Hickory Smoked Wings Recipe


Inspired by a farm-to-table Tennessee restaurant’s special, “The Dirty Bird,” these slow-roasted chicken leg quarters are slathered in bacon-herb butter and served with Alabama White BBQ Sauce.

At Big Bob Gibson’s, home of the Alabama White Sauce, whole chickens are dipped in the sauce after removed from the smoker to yield crispy, golden wings.


Chicken Wings

14 whole chicken wings, 1.8 – 2.2 kg
2-3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
2 tablespoons apple juice

Dry Seasoning

2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, coarse
1 tablespoon Raw sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Bacon Butter

110 g unsalted butter, melted
4 strips bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dry Seasoning

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple juice
1 tablespoon Dry Seasoning
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Mix Dry Seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk or blend Alabama White Sauce ingredients and place in refrigerator.
  3. To prepare the wings, rinse and pat dry. Lightly oil and season them with a light-to-moderate coat of Dry Seasoning. If time allows, place wings on a refrigerator rack for at least an hour to air-dry the wings and allow the seasoning to act as a dry brine.
  4. Preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s® smoker. Place two small hickory splits (or several fist-sized hickory chunks) diagonally across the firebox grate or charcoal basket and top with natural, hardwood lump (preferably hickory). Use a couple of Oklahoma Joe’s® fire starters to light the coal in the corner where the wood is buried under coals. Leave the door open until the temperature reaches 95°C, then close the draft door and leave the intake vent completely open until the cooking temperature reaches 120°C at the grate level (about 150°C on the lid-mounted thermometer). Begin gradually closing the vent and allow the temperature to climb to 135°C at the grate level (160°C at the lid).
  5. Once your smoker stabilizes and smoke is light white or clear, place wings with their backs facing upward on a rack over a foil-lined, half-sheet pan. Place tray in smoker and cook for 90 minutes.
  6. After 90 minutes, remove tray from smoker. Flip wings with back-side face-down. Mix melted butter, Dry Seasoning and bacon and brush onto wings. Make sure bacon is on each wing.
  7. Place back on smoker and cook until the wings reach an internal temperature of 80°C, which should take another hour to hour-and-fifteen minutes.
  8. Take a half cup of the Alabama White Sauce and thin with two tablespoons of apple juice. Apply to the wings and place back in smoker for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  9. Drizzle wings with remaining Alabama White Sauce or serve on the side. Enjoy!

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