These crispy smoked chicken wings have a rich, smoky flavor, a crispy texture on the outside, and tender meat on the inside. Pair it with your favorite sauce to give it added flavor catered to your personal preference, and pair it with bleu cheese dressing on the side for optimal results!

Crispy chicken skin glinting on a platter of wings garnished with minced parsley.

The great thing about this smoked chicken wings recipe is that you can cater it to whatever flavor you’re craving in the moment. If you like hot wings, use hot sauce. If you like a tangy bite, use buffalo sauce. If you like it sweet with a kick of spice, go with a classic bbq sauce. Whichever wings sauce you choose, this Traeger chicken wings recipe will help you get the most out of the flavor you’re using.

Never smoked wings before, or are new to smoking? That’s okay. Smoking wings couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is put them on the grill, let the smoker work its magic, and flip them as needed to avoid charring. It’s our secret combo of baking powder and cornstarch that make these the best smoked hot wings ever with a perfect think of smoke for the grill!

Hand reaching in to grab a chicken wing from a platter.

What Are Smoked Chicken Wings?

Smoked wings are made by smoking whole chicken wings or drums and flat that have been simply coated in a basic dry rub and air-dried before they are grilled. Wings are commonly fried, for that perfect golden brown crispy skin. But in this chicken wing recipe, we’re getting the crispy skin from the coating and a little patience on the grill, entirely omitting the need for any deep frying. This may just be your new best chicken wings recipe.

Ingredients for this recipe on a board.

Smoked Chicken Wings Ingredients

  • Chicken Wings (we use completely thawed whole wings, but drums or flats would work here.) 
  • Baking powder
  • Cornstarch 
  • Salt – we always use kosher salt
  • Favorite bbq spice blend Turkey dry brine (we used Grill Dads Maple Chili dry brine)
  • Cayenne chili powder

For serving: 

How to Smoke Chicken Wings

Add the baking powder, cornstarch, salt, and bbq spices to a large resealable bag. 

Remove the wings from the package and pat wings dry with paper towels.

Add wings to the bag, seal, and shake to coat.
Then, place chicken wings on a wire rack nestled on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Chill, aka air dry, uncovered in the fridge for 3 hours. 

Prep the smoker

Prep the Traeger pellet grill for smoking. Add wood chips in a smoking tube or smoking box to the grill grates for a deeper smoked flavor, or add 1 mesquite wood chunk to the back corner of the smoker. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make a 2-zone fire and when the smoke is clean, add the chicken. Or if you are using a gas grill, use a smoker box as well over indirect heat to infuse good barbecue flavor.

Place the chicken wings on the grill grates and close the lid.

Raw wings placed on a smoker.
Arrange the chicken on a grill grate.

smoke the wings 

Smoke 225 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

Flip all of the wings and crank the heat up to sear. 

Crisp the wings for 20 minutes—rotate as needed to avoid charring.

Remove from grill

Wings are done when they reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer—but we take them to 170 – 175 for an extra “fall off the bone” bite. 

Quickly toss in bbq, buffalo or hot sauce if desired. We love coating ours in Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce and serving them with garlic parmesan wing sauce for dipping.

Serve hot with blue cheese dressing on the side, and enjoy your tasty Traeger wings!

Wings on a grill grate.
Turn up the heat at the end for extra crispy skin.

Expert Recipe Tips

These wings are perfectly crispy right out of the pellet smoker. Once you sauce them, they will lose a little of that crispy wings texture. If you want added flavor, we recommend saucing and reheating the cooked wings back on the grill to set the sauce—making it tacky on the wings. 

Close up showing red crispy skin on chicken wings.

Substitutions

Chicken wings: We use whole wings for this recipe. Drums or flats would also work. Check your labels to make sure the white meat isn’t enhanced with added water. We find any chicken that has been additionally plumped doesn’t have the best texture for this smokey wings recipe.

Leftovers & Reheating

Store in an airtight container and refrigerator for up to three days. 

Reheating will generally vary depending on how many wings you are warming up. You can reheat them in the oven or air fryer by preheating them to 350 degrees F and heating them anywhere from 10-15 minutes—until they are heated through.

Chicken wings on a grill grate.

FAQs

How long does it take to smoke chicken wings?

For those Traeger smoked chicken wings, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour for the chicken to come to temp, then 20 minutes to crisp while rotating. The most important factor is the internal temperature of the wings cook to 165 degrees F per the USDA.

How to make wings crispy on the smoker?

There are various methods to make your chicken wings crispy, like frying. But getting crispy chicken skin on a smoker is hard! We use a blend of cornstarch and baking soda and air drying to remove excess moisture and help the skin dry out and get extra crispy over the grill grates.

Do you have to flip chicken wings when smoking?

After the wings have smoked for the allotted time, you will then flip them so they become evenly crisped without charring. Do you have to flip them? No. But it does help to ensure even cooking and that you are moving and rotating the wings as needed some they cook evenly.

Overhead shot of chicken wings on a wooden table piled on a dish with dipping sauce on the side.

MORE DELICIOUS CHICKEN WING RECIPES

If you love these crispy wings, check out the other chicken and wings recipes below:

I hope your friends and family go crazy for these delicious chicken wings. Make them for Superbowl Sunday—or any time you feel like smoking chicken wings. Rate the recipe & let me know how yours turn out in the comments below!

Smoked Chicken Wings

5 from 33 votes
Prep: 3 hrs 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Resting Time: 5 mins
Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6
Worried you cant get crispy skin on a smoker? This recipe makes ultra crispy wings that have that perfectly smoked flavor just waiting for you to dig in.

Recommended Equipment

  • pellet smoker or grill

Ingredients  

For the crispy chicken wings

  • 3 lbs Chicken Wings we use whole wings but drums and flats would work
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Favorite bbq spice blend
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne chili powder

For serving:

  • Hot sauce buffalo sauce, garlic parm sauce, or bbq sauce
  • Blue cheese dressing

Instructions 

Season the wings

  • Add the baking powder, cornstarch, salt, and bbq spices to a large resealable bag.
  • Add the wings and seal the bag, working in batches if needed.
  • Shake to coat.
  • Place the wings on a clean wire rack on a clean baking sheet. Chill for 3 hours.

Pep the smoker

  • Prep the Traeger pellet grill for smoking. Add wood chips in a smoking tube or smoking box to the grill grates for a deeper smoked flavor or add 1 mesquite wood chunk to the smoker.
  • After the grill is holding heat, set it to maintain 225 degrees F.
  • Arrange the chicken wings on the grill grates and close the lid.

Smoke the wings

  • Allow the wings to smoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour, rotating if needed.
  • Flip all of the wings and crank the heat up to sear.
  • Crisp the wings for 20 minutes, rotating as needed to avoid charring.

Remove from grill

  • Wings are done when they have reached a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F, but we take them to 170 – 175 for an extra “fall off the bone” bite.
  • Quickly toss in bbq, buffalo or hot sauce if desired.

Serve

  • Serve hot with blue cheese dressing on the side.

Notes

These wings are perfectly crispy right out of the smoker. Once you sauce these, they lose a little of that texture. If you want sauce, we recommend saucing and reheating on the grill to set the sauce, making it tacky on the wings.
We use Grill Dads Turkey Brine for this recipe as the spice blend. 
This recipe is shown on a Traeger pellet smoker but will work on a traditional charcoal grill or gas grill as well. Just maintain an even temperature of 225F and cook the wings over indirect heat on the cool side. If using a gas grill, add a smoked box with wood chips to the grill for added smoked flavor. 
We served these with our favorite Garlic Parm Wing Sauce

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, barbeque
Author: Kita Roberts
Keyword: smoked chicken wings

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Comments

  1. Love the color on the wings! I’ve tried the cornstarch and baking soda method with great success so I am eager to follow your added tips and seasoning.

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