The Best Smoked Chicken Wings

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In addition to gardening, I have a  passion for cooking healthy, good-tasting food for my family.

I have always enjoyed barbecue and smoked food but wanted to have it in a manner that doesn’t have all the sugar and fat.

So, I am probably one of the few women in history who put a meat smoker on my wedding registry!

Fortunately, I received it and have put it to good use over the past many years.

I was surprised at how easy it is to use.

It certainly isn’t fancy and would be considered amateur-league by a pro.

However, it is a great way to prepare a lot of food for a gathering or to make and freeze for later.

I definitely like to cook once and eat many meals from the fruits of my labor!

assorted chicken wings in white bowl on brown, braided table matt.
Smoked Chicken Wings


Dry Rub for Smoked Chicken Wings and Legs

One of my husband and brother’s favorites is smoked chicken wings.

I use a dry rub for flavor and my guests can add sauces and dips if they wish.

This recipe is the result of searching the internet and tweaking and combining existing recipes to the amounts listed below.

I use fresh party wings from Costco and smoke with hickory chips, but we enjoy other wood chip flavors as well.

Texas Post Oak is another wood chip flavor that has become a staple in my smoker.

I cook the wings for 2 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Costco also sells medium-sized legs (drumsticks) in packages of about 36-40.

These are fabulous in the smoker as well using this rub.

I cook them a bit longer than the wings- for about 2.5-3 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit

Both the wings and legs are juicy and flavorful.

The meat is so tender it slides off the bones.

So easy and a definite crowd-pleaser!

4 chicken drum sticks in white bowl
Smoked Chicken Legs

Hot Dry Rub for Hickory Smoked Wings

2 T Black Pepper

1 T Onion Powder

1 T Garlic Powder

1 T Paprika

1 T Cayenne


Mild Dry Rub for Hickory Smoked Wings

1 T Black Pepper

1 T Onion Powder

1 T Garlic Powder

1 T Paprika

  • Mix spices in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Put approximately 3 pounds of wings in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat.
  • Add half of the spices and mix to coat the wings. Add remaining spices and mix to coat.
  • Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for an hour
  • Place wings on smoker racks and cook for 2 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook chicken legs for 2.5-3 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • ENJOY!

6 thoughts on “The Best Smoked Chicken Wings”

  1. I’ve tried smoking chicken legs in the past and the skin turns to leather. How do you prevent that?

    • Hi Casca, A couple of things to try- Try using the racks furthest away from the heat source. Also, I would suggest verifying your temperature. Maybe your gauge is off a bit. Does your smoker have a water pan for moisture? That makes a difference too. All smokers are different, so you may have to cook yours at a lower temperature. I cook mine at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2.5-3 hours. It’s more of art than science! Enjoy! -Shannon

      • The trick is HIGHER heat… try 250-260 degrees. You need to melt that fat between the skin and meat in order for it to crisp up. Lower temps will make it like rubber

  2. Shannon, just love reading your blog! So refreshing to read about gardening tips etc. Now I want to use a smoker which I never have.
    Thanks for your recipes and tips!


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