10 years but I made one change that really helped the wings. It was to marinade them in something like a Goya product (i.e. Mojo) overnight in the fridge. What it does is keeps them from from being temperamental when it comes to drying out. You don’t have to watch them like a hawk as even if the temp is a bit high and you crisp them up a bit over the coals (which is easy to overdo), you get really moist meat. It is a great thing to do if you need to reheat them when you make a bunch and then go to a party.

    1. Reply

      That’s a great idea and I think I am going to try that next time! Thanks for the tip!

    2. Reply

      Hello John, do you only do the Goya liquid marinating, then just cook them up? Or do you also add all that spicing as listed?

  19. Reply

    5 stars
    My first time smoking wings and this was so easy and AMAZING!! I have a charcoal grill and placed the wings opposite the coals for indirect heat.

    I used mesquite chips that I already had and tossed them onto the coals dry. I smoked them for a couple hours and Shazam!

    1. Reply

      Awesome, Tony! Glad you liked them. Did you try them with the Alabama White BBQ sauce or just on their own? Both ways work!

  20. Reply

    5 stars
    Wings came out perfect on my Kamado. Used exact seasoning, then tossed them in some lemon pepper after they were complete. 10/10!

  21. Reply

    Have you smoked and then fried wings to all of that crisp? I’m going to try that but wondering if I should not rub them until after they come out of the fryer.

    1. Reply

      Hmm .. not sure, Dave. Only one way to find out! Let us know if you do it and what you found out.

  22. Reply

    5 stars
    Wow what a delicious recipe! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I will must try to home.

    1. Reply

      Let us know what you think! πŸ™‚

    2. Reply

      Tried the recipe and just cut back on the cayenne and than when they were done I put them in an air fryer to get the skin crispy. Did that so I didn’t have the oil in them from a deep fryer. Perfect

  23. Reply

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. Added a little brown sugar and did 3lbs on a pellet smoker.

  24. Reply

    5 stars
    Made these for a party last night. They were awesome! Everyone loved them and the Alabama BBQ Sauce is great with them! I have a new electric smoker and this was my first time using it. The pecan wood chips and rub worked so well together. Very good!

  25. Reply

    5 stars
    Holy cats, this one is pure gold. Thank you so much for posting this, the family loved it!

    1. Reply

      That’s so awesome to hear. Thanks, Chase!

  26. Reply

    5 stars
    That chicken wings look absolutely awesome! Love the flavor combinations!

    1. Reply

      Awesome! Glad you liked them! πŸ™‚

  27. Reply

    5 stars
    Another way to get them crispy is to use an air fryer after they’ve been smoked.

  28. Reply

    Can brown sugar be put into the mix? I’m thinking it might cut the heat just a little?

    1. Reply

      I don’t see why not, Mark. If you’re concerned over the heat, just reduce the cayenne. But adding brown sugar sounds good, especially if you like the spicy-sweet combo.

  29. Reply

    5 stars
    Wow!!! Just made them for the first time. Awesome. Follow the recipe step by step. A big hit for my Super Bowl Party. Only thing sucks I should of made more. Thanks for the recipe

  30. Reply

    4 stars
    For my taste, rub calls for way too much black pepper and not enough salt. Also, item three of instructions should say to combine spice AND olive oil. Will adjust to our palate and try again. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Reply

      Thanks for pointing out the instruction faux-pas. We have fixed it.

  31. Reply

    Fantastic recipe! My friends wanted crispier skin, so I smoked them at 225 for 2 hours and then put them in the oven (uncovered) for 15 minutes @450. They came out PERFECT.

  32. Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe for wings looks amazing. I am going to have to try it this weekend in my smoker as I have some friend coming over that love wings.

    1. Reply

      Great! Let us know how they turn out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! πŸ™‚

  33. Reply

    Did you flip them at all or let them ride??

    1. Reply

      When I’m crisping them up at the end, I do turn them. While smoking, I just let them be.

  34. Reply

    5 stars
    Currently smoking your recipe and I have to say the smell alone is worth 5 stars. Can’t wait to try them!

  35. Reply

    5 stars
    This is the first recipe I ever tried in my smoker. We couldn’t have been more pleased! The grand kids devoured 4lbs in no time! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Reply

    Just recently got a smoker & I’m gonna break it in with this recipe. Sounds awesome, can’t wait to test it out. To verify tho, when grilling them at the end, should I leave the lid open or closed?

    1. Reply

      Hey Mike! Great question. Yes, go ahead and leave the lid up. They won’t be on very long and you probably want to keep an eye on your wings to get that good crispy sear.

  37. Reply

    5 stars
    I use your rub recipe all the time now. That’s all my kids want . Great recipe.

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much, Daniel! πŸ™‚

  38. Reply

    5 stars
    Best wings I’ve made at home. Varied the recipe a touch but turned out amazing!

    1. Reply

      Awesome, Cindy! Glad you liked em. What’d you do differently?

  39. Reply

    Thanks for these amazing secrets and recipe, Leigh πŸ˜€ They are really helpful.

  40. Reply

    5 stars
    It is absolutely yummy and amazing πŸ˜€

  41. Reply

    5 stars
    This is amazing, i love trying different smoked recipes and these smoked chicken wings are definitely worth trying. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  42. Reply

    […] your wings dry, or top them with a slightly sweet sauce, we’d call up Bar Dog Pinot Noir to pour. This recipe is already making our mouth […]

  43. Reply

    Anyone ever tried this with frozen wings? Have a bag in our freezer and trying to decide if I should let thaw or just plan on smoking longer.

    1. Reply

      I’d thaw them out first.

  44. Reply

    This was so good, turned out awesome, thanks for the recipe!

  45. Reply

    5 stars
    It is really amazing πŸ˜€

  46. Reply

    5 stars
    Hands down the best wings I have ever made.

    1. Reply

      Awesome, Lori! So glad to hear that!! πŸ™‚

  47. Reply

    5 stars
    The best wings i have ever made from this recipe. For a sauce I used sweet baby rays honey teriyaki and simmered it for about 1/2 hour. I at about half the wings just “plain” and half with the sauce. Killer.

  48. Reply

    These were truly the best wings I ever had and it was the first time I smoked wings in a smoker. The taste is amazing. Might add a touch of habanero powder next time just to give it a little more heat.

    1. Reply

      Awesome! Yeah, I like my wings some heat in there too. I actually got thumped in a few comments for the heat from the cayenne. Glad you liked ’em! πŸ™‚

  49. Reply

    I have LOVED reading this thread. My wings are in the rub, the coals are started, my bag of pecan chunks is at the ready, my glass of Malbec is poured and the fun is about to start. Be safe everyone.

  50. Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe is fabulous, and has become our go-to. My husband raved the first time I made it, and said the wings were even better than the β€œfamous” smoked wings from a restaurant in our community. Quite an endorsement!

  51. Reply

    5 stars
    Most truly the best wings i ever had, thanks to this recipe… It was recommended by a friend, now definitely i am gonna recommend it further…..

  52. Reply

    How much wood are you placing to smoke? I’m going to make these tomorrow.

    1. Reply

      I keep constant smoke on them until they’re about finished. Typically, I toss one chunk on, and add more as needed.

  53. Reply

    Looking to make this recipe this weekend on a pellet grill. Would smoking at 180 work, to get a good smoke flavor ? Also I saw some recipes add baking powder to the rub to crisp up the skin, would you recommend this ? Thanks.

    1. Reply

      If you smoke at 180 plan on a longer cook time. No problem there, but you’ll just need to monitor that internal temp. I have also heard the same to crisp the skin. I haven’t tried it, I just finish off the wings over direct heat. You can also toss them in a fryer or oven for really crispy skin.

  54. Reply

    Did anyone use a gas grill for this recipe?

  55. Reply

    5 stars
    This is amazing, I love trying different smoked recipes and these smoked chicken wings are definitely worth trying. In fact, your all recipes are just perfect. Keep it up. Lots of love to you. πŸ™‚

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much!! We appreciate that. We only post the good ones, and there have been plenty of failures over the years, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚

  56. Reply

    5 stars
    This is the first recipe I ever tried in my smoker. We couldn’t have been more pleased! The grand kids devoured 4lbs in no time! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing!
    I’ll share your blog on my app XP Work Doku App

  57. Reply

    This is my GO TO smoked wing recipe, including the rub recipe. As the article mentions, follow the steps and you will drive your friends and family WILD with these wings.

    I have received nothing but rave reviews and continue to get several requests for these at the next tailgate or get together. THEY ARE SO GOOD … THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE & PROCESS!

    1. Reply

      Rock on! Thanks so much for that. I am so so glad that they’re a hit!! πŸ™‚

  58. Reply

    5 stars
    Thanks for providing these recipes. I was looking for this recipe for a quite a long time. But now, I found a perfect recipe for smoked chicken wings. However, can you suggest which electric smoker will be perfect for this recipe?

    1. Reply

      Hey David, I have never used an electric smoker but what you’re looking for is temp control and the ability to keep smoke on. So, if the smoker you’re looking at can promise those two things you should be golden.

  59. Reply

    5 stars
    I made this for my son’s birthday, and our family went crazy over it!!! My father told me this recipe is definitely a keeper, and I agree. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Awesome! We’re happy you liked em!

  60. Reply

    5 stars
    Followed the recipe to a tee and all I can say is wow!!! These wings take you to flavor town. The Alabama white bbq sauce is a must, it seemed to enhance the smoke flavors. This recipe will be a staple in our house. Thank you! (I went with pecan wood chips)

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much!! πŸ˜€

  61. Reply

    Thanks for these amazing secrets and recipe!

  62. Reply

    5 stars
    Live in Chicago and always look for restaurants offering smoked wings (far superior to fried IMO). Not common but we have a few places that do a great job. This blows them all away. I followed the recipe using a pellet smoker (at 225F for 2.5 hours) and finished them on a 550F gas grill for less than 5 minutes. Juicy with nice crisp, flavorful as can be with a great, not to hot, kick. Will be making these regularly!!

    1. Reply

      That’s awesome, Gary! Thanks so much!

  63. Reply

    5 stars
    it’s really amazing.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Katan! πŸ™‚

  64. Reply

    Hi! What would happen if I decide to do this and let the chicken rest in rub overnight in fridge? Trying to get as much done the night before if possible! Thanks!

    1. Reply

      It would just pump up the flavor some more. It’s fine. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating