Dry Rub Smoked Chicken Wings are incredibly delicious and perfect for game day, parties, or a casual dinner at home. These crispy and juicy chicken wings with mouth-watering dry rub seasoning will make your taste buds dance. It's the best dry-rubbed chicken wing recipe for an electric smoker or Traeger pellet grill.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What Makes Dry Rub Smoked Chicken Wings the Perfect Game Day Wing?
Eating wings while watching sports on TV is just about as all-American as it gets. Sure, traditionally, most people chow down on fried wings, but this smoked wings recipe is a tasty alternative.
Combining a classic dry rub of herbs and spices with flavorful smoke gives these wings a one-of-a-kind taste that no other cooking method can match.
Why You Should Try This Recipe?
Smoking is just about the easiest way to cook wings because there is no need to babysit them or worry that they aren't cooked all the way through. Do you want to change things up? Just use a different spice rub!
Between the ease and flexibility of this smoked wings recipe, it is definitely one you have to try.
Ingredients You Will Need
For the dry rub, you'll need:
- Smoked paprika
- Granulated garlic
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Cumin powder
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
For the chicken, you'll need:
- Chicken wings
- Vegetable oil
If you can't find granulated garlic, use garlic powder instead.
How to Make Dry Rub Wings
To make the dry rub:
- Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk well and place to the side.
To prep the chicken wings:
- Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking tray.
- Cut the chicken wings into wingettes and drumettes. Discard the wingtips or put them in the freezer to make stock.
- Put half the dry rub and half the vegetable oil in a large plastic food storage bag.
- Add half of the cut chicken wings.
- Shake the bag to coat the wings, and then massage the spices into the chicken wings.
- Place the spice-rubbed chicken on the wire rack and repeat with the remaining spice rub, vegetable oil, and chicken wings.
To smoke the chicken wings:
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- Add your preferred wood pellets. See below for more information about which type of wood works best for chicken wings.
- Smoke the wings until they reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F. Use an instant-read or meat thermometer and check several wings before pulling them from the smoker. Start checking the temperature of the wings after about an hour.
- Once you remove the chicken wings, crank the smoker or grill up to 450°F. Grill the wings for three to five minutes per side or until crispy.
- Serve immediately.
What Type of Wood Pellets Should You Use for Smoking Wings
Woods that produce milder smoke work well with smoked dry rub wings. Applewood smoke is mild but has a sweet flavor that goes wonderfully with a spicy rub. Cherry wood smoke is also a good choice for its sweetness and the beautiful reddish color it imparts to chicken.
If you prefer a stronger smoke, hickory is a great choice.
Whether you use wood chips on a charcoal grill or pellets in a pellet smoker, the wood you choose for smoking does affect the flavor.
What Goes With Smoked Chicken Wings
A high crunch factor is the name of the game when pairing sides with smoked dry rub wings. You can keep it old school with crispy fries, onion rings, or loaded nachos. Serve as an appetizer with celery sticks, carrots, and ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Chipotle or brown sugar BBQ sauce or Buffalo sauce would also be great to toss on these wings.
Or try taking a modern route with pickled vegetables or a cucumber and tomato salad.
How to Store the Leftovers
Let the chicken wings cool and store them in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to three days. If freezing the chicken wings, prevent them from sticking together by flash freezing:
- Lay the cooled chicken wings out on a baking tray.
- Put the baking tray in the freezer until the chicken wings are frozen, about three hours.
- Transfer the frozen chicken wings to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months.
- Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
What Is the Best Way to Reheat Smoked Wings
The easiest way to reheat thawed chicken wings is in the oven to get the crispness of when they were originally prepared:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Take the thawed chicken wings from the fridge and let them come up to room temperature.
- Place a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking tray. Place the chicken on the wire rack.
- Pour a few tablespoons of water into the rimmed baking tray to prevent the chicken from drying out.
- Cover the baking tray with aluminum foil and heat for eight minutes.
- Take off the aluminum foil, increase the heat to 450°F, and cook a few minutes more until the chicken is crispy.
More Chicken Wing Recipes
Dry Rub Smoked Chicken Wings
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- In a small bowl, combine the paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well.
- Cut the chicken wings at the joints, separating them into drumettes, wingettes, and wing tips. Discard the wing tips or save them to make stock.
- Pat dry the drumettes and wingettes. Place half of them into a large plastic zip-top bag along with half of the dry rub and half of the oil. Massage the seasoning blend over the chicken. Then remove the chicken from the bag and place it onto a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken, spices, and oil.
- Smoke the wings for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. At this point, remove the wings from the smoker.
- Increase the temperature of the smoker to 450°F. When the proper temperature has been reached, return the wings to the smoker for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken wings from the smoker and serve immediately.