Smoked Turkey Wings are a great way to enjoy wings in a whole new way! Forget about baking a turkey this holiday season, and cook up some turkey wings in your pellet grill or smoker instead. Get ready - it just might become a new family meal tradition.
Turkey is a popular protein and meat to cook up, especially during the holidays. Most tables during Thanksgiving and Christmas have turkey as the main dish option, and then you'll typically find other pairings of cranberry relish or cranberry sauce, potatoes, rolls, and more.
This year, why not try something new? This turkey wings recipe proves that chicken wings can go on the back burner to let them have their time to shine.
Speaking of great turkey recipes, be sure to check out my Traeger Turkey. It's a great way to smoke a turkey for everyone to enjoy.
Turkey wings - Even though they look like chicken wings, I promise they're turkey! You'll be able to tell the difference by the size of them. Buy them ready to grill right at the store.
Garlic powder - This is a staple in my house. If you ever run out you can sub in garlic salt, just omit or cut back on the added salt in the recipe.
Onion powder - Excellent to pair with the paprika and garlic.
Smoked paprika - You could also use regular paprika as well.
Brown sugar - For a pop of sweetness and to help get that golden brown coloring.
Salt - To taste. Along with black pepper, you can always just season to your taste.
How to make this Smoked Turkey Wings recipe
Forget about chicken drumsticks and turkey legs, and focus on cooking smoked wings instead!
Step One: Remove turkey wings from the packaging. Pat dry with a paper towel. Then using a sharp knife, separate the wing tips from the wingette. We will smoke the wing tips and later use them to make delicious turkey soup.
Step Two: Season the wings with the dry rub ingredients. Place the wings directly on the grate in your preheated smoker. Smoke for about an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F.
Step Three: Then you can increase the heat in the smoker or move to your grill and continue to cook until 165° internal temp. While they are grilling, you can mop them with BBQ sauce.
Step Four: Remove from the grill and serve.
Use a different barbecue sauce - Change up the flavor to change the taste. Maple bbq sauce goes really well with these. You can even mix cranberry sauce into barbecue sauce at a 1:1 ratio for a unique flavor. Or skip the bbq and serve with some classic Gluten-Free Gravy.
Herbs - Add crushed thyme, rosemary, or sage to the dry rub.
Wood chips - If you want to change the flavor when you smoke the wings, use various types of wood in your grill. Cherry, apple, pecan, oak, and hickory are all great wood chips to use.
Gravy - If you love having gravy with your turkey you can certainly have it with these wings. We love this gravy recipe.
Is smoked meat tender?
It is. These wings are really soft and tender, and juicy. You do need to make sure that you're paying attention to the cooking time so that you don't overcook them because then they will dry out.
But as long as you're using your meat thermometer, the turkey meat should be juicy and delicious.
How do I store leftover wings?
Make sure to let the wings cool down all the way and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will keep them ready to eat when you're ready for leftovers.
To reheat, low and slow in the oven is fine, or even a quick pop of heat in the microwave is good as well. Reheating the wings will take away a bit of the crunchy outer skin texture, but it will still give you that delicious smoky flavor.
Can I cook these wings on a gas grill?
You bet. You can use any type of grilling method that you want. Ultimately, you just have to be sure that you cook the wings all the way through, which can be accomplished on a gas grill, pellet grill, and more.
How can I use leftover turkey meat?
If you find that you have leftovers, but don't really want wings again, don't stress. Simply take the turkey meat off the bone, chop it up, and store it in a container.
I've used leftover turkey meat to make a turkey sandwich with mayo the next day and even added some smoked turkey meat to my omelet for breakfast, too.
In the worst-case scenario, you can always freeze it for later. (You can freeze the wings for later, as well!
What pairs well with turkey?
Literally anything. You can make a simple side salad or whip up a hearty casserole like this Cornbread Casserole as well. Whatever foods that you typically like to eat with wings will pair perfectly well with this simple dish.
You can also serve these wings as an appetizer and not have to pair them with anything. We love making a fall spread with these and our Cranberry Jalapeno Dip.
Smoked Turkey Wings
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 3-3.5 lb turkey wings (about 4 wings)
Dry Rub Ingredients
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Remove turkey wings from the packaging. Pat dry with a paper towel. Then using a sharp knife, separate the wing tips from the wingette. We will smoke the wing tips and later use them to make delicious turkey soup.
- Season the wings with the dry rub ingredients. Place the wings directly on the grate in your preheated smoker. Smoke for about an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F.
- Then you can increase the heat in the smoker or move to your grill and continue to cook until 165° internal temp. While they are grilling you can mop them with BBQ sauce.
- Remove from the grill and serve.