Eat It & Beat It Wings

A restaurant with a name like Kansas City’s Lil’ Jake’s Eat It & Beat It (today known by the more dignified name of Danny Edwards) takes a pretty rapid-fire approach to customer turnover. When it comes to barbecue, however, proprietor Danny Edwards definitely takes his time. These wings absorb a spice rub overnight, then they’re smoke-grilled until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. Quantities for the various seasonings are approximate: Add more or less to suit your taste.


Eat It & Beat It Wings

Recipe Notes

  • Advance Prep: 24 hours for curing the chicken wings
  • Yield: Makes 12 chicken wings
  • Equipment: 1½ cups wood chips or chunks, preferably hickory, soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover, then drained


  • 12 whole chicken wings (2½ to 3 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons crumbled dried oregano

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Place the wings in a large bowl and sprinkle the garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne, and oregano over them. Turn the wings to coat them with the seasonings, then cover and refrigerate them, for 24 hours.

Step 2: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and place a drip pan in the center.

If using a charcoal grill, preheat the grill to medium-low. When the coals are ready, toss half of the drained wood chips on them.

If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips in the smoker box and preheat the grill to high; when smoke appears, lower the heat to medium-low.

Step 3: When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the wings on the hot grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and cook the wings until very tender, 1½ to 2 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 10 to 12 fresh coals and a handful of chips to each side after 1 hour.

Step 4: Transfer the grilled wings to a serving platter and serve at once.

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