Chicken wings bursting with flavor from a perfect dry rub of dark brown sugar, oregano, smoked paprika and more! Your boring chicken wings just became the best dang chicken recipe you’ll have this month!
I’ll be the first to admit it, I was wrong. Chicken wings are not a waste. Chicken wings are in fact delicious. I don’t know how such a teensy tiny amount of meat can be so good but these Dry Rub Smoked Chicken Wings are proof of the deliciousness.
I remember the first time I ever tried chicken wings. It was at a restaurant in Idaho and the sauces all tasted almost identical. The chicken tasted like it was frozen and reheated and there was a lot of stale popcorn.
Maybe it was just that location.
Maybe I was the problem.
I don’t know, but it was not my favorite dinner and in fact I went home from that date with a stomach ache.
Fast forward 500 years and bust out your Traeger (or any smoker) because I’m totally on board with this lil’ chicken wang thang!
How to Make Smoked Chicken Wings
The first step to making these smoked chicken wings is to prep your Traeger (or smoker of choice). Preheat the smoker with super smoke for 5 minutes with the lid closed. Set the heat to 225 degrees and allow the smoker to preheat for 10 minutes.
While the Traeger is preheating, prepare the dry rub. See section below and the recipe card for more details on the dry rub. We like to use a disposable pan for smoking these wings. Toss the wings and the dry rub in the disposable pan until the wings are completely coated. Then arrange the wings in a single layer in the pan.
Place the pan in the smoker. Cook the wings for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the wings in their thickest part is 165 degrees.
When the wings have reached temperature, remove the pan from the smoker and set the smoker to high heat or heat up your grill if your smoker doesn’t have the high heat function. Grill the wings on both sides until grill marks appear and then let them rest for 5 minutes. Serve and eat!
What Goes in the Dry Rub?
The dry rub is where all the flavor comes from. Combined with the smokiness, this dry rub takes your chicken wings up a notch or twelve! Here is what you need:
- Dark brown sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Ground mustard
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
And before I get a bunch of questions about the two brown sugars, let me explain! A combo of dark and light brown sugar made for the best flavor without the overwhelming molasses if you only used dark. Likewise, only using light brown or white sugar wasn’t enough flavor.
How to Make Chicken Wings in the Oven
If you don’t have a smoker, these wings can be baked in the oven. Follow the directions as written and then bake in a 425° F preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Pull them out and flip each wing over and then bake another 10-15 minutes. Again, you will want to check the internal temperature and be sure it has reached 165 degrees.
How Many Chicken Wings Per Person
I have the hardest time estimating how much food to make for large groups sometimes. If you are making these wings as the main dish, plan on about 4 to 6 whole wings (8 to 12 pieces) per person. If these wings are part of a whole array of appetizers, 2 to 3 whole wings per person should be enough. This recipe calls for 3 pounds of wings which will be about 15-20 whole wings. So you may need to double or triple this recipe if you are preparing for a large group.
Are Smoked Chicken Wings Gluten Free?
Yes! Chicken on it’s own is gluten free, and all the ingredients for the dry rub are gluten free.
How Long Will Chicken Wings Keep?
If you have leftover chicken wings, store them in an airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. See section below to reheating chicken wings properly.
Can Chicken Wings be Frozen?
Chicken wings freeze quite well. Allow them to cool completely and then place them in a freezer safe plastic bag and squeeze as much of the air out as you can before sealing it closed. We like to use a food saver to make it super easy. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat Chicken Wings?
Bringing hot delicious wings back to life after they are cold can be difficult. There are a few ways to reheat them:
Using a skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil and then pan fry your wings until they are warm all the way through. This is a quick and easy way, but it can be difficult to recreate that crispy skin you love.
This is the quick and easy way to reheat if you are in a hurry, but you’re going to have zero crispiness.
Cook the wings in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees. This is our favorite method because it maintains the integrity of the flavor and allows the skin to get crispy again. It takes time though.
Heat up your grill to medium-low heat and place the wings on the grill for 15 minutes. The crispy skin will be hard to achieve this way, but the flavor will be locked in!
Whether it’s a football party, a New Years party or just plain dinner for the fam, these smoked chicken wings have made a wing lover out of me! They are healthier than your typical deep fried chicken wing and they have the best bold flavor! Come do this wang thang with me!
More Wings and Appetizer Recipes:
- Garlic Parmesan Grilled Chicken Wings
- Sweet Hot Mustard Chicken Wings
- Mango Bacon Guacamole
- Bacon Wrapped Avocados
- Best Deviled Eggs
- BBQ Bacon Cheese Ball
- Classic Bruschetta
- All our APPETIZER RECIPES here!
The Best Dry Rub Smoked Chicken Wings
- 3 Pounds Chicken Wings
- 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- Preheat the smoker with super smoke if you can with the lid closed for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to 225 degrees and preheat with the lid closed for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the rub.
- In a disposable pan, toss the chicken wings and the rub until everything is heavily coated.
- Arrange the chicken pieces evenly in the pan and set the pan in the smoker.
- Close the lid and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours or until it reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat.
- Pull the pan off of the smoker and heat to high heat or heat a grill if your smoker doesn't allow that.
- Place the chicken directly on the grill and cook on each side until grill marks appear.
- Set aside with foil laid over the top for 5 minutes.
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