Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Smokehouse Wings

Adapted from Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA

Photo credit: Photo by Richard Dallett.


  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
  • Method: Hot smoking
  • Equipment: Bradley smoker; cherry wood
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For the wings:

  • 3 pounds chicken drumettes (about 2 dozen)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus 4 tablespoons for serving
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

For serving:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 6 tablespoons sriracha (or other favorite hot sauce)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Step 1: Place the chicken wings in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the cilantro, salt, pepper, and coriander and stir to mix. Stir in the sesame oil. Marinate for 15 to 60 minutes, the longer, the richer the flavor.

Step 2: Meanwhile, light your smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 250 degrees. Add the wood as specified by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Arrange the wings on the wire rack in the smoke chamber. Smoke the wings until golden brown with smoke and cooked through, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. In some smokers, the wings closest to fire will cook faster; if this is the case, rotate the wings so all cook evenly. If your smoker allows heat increase, raise the temperature to 400 degrees the last 20 minutes to crisp the skin. To check for doneness, make a tiny cut in the thickest part of a few of the wings. The meat at the bone should be white, with no traces of red. Do not overcook.

Step 4: Just before serving, melt the butter in a cast iron skillet on a grill set up for direct grilling or on a stove burner. Add the jalapeños and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the sriracha.

Step 5: Mound the chicken wings on a platter or in a cast iron skillet. Pour the jalapeño sauce over them. Sprinkle the wings with chopped cilantro and peanuts and dig in. Napkins and cold beer required.

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