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platter of spice rubbed buttermilk brined chicken wings with peppercinis on the side and ranch dipping sauce

Buttermilk Brined Grilled Chicken Wings

Ain't nothing like a classic wing with an amazing spice rub. And this is just that. Buttermilk brined smoked chicken wings with a spice-rubbed kick.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 649kcal


  • Wood Chips


  • 3 lbs. chicken wings
  • 4 tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp. ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp. Red pepper Flakes
  • 4 cups Buttermilk
  • 4 - 6 tbsp. Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp. Lime juice


Marinate the Chicken in Buttermilk

  • Pat the chicken wings dry. Set aside.
  • Whisk the paprika, cumin, salt, chili powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
  • Whisk ½ of the spice mix into the buttermilk.
  • Add the hot sauce, pickle juice, and lime juice.
  • Place the chicken in a large resealable container, or a large Ziplock bag and add the buttermilk mix.
  • Let the chicken sit in the buttermilk 6 to 8 hours in the fridge. If you are using a Ziplock bag, be sure to place it in another dish, no need for leaks.

Grill the Chicken

  • When ready to cook, prepare your grill for smoking, with a temp of arond 350 F.
  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk brine and allow excess liquid to drip off.
  • Sprinkle ¼ of the remaining seasoning blend over the chicken, coating evenly.
  • When the grill is hot, arrange the chicken wings in an even layer over the grate.
  • Allow them to cook with the lid closed, 10 - 12 minutes.
  • When the chicken pulls easily from the grate, flip and rotate the wings as needed to avoid burning or flare-ups.
  • Cook until the skin is crispy, another 7 - 10 minutes, moving the wings as needed to cook evenly.
  • The wings are done when they read a temperature of 165 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove the wings from the grill and place them in a big bowl. Add the remainder of the seasoning and a little hot sauce if you dare and toss the whole bowl to coat. The seasoning will stick to the hot chicken wings.


  • Serve with ranch or blue cheese on the side. And napkins.



It’s important to temp the chicken off the heat of the grill for an accurate reading. I use an instant read themometer, like a Thermopen to temp all of my meat for accurate reading. 
These keep for 3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat cold, or reteah in the oven on 325 for 15-20 minutes. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 2044mg | Potassium: 898mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5887IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 6mg