Smoked chicken wings


  • 1kg chicken wings, wing tips removed
  • 100ml pressed apple juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • a few handfuls cherry wood chips, (see ‘Which wood?’ box, below)
  • to serve ranch or blue-cheese dressing


  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • a large pinch cayenne pepper
  • ground to make ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a large pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes


  • STEP 1

    Combine all the rub ingredients in a large bowl, tip in the chicken and use your hands to mix until all the wings are well coated. Marinate in the fridge, ideally overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

  • STEP 2

    Combine the apple juice and apple cider vinegar, and pour into a small spray bottle or keep to one side in a small container – this will be used to keep the wings moist and help the skin to caramelise when cooking.

  • STEP 3

    To prepare the barbecue, follow the instructions under the heading ‘how to prepare a kettle barbecue for hot smoking’ here. Cook the wings for 45 minutes, turning and rotating every 15 minutes – give the wings a good spray or drizzle of the apple juice at the same time. If the temperature drops below 120C, lift the lid and fan the coals to get the heat going again.

  • STEP 4

    Lift the lid and move the chicken wings to the other side of the barbecue, above the hot coals, and let the skins crisp up for 5 minutes or until really caramelised and starting to char – keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t darken too much. Once done, remove from the barbecue and serve with a ranch or blue-cheese dressing for dipping, if you like.