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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.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Keyword Chicken Wings, Honey Barbecue
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinate 4 hours
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jeff Phillips


  • 2-3 lbs of chicken wing pieces (whole wings will work)
  • Olive or Vegetable oil
  • Jeff’s original rub (purchase recipes here)
  • 1 quart of buttermilk
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • Jeff’s barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here)
  • Honey
  • Ziptop bag or plastic/glass bowl with lid


Step 1: Marinate Chicken Wings

  • Place a single layer of the wings in a disposable pan
  • Drizzle with olive or vegetable oil and brush it on to coat all sides thoroughly.
  • 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.
  • Let the rub “settle in” and when it starts getting that wet look, place the wings in a ziptop bag.
  • Place them in the fridge for 2 hours.

Step 2: Brine Wings with Buttermilk

  • 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.
  • Pour the brine into the bag with the marinated chicken making sure that all of the chicken is submerged in the brine.
  • Place the bag of chicken back into the fridge for another 2 hours.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Flip all of the wings over and rub the other side as well..
  • Leave the wings sitting for a few minutes while you get the smoker ready!

Step 4: Smoke Chicken Wings

  • 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.
  • I recommend using hickory on these or even mesquite if you want to.
  • Place the chicken wings directly on the grate
  • You can expect the chicken wings to reach 165-170°F in about 1 hour.
  • 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

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

Step 6: Watch them Disappear

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