Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Smoke+rub+sauce=Amazing flavor!
Smoke+rub+sauce=Amazing flavor!

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings are LIFE!

I think you’re gonna love these smoked BBQ chicken wings. I used to have a casual relationship with chicken wings. I’ve liked them, but never enough to base a meal around…that is, unless some buddies wanted to meet up at a popular chicken wing restaurant to watch sports. I used to think those were some of the best wings you could get. It wasn’t until I attempted smoked chicken wings that I realized the difference: colors are now more vivid, birds sing sweeter songs, and I finally understand jokes I didn’t get beforehand. It’s almost like eating well done steaks your whole life and then trying a reverse seared, medium rare ribeye for the first time. It pretty much changes your outlook on things. I’ve posted a wing recipe before, which is pretty good, but I think I like this smoked BBQ chicken wing recipe better.

After having more experience under my belt, I’ve made up a pretty dang good smoked BBQ chicken wing recipe (at least in my opinion). The two main ingredients that make this dynamite are the rub and the sauce (which I’ll  speak to later). As with pretty much all of my recipes, these smoked BBQ chicken wings are simple to make.

The ingredients for the marinade. When I don't have a fresh lime, the lime juice bottle works, too.
The ingredients for the marinade. When I don’t have a fresh lime, the lime juice bottle works, too.

The marinade makes a difference

Before cooking up the smoked BBQ chicken wings, plan ahead and marinade them. Chicken can be pretty bland and needs seasonings and marinades to help enhance the flavor. Do yourself a favor and take time to create this simple marinade.

First, take a gallon-sized resealable bag and put in 1 1/2 Cups of Italian Dressing, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1/4 of freshly squeezed lime, and 1 Tablespoon of your favorite rub/seasoning. Once those ingredients are in the bag, place your wings in and seal it up!

Let the wings sit in the bag in the fridge for at least two hours. When I use a fresh lime, I like to cut it into quarters, squeeze one or two into the bag and drop it (them) into the marinade. I’m not sure if it makes that much of a difference, but I like how it looks in the bag.

You should get more flavor the longer you marinade, but I am not that patient. A couple of hours works for me.

Smoking Time!

When losing patience nearing time to get the wings out of the fridge, make sure to get your smoking device ready. I used my Kamado Joe ceramic grill to smoke these, but any grill will work as long as you use indirect heat. This grill has deflector plates which create indirect heat. Others also have deflector plates, some have dividers to keep the coals underneath the grill to one side while the food rests on the other.

I put pecan wood chunks in top of my coals because I love the smooth taste and smell it provides to the chicken. Feel free to use whichever wood you prefer. As the grill is approaching the 275F range, that’s when I put the wings on. I like to get my Q-Nami rub from Lane’s BBQ and sprinkle on a little more rub to help with the flavor. I love both the color and texture this rub provides to the smoked BBQ chicken wings.

The texture provides some unique colors and flavors.
The texture provides some unique colors and flavors.

As the wings smoke at the 275F range for around 45 minutes, I like to use my Thermapen from Thermoworks to gauge the internal temps of the wings. Some wings reach 165F internal temps sooner than others and that’s okay. It’s common. If you’d like, you can take those wings that finish early off and get your high heat grilling surface ready.

When the wings are at 165F, then get your medium sized bowl (depending on how many wings you’re doing) put the wings in and then pour in the BBQ sauce. I find the sauce helps crisp the skin when it’s getting the searing treatment. I love using Whomp! Naked BBQ Sauce from Meat Mitch because of the sweet, subtle spicy flavor it provides. Once I’ve mixed the wings and sauce around, then I put the wings on the hot, hot heat of the grill. When I say hot, I’m looking for searing temps, which start around 550 degrees.

These chicken wings can char fast if you’re not paying attention. They can also stick to the grill grates. I advise using your grilling spatula to scrape under the smoked BBQ chicken wings and flip over. Leave on for another couple of minutes and you should be good to go. Depending on how hot your grill is, you may want to adjust the time in each side. The ideal internal temp for wings is 180F.

Tossed and sauced.
Tossed and sauced.

Finish him!

Once out, I like to put the smoked BBQ chicken wings back in the bowl I used for saucing and mix them around with whatever sauce remains in there. If not enough, I’ll pour a little more in until I get the amount I want.

High heat to get that crispy skin!
High heat to get that crispy skin!

These smoked BBQ chicken wings will have a bit of Asian fusion flavor thanks to the rub. The sauce will help provide some sweet and subtle zip to provide a great balance of flavors. My family doesn’t like spicy foods and they LOVE these wings. That’s saying something!

Now the next time my friends and family want to go out for wings, I think I’ll stay home instead. Give this smoked BBQ chicken wing recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings recipe!

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes


  • For marinade:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Italian dressing
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 lime, squeezed
  • 1 Tablespoon of rub/seasoning
  • For grilling:
  • 1 Cup BBQ sauce


  1. Get grill/smoker up to 275F with indirect heat, put in pecan wood.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Place chicken wings (rinsed) into bag with marinade. Let sit in fridge for at least two hours
  3. Remove from fridge and place individual wings on the grill of your smoking device. Let chicken wings smoke for about an hour or until internal temps on wings reach at least 165F
  4. Pour BBQ sauce into bowl, place wings inside and mix. Then put wings on high, direct heat on the grill (around 500F) and cook two minutes on each side.


  1. Put wings back in bowl after cooking to get a little more saucy (optional).
  2. You can put wings in your oven on broil to get crispy there if you wish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

4 wings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 3.5gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 19g

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