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Smoked chicken wing challenge help.

Wasi

Fire Starter
62
41
Joined Oct 23, 2017
At work we had numerous cooking/smoking challenges tacos/ribs/sausage/chili. I have currently won chili and sausage. The next challenge is chicken wings. We can choose anyway to cook them and I would like to smoke them. The only stipulation we have is that you have to use the whole wing and cannot use the separated pieces. I have not smoked wings before but have done other chicken and turkey on the smoker and really want to make sure I get the good bite through skin. I am going to try and make smoked jerk chicken wings and here is my plan.

1. Season the wings with salt and let them sit in the fridge overnight in the salt brine.
2. Next day season the chicken with jerk spice rub.
3. Smoke the wings at 225-250 for 1 hour and 30 minutes using pimento wood chips on my offset smoker.
4. Coat the chicken in Honey-Tamarind Dipping finishing sauce and place them on super hot grill to crispy the skin and caramelize the sauce. I was thinking about 5 minutes or so per side to finish the cooking process.

Anyone who can provide any advice or flaws they see in this plan would be greatly appreciated. I will post pics and results once we have the competition. Might not be for a little while as we live in Chicago and the weather is currently not cooperating for smoking outside.
 

Hawaiianbrian

Smoke Blower
148
54
Joined Dec 7, 2017
Are you smoking them at your work or at home than taking them in? The only thing I’d be worried about if I was doing it at home then taking them in is the time from being finished to eating they skin may get soggy.
 

thirdeye

Meat Mopper
278
255
Joined Dec 1, 2019
The time lag from now until the contest will give you a couple of shots at practicing, even if you do that in the oven. I think your plan sounds good, especially the drying time in the fridge as this really helps the skin. My only concern would be the spiciness of the jerk seasoning. In any food competitions you always think of wowing the judges, but in reality you want to wow without offending any judge. Spiciness is a turnoff to some people and one or two judges that score lower can cost you the win. So, what I'm saying is go ahead and have some heat, just temper it a bit so the flavors balance.

The contests I've been in all had appearance scoring, so when I prep wings I use scissors to remove some of the triangle of skin between the drumette and wingette, and snip off any tags of meat that may burn during grilling. I also make a very small slit in that same joint so that the drumette snaps apart easier when the judges are eating. And I use a rack to make sure they all look the same and the doneness is the same. Each of these style of rack hods 12 wings or 12 drumsticks, so they do double duty.

 

Wasi

Fire Starter
62
41
Joined Oct 23, 2017
The time lag from now until the contest will give you a couple of shots at practicing, even if you do that in the oven. I think your plan sounds good, especially the drying time in the fridge as this really helps the skin. My only concern would be the spiciness of the jerk seasoning. In any food competitions you always think of wowing the judges, but in reality you want to wow without offending any judge. Spiciness is a turnoff to some people and one or two judges that score lower can cost you the win. So, what I'm saying is go ahead and have some heat, just temper it a bit so the flavors balance.

The contests I've been in all had appearance scoring, so when I prep wings I use scissors to remove some of the triangle of skin between the drumette and wingette, and snip off any tags of meat that may burn during grilling. I also make a very small slit in that same joint so that the drumette snaps apart easier when the judges are eating. And I use a rack to make sure they all look the same and the doneness is the same. Each of these style of rack hods 12 wings or 12 drumsticks, so they do double duty.

Those wings look amazing. I will have to see if I can get a few racks as I do not have any yet. Thanks for the advice on the heat. I think I should be ok the judges really like heat but I will make sure it is a full balanced heat. I will have to get some wings to test with for sure and will have to try your trim techniques as well. Thanks again for the all the advice.
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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561
Joined Nov 16, 2016
Pretty good process on the whole. Lots of finer points that can be debated. I would probably just rub with jerk and rest overnight/no brine. I assume you are using a dry spice jerk rub instead of paste. Also, I would want to smoke until IT was say 190F or more so not just by time. For sauce, I would grill sans sauce and then toss in sauce before serving unless you want some char effect. I actually do drums very similar and in fact I smoke them a few days ahead of serving.
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Sep 28, 2018
The only thing I would change is I would grill the wings a bit before applying sauce then return to the grill.

That said, you could also get good results using the Myron Mixon method. This won't crisp the skin but it will be pleasant and have a good bite through.

Here is the abbreviated version:

Smoke wings 1 hour
put wings in pan presentation side down
put a small piece of butter on each wing
add stock until 1/2 way up the wing
cover with foil and cook another hour
remove wings from pan and finish with sauce in the smoker

I took first place in a wing competition using his method. It works.

JC :emoji_cat:
 
Last edited:

thirdeye

Meat Mopper
278
255
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I forgot to mention two things, one company makes those leg/wing racks with legs that fold, which is good for storage. And, when wings and drumsticks are hanging the meat shrinks a hair leaving a tiny space between the skin and the meat.... I think this makes it easier for the skin to crisp up especially on the drumsticks.

 

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