Smoked Chicken Wings with Cumin BBQ Dry Rub

Warning: Smoking is highly addictive. You may become hooked, even after just one time. Proceed at your own risk.

There is something about an open fire and the smell of smoke that people everywhere respond to at an elemental level. Capturing this flavor and feeling is what smoking is all about and it’s not as complicated as you might think. Here is my favorite recipe for smoked chicken wings.

Smoked Chicken Wings with BBQ Cumin Rub

Total time: 2 hours


14-16 Chicken Wings


4 Cups Water

1/2 Cup Salt

1/2 Cup Sugar

Dry Rub:

3 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt

1 1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Cumin

1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1/4 tsp cayenne


Start a hardwood fire on one side of your grill and let it burn down to coals or fire up your electric smoker.

Meanwhile, whisk together water, salt and sugar until completely dissolved. Soak wings in brine for at least 30 minutes. This will help them retain moisture diring the smoking process.

Combine all ingredients for dry rub and mix well.

Remove wings from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle wings with dry rub and toss to coat. Allow to sit another 30 minutes.

When fire has died down to coals (about one hour) or electric smoker is ready, place wings on grate opposite coals and close lid making sure vents are open.

After 45 minutes, check wings by inserting an instant read thermometer in the thickest part as close to the bone as possible. If the thermometer reads 190 F or above, remove wings and cool. If not, allow to smoke until wings reach 190 F.

Briefly allow to cool and then separate wing from drumette by cutting in half at the joint. Serve as is, drizzle with honey or toss in your favorite sauce.