Good Monday to you!
I hope everyone’s weekend was a good one, down here we had a little warmer time than last week. But you know how it goes…if you wait a while the weather will change.
So Michelle and I were talking, a week or so back about which way we liked our chicken wings. Now if you are a traditionalist, you know that “all wings should be deep fried” this was the way buffalo wings were originally introduced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_wing. I am not sure which is the true story, but for sure they have been a hit for many years.
There are a bunch of different ways “wings” have been cooked since that time and since we are cooking at home Michelle and I prefer not to deep fry ours, it’s really messy unless you have a deep fryer handy, and we try to avoid fried foods for the most part….. ( grin).
Michelle cooks the ones she likes in the oven, I usually cook them on the gas grill or the smoker. I have a few different way I like to season them but for this experiment we decided that for the most part we would use her recipe and I would modify it, leave out the flour coating, for the grill and smoker. The reason I left off the flour is that I know it will burn and that is never very tasty. Michelle’s recipe is adapted from this one at Food and Wine. After making them multiple times, she finds that she likes them with a little extra flour, and she roughly doubles the wing sauce. We made 15 of each type, so the each recipe is for 15 wings.
This is the basic recipe we cooked with:
Spray with cooking spray
Dust with table salt
Dust with black pepper
For the oven wings we dusted with 3 tablespoons all purpose flour combined with a teaspoon of salt.
After they were done we coated them with this wing sauce for 45 wings:
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup hot sauce (We used Franks Red Hot Sauce.)
Stir together and heat until heated through. Toss chicken wings in sauce.
Now there is a difference in cook times and cook temperatures for each method. I knew that the smoker wings would take longer since the cook temp was around 275° so I started them earlier. The cook time for the wings was about 2 hours. The oven method and the gas grill method took closer to the same time. I held the gas grill to a temp around 350°, the oven temp was 500°. On the grill they cooked in about 1 ¼ hours, in the oven they cooked in 45 minutes. So the first thing you notice is the oven is much faster.
The smoker cook was a normal setup I used apple wood since that was what I had on hand. I also have moved more towards using lump charcoal with some briquettes to supplement. Season the wings and get the smoker setup. Start you fire and let it settle in to around 250 ° to 300°. As I said, I kept the smoker cooking at around 275° so the 50° spread was good to get things started. I suggest that you pack the grill grate on the smoker pretty tight. Since we are cooking at a lower temp than the other methods you will NOT turn the wings as they cook. I did not use the food probe on the thermometer since there really is not way to get a probe into a chicken wing there is not enough meat to get a good read. I did however use the grill temperature probe to monitor smoker temp. Wings on the smoker ore done when you can pull the meat off or get the joint to pull loose. Check a wing at the 1.5 hour mark, if they are not done then check again about 15 minutes later. Remember each time you open the smoker your losing heat so don’t obsess they should be done by around 2 hours if your internal smoker temp has been consistent. Re move them from the smoker and toss in the wing sauce.
For the gas grill. I brought the grill up to 350° and placed the wings on the grates. I turned them every 20 minutes so that they would cook evenly, towards the end I turned them every few minutes. When they are done remove from grill and toss in wing sauce.
For the oven, preheat the oven to 500°. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray the sheet with oil. Mix in 1 tsp. of salt with 3 Tbsps. flour and toss the wings then spray them with oil. Arrange them on the cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for a total of 45 minutes, turning them over at 20 minutes, and at 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss in wing sauce.
So as you can see the easiest method is the oven method. And to be honest the smoker wood flavoring did not really improve the taste. The oven was the best tasting with the gas grill running a close second. BUT, to me cooking them on the gas grill and the smoker was more fun…….
These were served with a homemade blue cheese dressing, blue cheese coleslaw, celery and carrot strips, and shoe string fries (the store bought kind).
Try them out and choose your favorite. Anyway you do them, they are just plain good!
Take care and keep warm,