What Are Smoked Turkey Wings?

Angela Farrer
Angela Farrer
A turkey.
A turkey.

Smoked turkey wings are cooked drumsticks made in a smoker that provides controlled temperatures and smoke levels to achieve the savory and smokey flavor in the turkey pieces. Cooking turkey for this kind of recipe is usually done with flavored wood chips the give the smoked turkey wings their rich taste. Prior experience using a wood smoker can be helpful for this wing recipe, although turkey wings can be a good option for beginners. The best wing flavor generally comes from correct smoker and turkey preparation.

The type of meat smoker generally recommended for smoking turkey wings is called a water smoker. This device heats the soaked wood chips to the correct temperature to produce the right amount of smoke. Some beginning cooks may be initially surprised at the instructions to soak the wood chips in water before cooking the turkey wings, but this step is necessary for creating the right environment inside the smoker. Wood chips for smokers come in a variety of flavors such as hickory, apple wood, or mesquite. Several flavor varieties pair well with turkey, so home cooks trying a recipe for smoked turkey wings have usually have plenty of options.

Turkey wings can often be left in a water smoker for longer amounts of time than some other meats, giving them a richer taste. After the flavored wood chips are soaked in water for about one hour, the smoker is ready to be lit. Most smokers have a separate pan for the charcoal pieces and another for a shallow amount of water. It is a standard practice to save the water strained from the soaked wood chips to fill the smoker pan and infuse even more flavor into the smoked turkey wings. Both pans slide into their corresponding racks inside the smoker, and the turkey wings can be laid on a top rack similar to that of a barbeque grill.

Some cooks prefer to dry-rub spices and seasonings onto the turkey wings before placing them on the smoker rack, though this step is usually considered optional. The ideal temperature for cooking smoked turkey wings is around 225° F (about 107° C). Most smokers include a thermometer for the cook to easily keep track of the temperature. The turkey wings generally take about two hours to fully cook, and they usually need to be left to cool slightly once they are removed from the smoker.

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    • A turkey.
      A turkey.