Bourbon BBQ Smoked Chicken Wings

December 06, 2019
This post is formed in partnership with Traeger.  As always, my opinions ar my very own.

Y’all.  I formally have a brand new obsession.  Smoking!  I’ve continually watched bbq competitions in awe because the pit-masters created fully masterpieces of appetisingness, and ne'er thought I might produce identical quality reception. i used to be wrong!

Bourbon BBQ Smoked Chicken Wings
Bourbon BBQ Smoked Chicken Wings


  • First you’ll need to pick your wood.  My smoker could be a wood pellet grill, thus I used hickory wood pellets.  Hickory could be a sensible general wood, however fruitwood, pecan or maybe cherry would work as well!  
  • Preheat your smoker.  All smokers ar completely different, thus consult your manual for specific directions.  On a Traeger wood pellet grill, open the lid and choose the SMOKE setting and let it heat up and smoke for 5-10 minutes.
  • Pick the right temperature. a great deal of individuals smoke chicken wings at 225 F degrees, which is able to fully work.  I selected 250 F degrees as that’s what my favorite building will.
  • Choose a smoking time. betting on the dimensions of your wings and also the smoking temperature, this could take anyplace from a pair of – three 1/2 hours.  Use a thermometer to envision for an indoor temperature of a hundred sixty five F degrees to create positive the chicken wings ar finished.
  • Crisp them up.  Crank up your smoker as high because it goes and very crisp and char the wings.  If you don’t like however tender they’re obtaining, verify my a pair of extra tips for tender skin within the instruction notes section below.

Bourbon BBQ Smoked Chicken Wings


  • 4 lbs chicken wings, patted dry
  • sweet and smoky chicken rub (or your favorite store-bought rub)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • hickory wood pellets


  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion , finely minced
  • 5 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 1/2 cup bourbon (use a good quality)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)


  1. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a saucepan over MED heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes.  Add in bourbon and continue cooking about 3 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste and whisk to break it up.  Add all remaining sauce ingredients and whisk to combine.  Increase heat to MED-HIGH and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to MED-LOW or LOW and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Pour sauce through a fine mesh sieve to strain out onion and garlic pieces if you like a smooth, glossy sauce.  Set aside and cool.  Store leftover bbq sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


  1. Pat chicken wings dry with a clean paper towel.  Add wings to a large mixing bowl and toss with vegetable oil.  Add rub and massage into the wings, making sure each wing is coated.  
  2. Add hickory wood pellets to hopper.  Turn on smoker, open lid and set to the SMOKE setting.  Heat on SMOKE, with the lid open, for 5-10 minutes, until very smoky.  Add chicken wings to oiled grill grates, set smoker to 250 F degrees.  Close smoker lid and smoke for 2 hours 30 minutes, or until chicken wings reach an internal temperature of 165 F degrees.  Use an instant read meat thermometer to insure accurate cooking temperatures.
  3. Change smoker setting to HIGH and baste chicken wings on both sides with bourbon bbq sauce.  Cook wings for 5 minutes, then flip them over and cook 3-5 minutes on the other side.
  4. Select SHUT DOWN on smoker and remove chicken wings to a foil or parchment lined plate or baking sheet.  Let rest 5-10 minutes.  Turn smoker off and unplug it.  
  5. Eat wings as is, or brushed with additional bbq sauce.  Dip in blue cheese or ranch dressing and serve with celery and carrots for a traditional experience.

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