My affinity for smoked chicken wings is known far and wide– my most recent experiment involved brushing a mixture of apricot spreadable fruit and honey onto the wings when they were almost done cooking. The sweetness of the fruit and honey mixed with the spiciness of my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) created an awesome combination that had me licking my fingers like no one was watching!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Dry Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 175-180°F
  • Recommended Wood: Hickory
What You’ll Need
  • 12-14 whole chicken wings
  • Mayonnaise
  • Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
  • ½ cup or 4-5 ounces apricot spreadable fruit (I use Smucker's SimplyFruit® which has no added sugar)
  • ½ cup Honey
IMG 0244Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Dry Skin in Fridge (optional but recommended)

Let's face it, chicken skin cooked in the smoker is never going to be crisp but it can have what we call, “good bite through”. A great way to make sure it's not rubbery but has decent bite through is to dry the skin in the fridge for several hours or even overnight.

Rinse the chicken wings If you like then pat them really dry with a paper towel. Heck use a couple of paper towels if you need to =)

Once they are good and paper towel dried, place them on a cooling rack over a sheet pan for best results or you can just lay them in a pan or large container. Place the chicken in the fridge for 3-4 hours or optimally, overnight.

The moisture in the skin will evaporate and the skin will become dry. This is exactly what you want.

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Apply Mayo to Skin

Once you've dried the skin in the fridge, we will apply a base on the chicken to help the rub to stick.

I prefer to use Mayonnaise on chicken but you can also just use olive oil or vegetable oil.

Rub the mayo all over the top and bottom of the chicken wings.. be generous with it.

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Season with Jeff's Original Rub Recipe

Sprinkle my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the bottom side of the chicken wings then let them sit there and get that “wet” look before flipping them over.

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Repeat the original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the top side of the wings and let them sit while you go get the smoker ready.

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Smoke Time

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat.

Since we are trying to get the skin to obtain a good bite through, I recommend leaving the water pan dry for these.

Like the legs and thighs, there is plenty of fat in the wings to help keep them moist while they cook.

Note: Some folks cook chicken in the smoker at 275°F or a little higher and this is fine if your smoker will do that but this also gives you less time in the smoke and reduced smoke flavor. I try to find a balance between plenty of smoke flavor and good heat.

Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken wings on the smoker grate skin side up.

Use hickory wood for smoke. You can also use pecan, or almost any fruit wood. Apply smoke throughout the entire cooking process if possible.

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When the chicken wings reach about 165°F, it's time to apply the glaze.

Make and Apply Glaze

I used apricot spreadable fruit– Smucker's SimplyFruit® and honey to create the glaze.

  • ½ cup Smucker's apricot SimplyFruit®
  • ½ cup honey

Instructions: place the ingredients into a small sauce pan over low heat to allow the honey and fruit to combine. Stir gently and once the mixture is hot and thoroughly mixed, remove from the heat.

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Brush the glaze liberally onto the tops of the chicken wings and let them continue to cook until they reach 175°F in the thickest part of the meat.

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If you have a smoker that allows you to turn up the heat easily, feel free to crank up the heat to 250-275°F to help the glaze to have a better finish.

Finish and Serve

Chicken is safely done at 165°F however, darker, more fatty chicken meat can handle much higher finish temperatures and even tend to get more tender if you cook them a little longer and higher than what is required.

I recommend cooking these to 175-180°F for better tenderness.

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Serve immediately and watch them disappear.

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  • This recipe is for a dozen wings so you can easily double or triple the recipe according to who is eating, whether they are appetizers or entrees and based on the hunger level of those you are serving. I used half of a 10 ounce jar of the spreadable fruit (which is approximately ½ cup) instead of measuring closely. To double the recipe just use the entire jar and a full cup of honey.
  • It took 1 hour 16 minutes for the smoked chicken wings to reach 165°F then another 31 minutes to acquire a temperature of 175°F after glazing. Let the temperature be your guide since many things can influence the time such as how cold the wings are when they go into the smoker, comparative size of the chicken wings, outside temperature, airflow in your smoker, how often you open the smoker door/lid, etc.
  • Use a reliable digital meat thermometer such as the Thermapen (handheld) or a leave-in device such as the “Smoke” by Thermoworks to monitor the temperature and make sure you get the chicken wings done perfectly.
Order Jeff’s Rubs and Barbecue Sauce TODAY!
Jeff's Rubs and Sauce

✅ If you haven’t ordered my rubs or sauce yet you can do that HERE. They are the best thing you’ve ever tasted and it’s a great way to support what we do!

We ship blazingly fast and orders over $50 ship free!

Check them out! | Read the reviews

You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.

Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

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Printable Recipe

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Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Apricot and Honey Chicken Wings

In this smoked chicken wing recipe, I used apricot spreadable fruit with honey along with my original rub to create a flavor profile that you are going to love!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 4 -6


  • 12-14 Chicken wings ((whole))
  • Mayonnaise
  • Jeff's original rub
  • 1/2 cup Apricot spreadable fruit (((I use Smucker's SimplyFruit® which has no added sugar)))
  • 1/2 cup Honey


  • Place the chicken wings on a cooling rack over a sheet pan and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Set the chicken in the fridge to allow the skin to dry for about 4 hours or optimally overnight.
  • Apply a coat of mayonnaise all over the chicken.
  • Season the chicken wings liberally with Jeff's original rub recipe.
  • Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat and hickory wood for smoke.
  • Place the chicken wings directly on the smoker grate and let them cook for about 1.5 hours or until they reach 165°F in the thickest part of the meat.
  • Make a glaze of ½ cup Smucker's apricot simplyfruit® or any apricot spreadable fruit and ½ cup honey.
  • Heat the ingredients in a small saucepan to help the mixture to combine more easily.
  • Once the glaze is finished, brush it liberally onto the chicken wings.
  • Let the wings continue cooking until they reach about 175-180°F in the thickest part.
  • Serve the wings immediately.