So for Memorial Day I wanted to do something a
little different. We were going to a friends house and they just wanted
something we could snack on and nothing big. That is when I decided to
take a shot a making my Spicy Honey wings with a twist. Instead of
frying the wings I put a rub on them and smoked them first. This is very
simple and very fast...well in terms of smoking it is fast. I used
Cherry wood today but any good smoking wood like hickory, apple, or
pecan will do. I like the added flavor of fruit wood.
I bought a
4.5lb pack of fresh wings from the local Wal-Mart grocery store. They
were on sale for $5 and when you trimmed them up you had between 30 and
40 wings total. I like these better than the frozen drummets because
those have a ton of sodium in them and since I would be adding my own
spices I didn't want anything additional I don't need. Plus, for the
same price I get fresh? No contest.
I rub them down with a
special little seasoning. Drop them on the smoker (225 degrees) and away
we go for about three hours. You want them internally to be about 165,
but it is hard to measure so I just pull one apart and make sure the
juices are clear. They will be nice and smoky by no more than four
hours. Pull them off. Toss them in the Spicy Honey sauce and bake them
in the oven at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes. This makes the nice,
sticky and oh so good. A little heat and the sweet honey are a great
combo. Give it a try for your next weekend event. You can even do these
while smoking a butt, shoulder, or ribs if you like. That way you have
an appetizer ready before the meal.
Rub 1/4 Cup Paprika 1/4 Cup Ground Sweet Pepper (Green or Red Bell) Optional 1/4 Cup Black Pepper 1/4 Brown Sugar 1/4 Granulated Sugar 1TBS Garlic Powder 1 TBS Ground White Pepper 2 TSP Cayenne Pepper
Rubbed and ready to smoke!
Spicy Honey Sauce 1 Cup of Hot Sauce 1/2 Cup of Honey 1/8 Cup Molasses 1tbs Garlic Powder
*I thank Emeril for this sauce idea. His wings are good when fried. These are great when smoked.
There are also some smoked wings that I just flavored
with salt and pepper. Smoked and tossed with a combination of 1 bottle
Papa Johnny's BBQ Sauce and 1 Bottle Papa Johnny's Hot Sauce. See our
links to go to their website and find a store near you that carries
Smoked Turkey Breast
When my wife recently asked what I wanted to do with the turkey
breast she bought all I could think about was how much I love smoked
turkey and while it may be cold, I wanted to get back out to the smoker.
Due to time limits on my weekend I decided against a brine and went
with injecting this bird. I started with a cup of water and a cup of
honey then added a variety of spices that included onion powder, garlic
powder, pepper, salt, rosemary and cayenne pepper and chicken seasoning.
Brought it all to a boil and simmered until the spices were dissolved.
After adding a little ice and letting the mixture completely cool I then
liberally injected the breast on both sides and let it sit for about
two hours before smoking.
In the mean time I got the fire in
the smoker going. Now I figure forty five minutes to an hour a pound for
cooking and with this breast being 8lbs I got started early around
7a.m. and had my temperature up at 8a.m. After about an hour when I was
sure I had leveled off the temperature to a constant 225 I added the
breast and wood chunks that had been soaking for several hours. This
time I used a mix of cherry and peach wood for the main smoke. These
came off the trees in our yard that I had trimmed back for the upcoming
spring. I am a big fan of fruit wood and have even found a local source
for apple wood thanks to my buddy Darren. Fruit wood works well for
almost any meat you smoke and generally will not have a bitter flavor
that I think some of the traditional hardwoods add. If you are lucky
like me then you have a couple of fruit trees in your yard you can trim
annually and add to the wood collection. Now if you do this on a Sunday
like I did, you drop the bird on the smoker right before you go and you
can arrive at the early service smelling like smoke and make all the
good folks around you hungry. I always get a kick out of people sniffing
and looking around trying to figure out where that wonderful odor is
I smoked the breast for close to 4 hours. Some
argue that any longer is a waste of wood because all the smoke will be
absorbed by the meat within two to three hours. I am not sure about that
fact but since I was low on wood I went to straight charcoal at that
point to finish cooking. At this point I wrapped the turkey breast in
aluminum foil, inserted the cooking thermometer probe and waited...and
waited...and waited. At 3:30 the thermometer read 165 so off it came and
I let it rest for just over an hour. Some folks will tell you to cook
to 170 degrees but there will be close to a 10 degree carry over so at
165 degrees puts me safe without drying out the meat from over cooking.
After resting I trimmed the breast for serving. I decided that I would
let my family pick out their favorite sauce to add for a couple of
reasons. First, the kids like a sweeter BBQ sauce than I do and use more
of it. Second, I feel one of the best leftover meals ever is a turkey
breast sandwich with mayo and pepper. You can't have that if you drench
the bird after trimming.
So to recap. 1 1/2 hrs to prep smoker.
6 hours to cook. 1 hour to rest. 1 week thinking how wonderful smoked
turkey can be. Chalk another up to a Backyard BBQ Stud!