We love our Big Green Egg. We also love wings. Give us a cold beer and a plate of wings and we couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately there aren’t too many Big Green Egg recipes out there that show you how to smoke them and not just grill them. We hope to set that straight.
This is actually a combination of 3 different recipes . . . the wings, the sauce, and our all purpose rub – which we use on everything we smoke.
Let’s start with the Rub.
We wish for the life of us we could remember where we found this recipe online so we could give them some credit. We literally use it on every piece of meat we smoke on the Big Green Egg. Whether it’s a whole chicken, a butt, a shoulder, or chicken wings, this simple rub never gets old for us. It is pretty straight forward and probably no different than most homemade rubs but it is our go-to base for everything we do on the Big Green Egg.
This makes about a cup so you’ll have plenty left over for other smokes. Just get you an old spice jar and put the leftovers in there. If you want enough just for the wings, you only need 1/4 to 1/2 of what this will make so just do the math accordingly.
The Rub Ingredients
1/4 cup Paprika
1/8 cup Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1-2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
1-2 tablespoons Onion Powder
1 tablespoon or more Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup Coarse Salt
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
The Rub Directions
Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle/rub onto the wings. On bigger cuts of meat we apply a little French’s Yellow Mustard before rubbing it in. But on these wings we just brush them lightly with olive oil prior to sprinkling some rub on them. The key flavors for us on wings are the paprika and brown sugar so don’t skimp on those.
In terms of temperature and time, we took MikeG’s from the Big Green Egg forum’s advice and directions as a jumping off point. His recommendation is to set the Big Green Egg up for 325 degrees indirect cooking. If you’re new to indirect smoking on the Big Green Egg, make sure you cover your place setter with foil as it will save you tons of time cleaning up when you’re done. While MikeG recommended 325, I dropped a few degrees lower in the 300-310 range because I wanted to put mine back on after we applied the wing sauce to char them a bit and finish out the cooking (see below for more details).
Cook them like this for about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour hour and a half. At about the hour mark you should start hearing the fat drip out of the wings and sizzling down on the aluminum foil. This will last for about 10-15 minutes. When you quit hearing the fat drip go ahead and pull them out and toss them in hot sauce. See the recipe below. Once they’re thoroughly coated in hot sauce, we return them to the Big Green Egg for about 10-15 minutes with the lid opened. If we are feeling adventurous and want to risk burning ourselves, we’ll take off the place setter and cook them for these last 10-15 minutes like we would if we were on a grill just so we can get some flame on them. If we are lazy (95% of the time) we just leave the lid opened and let the heat rise from the circulating oxygen on the Big Green Egg and this is usually enough that some flames will come up around the sides of the place setter and give them just enough char for our tastes.
So let’s talk about the hot sauce. Fortunately we do remember where we got this recipe from . . . Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce Recipe and clicked on the first link. Normally we avoid Food.com recipes like the plague. But this recipe looked good enough when we first started looking and was easy enough that we figured we would give it a try. Turns out we liked it so much that we haven’t ever tried anything new. We have made some slight modifications like adding more Frank’s and adding cayenne pepper. But for the sake of not making it confusing the recipe and directions are below. Warning, this is a pretty mild of a sauce. Honestly we got more heat from my light dusting and sprinkling of the dry rub than we did from the sauce. But it’s got great flavor and the ancho chili powder sets it off. We usually double or triple what it calls for on this recipe. But my suggestion is to start with the base and make sure you like it and then play around with it until you find what works for you.
The sauce only takes about 10-15 minutes to make so we start working in it once we hear the fat start to drip off the wings and onto the foil place setter.
The Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup frank’s hot sauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
The Sauce Directions
In a pan over low heat, melt the butter. You can allow it to brown slightly if you like, it’s up to you (slightly browning it gives it a nice flavor), but be careful that it doesn’t brown too much or it will burn.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together well.
Simmer for only 3-5 minutes, whisking occasionally – if you do it for longer then the garlic powder will begin to cook and the sauce will separate a bit. Do not heat it for long. As with any non-commercial butter/hotsauce sauce, the butter *will* separate a bit, that’s normal. But it gets the worse the longer and hotter you heat it.
On the ancho chile powder: ancho is pretty mild, and the main flavor point you’re looking for is smokiness. If you don’t have ancho chile powder, you shouldn’t substitute it with cayenne or regular chile powder because it won’t taste the same. Cayenne will add a lot of heat, as will regular chile powder, and there’s plenty of heat already in the Frank’s Hot Sauce. If you don’t have ancho, you can try smoked spanish paprika.
Another option for the sauce that we do regular is Honey Hot. For this simply mix 2 parts honey to 1 parts of your hot sauce and you’ve got a really nice Honey Hot glaze.