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The secret to getting crispy skin on wings


wilburpan
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My wife asked me to make wings. I hadn’t tried that yet on Smaug, and it’s been a little while since I was able to grill anything. I’ve been somewhat out of commission since the weekend after New Years because of my shoulder locking up on me. I think it’s a frozen joint that can be traced back to a shoulder injury I got in college from baseball. In any case, I was barely able to lift my right arm, which gets in the way of opening and closing the lid. Two weeks of physical therapy later, and I’m in much better shape. I’m still not 100%, but my arm moves enough so that I can do some cooking.

 

I used this recipe for cooking wings from Serious Eats. Basically, I mixed up 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking powder (not baking soda), and tossed 3 lbs. of wings with it until it was all absorbed by the wing pieces. I put them in a baking dish and let them sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Then they went into Smaug.

 

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I cooked them indirect at 400ºF for about 45 minutes, flipping the wings about halfway through. They came out great. The skin was nice and crispy, and not greasy at all.

 

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We had a variety of sauces to try with the wings, since we all have different preferences in terms of how spicy we like our wings. I used Buffalo Wild Wings medium sauce. My wife and kids had the Buffalo Wild Wings honey BBQ sauce.

 

There were two things that helped make the skins so crispy. The first was the baking powder/salt mix. This has the effect of raising the pH, which improves the browning process. The second was the time sitting in the refrigerator. This allowed the wing pieces to dry out, which helps with making the skin nice and crispy as it cooks. This is the same reason I hung a duck in my backyard before cooking it. In fact, next time I cook a whole bird, I’m going to try the baking powder trick.

 

In any case, I can say that this was easily the best batch of wings I have ever made. Even better, my wife said the same thing.  ^_^

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Wilbur - that cook is BANK! Beautifully done! Congrats and kudos to you and Smaug.

Bum shoulder, huh? Been there and done that. Have you tried some PT? That works for most frozen shoulders. If not ... well, I'm sure you know some good cutters.

Hey, baseball in college? What position did you play? Dadgummit Wilbur; is there no end to your talents!?

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Leaving chicken uncovered in the fridge overnight yields really crispy results. That's the #1 tip for crispy skin off a kamado. 

 

That does help, but the addition of the baking powder took that to another level entirely.

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