I cooked up 4 pounds of smoked chicken wings last night on my Traeger but didn’t get a chance to snap a photo before the sun went down at 5pm. So, today, I did what any reasonable human being would do and cooked another 4 pounds. I also made another batch of Alabama White BBQ sauce for dipping, because consistency is key.
If you’ve never tried smoked chicken wings, you’re seriously missing out. They’ve got to be my absolute favourite way to cook wings. They also happen to be one of the easiest. You get amazing, wood-fired flavour from the Traeger, and thanks to an easy homemade spice rub, the wings are sweet, spicy and incredibly delicious.
The wings themselves are Paleo friendly. I use coconut sugar in the spice rub instead of the more traditional brown sugar found in most store-bought varieties. You get a similar sweet and sticky finish on the wings without the spike in your blood sugar.
While the smoked chicken wings cooked, I threw together a super easy and delicious Alabama White BBQ Sauce. The sauce is actually Whole30 compliant and goes great with roasted chicken as well. It’s creamy and has a lot of twang from the apple cider vinegar and prepared horseradish, which are the perfect balance for the sweet coconut sugar in the spice rub. This stuff is addictive so I recommend making a double batch.
I’m often asked to share tips and tricks for cooking on a Traeger so here are two steps I take to get
the best smoked chicken wings:
Use a Binder:
Rubbing the wings in a bit of hot sauce not only imparts a bit of flavour, but it also works as a binder that will help the spice rub to stick to the wings. Mustard is another common binder amongst the barbecue community.
You can probably get away without using a binder on the wings, but keep in mind that smoke is water soluble so the moisture in the hot sauce will also help absorb some of the smokey flavour from the grill.
Smoke First, Grill Later:
I like to start off by cooking my wings at 165F for 30 minutes. This gives the wings a good amount of smoke flavour without cooking them through. I’ve also tried this step at 225F, but find that you don’t get quite the same amount of smoke flavour at the higher heat. Then, to finish cooking the smoked chicken wings and get the skin nice and crispy, I crank the heat up to 425F for another 30 to 35 minutes or until they’re around 175F internally.
Smoked Chicken Wings - Paleo
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 pounds free-range organic split, chicken wings
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice – I used Cholula original
recipe Alabama White BBQ Sauce
- Run the start-up cycle on your Traeger and preheat the grill to 165F.
- In a bowl, combine the coconut sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined and set aside.
- Pat the wings dry with paper towel and add them to a large bowl. Pour in the hot sauce and toss the wings to coat. Lay the wings out in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Liberally and evenly season both sides of the chicken wings. If there is leftover spice rub, place in a sealable jar and store at room temperature for up to 30 days.
- Transfer the wings directly onto the preheated grill. Close the lid and smoke at 225F for 30 min.
- Raise the heat to 425F and cook the wings until deeply browned and crispy, or until 175F internally.
- Transfer the smoked chicken wings to a serving platter and serve with the Alabama White BBQ sauce.