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Friday, November 11, 2011

Smoked (then grilled) Chicken Wings

Hey "Q" fans! Last week, I decided to do some wings for my tailgate spread and I was in a smokin' mood. I normally bake my wings, let them cool, then drop them in hot oil for a minute or two to get a nice crispy crust. This time though, I wanted to get a little more smoking experience.

I started out with a few pounds of wings right from the grocery store instead of those pre-done frozen things. I think it's my restaurant worker coming out in me. I just like to prep 'em myself. Anyway, I got my boning knife and a cutting board ready and got to preppin' the wings.

You want to start out by spreading the wing out so you can clearly see the three separate sections and the joints between them. The next step is to slice right in the middle of each of the two joints. You'll be left with the drumette, wingette & tip.

Rinse the wings and pat dry. I then set the drumette and wingette on a foil lined baking pan and put the tip in a plastic container. Some people will tell you to throw these pieces out, but don't do it. If you cook like I do, these are the perfect pieces to use for making chicken stock. Save 'em!

Now that I've got all the wings prepped and sitting on our pan, it's time for some flavor. I grabbed my squeeze bottle with vegetable oil and gave the wings a small coating. The oil will help hold the rub and keep them from sticking to the grill. After they're oiled up, give them a nice coating of rub, turn them over and coat the other side. Let sit in your fridge for about 15 minutes while you get the grill ready.

I got my cast iron smoker box and loaded it up with chips (I'd like to add here that I don't soak my chips. I know some do & some don't...I've just found they work just as well dry as they do wet, so I don't bother.) I turned on one burner and let it heat up. When the grill was between 250 & 300 and my chips had started smoking, I went inside and grabbed the tray of wings.

Place the wings on the grill (not directly over your heat). Let them smoke for approximately 30 minutes, then turn them over and let them smoke about 30 more minutes (for those temperature minded folks, 165 degrees).

At this point, you have a few options. You can sauce your wings and pull them off the grill and enjoy them as is, or you can crisp 'em up a bit. Me, I like crispy. I love the smoky aroma that is coming from my wings, but they are a bit soft and that's just not what I want. So for me, there's only one thing left to do. That right! You're using a grill, so let's grill 'em off!

Turn up the heat on your burners and move the wings to the direct heat side. You're not going to have them here long, so don't panic. Once you get all the wings on the heat, start to brush them with your favorite sauce. Since I had 24 wings, I used all 3 Doomer's "Q" Sauces and did 8 Hot & Spicy, 8 Dark & 8 Original. I let the first coat start to caramelize, then brushed on a 2nd coat. Once this coat started to caramelize, I pulled them off the grill.

Now comes the best part of all! Grab a few of each flavor wing, some paper towels and a beer. Head on over to your favorite comfy seat and prepare to watch the game and enjoy some smoked wings Maryland Style! Oh soo good!

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