My Smoked Turkey Wings recipe is easy to make and yields turkey wings that are tender and juicy with a rich smoky flavor. Don’t wait for the holiday season to enjoy these delicious smoky wings, they’re a whole lot easier to make than the whole bird and every bit as delicious!
Why not try something new this Thanksgiving? My smoked turkey wings recipe will make a delicious addition to your holiday table.
But you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy these delicious smoked wings; make them along with my Smoked Turkey Legs for your next game day get-together or family barbecue.
Thanks to my simple wet brine, you’ll enjoy these flavorful, tender wings with crispy skin on the outside and juicy, succulent meat on the inside. Wouldn’t my crispy smoked turkey wings be a delicious game-day treat? They’ll definitely be a delicious upgrade from chicken wings.
If you love smoked turkey meat, why not try my easy smoked turkey recipe this Thanksgiving?
Ingredients to make Wet Brine for Smoked Turkey Wings
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make the wet brine for smoked turkey wings. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
This simple brine is easy to make, adds a ton of flavor to the wings, and is easily adaptable to your taste preferences.
For additional flavor, you can add your favorite fresh herbs and aromatics to this simple brine. Bay leaves, sage, cut orange wedges, or lemon wedges would be good additions to the wet brine.
How to make Smoked Turkey Wings
Start by making a wet brine
- Add the vegetable stock and seasonings to a large saucepan.
- Bring the brine ingredients to a boil (make sure all the kosher salt has dissolved). Remove from the heat and let the brining mixture cool for 15 minutes.
- Add the ice to the brine mixture and pour into a container large enough to hold the turkey wings. *You can use a large ziplock bag for this process.
- Add the turkey to the simple brine, then add enough cold water to cover the wings. Then cover the container with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours (overnight brine is best).
Table salt is not the same as Kosher salt. If you don’t have kosher salt, use 1 tablespoon of table salt (½ the amount of kosher salt).
*See the notes in the recipe card for a dry brine recipe you can use with this turkey legs recipe.
- Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees. Let the wings come to room temperature while the smoker preheats. This will help them cook more evenly.
- When the smoker has reached 275 degrees F., add your favorite wood chips to the smoker tube. I used apple wood chips for this recipe.
I use an electric smoker for smoking meats and seafood. It’s easy to use and takes all the work out of using a smoker.
If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a pellet grill (pellet smoker), charcoal grill, or gas grill to make my smoked turkey wings. Place the turkey wings directly on the grill grate and use indirect heat to smoke the meat. Just make sure the grill temperature reads 275 degrees F. Don’t let the grill temperature get any higher; high heat is not your friend
- Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to a small bowl
- Mix to combine the spice rub.
I didn’t use a lot of seasonings for the dry rub, just black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Most of the flavor in my turkey leg recipe will come from the wet brine.
Feel free to add your favorite seasonings to the dry rub. Sweet paprika (or smoked paprika for even more smoke flavor), chili powder, and cumin would make nice additions. For a touch of sweetness, add a little brown sugar, and for a touch of heat, add a little bit of cayenne pepper.
- Use a paper towel to pat dry the wings.
- Season the wings on all sides with the dry seasoning mixture.
- Place turkey wings directly on the smoker rack with a drip pan underneath to catch all the drippings.
- Place a temperature probe in the thickest part of the wing. *Remember we are cooking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees; cook times will vary depending on the size of the turkey and the type of smoker.
- When the wings have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., remove them from the smoker.
Let the smoked turkey wings rest for 15 minutes before serving to give the juices time to redistribute. You’re going to love the smoky flavor, crispy skin, and juicy meat, and I promise your friends and family will too!
Feel free to add your favorite bbq sauce or buffalo sauce to these delicious wings.
Store leftover wings in an airtight container for 2-3 days. To store in the freezer, double wrap the wings in plastic wrap, then store in a ziplock bag in your freezer for up to 2 months.
No, normally, you should not wrap turkey wings in foil when smoking. If they are baking too quickly, you can cover them with foil, but otherwise, there’s no need to cover or wrap them while cooking. Covering or wrapping in aluminum foil during the entire smoking process could lead to soggy skin.
This is a personal preference. Splitting the wings will help them cook more evenly and will help you achieve browner skin. There is not a lot of meat on the wings, and one whole turkey wing is the perfect single serving, so I prefer to keep them whole.
No, you don’t. You can dry rub the wings and let them marinate in the dry rub refrigerated for 24 hours if you’re not into wet brining. If you prefer a dry brine, you’ll find one in my recipe card.
This is definitely a personal preference, but I like using fruit woods to smoke wings. Use apple wood or cherry wood for a milder smoky flavor and hickory, maple, or pecan wood if you prefer a more prominent smoke flavor.
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I love the ThermoPro wireless meat thermometers. The easy to use app makes it easy to track the temperatures of the meats and seafood your cooking.
You get a great variety of wood chips with this starter pack. You get one bag of apple, cheery, mesquite, and hickory wood chips in each variety pack.