Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wood Fire Roasted Chicken Wings

The most necessary ingredient for my cook tonight was salt. Lots of salt.

No, it wasn't for the wings....

I had to salt my deck just to get out to our Big Green Eggs today.

An ice storm hit Knoxville about 3am this morning creating a real mess across the city. Even Y-12, the facility that houses the fuel for the U.S. nuclear weapons opened 4 hours late this morning! The top of our deck was solid ice, even the spots under the awning.

Even after trying to salt and shovel off the excess, you can still see ice on the deck behind my feet in this picture late this afternoon. (Excuse the expression, it's what you get when an 11 y/o calls your name when you are busy and then snaps a picture.)

But back to the wings. I've done hot wings several times on my blog and am pretty happy with my results. However, tonight I was trying something different. I was making BBQ wings.
  • I used Adam Perry Lang's technique & recipe for wings from BBQ25 (fantastic book that I won from Robert at White Trash BBQ)
  • I kept the wings whole instead of breaking them down into drummettes and wingettes.
When I do my wings whole, I like to flip the wing tips back like this:

My normal wing routine is what we call "30-20-10 wings" which is cooking the wings (already rubbed) @ 375f (indirect) for 30 minutes, flip. 20 minutes, toss in sauce. 10 minutes.

Adam's routine is using your favorite marinade or rub and then cooking indirect at 300f for an hour. Then toss them (literally) in a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, a little brown sugar, and green onions and finish them at 400f for 30 minutes. (You could try the same thing in your oven.)

I used 2 fist sized chunks of cherry wood for my smoke. The BBQ sauce I used was Carnivore Robust which is one of my new favorites. I bought two bottles at the Eggtoberfest and have really enjoyed the rich texture and spicy taste.

I served the wings with an easy saffron rice and roasted chickpeas.

Everyone thought the wings were smackalicious. The flavor was just about perfect, Lang's marinade and the Carnivore sauce delivered. The wings were something that 97.25% of people would devour and never have a second thought.

But the perfectionist in me would have liked just a bit more crispy texture in the skin. The next time, I'd either start with a dry rub (instead of a wet marinade AND a wet finishing sauce) or finish the wings over direct heat to get the sauce to "set" a little better.

But that is nit picking. These were damn good!

Today's question:
Today I had to salt the deck to get rid of the ice. Tell me about a time when weather directly affected how, what or when you were cooking dinner.


  1. Now that's dedication...I woulda just ordered a pizza! Definitely looks smackalicious though :)

  2. The only weather that has EVER impacted our ability to cook was a hurricane. Ever ate an MRE? They are delicious, when you are starving.

    The wings look wonderful, but then I am a wing kinda gal!

  3. Hey,

    Beautifully done chicken wings...:)


  4. Well it's good to know that the nuclear facility was on top of things! They'd really fare well in the event of a national crisis, don't you think? they'd only be...oh...four hours or so late. :P

    Those chicken wings sound delicious! And the color on them is just amazing.

  5. I always keep a frozen pizza on hand, though I honestly can't think of a time that weather impacted our food preparation-- the BH and I are used to driving in snow, so it rarely holds us back :) But the ice storm we got was nasty, wasn't it? It may not have affected our eating, but it definitely affected the time we got to work :) Wings look super, and I love the expression!

  6. Ok, those look absolutely delicious, Chris!! Can I come over next time you make these? yes, i know I could make them myself, but sometimes it's more fun to have someone else do it for you!
    I have to say, I'm fortunate enough where the worse thing that has happened to me when I've been trying to cook outdoors is a monsoon came up just as I was starting. Lots and lots of wind and heavy rain...

  7. I learned from "Cooking With the Neelys" that you should generously salt the uncooked chicken a few hours before any preparations because that makes the skin crispier when it's cooked. You probably knew that.

  8. Wow, this really turns my appetite on. I'd have to do them in the oven, but no matter.

  9. Two times come to mind. Also during a Hurricane aftermath (no electricity) put a turkey on the pit to cook overnight. When I remembered it,it was charred and bones. Also during a BBQ competition a cold front rolled in .Tents airborne,light towers falling and 10mph sideward rain and we didn't place in the top 10.

  10. I can't taste them, but based upon appearance, I believe I'd be in the 97.25%.

  11. Yah! I'm not the only one who lights my grill with a propane torch, lol!

    Wings look awesome!


  12. Being in SoCal, I can't say the weather was ever been bad enough to make me change my dinner plans. I guess if an earthquake cut off the gas, I would just end up grilling dinner.

    I was camping in New Mexico one summer, however, and a monstrous rainstorm hit right at dinner time. I put my little Coleman stove just outside my tent, crawled inside, and cooked dinner from inside the tent. My arms were soaked, but that little stove kept going even in the downpour.

  13. I love the "chicken half nelson" tip--that's a keeper! All apologies to the city of Buffalo, but slow-smoked chicken wings are the way to go.

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  15. Wow, this chicken looks ah-mazing! And I like your video.

  16. The weather affected my cooking dinner tonight because it was such a beautiful day we went up to the mountains to sled all day long! It was awesome.

    The chicken looks perfect, although I am with you, I like a nice crispy skin. Nicely done my friend.


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