Smoked chicken wings..but tough skin? What happened?

Started by pfowl01, June 11, 2006, 01:26:15 PM

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Hello all,

Hi...I'm new here, but am really enjoying this forum.What great info you people have.
Anyway just did my third smoke ( 1st was chicken wings, 2nd was summer sasuage, 3rd more wings) and was alittle surprised at how tough the skin on the chicken wings turned out.I preheated the smoker to 270 ( anticpated a 50 deg. drop..shooting for 220) and let the wings warm up on the counter for about 45 min.I put the wings in and temp dopped to 180 and in half an hour was back at 220 where it was suppose to be.
Smoked for 2 hrs with hickory and had my vent 1/3 open the whole time.I didn't temp them...just went two hours and called them done.I'm thinking they where alittle over I correct?Does anybody temp wings?If I closed the vent more would the skin be less tough?

Habanero Smoker

When I do wings I will occasionally use a hand held instant read thermometer, but usually I go by time and the look of the wings. When I think that they are done I will prick several of them with a bamboo skewer. If the juices run clear they are done.

The tough skin could be cause by a few things, but usually it is do to being cooked at a low temperature with too much moisture. First, I have to ask was the meat fully cooked, if not the skin will be tougher. Chicken with skin has a lot of moisture, that is released during the smoking/cooking time. You should open your vent more to let more of the moisture escape. Limit your load to no more then 5 lbs of wings. Also smoke/cook them at the highest temperature you can, keeping in mind you don't want to cook to fast, or you will not get enough smoke flavor; but if you can get 225-250 F, that would be good. Finishing on the grill will help improve the texture, but you will never get "crisp" skin (I do acknowledge that "crisp" means different things to different people).




The wings were raw.Thanks for the suggestions I'll try that next time.


P of Fowl,

HAB has it correct I concur with him.  This is the way I do chicken, I smoke for a couple hours at 200 or so then finish on the grill.  To me anyway this has yielded the best results for taste and skin.  To me chicken skin is hard to finish well in a Bradley, it can be done but I have found the grill takes the guess work out of it, the meat is still real juicy and if you want to add a sauce, this method lends itself to this very well. 


Perryville, Arkansas

It's not how much you smoke but how many friends you make while doing it...


I concur with Hab and MW. Chicken with skin on needs to be finished on the grill or broiler to get a decent skin texture. Wings are loaded with moisture so keep that vent open as much as possible.


Hey you guys,

   Thanks for the sugestions! I knew I could count on this forum for some replys.I've only bee reading it for the most part....for about a week, and I love it.Planning on putting in a PID just like Bubbagumps, but until then I have a maverick 73 on the way.I kinda want to wait until I install the PID befoe I do any long smokes ( pulled pork, brisket, etc.). Anyway thanks for the help and I'm excited about this forum and my new bradley.