Crispy Skin Chicken Wings

Crispy Skin Chicken Wings

The elusive crispy skin coming off a smoker is something that has evaded professional BBQ teams for years. Well with a little bit of meat science and no real tricks, just a little bit of seasoning and paper towel, you can have wings that taste like they are straight out of the deep dryer but made on a smoker. I made these wings with just some seasoning salt and baking powder, and I got a message from a friend who ate them that said “can't believe they crisped up like this on the smoker” and another message that said “Soooooooo goooooooood, Thanks!!!”. I learned the basics for this recipe from my friend Diva Q, but adapted it for our own uses.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Poultry
Keyword: Easy, Savoury
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4 people
Author: Russell Bird



Drying your Chicken

  • Pre-heat your grill to 225 degrees F.
    Remove your chicken wings from the packaging and lay them out on a cutting board. Grab a bunch of paper towel and start dabbing the moisture off the chicken wings to dry the skin. Once your paper towel is wet, grab some new paper towel and do it again, keep repeating this step, flipping, and rotating the wings over and over until the paper towel stops absorbing moisture.

Seasoning the Chicken

  • Mix the baking powder and Yonedas White Seasoning together and pour it over the chicken evenly. Flip the chicken over and make sure that the wings are coated evenly. Let the seasoning setup on the wings for 10 minutes. Then lay the chicken wings onto a rack and transfer them to the smoker.

Smoking the Wings

  • With the wings on a rack, smoke the wings at 225 for about 1 hour. After an hour, increase your smoker temperature to 400 degrees. Let the wings smoke at 400 until the skin is crispy and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees, this last step should take around 30 more minutes.

Serve with Sauce on the Side

  • Do not sauce the wings before serving them! You put all of that work into getting the crispiest skin, so if you add sauce now you risk ruining that crispy skin, so serve with Smoke Show Jalapeno Ranch sauce on the side and watch your guests be amazed that you smoked these wings, not fried them.

Step By Step

  • Preheat Smoker to 225 Degrees
  • Dry the chicken wings with paper towel, repeat with fresh towel until the moisture is all off the wings
  • Season the wings with a mixture of the baking powder and seasoning salt
  • Rest the wings for 10 minutes and lay them out on a wire rack
  • Transfer the wings to the smoker and smoke at 225 for 1 hour
  • Raise the smoker temp to 400 degrees F and smoke for another 30 minutes
  • When the chicken skin is crispy, and the internal temperature is around 190 F pull it off the smoker
  • Serve with Smoke show smoked jalapeno ranch sauce on the side


Which is better, Flats or Drums?

I like them both equally. Flats tend to have a little less meat than drums, but the meat is more tender. So, if you’re looking to fill up then aim for drums, but if you want more tender meat then aim for the flats.

How in the meat science did you get crispy chicken skin on a smoker?

The baking powder is the real secret. Baking powder has a natural alkalinity of PH 8, which means when you apply it to the chicken skin, it raises the PH of the skin and breaks down the peptide bonds, speeding up the browning and crisping process. So, this isn’t magic, it’s meat science, use it to your advantage and wow your guests.

Can this recipe be done with chicken legs or chicken thighs?

The surface area on a chicken wing means that this recipe is best with chicken wings, but never stop experimenting! We will be attempting to recreate this recipe soon with Thighs and Legs, but if you get there first, please let us know!

What if I am Gluten Free?

This recipe is entirely gluten free. You do not need to coat your wings in bread to make them crispy, just follow this method.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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