Adventures in Traegering: Smoked Thai Buffalo Wings

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There’s almost nothing better on this Earth than a good buffalo wing.  And there’s about one million different ways to make them.  But I am kind of a snob when it comes to wings.  BBQ sauce on a wing… not a wing.  Honey lemon?  Get out of town.  In my book there’s got to be some kind of hot sauce involved to make a good, honest-to-god buffalo wing.  Here’s the low down on the best wings I’ve made to date.

I started out with rubbing the wings with Traeger’s Thai Red Curry spice blend.  It really is my favorite Traeger spice, I even use it in ramen noodles.  While they call it Thai curry, it reminds me of the Indian food I love so much.

The next step is a good smoke.  I was also making some ribs, so I just smoked the wings on the top rack of my Traeger while the ribs smoked on the bottom rack.  I let them smoke the entire time my ribs smoked, 2 hours.

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When it was getting close to finishing time on the smoke, I started on the sauce.  A basic buffalo sauce is just hot sauce and butter, maybe some garlic or other spices added.  For this recipe I chose to use Sriracha sauce since I was already using a Thai rub.  The ratio of butter to hot sauce is based upon personal preference (and the heat of the hot sauce).  If you want it spicier, boost your sauce, if you want it milder, use more butter.  Since I married into a household of tater-munching bog-trotting Scotch-Irish-German mutts I dialed the heat down from my personal taste (otherwise they won’t eat it).

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One stick of butter (1/2 cup)
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1/4 cup Sriracha sauce

Melt your butter in a pot and add your sauce.  Mix.

image imageI, personally, like to boil the sauce down some, to make it thicker so that it sticks to the wings more instead of just dropping off.  Crank up the heat and stir.

imageOnce the smoking was done I put all the wings in a larger Weber drip pan.

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Rubbed and smoked, fresh off the grill and ready for the next step

Pour the sauce over the wings and use a brush to evenly coat your wings.

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Saucing the wingies
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Greased up and ready for action

Once my wings were in the pan and sauced I put foil over the top and sealed them in tight.  I put them back on the grill with the ribs.  I had the grill at 325 for the ribs, which had two hours to go.  I took the wings off after a half hour and let them sit in my mother-in-laws unused gas grill still wrapped in foil while the ribs finished.  This was so they would still stay warm while we waited for the ribs to finish.

Once the ribs were done I cranked the Traeger up to high and sauced my ribs and wings (there was sauce in the bottom of the pan), and put them directly on the grates.  This is to ‘set’ the sauce’.  Leave them in the grill on high for 5 minutes.

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‘Setting’ the sauce on high

Now you are done.  Let them cool and enjoy!

The long smoke and cooking them wrapped in foil (basically steaming them) made for the most tender wing I’ve ever bit into.  The meat was pulled back from the bone like all great BBQ should have.  The smoke flavor was out of this world and between the rub, the butter and the Sriracha (chilis, vinegar, sugar, garlic, etc) the end result was a perfect blend of savory, spicy and sweet.

Happy grilling.

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