Smoked Chicken Wings

by Trans Chef

If you grew up in the South, chances are your family smoked meat. To be honest, it wasn’t until culinary school that I realized you could smoke things other than meat. Every holiday, special event, and family reunion, you could count on one of my uncles, if not all of them, firing up the smoker to prepare some mouthwatering smoked meats. The techniques and recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, with each family member adding their own spin to this truly ancient cooking and preservation method.

The culinary tradition of smoking meat in the South is a beautiful way that most, if not all, families in the region connect with their heritage and history. I have fond memories of holiday weekends with the men all gathered by the smoker, telling war stories and sharing laughs while the “women folk” prepared side dishes and gently corrected the men’s um, tall tales of adventures past. Looking back, it’s one of the things I dearly miss.

It might shock you to learn that the art of smoking meat isn’t limited to just the South; it’s a cooking technique dating back thousands of years, found across different cultures and regions worldwide, each contributing its own variations and flavors to the mix. As I’ve learned more about cooking through culinary school and my own experiments in the kitchen, I’ve discovered new ways to apply this ancient method to other ingredients, expanding the possibilities beyond traditional meat-smoking.

But today we’re here to discuss smoking one of my favorite things in the world, CHICKEN WINGS! I love them! Honestly, smoking wings was not something we did growing up. In truth, we didn’t really eat a lot of wings until my later adult years. I don’t mean we didn’t cook with them, but most of the time, we had to stretch a little bit of meat to feed a large crowd. So they’d often be boiled or baked, then shredded into another dish like chicken and rice, chicken and dumplings, or chicken salad. This was also about the same time as the rise of the wing happened, and they became expensive. It’s also interesting to see the migration of the wing in my lifetime from “poor food” to something almost every restaurant in America has on their menus now in some form.

So, as I reflect on the rich tradition of smoking meat in the South and the evolution of my own culinary journey, I can’t help but crave one of my all-time favorites: smoked chicken wings! Over the years, I’ve honed a recipe that brings together the timeless art of smoking with the irresistible flavor of tender, juicy chicken wings. Let me share with you my tried-and-true smoked chicken wing recipe that will undoubtedly become a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering. Get ready to savor the mouthwatering flavors of perfectly smoked wings!

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