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How to make amazing Smoked Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are one of my all-time favorite foods, and we make them quite a bit! This post is going to walk you through all of our favorite recipes and answer all of your burning questions about making the BEST smoked chicken wing.

How to make the best smoked chicken wings

Get Good Wings

Making delicious smoked chicken wings starts with the wing itself. There are lots of options when buying wings, from getting them whole where the flat and drum are still connected, or pre-separated wings that are either fresh or frozen. No matter what kind of wings you buy, these recipes will work!

We mostly get our wings from ButcherBox. I’ll stock up when they have a sale, and when I signed up it was during a “free wings for life” promotion, so I get wings in every ButcherBox that shows up to my house.

Care about the skin

Wet, soggy skin usually issues less-than-crispy final results. If you care about crispy skin care about drying that out before you cook! Even if you choose to do the Smoke and Fry method, you’ll still have better skin if it isn’t soggy pre-smoke sesh.

That being said, I’ve definitely thrown on a bunch of individual wings that were frozen still, and just gave them extra time under the smoke to dry out fully before pulling them and frying them and they were awesome, so there are exceptions and workaround to every “rule”.

More Traeger Chicken Recipes

Chicken is one of our favorite things to make on the pellet grill. Click below to see all of our favorite Traeger Recipes featuring chicken!

What if you don’t have a pellet grill?

If you don’t have a pellet grill, you can do these recipes in the oven (minus the smoke), on a regular grill with a smoke tube, in a stick burner smoker, or on a gas grill. The same general instructions apply.

How to make incredible smoked chicken wings in the Traeger

There are a lot of different ways to make a GREAT chicken wing. I’m going to detail my pellet grilled favorites, from my most favorite on down to my other most favorite. There are no bad wings on this list.

Check out this infographic for our ratings at a glance, too!

Pellet Grill Chicken Wing Comparison

Smoked and Fried Wings


Smoke and Fry

I LOVE the smoke and fry. I think it brings the best of all of the worlds together in one, delicious, tender, saucy wing.

Air Dry + 400° for 1 1/2 hours


Air Dry + 400°

We love this method because it is one of the easiest. While I personally love the taste of the smoke and fry, it takes longer and is more intense than this method, which just has you air drying your wings in the fridge overnight, seasoning, and cooking for an hour and a half at 400°.

Baking soda in the dry rub


Baking Soda trick

This one uses baking soda in the dry rub before cooking them at 250 for 30 minutes and cranking the heat up on the Traeger to 425° and continuing to cook until it is crisp.

Pro tip, make sure the baking powder is aluminum-free!

45 minutes at 375°


Straight-Up Grilled Wings

These are the easiest wings EVER and are super delicious. This isn’t like a “best to worst” wings list, this is a best-of-the-best list.

This wing method is also by far the easiest. You can just season them and toss them on the grill. The skin isn’t the crispiest, but some people don’t mind that.

Traeger Chicken Wing Recipe Collection

The best sauces for chicken wings

I love a good sauce on my wings, and below are some of our favorites!