Tried doing wings for the first time this past weekend. I came here for advice first, and took a little bit of info from several of you, then added my own touches. They seemed to be a hit at our barbeque last night. Pure smoke, no grilling, no frying, but crispy skin. Here are my secrets.
FYI, I used a 18.5 WSM with Kingsford charcoal and applewood chips.
Wash wings thoroughly, Clip the ends off at the first joint and discard. Cut the drummettes and the second pieces apart. Now, here comes the crispy skin trick:
STEP 1: Brine the wings overnight in the following mixture:
2 gallons water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 lemons, quartered and squeezed
2 oranges, quartered and squeezed
6 long sprigs fresh rosemary
1 large bunch fresh sage
I mix the brine up in a small cooler, then add the wings. Make sure the wings are covered. Then add the ice from your icemaker and put the lid on tight. Brine for at least 4-6 hours. I do it overnight.
STEP 2: Drain and rinse the wings and pack them in a ziplock bag with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Refrigerate for 4 hours, rotating the bag so the oil coats the wings.
Reserve the oranges, lemons and herbs for the water bath in your smoker.
STEP 3: Coat the wings liberally with your favorite rub. Bring the smoker up to 275-300 degrees. Fill the water bath with the oranges, lemons and herbs. Add 4 full flavored ales or beers and 4 cups of water.
STEP 4: Lay the wings in a single layer. Smoke for 2 hours at 275-300 degrees. No basting or turning necessary. If your smoker has two levels, you may want to switch the racks at 1 hour.
STEP 5: Put them on the table and get out of the way so your friends don't knock you down. I like to sauce mine with Sweet Baby James Buffalo Sauce. My daughter likes the Sweet and Tangy.