These wings are loaded with brined flavor, kissed with smoke, then deep-fried to golden brown deliciousness. Toss wings immediately with your favorite sauce as soon as they come out of the deep-fryer.


Recipe Summary

56 mins
1 day 10 mins
1 day 2 hrs 21 mins
1 hr 15 mins
24 chicken wings


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine peppercorns, coriander, mustard, fennel, and cumin in a mortar and pestle; crush until fragrant and just broken.

  • Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add peppercorn-seed mixture, onion, garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until flavors meld, about 25 minutes. Cool brine, about 10 minutes.

  • Pour 2 cups brine into a large 10-quart plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Add chicken wings, lemon zest and juice, and lime zest and juice.

  • Drop ice into the pot with the remaining brine to cool it down. Pour into the plastic container. Add enough apple juice to cover the wings. Stir well and seal container; refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

  • Preheat smoker to 275 to 300 degrees F (135 to 150 degrees C) according to manufacturer's directions.

  • Rinse wings under cold tap water; dry, unstacked, on wire racks. Place the racks into the smoker. Add applewood chips according to manufacturer's directions. Smoke until chicken develops a smoky flavor but is not fully cooked, about 25 minutes. Transfer wings to a tray and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry wings, 8 to 10 at a time, until golden brown and crispy, 60 to 90 seconds.

Cook's Notes:

Do not use mesquite to smoke as it's too pungent and will get bitter in this application.

Make sure the deep-frying oil does not exceed 370 degrees F (188 degrees C).

Editor's Notes:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

274 calories; protein 9.3g; carbohydrates 34.8g; fat 12.3g; cholesterol 23.8mg; sodium 35.3mg. Full Nutrition