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Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings

The best method for smoked wings with crispy skin. This success of this recipe is ALL in the technique. Well, that, and the Frank’s. But seriously pay attention to the technique! 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword crispy skin smoked wings, smoked buffalo chicken wings, smoked chicken wing recipe, smoked chicken wings, smoked wings, the best smoked wings
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Cost $15.00

Ingredients

  • 16-20 Chicken Wings, or "Party Wings" as you'll sometimes find them labeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Pat dry the chicken wings with a paper towel.
  • Place a drying rack over a cookie sheet and place wings on top.
  • Place into a refrigerator, uncovered, for 1-3 hours to dehydrate (3 hours being optimal). This is crucial to the end texture of the chicken. This process will prevent the wings steaming when you cook it, which creates a rubbery texture. We’re going for crispy here, trying to emulate the texture of fried wings.
  • When ready to cook, preheat smoker to 225 degrees, and remove wings from fridge.
  • In a large bowl, toss the wings with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place wings on the smoker for one hour.
  • Next, increase heat to 350 and let wings cook another 30 minutes. Conditions can change which can lead to more time. The key is to not pull the wings off until you get that crispy outside. You can tell by touch.
  • Remove from smoker and toss immediately with hot sauce mix.
  • Serve with your favorite ranch or blue cheese dip.

For the Sauce (prep sauce just before the wings come off the smoker):

  • Bring butter and sauce to simmer (not boil!!) and remove from heat. Place into a large bowl to toss the wings in. *see notes

Notes

As I mentioned above, we’ve made these perfect on several occasions. We’ve also made every mistake you could make when it comes to cooking wings, so read these tips before you make this.
1. The first, most important step, is patting dry, and then dehydrating your wings in the fridge. If you don’t do this you run the risk of your wings steaming in the smoker, creating a rubbery skin. Who wants wings with rubbery skin?! I see very few recipes recommend this, and you know what? Those recipes result in rubbery skin.
2. If, when they are fully cooked, you don’t see a nice char or crispy outside, feel free to adjust the temperature on your smoker. I like to jack up the heat for a few minutes to give them a burst of heat helping to create a crispy outside.
3. The sauce: Watch the temperature you melt the butter at. Slowly simmer this and don’t melt at a high heat. We’ve made this mistake before. If you melt the butter at too high a heat, and then add the Frank’s, the result is oily and the Frank’s does not integrate with the sauce. Instead the hot sauce separates from the butter. It’s a sad oily mess, and the sauce doesn’t stick to the chicken.