The Best Crispy Skinned Smoked Buffalo Hot Wings

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You’ll adore the flavor combination of crispy smoked wings and tangy, spicy buffalo sauce.

Learn how to get extremely crispy skin on your smoked chicken wings without using a deep fryer.

You’ll also learn how to prepare a blue cheese dipping sauce (optional).

Smoked Buffalo chicken wings

When you’re watching sports with buddies, nothing beats buffalo chicken wings. The acidic sauce and crunchy texture complement a cool lager well.

While most recipes call for frying or baking, I believe smoking the wings is superior.

Crispy skin may be difficult to obtain when cooking low and slow. Fortunately, there are three simple things you may do to prevent rubbery skin.

Best of all, no extra accessories or a high-end smoker are required.

Related: Try our Chili Oil Smoked Wings for a spicy wing with an Asian kick.

The secret to smoked wings with crispy skin

Low and slow smoking might give your wings rubbery skin that is just unappealing.

Fortunately, there are a few tried and tested procedures for consistently getting excellent skin on your wings.

  1. Make sure your wings are completely dry. Dry the wings with a paper towel before placing them on a rack in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  2. Make your wing seasoning using corn starch. The starch has little effect on the taste, but it does aid in the crisping of the wings.
  3. Increase the heat. The specific procedure will vary on what you are cooking on, but you must ensure that the heat is increased to at least 350F at some point throughout the cook.

If you want extra juicy wings, you could make a chicken wing brine, but I find it to be excessive most of the time.

For this recipe, I smoked the wings on my Big Green Egg kamado for the full cook time at 350-400F. Even at higher temperatures, a charcoal grill with wood pieces may provide a great smoky taste.

If you’re smoking wings on a pellet grill, such temps will generate almost little smoke, so start low and slow around 225-250F for the first 30 minutes, then build up to 350F 400F for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

You may also finish the wings on a hot grill, but I feel that the procedures described above are sufficient for crispy skin.

How long to smoke chicken wings?

If you smoke these wings at 400°F for the duration of the cook, they should be done in 45 minutes.

Allow an additional 30 minutes if you’re cooking on a pellet grill and need to cook at a lower temperature to develop smoke.

How to make smoked buffalo wings

1. The secret is in the seasoning

I use a basic dry rub of salt, pepper, granulated garlic (or garlic powder if you don’t have granulated garlic), dried garlic, and corn starch for the wing seasoning. The corn starch, paired with the high heat, does the job in making the wings crispy.

Many smoked chicken wings recipes call for baking powder, so feel free to replace that, but I’ve always had success using corn starch.

2. Wing sauce

We kept it basic by using Franks Red Hot Wings sauce in buffalo flavor and added some butter to cut through some of the sharpness.

To prepare the wing sauce, I just microwave the butter and then add it to the hot sauce, giving it a good toss to blend.

If you want your wings particularly spicy, add cayenne pepper to the mix. I like to leave my stomach lining alone and believe this combination generates enough heat for my taste receptors.

3. The cook

If you’ve ever smoked chicken wings and found the skin to be rubbery, the issue is that you didn’t turn up the fire high enough.

This is why I like smoking wings on my Big Green Egg. With high temperatures, I can generate enough smoke to make excellent, crispy wings.

If you’re using a pellet grill, see our note under The secret to smoked wings with crispy skin for suggestions on how to modify the recipe.

I prefer to add a bit of apple wood since it has a delicate taste that pairs nicely with chicken.

I smoke wings at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the fat renders out and the skin crisps up, providing the desired fried texture.

Put the wings on after your smoker has reached temperature. You want your grill to be hot enough to sear the wings and keep them from sticking. It will also begin the caramelization of our meat’s underbelly.

Once the wings are on, close the lid and try not to open it throughout the cooking process. They will take around 45 minutes. Around this time, use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. They’re okay to eat after they reach 165F, although wings may easily be overcooked, so go by the feel of the skin.

Remove the smoked wings from the smoker and set them in a bowl with the buffalo sauce. Give it a little toss to ensure that all of the wings are well covered in the sauce.

Serve buffalo wings with sliced carrot and celery and a dish of blue cheese dipping sauce.

Blue cheese dipping sauce 

A nice dipping sauce is essential for any respectable smoked chicken wings recipe. While blue cheese is a contentious addition, it is undeniably delicious with buffalo sauce.

This blue cheese sauce is straightforward. Blitz the mayonnaise, blue cheese, sour cream, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.

For additional information, see our blue cheese dipping sauce recipe.

Try these wing recipes next

  • Wings smoked with garlic and parmesan sauce
  • Smoked Lemon Pepper Wings
  • Smoked Fried Chicken Wings

Smoked Buffalo Wings Recipe


How do you get crispy skin on smoked chicken?

Increase the temperature of your cooking.

The optimal temperature for cooking chicken is between 275°F and 320°F (135°C and 160°C). As you lower the temperature below this point, the skin will become rubbery. The chicken fat must be cooked into the flesh, which cannot happen when the temperature is really low.

How do you get Crispier wings?

Aluminium-free baking powder is the secret to crispy wings without a lot of oil. Although it may seem unattractive, covering chicken wings with seasoned baking powder is what makes the skin crispy.

How do you keep buffalo wings crispy?

Blot away any wetness with paper towels, pushing hard on the wings. The less moisture that remains in the skin, the crispier your wings will be! Make use of Baking Powder. Baking powder will help your wings brown properly while also creating the coveted crispy coating.

What makes chicken skin extra crispy?

I actually use it every time I cook skin-on chicken, turkey, duck, or goose. A dusting of baking powder will provide the crispiest, crackliest pieces of fatty, salty skin conceivable, whether you’re cooking one thigh, a platter of wings, or a whole bird.

What makes chicken skin more crispy?

The most critical aspect to getting the skin crispy is to have a hot oven. That entails preheating it to 425°F using convection. Convection baking circulates air around the exterior of the chicken while it cooks, allowing it to cook quicker and become crispier.

Why won’t my wings get crispy?

If the chicken isn’t dry, the chicken wings won’t crisp up, so be sure to pat the chicken down well with paper towels. A cookie sheet will be required next. Insert the baking rack into the cookie sheet. Coat the rack with cooking spray.

Is cornstarch or baking soda better for crispy chicken?

The Secret to the Crispiest Fried Chicken Is Cornstarch.

Why does baking powder make wings crispy?

It occurs when the baking powder elevates the pH level in the chicken, causing the peptide bonds in the skin to break down and the skin to become crisper and browner.

Does baking soda make wings more crispy?

Baking powder, according to Serious Eats, will soak up the chicken juices on the wing and bubble as it bakes in the oven. The final result is a chicken wing that is blistered, browned, and crispy! Coating chicken wings with baking soda (rather than baking powder) raises the pH and helps the wing brown and crisp.


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