The wings are some of the juiciest and most tender parts of a turkey. Though there are plenty of ways that you can cook them, I prefer to smoke them over the grill. This adds a depth of flavor that you can’t get in the oven or pan. Plus, you can enjoy the great outdoors while you are preparing the meal. Here is a simple recipe that you can use to prepare delicious smoked turkey wings at home.
Gathering The Ingredients
The first thing that we need to do is get the right ingredients. Let’s start by talking about the turkey wings. You’ll need to get four to eight, depending on how big they are. As the turkey will be the star of the show, it’s important to make sure that you are getting high-quality wings.
You’ll need to make sure that you get something that is fresh. You can talk about this aspect with your butcher. By getting fresh wings, they will still be nice and juicy. This will allow you to get the best flavors from them. Turkey tends to be popular around the holidays but isn’t as widely consumed throughout the year.
Because of this, the butcher might not have any on display. But, if you ask, there might be some behind the counter. This site gives more information about turkey wings and how to find quality ones.
In addition to the turkey, you’ll need to gather a few other ingredients. These are:
- Bay leaves
- One tablespoon of thyme
- One onion
- One carrot
- Two celery stalks
- One to two cups of barbecue sauce.
Tenderize The Wings
The first thing we need to do is make sure that the wings are nice and tender. To do this, bring a pot of water to simmer. As you are doing this, you will need to be salting the wings. How much you add will depend on your tastes. Set the wings aside and wait for the pot to start to simmer.
While you are waiting, you can prepare the other ingredients. You’ll need to mince the onion. You can roughly chop the carrot and celery.
Once the water has started to simmer, it’s time to add the turkey wings. If the foam has started to form, scrape it off. Now it’s time to lower the temperature of the pot to a gentle simmer. After you’ve done this, add the vegetables.
Cover the pot and wait for the turkey wings to become tender. How long this will take often depends on the type of wings you will be using. If you have store-bought ones it will only take around 90 to 120 minutes.
However, if you shot the turkey yourself, it might be closer to three hours. Keep checking in every so often.
The turkey will be ready when it is tender. It shouldn’t be falling off the bone just yet.
Infuse With Barbecue Sauce
Once the meat is ready remove it from the pot and give it a few minutes to cool down. It doesn’t need to be stone-cold, but you should be able to handle it comfortably. Now it’s time to start coating them with barbecue sauce. You’ll be able to use any type of barbecue sauce that you want. It’s usually best to try experimenting with a few types of sauce, to see which one you like the most.
At this stage, you should be painting the wings in the sauce. Make sure the entire surface has been evenly coated. Then, put the turkey wings into the fridge. How long you want to leave the sauce on the wings is up to you. It’s recommended that you give it at least half an hour. However, if you want a richer flavor, you can leave the wings for a whole day.
Preheat The Smoker
The next thing you need to do is get the smoker going. For this recipe, it’s best to use a pellet smoker. There are plenty available for you to choose from. You’ll want to make sure that you are choosing something that will last for a long time. Make sure that you are picking something that is made from metal. It’s also important to get something that comes with a long warranty period.
It’s also important to think about the dimensions and weight, making sure that you will be able to get something that will fit in your backyard. If you want to know what to look for, check out this analysis of pellet smokers.
Once you’ve found the right grill for you, it’s time to start it up. You’ll need to put it on a heat of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 90 degrees Celsius. This will allow the pellets to start producing a lot of smoke. The type of pellets you use will influence the flavor of the wings. For this recipe, it doesn’t matter what type of smoke you have.
Though, it’s recommended that you experiment, to find the type of pellets that best suit your tastes.
Cooking The Wings
When the smoker is up to temperature, it’s time to add in the turkey wings. Before you do this, you should add a second coat of barbecue sauce. How long you want to keep them in the smoker will depend on your tastes. They will be ready to eat in around 30 minutes. But I recommend keeping them in a little longer, ensuring they develop the iconic smoky flavors.
You can leave them in the smoker for three to four hours if you want.
After the first hour in the smoker, it’s time to turn the wings. As you are doing this, add a third layer of barbecue sauce.
Before you take them out of the smoker, you should check that they are hot enough. To do this, you can use a thermometer. It’s recommended that you aim for an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 73.8 degrees Celsius.
Rest The Wings
Once you have finished cooking the wings, take them out of the smoker. It’s best to give them a ten-minute rest. This will allow the juices to resettle.
Serving The Turkey Wings
Now the only thing that remains is to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Before you serve it, you can add an additional layer of barbecue sauce. There are plenty of dishes that will pair perfectly with these smoked turkey wings.
First, you might want to consider adding a salad. This is a great way to add a healthy element to the meal. Plus, it’s easy to prepare.
Another good option is to add some smoked vegetables. These can also be prepared in the pellet smoker. This recipe will help you do this. Like cooking turkey wings, it will be easy to get the smoked vegetables ready.
To finish the meal, you can add some drinks. Something like sweet tea will pair well with the smoked flavors of the turkey wings. Alternatively, you can drink something alcoholic. Rum or whiskey might be a good choice.
Storing Turkey Wings
If you can’t finish the wings in one sitting, don’t worry. They will also be delicious to eat cold. All you need to do is put them into an air-tight container. If you do this, you should be able to store them for five days in the fridge.
Tips For Using A Pellet Smoker
If you are new to this type of cooking, there are some simple tips that you can use to help improve your confidence.
First, you’ll want to give yourself some time to experiment with the smoker. This is where something like turkey wings can be a good choice. It won’t take too long or be too expensive. But it will give you a good insight into how to work the grill properly. It’s a good idea to build your way up the bigger cuts of meat.
Secondly, you should keep an eye on the pellet disposal. You’ll have to make sure that the machine is always kept stocked with pellets. If the pellets run out, it can damage your smoker. As long as you set a reminder to check it every few hours, you should be fine.
Third, consider where you are using the pellet smoker. As the name suggests, it will make a lot of smoke. So, you don’t want to use it right next to your house or other important structures. It’s also important that you are cleaning the smoker.
This ensures that there isn’t a build-up of ashes. Make sure to vacuum out the chimney, to remove any ash that gets lodged up there. As long as you do this, it will last for a long time. Here are some other tips you can use to take care of your pellet smoker.
Turkey wings are always delicious. But, by smoking them, you’ll be able to get even more flavor from this food. The good news is that smoking doesn’t have to be difficult. So, fire up your pellet smoker and try to make these delicious barbecue wings today.