Traeger Chicken Wings (4 Simple Steps)

Beautifully crispy chicken wings are a thing of glory.

They are not only the perfect appetizer but also an inexpensive choice.

Not only this but they make a great vessel for your favorite BBQ sauce!!

Grab some paper towels because you’re going to need them.

This chicken wing recipe is done with Traeger Grills and is super easy if you follow my steps below:

Table of contents

The Capable Chicken Wing 

The chicken wings came to their potential throughout the 1970s and 1980s in Buffalo as bar food. 

Served with hot buffalo sauce or bbq sauce, these crispy wings soon became a sensation.

Each country has its variation in cooking techniques when making chicken wings.

You might argue it’s become an art form!

There are 2 types of meat in a chicken wing.

This is white and dark meat closer to the bone and can be seasoned to your desire.

How do you like your wings?

Note: A pound of chicken wings costs on average $2! 

Why Is The Cooking Method Smoking & Grilling On A Traeger?

To get the best out of the wings or any chicken recipe for that matter, we are going to be going through 2 stages. 

Smoking The Chicken Wings Low & Slow

The first stage is smoking the wings with indirect heat for a long time with a dry rub.

This ensures you don’t let your chicken wings dry or end up with a plate full of raw chicken wings.

 Not to mention the initial chicken rub adds seasoning. 

Grilling The Chicken Wings Hot & Fast

The second stage is to apply high heat with a sauce to add extra flavor and char. 

The heat level also helps develop crispier wings.

Chicken Wings – What You Need To Know

Now is the time to get some questions out of the way so we can move on to the delicious cooked wings with crispy skin.

What Wood Should You Use For Smoked Wings?

Our favorite type of wood to use for chicken wings is cherrywood or applewood

You can use pecan or hickory however they do have a stronger flavor.

See our favorite types of wood to use for chicken wings here.

How To Prep The Chicken Wings 

The prep for quality chicken wings is minimal. 

Buy free-range and already cut into bit-size pieces of a similar size.

Buy local and fresh which is the ground base for any delicious recipe!

Be extra careful when handling.

Make sure you remember everything contaminated and wash with warm soapy water.

Do I Brine The Chicken Wings?

Yes! Wet brining chicken wings is recommended

Brining is mixing a salt solution with water and submerging for some time.

Salt penetrates the protein and helps them keep moisture while helping develop flavor. 

should-you-brine-chicken-wings

What Can I Season The Wings With?

This is the part for complete creative control. 

The Traeger chicken rub is a good place to start but don’t be dismayed to experiment.

Think of spicy and earth flavors and a sweet sauce full of aromatics.

I love fermented and vinegar hot sauce because I’m a traditionalist.

Whatever sauce of choice you go for, give it respect!

Note: You should always apply the rub to the wings before cooking.

What Temperature Should I Be Grilling The Wings On A Traeger?

Your Traeger grill should be set to 250°F to smoke the chicken wings. That is the first stage of cooking.

Then increase the temperature to 400°F for the grilling stage.

What Internal Temperature Should My Chicken Wings Be?

Your chicken wings should be 165°F to be considered done.

Make sure you are using a digital thermometer to monitor this. 

What Is The General Cooking Time For Chicken Wings?

The whole cooking process including smoking wings and grilling will take 90 minutes.

What If I Don’t Have A Traeger Pellet Grill?

What if you don’t have a fancy pellet smoker?

A charcoal smoker, gas grill, or charcoal grill works.

These are not as efficient or able to do the initial smoking process.

One thing that works well is an air fryer!

If you have a Pit Boss smoker, here is a chicken wing recipe you can use.

my airfryer on the kitchen bench

Our Method For Grilled On A Traeger Pellet Grill 

What You Need for Smoked Wings

  • 5 chicken wings per person
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Brine Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt to 1 cup of water
  • Dash of cider vinegar
  • Pinch of whole peppercorns
  • Bay leaf

Dry Spice Ingredients For Rub (choose your ratios)

  • Kosher Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Hot chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tsp Italian seasoning mix
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp ground pimento 

Tip: Basic seasoning ingredients go well with chicken. A secret ingredient I found to bring it together is pimento!

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients

  • 150g of unsalted butter per serving 
  • 50g of Redhot sauce per serving
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Equipment You Need

  • Traeger Wood pellet grill
  • Pellets for smoking (we used maple)
  • Meat probe
  • Mixing bowls
  • Paper towel
  • Sharp knife
  • Saucepan
  • BBQ Brush

Preparing The Brine Solution

  • Mix the brine using cold water and using the ratio to the weight of your wings.
  • Fully submerge your wings in the solution.
  • Leave this in your refrigerator before cooking for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready, wipe down with a paper towel and leave to air dry for 30 mins.
  • Add it to your Traeger smoker after you’ve done the seasoning.

Preparing The Dry Seasoning Rub

  • Mix all the ingredients into a bowl and stir so you have even ratios.

Preparing The Buffalo Hot Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and take off the heat.
  • Allow natural cooling.

Traeger Smoked & Grilled Chicken Wings With Buffalo Wing Sauce

Chicken wings are a hit at every cookout, get together, and family meal!

Just make sure you don’t forget the wingsauce!

Our favorite is a hot buffalo wings sauce with plenty of butter and cayenne pepper.

Get ready for some finger-licking!

Step 1: Brine The Chicken Wings (4 hours +)

  • Make the wet brine as per the instructions above.
  • Leave for 4 hours minimum until ready.

Step 2: Preparing The Chicken & Applying The Spice Rub (5-8 minutes)

  • Remove the tips and pat dry with paper towels to get ready for seasoning
  • Apply the oil once removed from the brine and dried. 
  • Mix your dry seasonings and apply liberally. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.

Step 3: Smoking The Chicken Wings (45-60 Minutes)

  • Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill to a temperature of 375°F. 
  • Wait for your pellet grill to come to temperature. 
  • Put the seasoned wings directly on the grill grate in the coolest part of the grill.
  • Insert the temperature probe and check while cooking.
  • After 20 minutes flip the wings and cook for another 18 minutes
  • Wait until the internal temperature is 155F which is 10F below.

Step 4: Making The Buffalo Sauce 

  • Make the Buffalo hot sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl

Step 5: Grilling The Chicken Wings With Sauce

  • Ramp up the temperature of your Traeger to 400F.
  • Brush down the sauce every 10 mins.
  • Turn at around 15 mins to reveal char marks and crisp skin. 
  • Remove the wings from the grill and place them in a bowl. Toss the wings in the Buffalo sauce. 
  • Take off the grill and serve hot with sour cream. 

Traeger Smoked and Grilled Chicken Wings

These juicy chicken wings are perfect for any occasion and super simple to cook on your Traeger grill!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Brining Time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, grill
Servings: 4 serves
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 8

Equipment

  • Traeger Wood pellet grill
  • Pellets for smoking (we used maple)
  • Meat probe
  • Mixing bowls
  • Paper towel
  • Sharp knife
  • Saucepan
  • BBQ brush

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken wings per person
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Brine Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt to 1 cup of water
  • Dash of cider vinegar
  • Pinch of whole peppercorns
  • Bay leaf

Dry Spice Ingredients For Rub (choose your ratios)

  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Hot chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Ground pimento

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients

  • 150 g unsalted butter per serving 
  • 50 g Redhot sauce per serving
  • 1 tbso Cayenne pepper

Instructions

Preparing The Brine Solution

  • Mix the brine using cold water and using the ratio to the weight of your wings.
  • Fully submerge your wings in the solution.
  • Leave this in your refrigerator before cooking for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready, wipe down with a paper towel and leave to air dry for 30 mins.
  • Add it to your Traeger smoker after you’ve done the seasoning.

Preparing The Dry Seasoning Rub

  • Mix all the ingredients into a bowl and stir so you have even ratios.

Preparing The Buffalo Hot Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and take off the heat.
  • Allow natural cooling.

Step 1: Brine The Chicken Wings (4 hours +)

  • Make the wet brine as per the instructions above.
  • Leave for 4 hours minimum until ready.

Step 2: Preparing The Chicken & Applying The Spice Rub (5-8 minutes)

  • Remove the tips and pat dry with paper towels to get ready for seasoning
  • Apply the oil once removed from the brine and dried. 
  • Mix your dry seasonings and apply liberally.
  • Let stand for at least 20 minutes.

Step 3: Smoking The Chicken Wings (45-60 Minutes)

  • Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill to a temperature of 375°F. 
  • Wait for your pellet grill to come to temperature. 
  • Put the seasoned wings directly on the grill grate in the coolest part of the grill.
  • Insert the temperature probe and check while cooking.
  • After 20 minutes flip the wings and cook for another 18 minutes
  • Wait until the internal temperature is 155F which is 10F below.

Step 4: Making The Buffalo Sauce 

  • Make the Buffalo hot sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl

Step 5: Grilling The Chicken Wings With Sauce

  • Ramp up the temperature of your Traeger to 400F.
  • Brush down the sauce every 10 mins.
  • Turn at around 15 mins to reveal char marks and crisp skin. 
  • Remove the wings from the grill and place them in a bowl. Toss the wings in the Buffalo sauce. 
  • Take off the grill and serve hot with sour cream. 

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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