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The Smokin' Elk's Ultimate Guide to BBQ Wings

The Smokin' Elk's Ultimate Guide to BBQ Wings

Whether you are just starting to get to grips with your BBQ or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s no denying that wings are always a real crowd pleaser. 

Whether you are just starting to get to grips with your BBQ or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s no denying that wings are always a real crowd pleaser. Elky has put together his ultimate guide to cooking wings — including how best to set up your kettle BBQ, his favourite rubs to use and what temperature he likes to take them to for crispy skin and a juicy centre. Check out the video below to watch him prepare his wings three different ways to see which one is tastier!

Temperatures

Chicken is safe to eat at 74°C but do take the wings a bit further so the meat just falls off the bone – 85°C to 90°C is the sweet spot for Elky!

Ingredients
For the wings
  • Wings — lots of! Always do more than you think you’ll need. Trust me, they will all go!
  • BBQ rub(s) of your choice or even just salt & pepper (I used Smoked Club Spice Spice Baby and Beer Can Chick-Can)
  • Your favourite sauce(s) – optional but desirable! (My favourite are Hottori Hanzo Hot Sauces)
You will need
  • BBQ with a lid
  • Charcoal (please don’t use instant light stuff!)
  • Chimney starter
  • Firelighters
  • Lighter
  • Cold beers
  • Thermapen thermometer
directions
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I’m going to assume you have a kettle style BBQ with a lid but if you have a kamado-style BBQ then watch the video for an alternative method.
  • Ok, let’s get cracking. The first thing you’ll want to do is separate the flats from the drumettes. This is entirely optional but makes them easier to eat for you and your guests. Once you’ve done that, give them a dry with some kitchen towel. Wet, soggy chicken skin isn’t the best starting point if you want to achieve crispy chicken skin!
  • Once dried, set them aside and get your BBQ lit. You’ll want a whole chimney of coals fully lit to get your BBQ as hot as possible. Once lit, dump them into one side of your BBQ and pop the lid on.
  • Make sure the top vent is the other side of the coals, as that’ll draw the hot air over the chicken! You’ll want both your bottom vent and top vent fully open for this as you need a BBQ temperature of at least 200°C, preferably closer to 250°C.
Now take your wings and hit them with the rub or seasoning of your choice.
  • Be sure to cover the entire wing for maximum flavour! Once your BBQ is up to temperature, get the wings onto the grate and spread them out. You want these on the indirect side, away from the fierce heat of the coals.
  • And that’s it! Stick your lid down, crack open a cold beer and wait. Give them a quick flip after 15 minutes, maybe swap some of them around to make sure they all cook evenly then stick the lid back down. After another 15 minutes, grab your Thermapen and start probing a few of them. Chicken is safe to eat at 74°C but I like to take my wings a bit further to make sure that meat just falls off the bone. 85°C to 90°C is the sweet spot for me! Once you hit this, take them off and stick them in a bowl ready to serve.
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  • If you want to sauce them, now’s the time to do so. Or maybe leave half dry and put a selection of sauces out for your guests. Dig in and enjoy! You have precisely 5 minutes before they are all gone — I did warn you to make more than you need!
"I'm Elky, also known as The Smokin' Elk. I absolutely love cooking to fire and the Thermapen helps me up my game by cooking to the perfect temperature, every time. It's the one BBQ tool I wouldn't be without!"

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