Smoked Chicken Wings

I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to wings.  When a craving hits, it is usually calling for the classic Buffalo-style wing.  Bone-in, deep-fried and slathered in a butter and Frank’s Red Hot sauce mixture served with a side of celery, carrots, blue cheese, and ranch. Occasionally, I will dabble in garlic-parmesan or mango habanero but more often than not I just want the classic – perfectly executed.  However – over the last few years, I have gotten into smoked wings.  I love the smoky flavor, combined with the juicy chicken and a good punch of spice – all coupled with the notion that these wings are “healthy.”  Well, I’m not sure about healthy – but healthier than their deep-fried counterpart.

I have been making traditional wings at home for years, but I finally decided to tackle a smoked version on my Pit Boss Pellet grill over the 4th of July weekend.  And am I glad I did!  The wings came out all the perfect things.  Tender, juicy, smoky, spicy.  Umami.

I paired them with some homemade Greek yogurt (there’s that healthy thing again) blue cheese dressing and some vegetables for dipping.  Happy Birthday, America!

How to Smoke Chicken Wings
Wings onto the smoker, over indirect heat.
How to smoke chicken wings
Perfectly smoked – crispy, juicy and tender. Ready to eat!
How to make amazing chicken wings
Smoked Chicken Wings

Smoked Chicken Wings

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Recipe type: Appetizer, Entree


  • 3 pounds of chicken wings
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. chipotle hot sauce (I prefer Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce)
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. chipotle hot sauce (I prefer Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce)


  1. Place chicken wings in a large (or two) Ziploc bags.
  2. Add the oil and chipotle hot sauce, seal the bag and shake to evenly distribute the oil and hot sauce.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  4. Open the bag and add the spice mixture. Seal bag and shake well to evenly distribute the spices.
  5. Place the bag into refrigerator and let the wings marinate for at least an hour, up to 12.
  6. Remove the wings from the fridge and let rest on the counter while you prepare the smoker.
  7. Heat your smoker to 225 degrees (or set up your charcoal grill for indirect heating with a woodchip packet).
  8. Place wings over indirect heat and smoke for 2 to 2 ½ hours, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  9. Remove from heat and let rest a few minutes before eating. You can also toss in your favorite sauce at this point, but I opted to have mine dry.
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