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13 Tips For Perfect Wings!

Posted by Susie B. on February 14, 2013

Brillant Wings. The ultimate crowd pleaser. Finger foods always seem to dominate at any gathering. I’d put money on the reason being that we can play with our food, get really messy, and lick our fingers without anybody giving us the “bad manners stink eye” You know the look, but you won’t be getting it from us. We say, the more sticky, messy, spicy fingers, the better! Bring on the wings!

Now that the Superbowl has passed and the crazy high demand for chicken wings has lessened, head to the supermarket and grab a few pounds to Traeger. Football season may be over, but it is almost time for NASCAR!! We first posted these tips on Facebook and got a great response, so here they are again!

A “Baker’s Dozen” of Traeger’s best tips for out of this world wings:

1) Buy fresh—not frozen—wings. In our experience, the frozen wings are nearly as expensive per pound as fresh, and often look abused. Wings have been more expensive this year due to high demand and the higher cost to the farmers for feed.

2) Use a sharp chef’s knife or cleaver to cut through the two cartilaginous joints that separate the “drumettes” from the “flats”. Discard the tips or use for stock.

3) If desired, brine the wings overnight in water or flat beer using a ratio of 1/4 cup of kosher salt to 1 quart of liquid. For better browning, also add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Dry the wings thoroughly before proceeding.

4) Combine 2 parts of your favorite rub with 1 part of cornstarch. Toss the wings with this mixture, then let sit on a wire cooling rack in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

5) Spray the wings with nonstick cooking spray or mist with oil.

6) Make sure your grill grate is scrupulously clean, then spray with nonstick cooking spray—preferably the high-temperature one formulated for grills—or oil with vegetable oil. Alternatively, arrange the wings on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

7) Smoke the wings for 30 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook until the wings are browned and cooked through, turning once, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Please note: There might be some pink at the bone, even when the wings are fully cooked, because of the chemical reaction between the smoke and the meat.

8) Smoking the wings from start to finish at low temperatures will result in rubbery skin. It is fine to smoke the wings for awhile as long as you finish them at a higher temperature. This renders the fat and makes the skin crispy.

9) Toss the wings with your preferred sauce, then return to the grill for a few minutes to “tighten” the sauce.

10) For even simpler wings, coat them lightly in oil mixed with your favorite seasonings or barbecue rub, then cook at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, turning once or twice. Toss in your favorite sauce.

11) If you love spicy wings, serve them with a palate-cooling sauce—something sweet or creamy. There is a reason spicy wings always come with Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing!

12) Take your inspiration for wings from the world’s many grilling cultures. Venture beyond Buffalo wings.

13) Always make more wings than you think you’ll need. People love them!

Use these great tips with any of the tried and tested repices available at TraegerGrills.com Might I recommend the Sweet Cajun Wings? Or my personal favorite, The Traeger Tingle Wings.

Have fun with your wings, Traeger Nation!