How to Smoke Chicken Wings

by Patrick Hutchison

Chicken wings are a classic appetizer for big game days or summer picnics. Grilling is a healthy way to prepare chicken wings because it does not add fat like traditional deep-frying does. The grill also gives the skin a crispy texture, but because of their small size, wings cook quickly and rarely develop the smoky flavor of the barbecue. To infuse wings with real barbecue flavor, you can smoke them using low heat, hardwood chips and longer cooking times.

Combine your dry rub seasonings including paprika, garlic salt, pepper and chili powder in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken wings, shake to coat and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours.

Add hardwood chips -- that have soaked in water for at least 30 minutes -- to your smoker and set the temperature to approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove your wings from the marinade bag, shake off any excess seasoning and place them in the smoker with the lid closed.

Turn your wings over every 25 minutes with tongs and add additional hardwood chips to maintain adequate smoke.

Check the temperature of the wings with a meat thermometer after an hour and a half. Because wings are very small, your best option for a decent temperature reading is in the thick part of the shoulder joint. The USDA recommends that all poultry is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Try different types of hardwood in your smoker to create different flavors of smoke. Popular smoking woods including hickory, pecan, maple and apple wood.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.