I have had these honey barbecue smoked chicken wings on my brain for several weeks and decided to not only make a big batch but, to also share them with you. They are brined in buttermilk to make them amazingly tender, marinated in Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here) for amazing flavor and then finished with my very own sweet and spicy honey barbecue sauce.

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Smoker Temp: 250°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165-170°F
  • Recommended Wood: Hickory or Mesquite
What You'll Need

Get the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce


recipe-ad-rubMy original rub is used to marinate the chicken wings before and after being brined in buttermilk. I also used my very own barbecue sauce to create a honey barbecue glaze that made every wonderfully sticky bite of these chicken wings flat out amazing!

promise you'll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don't pay!

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Step 1: Marinate Chicken Wings

Place a single layer of the wings in a disposable pan

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Drizzle with olive or vegetable oil and brush it on to coat all sides thoroughly.

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Sprinkle a generous amount of Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here) onto the wings then flip them over and apply rub to the other side as well.

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Let the rub “settle in” and when it starts getting that wet look, place the wings in a ziptop bag and place them in the fridge for 2 hours.

This marinates the wings and gives them a ton of extra flavor!

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Step 2: Brine Wings with Buttermilk

After marinating the wings for 2 hours with Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here), it is time to give the chicken some extra flavor and tenderness. Buttermilk is known by many chefs to be a great tenderizer for poultry and it does absolute wonders on these smoked chicken wings.

The first step is to make the brine which consists of adding ¼ cup of kosher salt to 1 quart of buttermilk. Obviously if you are doing more than about 2 lbs of wings, you'll need to multiply the recipe accordingly.

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Pour the quart of buttermilk into a pitcher and add in ¼ cup of salt. Stir for about 20 seconds to make sure the salt is dissolved.

The buttermilk brine is now ready to use.

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Pour the brine into the bag with the marinated chicken making sure that all of the chicken is submerged in the brine.

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Place the bag of chicken into the fridge for another 2 hours to allow the buttermilk to tenderize the chicken while the salt in the buttermilk draws some of the liquid into the meat to help juice it up.

Step 3: Re-season Wings with Rub

After 2 hours of brining, remove the chicken wings from the fridge and pour them into a disposable aluminum pan for seasoning.

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The wings do NOT need to be rinsed off. The buttermilk and rub together adds a lot of flavor and because my rub is low on salt, the salt in the brining process is perfectly fine.

You will want to add more of the Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here) to the chicken wings. Start by placing the wings in a single layer and reapplying the rub just like you did in the beginning.

This may seem like overkill but testing says it's not. Trust me!

Add rub to the top side..

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Flip all of the wings over and rub the other side as well..

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Leave the wings sitting for a few minutes while you get the smoker ready!

Step 4: Smoke the Chicken Wings

These smoked chicken wings are so easy and quick to make that you can do them indirect on the grill, or in an electric, charcoal, propane or wood smoker with excellent results.

Set up your smoker for cooking indirectly at about 250°F if possible. Lower temperatures will work if your smoker will not get up to 250°F as long as you know that it will take them a little longer to reach their finish temperature.

The higher temperature helps to get them done a little faster and because chicken handles higher temperatures very well.

I recommend using hickory on these or even mesquite if you want to. The short time in the smoker means you have limited time to get that smoke flavor applied and a bolder wood flavor works really well.

Place the chicken wings directly on the grate or you can use a Bradley rack like I did to make it easy to transport them to and from the smoker.

You can expect the chicken wings to reach 165-170°F in about 1 hour.

Be sure to use a digital probe meat thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 or you can use a good quality instant read thermometer such as the Thermapen to test the temperature and make sure all of them are perfectly and safely done.

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Step 5: Sauce and Broil

Just before the wings are finished cooking, turn on the broiler in your oven so it's ready to caramelize the sauce just as soon as they are finished in the smoker.

You will also need to get the sauce ready by mixing 2 parts Jeff's barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) with 1 part honey.

To make 1 cup of the honey barbecue sauce, mix 2/3 cup of Jeff's barbecue sauce with 1/3 cup of honey.

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Bring the finished wings into the house and brush the sauce onto the top of the chicken wings as generously as you dare.

Place them under the broiler for about a minute or until the sauce starts to bubble furiously (WATCH THEM CAREFULLY).

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Remove them, flip them over, sauce the bottom side and broil that side for about a minute once again.

This is a quick process and SO worth it.

To answer the obvious question: yes you can certainly do this on a hot grill but, in my opinion, the broiler is a little more predictable.

Step 6: Watch them Disappear

Holler, “done!” and watch them evaporate from before your eyes 😉

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Get the Digital Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce


jeffs-rub-framed-250x169 jeffs-sauce-framed-250x169
***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
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
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
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
..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
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
 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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Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

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It is a Bestseller in Barbecueing & Grilling books on Amazon.

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Printable Recipe

5.0 from 3 reviews
Honey Barbecue Smoked Chicken Wings
 
These smoked wings are brined in buttermilk to make them amazingly tender, marinated in my rub for amazing flavor and then finished with my very own sweet and spicy honey barbecue sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Instructions
Step 1: Marinate Chicken Wings
  1. Place a single layer of the wings in a disposable pan
  2. Drizzle with olive or vegetable oil and brush it on to coat all sides thoroughly.
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of Jeff’s original rub onto the wings then flip them over and apply rub to the other side as well.
  4. Let the rub “settle in” and when it starts getting that wet look, place the wings in a ziptop bag.
  5. Place them in the fridge for 2 hours.
Step 2: Brine Wings with Buttermilk
  1. Make the brine: Pour the quart of buttermilk into a pitcher and add in ¼ cup of salt. Stir for about 20 seconds to make sure the salt is dissolved.
  2. Pour the brine into the bag with the marinated chicken making sure that all of the chicken is submerged in the brine.
  3. Place the bag of chicken back into the fridge for another 2 hours.
Step 3: Re-season Wings with Rub
  1. After 2 hours of brining, remove the chicken wings from the fridge and pour them into a disposable aluminum pan for seasoning.
  2. The wings do NOT need to be rinsed off. The buttermilk and rub together adds a lot of flavor and because my rub is low on salt, the salt in the brining process is perfectly fine.
  3. Add more rub to the chicken wings by placing the wings in a single layer and reapplying the rub just like you did in the beginning.
  4. Flip all of the wings over and rub the other side as well..
  5. Leave the wings sitting for a few minutes while you get the smoker ready!
Step 4: Smoke Chicken Wings
  1. Set up your smoker for cooking at about 250°F if possible. Lower temperatures will work if your smoker will not get up to 250°F as long as you know that it will take them a little longer to reach their finish temperature.
  2. I recommend using hickory on these or even mesquite if you want to.
  3. Place the chicken wings directly on the grate
  4. You can expect the chicken wings to reach 165-170°F in about 1 hour.
  5. Use a digital probe meat thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 or you can use a good quality instant read thermometer such as the Thermapen to test the temperature and make sure all of them are perfectly and safely done.
Step 5: Sauce and Broil
  1. Just before the wings are finished cooking, turn on the broiler in your oven so it’s ready to caramelize the sauce just as soon as they are finished in the smoker.
  2. You will also need to get the sauce ready by mixing 2 parts Jeff’s sauce with 1 part honey. To make a cup of the honey barbecue sauce, mix ⅔ cup of Jeff’s barbecue sauce with ⅓ cup of honey.
  3. Bring the finished wings into the house and brush the sauce onto the top of the chicken wings as generously as you dare.
  4. Place them under the broiler for about a minute or until the sauce starts to bubble furiously (WATCH THEM CAREFULLY).
  5. Remove them, flip them over, sauce the bottom side and broil that side for about a minute once again.
Step 6: Watch them Disappear
  1. Holler, “done!” and watch them evaporate from before your eyes 😉
 

About the Author

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

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

  1. Jim in Conroe June 30, 2016 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Made these plus a batch of your regular Smoked Chicken Wing recipe for a dinner and a movie party at our house. They went over like gangbusters. Several people said they had never had chicken wings as tender and flavorful as these.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Colleen Talbot April 8, 2016 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Made this recipe with 5 lbs of wings today. The flavour was outstanding for only 1 hour in the smoker. I doubled the recipe of course but didn’t need to double the sauce recipe though since I made too much for the amount of wings I smoked … one cup of sauce was more than enough to coat all 5 lbs. I’ll be making this recipe again!

  3. Rod August 2, 2015 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Can you prepare these the night before? Example, you’re having a big cookout on Saturday. Friday night could you do the 2hr seasoning, then 2hr buttermilk, then the season again, after that cover them and let them sit overnight until you’re ready to cook on Saturday?

  4. David Linnell June 18, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Jeff,

    Are the recipes in your book different from the ones on your newsletters, or are there duplicates?
    Thanks!

  5. Erwin March 13, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Looks great Jeff, love to try it out this weekend.
    I bought your book last week, and I must say, it’s a great book, but I was very disappointed when I noticed your Jeff’s Rub and Sauce recipe is missing. Or is it called by a different name?

    • Jeff Phillips March 18, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

      Erwin, The (2) recipes that I sell on the website and in the newsletter are not included in the book. We have opted to keep them separate since so many people have purchased them prior to the book being published. Let me know if you have further questions about this.

  6. oldhead March 10, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

    just finished eating the honey glazed wings , there should be a law against a recipe that GREAT
    when a older couple like my wife and me can eat that many. they where GREAT,TENDER ,MOIST
    AWESOME !!!!!! used your rub and sauce. kept up the good work.
    thanks
    ed

  7. Doyan March 5, 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I am going to try this sounds really good everything I have got from you has been great. I do not pass this recipes on if they want them they can pay for them

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