Place the chicken wing sections into a large plastic or glass bowl.
Get some Franks original RedHot® sauce..
Drizzle it over the top of all the wings.
Stir them around to fully coat.
Sprinkle Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) onto the top of the wing sections (be generous).
Stir the wings around to get the rub all over.
Repeat the rub and the stirring to make sure you have plenty of rub on the chicken wings.
Cover the container with a lid, plastic wrap or foil and place them in the fridge for about 4 hours to marinate.
When the marinating is finished, place the wing sections on a bradley rack or cookie sheet for easy transport out to the smoker.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 250°F.
This is a great recipe for almost any smoker or grill as long as you can maintain the correct smoking temperature and provide some smoke.
I particularly enjoy using the Camp Chef Woodwind as it has some extra features that many of the others at the same price point do not have such as easy ash cleanout and hopper cleanout chute.
Once the smoker is maintaining the proper temperature, you can proceed with the cooking process.
If you used a pan/rack, you can just place it right on the smoker grate and close the door or lid.
Otherwise, place the chicken wing sections on the smoker grate with a little space between them to allow the heat and smoke to get to them easily.
Keep a light pecan smoke going for at least 1 hour. You can also use another wood if you do not have pecan or if you have another favorite smoking wood.
A Thermapen is really useful for checking things like chicken wings. It's quick and you can check a lot of wings in a very short period of time.
A Thermapen is a really nice hand held thermometer that checks the temperature of meat in around 2-3 seconds by simply poking the meat with the probe.
When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 175°F, it is time to super heat and crisp the skin.
If you want to use a leave-in wireless thermometer to monitor the temperature of the chicken and/or the pit, look no further than the “Smoke” by Thermoworks. This is the dual-probe remote thermometer that I use and you can count on it being rugged, accurate and easy to use.
Check it out HERE.
This process can be done on the grill, the sear box –if you have the Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill like I do– or under the oven broiler.
If you are using the broiler feature on your home oven, turn it on “High” and it should be ready within just a minute or two.
Important: Transfer the chicken to a cookie sheet to prevent the grease from dripping down onto your oven floor and starting a fire.
Electric (or Gas) broiler at top of oven:
Place the pan about 10-12 inches under the broiler.
After a minute or so the skin will start to sizzle/bubble and get dark, and when they reach a nice brown color, it is time to flip them over.
Flip the chicken pieces over and do the same on the other side.
Gas broiler in a drawer under the oven:
Place the pan of chicken under the broiler and leave the drawer pulled out so you can watch it the entire time. This type of broiler usually has the food closer to the heat so it will get done really fast.
Very quickly the skin will start to sizzle/bubble and get dark, and when they reach a nice brown color, it is time to flip them over.
Pull the pan out of the broiler, flip the chicken pieces over and repeat the broiling process to crisp the skin on the other side.
Note: The time will vary depending on how far the chicken is from the broiler element but it is imperative that you do not walk away during this process. Turn on the oven light, if you have one and watch them so they do not burn. When you see the sizzling of the skin, let that go on for about 15 seconds then proceed to flip them over.
When the smoked chicken wings come out off the grill or out from the broiler, serve them immediately for best results. There's nothing quite as good as smoked chicken wings still hot and burning your fingers.
Can I use barbecue sauce on the wings?
You can definitely use sauce but if you do, I recommend waiting until you crisp the skin. Add the sauce then give them a little more time under the broiler but, once again, watch them carefully and don't let the sauce burn.
Can I just cook them hotter in the smoker?
Yes. If your smoker will cook at 275-300°F this will work just fine. The down side is that the chicken does not get to spend as much time with the smoke and the smoke flavor will not be as strong.
How about using a different hot sauce?
You can use whatever hot sauce you like depending on how hot you like it. To me Franks is a great flavor for hot wings and it adds the perfect amount of tanginess and heat but feel free to experiment and if you find something that knocks your socks off, let me know 😉
Won't the chicken wings get hotter than 175°F once they go under the broiler?
That is possible although they will cool down some between the smoker and the broiler. This is perfectly ok as chicken wings have more fat than some other chicken parts and it can handle and even benefit from being cooked to a higher temperature without drying out the meat.
You could also have a hot grill ready to go and once ready, move them over to crisp them up.