Everyone loves a good old backyard barbecue. Just picture it: you open the back fence gate and are immediately welcomed by the scent of meat sizzling. The kids are laughing and playing in the backyard while the adults mingle and sip white wine in the setting summer sun. Your buddy walks up to you, cracks open a Miller Lite, slides it into your favorite beer koozies and hands it right to you. Just when you start to think that this day couldn’t possibly get any better, you notice that the meat isn’t cooking on a grill at all; the party host opted to cook up some smoked turkey wings in his smoker, just for this occasion.
There are all sorts of different types of meat that you can cook in a smoker, but this smoked turkey wings recipe really takes the cake. As always, let’s answer some common questions before jumping into the recipe itself:
How To Make Smoked Turkey Wings
In summary, making smoked turkey wings begins with the right spice rub. This spice rub consists of honey powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, hickory smoke powder, and salt. Season the turkey wings with the spice rub and place in the smoker for 2 hours at 275F.
For exact measurements of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe section below plus bonus tips!
Are Turkey Wings Healthy?
Turkey wings are almost nutritionally identical to chicken wings. Both are rich in protein, iron, calcium and selenium. Turkey wings contain much more meat, however.
How Do You Get Crispy Skin on Smoked Turkey?
The key to making your turkey’s skin nice and crispy is retaining as much moisture as possible during the smoking process. You can do this by using a dry brine along with baking powder. Before you apply the spice mixture, you should also rub the bird down with oil.
What Goes Well With Smoked Turkey?
You can pull ideas from both classic barbecue side dishes and Thanksgiving side dishes when looking to pair something with your smoked turkey wings. Many people opt for some variation of cornbread, corn on the cob or potato salad.
What Makes a Great Turkey Wing Recipe?
Many turkey fans agree that the best part of the bird is the skin. It’s very easy to dry out turkey skin when you cook it in a smoker, so it’s vital that you follow the advice above in order to achieve a nice, crispy turkey skin.
The spice rub you choose will also make a huge difference when it comes to flavor. The addition of honey powder helps give this recipe a subtle sweetness that really helps to balance out the smoky flavors that you typically achieve while smoking a bird. Making sure to evenly and thoroughly coat the wings with this spice mixture can be the difference between a decent batch of wings and a phenomenal batch of wings.
Everyone tends to have their own opinion regarding which wood chips are best for smoking meats, and you are allowed the freedom to choose which chips you prefer for this recipe. When it comes to turkey, your best wood chip options are hickory, maple, oak, cherry, apple, or even mesquite.
Lastly, it’s important to consider how long you’re smoking the wings for. For this recipe, we’ll be setting the smoker to about 275 degrees and letting the meat smoke slow and low for about 2 hours. This process produces a super flavorful, tender bird with meat that just falls right off the bone. But we’ve been talking about this recipe for long enough. It’s time to put the plan into action.
Smoked Turkey Wings
Delicious smoked turkey wings in 2 hours!
- 6 pieces Turkey Wings/Legs
- Cooking Oil
- 1/4 cup Honey Powder
- 2 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Hickory Smoke Powder
- 2 tsp Salt
Preheat the smoker to 275F. Feel free to use your favorite wood chips. Any type of hardwood or orchard wood would be your best options.
Combine all the spice rub ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to ensure they're thoroughly combined.
Rub the turkey wings down with cooking oil to ensure the skin crisps up properly.
Toss the oiled turkey wings in the spice mixture. Make sure to get a nice thorough, even coating. Place the wings on the smoker rack.
Smoke the turkey wings for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
Serve with your favorite side dishes.
Note: if you would like even crispier skin, broil the turkey wings in the oven for a few minutes. Watch very closely to avoid burning the meat.