There's not too many foods that I like as well as smoked chicken wings and this week, I just couldn't help showing off my pecan smoked chicken wings with honey and beer barbecue sauce!

The picture looks good enough to eat in my opinion and you can only imagine how good these babies are in real life.

A little sticky and with just the right amount of smoke, the slightly crispy skin is beyond delectable and the tender meat comes cleanly off the bone!

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Marinate Time: Overnight or about 6-8 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165-170°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need
Season Chicken Wings

Rinse the chicken wings under cold water then pat them dry with a paper towel

2014-IMG_4735

Put the raw chicken wings into a large ziptop bag and pour in about ¼ cup of olive oil.

If you are making more than 3 lb of wings, you may need more oil. The oil is added to create a nice sticky surface on the meat to help the rub to stick well.

2014-IMG_4738

Add about ½ cup of Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here) (per 3 lbs of chicken wings) to the bag.

Close the bag and shake, rattle, and roll the bag to allow the rub to coat all of the chicken.

Please note: unlike a lot of commercially available rubs, my original rub (purchase recipes here) is low on salt and you can use a lot of this stuff if you want to without worrying that they will be overly salty.

If you did it right, it should look like the picture below:

2014-IMG_4739

Marinate Chicken Wings Overnight

Place the bag of wings into a pan of some sort to ensure that they do not leak and then into the fridge to keep them cold.

Allow them to marinate in the fridge overnight or for 6-8 hours for best results.

The next morning or when you are ready to smoke the chicken wings, remove the bag of wings from the fridge and pour them into a pan so you can easily place them onto the smoker.

As you can see, the rub has turned into a paste consisting of the rub, olive oil and some of the tasty juices from the chicken. They have been marinating all night and some of the goodness has even found it's way up under the skin.

2014-IMG_4741

Ready the Smoker

Set up your smoker for cooking at 225°F with pecan wood if possible (it's awesome on these smoked chicken wings!).

I am using the Big Green Egg Ceramic cooker with the Flame Boss temperature controller to help me maintain a very steady 225°F.

I lit the Big Green Egg as usual (read here if you need help with this) then attached the temperature controller once the egg was up to temperature.

The big green egg and most other ceramic cookers don't require as much hands on activity as some other smokers and cookers do but I definitely would not go off and leave it for hours on end. With this Flame Boss temperature controller.. I certainly would.

It allows me to dial in exactly what I want and then walk away with full confidence knowing that “someone” is tending the smoker while I sleep, run errands or do yard work.

Here's my setup for the Flame Boss Temperature Controller:

2014-IMG_2723

As you can see, the fan attaches in seconds to the intake vent (just slides right into place)

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The ambient temperature probe is welded to an alligator clip which attaches easy as pie to the cooking grate.

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Very simple operation that did not require me to read a manual made using this unit a breeze.

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Oh.. and did I mention it also has a food probe so you can monitor the temperature of your chicken wings as well?

Read more about this awesome and handy device at http://www.smoking-meat.com/flameboss

Note: if you need further help with your smoker, please see the following pages:

Smoke the Chicken Wings

Place the chicken wings directly on the smoker grate or you can also use a Bradley rack, Weber grill pan or a cooling rack for easy transport to and from the kitchen.

Smoke the wings with indirect heat. If you are using the BGE, this means you are using the plate setter. In water smokers, you are using the water pan full of water and/or other liquids.

The first image below is without smoke.. in the 2nd image you can see the hazy pecan smoke starting to come up and kiss the chicken good morning.

2014-IMG_4744 2014-IMG_4745

Use pecan wood if you have it and maintain 225 -230°F for about 1.5 to 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before the wings are done cooking, brush the honey and beer barbecue sauce (recipe below) onto the tops of the chicken wings. Let them cook for another 10 minutes then flip them over and repeat on the other side.

You may think it's not going to take nearly 2 hours for these since they will reach about 150°F within the first hour but when you open the lid to sauce them up with the beer and honey barbecue sauce, the temperature will drop several degrees.

It will take another 30 to 45 minutes or more for them to recover and then climb to 165-170°F.

Monitor the Temperature of the Chicken

It is VERY important to monitor the temperature of chicken while you are cooking it.

I know, I know.. you can touch it and tell what temperature it is.

Well, you are my hero but I can't do that accurately enough for my own satisfaction and clear juice does not necessarily mean the chicken has reached a safe temperature.

Use a thermometer and just be on the safe side.

I use the super-fast Thermapen as the final temperature check for things like chicken.

Another great tool is the improved ThermoPop digital pocket thermometer which reads in 3-4 seconds (that's fast), is splash-proof and is being offered now for only $29. One of my favorite toys.. er, tools;-)

ThermoPop_generic-01

I used the food probe on the Flame Boss temperature controller to monitor an average sized chicken wing, then checked several of the other pieces with my Thermapen once the temperature was reading 165°F.

Using this method, I was able to ensure that all of the chicken was between 165 and 170°F.

Making the Beer and Honey Barbecue Sauce

My barbecue sauce recipe is great just like it is but it is also a great base for adding other things to.

In this smoked chicken wing recipe, I decided to add a touch of honey and some beer to take it to another level.

To purchase the barbecue sauce recipe with the rub recipe, go HERE.

Once you have the recipe in hand, make up a batch of sauce, let it cool just a little then combine the following:

Add the honey and the beer to the barbecue sauce and stir well to combine.

Enjoy ‘Dem Wings!

I recommend you “test” a couple or 5 before you take them into the house since after that, they'll be gone like a freight train before you even know what happened!

2014-IMG_4770 2014-IMG_4785

Notes/Comments:
  1. These smoked chicken wings will not be as crispy as fried wings. They should have decent bite through and if you embrace the quality of chicken skin that's been smoked and coated with a little rub and/or sauce, you might find that while it's different, it's also very, very good 😉
  2. You do not have to marinate these overnight but I do highly recommend it. It allows the rub to turn into a paste which wicks up under the skin of the chicken and really gets some good flavor into the outer surface of the meat. You can taste the difference in my opinion.
  3. I like the full size chicken wings however, if you want the smaller drumettes and wingettes (or whatever they call them), just separate the wings at the elbows before you season them.
  4. If you must know, I used Shiner Bock beer in the honey and beer barbecue sauce and it is my usual go-to beer for most of my cooking.

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***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

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Printable Recipe

Pecan Smoked Chicken Wings
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Author: Jeff Phillips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5
A little sticky and with just the right amount of smoke, the slightly crispy skin is beyond delectable and the tender meat comes cleanly off the bone!
Ingredients
Instructions
Season up the Chicken Wings
  1. Rinse the chicken wings under cold water then pat them dry with a paper towel
  2. Put the raw chicken wings into a large ziptop bag and pour in about ¼ cup of olive oil.
  3. Add about ½ cup of Jeff's rub (per 3 lbs of chicken wings) to the bag.
  4. Close the bag and shake, rattle, and roll the bag to allow the rub to coat all of the chicken.
Marinate Chicken Wings Overnight
  1. Place the bag of wings into a pan of some sort to ensure that they do not leak and then into the fridge to keep them cold.
  2. Allow them to marinate in the fridge overnight or for 6-8 hours for best results.
  3. The next morning or when you are ready to smoke the chicken wings, remove the bag of wings from the fridge and pour them into a pan so you can easily place them onto the smoker.
Smoking the Chicken Wings
  1. Set up your smoker for cooking at 225 °F with pecan wood if possible (it’s awesome on these smoked chicken wings!).
  2. Smoke the wings with indirect heat.
  3. Use pecan wood if you have it and maintain 225 -230 °F for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before the wings are done cooking, brush the honey and beer barbecue sauce (recipe below) onto the tops of the chicken wings.
  5. Let them cook for another 10 minutes then flip them over and repeat on the other side.
  6. Cook the chicken until it measures 165 °F as measured by a tested digital probe meat thermometer.
Making the Beer and Honey Barbecue Sauce
  1. Combine 1 cup of Jeff’s barbecue sauce, 2 TBS of honey and ½ cup of beer until it is well mixed.
  2. Enjoy!

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

4 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Norm April 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    What’s the point of posting a recipe if you have to buy most of the recipe….

    • Jeff Phillips May 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      Norm, The only thing I sell are my rub recipes and my sauce recipe which helps to support the website. Obviously, if you want to use something from your local grocery store or even just salt and pepper you can do that. I don’t think it will taste nearly as good but I am very biased 😉

  2. Rich September 10, 2015 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Jeff, curious as to why you wouldn’t use a wireless thermoprobe to monitor temperatures.

    Cheers

  3. Mike June 13, 2015 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    good stuff

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