Cherry-smoked chicken wings

Smoked chicken wings

  • serves 4-6
  • Easy

Cherry wood gives off a slightly sweeter smoke, and lends these spicy chicken wings a subtle, deliciously fruity flavour

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Make these chicken smoked chicken wings with the help of our step-by-step guide to smoking. Serve with a ranch or blue-cheese dressing for dipping. Also check out more chicken wings recipes such as our BBQ chicken wings and buffalo wings.

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Ingredients

  • chicken wings 1kg, wing tips removed
  • pressed apple juice 100ml
  • apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp
  • cherry wood chips a few handfuls, (see ‘Which wood?’ box, below)
  • ranch or blue-cheese dressing to serve

RUB

  • sweet paprika 2 tsp
  • garlic granules 1 tsp
  • onion granules 1 tsp
  • dried oregano 1 tsp
  • cayenne pepper a large pinch
  • black peppercorns ground to make ½ tsp
  • ground cumin 1 tsp
  • dried chilli flakes a large pinch
  • sea salt flakes 2 tsp

Method

  • Step 1

    Combine all the rub ingredients in a large bowl, tip in the chicken and use your hands to mix until all the wings are well coated. Marinate in the fridge, ideally overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

  • Step 2

    Combine the apple juice and apple cider vinegar, and pour into a small spray bottle or keep to one side in a small container – this will be used to keep the wings moist and help the skin to caramelise when cooking.

  • Step 3

    To prepare the barbecue, follow the instructions in the box, opposite. Cook the wings for 45 minutes, turning and rotating every 15 minutes – give the wings a good spray or drizzle of the apple juice at the same time. If the temperature drops below 120C, lift the lid and fan the coals to get the heat going again.

  • Step 4

    Lift the lid and move the chicken wings to the other side of the barbecue, above the hot coals, and let the skins crisp up for 5 minutes or until really caramelised and starting to char – keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t darken too much. Once done, remove from the barbecue and serve with a ranch or blue-cheese dressing for dipping, if you like.

*This recipe is gluten free according to industry standards


Which wood to use for smoking?

  • Different woods produce different flavour profiles and, as such, some woods are better suited to particular types of food than others. Some woods, including oak, hickory and mesquite, give off strong, pungent smokes; others, such as beech and alder, provide a much lighter, more delicate smoke; the likes of apple, cherry and maple would be considered medium smoking woods but each has a distinct flavour profile. It’s good to experiment with how different woods go with different foods, particularly meats, but classic combos include hickory with brisket, oak with  salmon and apple with cheese. Our two beginner recipes over the page use cherry wood with chicken wings and oak with a rack of pork ribs, but the possible combinations are almost limitless – it’s all about experimenting with what works and discovering your personal favourites. There are plenty of specialist websites that deliver wood chips specifically for smoking, including hotsmoked.co.uk, bbqworld.co.uk and smokewoodshack.com.

Check out more of the best chicken wings recipes...

 

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 253
  • Fat 14.7g
  • Saturates 4g
  • Carbs 5.5g
  • Sugars 4.7g
  • Fibre 1.1g
  • Protein 24.2g
  • Salt 2.5g
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