It’s football season, folks! I’m a huge NFL fan, and I’m also a huge wing fan. Seeing as how this past Sunday was opening weekend for the NFL, I decided to enjoy both!
I (surprisingly) don’t do wings on the smoker all that often. I prefer to do them in the oven usually. Today, however, I decided to fire up the Traeger and cook up some wings for the games. When I do smoke up wings, I much prefer the pellet cooker to the Backwoods, because I can get the temperature much higher and much faster than I can on the big charcoal smoker.
Oh, and if anyone ever tells you that pellet smokers don’t put out much smoke, show them this:
Yeah, we’re not lacking for smoke today. On a longer cook with bigger cuts, I like to add smoke when using the pellet cooker, but it puts out more than enough for chicken wings.
I took five pounds of frozen (thawed) wing sections and tossed them in some baking powder mixed with granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt, and pepper. Insider tip – if you want really crispy skin on chicken wings but don’t want to use a fryer, toss them in a few tablespoons of baking powder with some seasonings. The baking powder dries out the skin and makes it extra crispy.
On the smoker at 225 degrees to start, for about 30 minutes.
Here’s what we’ve got after the first half-hour. Yeah, I know, they don’t look very appealing yet, but we still have a ways to go. At this point, I cranked the cooker up to the “High” setting and let them go for about another 45 minutes. More on that to come…
So here’s the finished product. A little burnt, but still very good.
Lesson learned – don’t get cocky and think you can ever do a cook….even a short one…without using your wireless thermometer to monitor things during the cook. I broke my own damn rule.
Also, don’t just go straight to the “High” setting on anything without seeing how high it actually gets. The reason I didn’t get photos of the wings when they were finished on the smoker is that when I opened the door and let air in, I got flames. Like actual flames! Three of the wing sections towards the back caught fire, so I had to act quickly and save everything, and there was no time for photos.
Although a video of that would have been hilarious…
So anyway, there you go. My opening weekend NFL wing cook.
Just remember – 5 lbs of wings, toss in baking powder and seasonings. Put them on the smoker at 225 degrees for 30 minutes, then crank up the heat to 400-450 degrees (not “High”), and let them go another 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the wings is at 175 degrees or above. Yes, I know chicken is done at 165, but you want to go higher with wings or else they’ll be tough. Plus they have enough fat in them to handle it, and you want to render some of that out. Eat ’em just like that, or toss them in some wing sauce or some BBQ sauce. Either way, they’re cripsy and delicious.
Anybody else cook up anything for football on Sunday? I ask that as if anyone’s even reading any of this stuff yet…