Smoking is one of those techniques that most home cooks don’t have much experience doing – and it can be intimidating as well.
But if you want to get into smoking meats, there are plenty of different recipes out there that show how easy this technique really is.
With these smoked turkey wings recipes, you will learn exactly what steps to take to create your own delicious smoked turkey wings!
What Is The Best Smoked Turkey Wings Recipe?
The following recipes are some of the best smoked turkey wings you can find online or on YouTube.
These recipes all use wood chips (or charcoal), but you could also smoke meat with an electric smoker, which produces less smoke than traditional methods.
- How to Smoke Turkey Wings Recipe – This video from Howcast shows you step by step instructions on how to make smoked turkey wings at home using wood chips.
- Homemade Smoked Turkey Wings – YouTubers Joe and Ali’s recipe uses both wood chips and charcoal but does not include any details about the exact cooking method used. It is just a general guide showing you how long to cook the wings and how to remove them from the grill once done.
- BBQ Wing Sauce – This video from How To Grill BBQ Shows you how to make homemade BBQ wing sauce using only barbecue sauce and a can of beer. If you like the flavor, you should try making this recipe without alcohol too.
- Barbecue Chicken Wings – Another great video from How To Grill BBQ shows you how to make chicken wings using apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. This makes the wings taste more authentic while still providing extra flavor.
- Skewer Skewers – For something a little bit fancier, you may enjoy these smoked turkey wings skewers. They are made of bamboo sticks and topped with pineapple rings and cranberries.
- Pork Ribs With Barbecue Sauce – A simple recipe for pork ribs with barbecue sauce. This recipe has no special tricks, so you can easily adapt it to fit your tastes.
- Cheesy Pulled Pork – This is one of our favorite pulled pork recipes because it is super easy to make. Just mix up a few basic seasonings and let it simmer away in the crock pot for hours.
- Crispy Tuna Steaks – Crispy tuna steaks are a quick and easy dinner idea that everyone loves. Here, we provide two recipes: one that calls for crispy rice cracker crumbs and another that doesn’t require anything other than canned tuna.
- Easy Peasy Lemon Pepper Fish – This fish recipe requires very little effort and comes together quickly. All you need to do is marinate the fish with lemon pepper seasoning and serve over brown rice.
What Are The Ingredients For Smoked Turkey Wings?
There are several key components to consider when making any smoked turkey wings recipe.
Here we go over some important things to keep in mind before starting on the process.
- Wood chips or chunks (or wood pellets)
- A smoker box (or similar) with an ash pan underneath
- Some kind of meat thermometer (a digital probe works great)
- An instant read thermometer
- Plenty of water in case you need to refill the smoker during cooking time
- Salt and pepper
Now let’s look at the ingredients needed for our smoked turkey wings recipe.
How Do You Make Smoked Turkey Wings?
In order to smoke turkey wings, you need to start with whole wings (or drumettes).
If you buy them already separated at the store, you should ask them to split them up so that you end up with two halves.
Then, wash each wing thoroughly under running water to remove any excess salt or other seasonings from the skin.
Afterward, pat dry using paper towels (you may use an oven mitt instead, but I prefer paper towels because I find it easier to work with)
Next, separate each wing by pinching all four corners to pop the joint apart.
Then cut off both ends of the wing.
Finally, place the two pieces of the wing on a rack over a baking sheet.
You can also put the wings on a wire cooling rack set inside another pan to catch drippings.
Step 1: Preparing the wings
- Place the wings onto a rack over a cookie sheet or baking dish.
- Brush some olive oil on top of the wings to moisten them.
- Season the wings with whatever spices you like, such as garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and black pepper.
- Cover the wings tightly with plastic wrap.
Step 2: Smoking the wings
- After placing the wings on the rack, turn on your smoker and set the temperature control to 225 degrees F / 110 C.
- Once the temperature stabilizes, add wood chips or chunks to the bottom of the cooker. Place the wings directly on top of the wood chips/chunks.
- Cook the wings for 3 hours or more, depending on their size.
Step 3: Finishing the wings
- When the wings reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F / 74 C, remove them from the smoker and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Remove the wings from the rack and discard the cooking liquid.
- Slice the cooled wings and serve immediately.
What Is The Cooking Time For Smoked Turkey Wings?
The first step with any smoking meat is drying them out.
You need to remove all moisture from the surface of the meat so that smoke can adhere to the skin.
Once you’ve done that, you can start building up flavor by applying a dry rub, which is an aromatic mixture of spices that helps season the meat while it smokes.
In general, you would cook the wings whole and let them sit overnight before cutting off both ends and removing the wing tips (the part closest to the body).
Then you slice or butterfly each wing to expose more surface area for smoking.
If you plan on brining your wings ahead of time, then skip this step.
You might also choose to cut your wings into smaller portions if you aren’t planning on serving everyone their own portion right away.
Or, if you like leftovers, you could just leave them whole and serve them cold instead.
Once your wings are ready to go, you can place them in the smoker and allow them to cook slowly for about 3 hours or until they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74.5 Celsius) internal temperature when tested with an instant-read thermometer.
While the wings finish cooking, you can prepare any sides you may want.
For example, if you’re making a classic barbecue sandwich, you can put together some slices of white bread and smear them with butter, then layer with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and whatever other toppings you desire.
What Temperature Should Smoked Turkey Wings Be Cooked At?
First off, let’s talk about the meat itself.
When smoking any type of meat, you need to consider what internal temperature you would like the meat to reach.
If you aren’t sure what internal temperature looks like on a piece of meat, check out our guide to temperature charts.
When choosing a smoke box, you also want to make sure that it has enough space to accommodate all of your meats and other food items.
A good rule of thumb is to allow 8 inches (20 cm) between each rack or shelf inside the smoker box.
You may even find that having more shelves makes things easier to manage and allows you to cook multiple foods simultaneously.
You will also need some wood chips and/or chunks to help with the flavor and aroma.
Wood chips tend to burn quickly so use them sparingly, while larger pieces of wood give off a lot of smoke but last longer.
Some people prefer using hickory, mesquite, applewood, cherry or pecan wood chips – just remember that not all woods work equally well.
How Do You Know When Smoked Turkey Wings Are Done?
The easiest way to tell whether or not the turkey wings are ready to eat is by taste.
You can always use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature, but we prefer using our senses instead.
If you’re cooking with wood chips on a smoker, you may need to watch them closely.
If you see smoke coming from the chimney, you can assume the meat has been properly seasoned and smoked.
It’s also good to note that the thicker the wing, the longer it takes to cook.
So make sure to allow enough time for the thinner parts of the wings to cook thoroughly before removing them from the heat source.
When the meat reaches 165 degrees F (74 C), it is safe to serve.
However, if you would like to keep them warm after they come off the heat, you can place them back onto their rack for 5 minutes or so while you finish up preparing the rest of the meal.
Tips for Smoking Turkey Wings
- Start off with cold water. Cold water helps draw moisture from the meat, which keeps the skin from drying out too quickly during smoking.
- Use fresh herbs. Freshly cut herbs add flavor to any dish, especially ones that contain poultry. For best results, try adding a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, or other herbs of your choice.
- Choose a slow cooker insert. If you choose to use a traditional smoker, you will probably need to monitor the wood chips very carefully. A slow cooker works great because all you have to do is throw everything inside and leave it alone overnight. That means there won’t be any mess to clean up and no added hassle trying to control the fire.
What Are Some Tips For Making Smoked Turkey Wings?
When cooking with smoke, the biggest thing you need to remember is safety first.
Smoking takes time, so start early enough so that you won’t burn yourself or someone else on accident.
For starters, it’s important to use an oven thermometer (or just check them often) to ensure that the meat doesn’t over-cook.
And while it’s tempting to try to rush things along by adding more wood chips at once, this isn’t always a good idea.
You may end up burning yourself or even worse, having your food go bad before it’s properly finished.
The next step is to choose which type of smoker you would like to use.
There are many options available including pit smokers, kettle style smokers, and indoor pellet smokers.
It all depends on what kind of equipment you already have around, but either way, once you decide on the right method, it’ll become clear how to set everything up.
Once you’ve picked out the proper smoker, it’s time to prep the meat.
Once again, we recommend using an oven thermometer to see if the meat is ready.
If not, keep checking every few minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.
Make sure to flip the meat halfway through the process so that both sides cook evenly.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making Smoked Turkey Wings?
When cooking anything at all, especially something complicated like smoked turkey wings, the first step is always preparation.
You need to know what ingredients you are going to use before you even start cooking so you can plan ahead and avoid any mishaps along the way.
- Not enough salt or pepper: When preparing meat with seasoning, it is important not to leave out either salt or pepper. These two elements play an integral role in creating flavor. If you do not season properly, none of the flavors from your spices will reach their full potential.
- Overcooking: It is very tempting to put everything in the oven right away but that is never a good idea. There are several methods of cooking turkeys including roasting, grilling, pan frying, and smoking. Each method has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For example, while roasting may taste great, grilling is more affordable and easier on your time. In order to smoke your wings, however, you will need to let them sit overnight in the fridge. That means waiting for hours to finish up. So unless you are already planning on having guests over in the evening, I would recommend choosing another way to prepare your wings instead of smoking.
- Using too many herbs: Many smoked turkey wing recipes call for fresh herbs because they add a lot of flavor to food. Fresh herbs are also beneficial because they are packed with nutrients and vitamins. However, using too many herbs will overwhelm your dish and you will end up losing flavor. Instead of throwing in three bunches of rosemary, try half a bunch each of thyme, sage, and oregano.
- Cooking on low heat: While it might seem counterintuitive, low temperature is actually better than high temperature for smoking foods such as turkey wings. Low temperatures allow the smoke to permeate deeper into the meat without burning it as fast. Also, by cooking slowly, the meat stays moist longer which makes it perfect for eating later on.
- Adding liquid during smoking: If you are trying to save money, adding water to your smoker will help reduce costs. However, if you want to achieve maximum flavor, it is best to wait until after you have finished smoking your wings. By letting the meat cool down completely, you can remove the fat that was used to keep it juicy while smoking.
- Choosing the wrong type of wood: Wood chips are essential for smoking dishes. They provide smoke and flavor, and they also give off less moisture compared to charcoal. To find the right kind of wood, look for hardwoods such as oak, mesquite, hickory, pine, maple, cherry, apple, pecan, almond, walnut, etc.
- Failing to clean the grill: Before putting things onto the grill, make sure to brush off any leftover debris from last night’s dinner. Grease buildup left behind could ruin your meal, and it is best to prevent that from happening by cleaning the grill thoroughly beforehand.
What Are Some Other Ways To Cook Turkey Wings?
Turkey wings are the perfect little snack to bring along on a picnic or barbecue.
They also make an excellent appetizer before dinner, especially during football season.
You won’t find any better way to enjoy them than by cooking up a batch of smoked wings at home.
But just because they taste great doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to using only traditional methods of grilling/barbecuing your wings.
There are many more options available to you too, including oven-cooking and even deep frying.
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What Are Some Side Dishes That Go Well With Smoked Turkey Wings?
One of the best things about smoked turkey wings is that they pair perfectly with all kinds of sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, cornbread, or even macaroni salad.
You can also add them to salads, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, burgers, and more. So many options!
Baked sweet potato fries
These baked sweet potato fries make an excellent accompaniment to smoked turkey wings.
They’re great because they only require five ingredients (baking powder, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder) so they’re super simple to whip up.
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled)
- Olive oil spray
- Salt & pepper
- Garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the top off the sweet potato, making sure not too deep and leaving enough intact on the bottom for stability. This makes for easier baking later.
- Cut slices from the middle of the potato, creating wedges. Place them cut-side down on a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil.
- Sprinkle each wedge generously with salt and pepper, followed by 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Repeat process twice more to give each wedge two layers of seasoning.
- Place wedges in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time.
- The sweet potato should be nicely browned after removing from the oven but still somewhat soft inside. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Green bean soup
You can serve this tasty green bean soup with smoked turkey wings.
It has just three main ingredients, which means you can prepare it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for days at a time.
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Dash black pepper
- Dash salt
- Trim ends of green beans and remove any strings using a vegetable peeler. Cut the trimmed beans into bite-sized pieces.
- Sauté onions in butter over medium heat until translucent. Add green beans and sauté another 3-4 minutes until heated through.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from stovetop and blend mixture using an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth.
- Return soup back to stove and stir in dash of salt and pepper to taste.
If you love macaroni salad, you need to try this version made with smoked turkey wings.
Like its counterpart, this dish takes little effort to put together and uses only four main ingredients.
And although it doesn’t have mayonnaise, it does have cheese and bacon bits.
- 1 box elbow pasta
- 8 ounces shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Dash salt
- Dash freshly ground white pepper
- 2 strips thick sliced bacon*
- 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, combine remaining ingredients except for bacon, bell pepper, and scallion in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- When noodles are done, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing onto noodle mixture and toss gently.
- Toast bread slices and place on plate. Top with drained noodles, bacon, bell pepper, and scallion. Serve immediately.
- The Smoker
- 4 turkey wings
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees.
- Each wing should be thoroughly coated with the spice mixture after combining all the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place the turkey wings on the smoker rack, then add the wood chips. Smoke for 2 hours, or until 165 degrees are reached internally.