Chicken Winged-Lemon Pepper

Really Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

  • Servings: 4-5
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For sportsball events and/or when you’re a bit hungover from New Year’s


  • 4 pounds of whole chicken wings
  • 2+ ounces of lemon pepper
  • 1 four-ounce wood chunk of your choice
  • 1 chimney of charcoal
  • (Optional) barbecue sauce or lemon


  1. Using a sturdy knife, kitchen shears or cleaver, divide chicken wings into the wing, tip and drumette.
  2. Dry chicken with paper towels and season with a very large amount of lemon pepper in a large tupperware.
  3. Set up indirect heat and pre-heat grill to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool side. Add wood chunk.
  4. Cook chicken on indirect heat until around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. (Optional) Use a brush to slather wings with barbecue sauce on both sides.
  6. Sear wings on both sides on direct heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. I told you this was easy.

Chicken wings are my usual go to when I drunkenly promise my friends on New Year’s Eve  to make lunch the next day. They’re pretty cheap and don’t require me to stand outside for hours.

Turns out I’m really bad at puzzles.

Getting the whole chicken wing is usually cheaper than getting pre-cut ones. It’s not too hard to cut them yourself — just use a strong and sharp knife or kitchen shears. I got a bit excited and used a ceramic knife that I got for Christmas — don’t do that because bones can chip these kinds of knives (mine was fine). Aim for your generic chicken wing-shape. I threw away the tips because they’ll likely burn due to of their small size — they can be used to make chicken broth though.

There have been worse hangover cures, I guess.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really like lemon pepper. This allows me to cook chicken on shorter notice without having to marinate. Go a little bit hard on the lemon pepper for this one. Like really, really copious amounts. It’s easier to just keep sprinkling it on in a big tupperware container until everything looks yellow.

The next step is to add more lemon pepper.

This isn’t enough. I’m not even joking.

And more. I guarantee it still won’t be as salty as people’s reaction to Mariah Carey’s New Year’s performance.  (To be fair, you can use this recipe with any particular rub or marinade you prefer, just make sure you have enough.)

Chicken goes well with indirect heat — we can better control the internal temperature without incinerating the outside. I generally avoid using a water pan since it can make the skin though. For wood, I used oak, because that’s all I had on hand at the moment and, well, Texas. Try lighter fruit woods if you can.

#feet brings up some weird images on Instagram FYI.

Low and slow temperatures, or roughly 225-275 degrees, is a bit too slow for chicken. Poultry doesn’t have very much collagen or fat to render out, so it’s mostly pointless to cook that slow. I’ve found that cooking at 350 is low enough to keep the chicken from burning, and also gives enough time to add smoke flavor.

Once the wings got close to the safe temperature for chicken (160-165 degrees Fahrenheit), I seared the outsides for just a little bit to crisp the skin. A variation of the wings that I’ve done in the past involves brushing barbecue sauce over the wings before the sear — this caramelizes the sauce for a nice glaze.

Eat more chicken, I said. 

Unfortunately, I’m watching my figure so I skipped that step. But we all know how New Year’s resolutions go.


  1. Just wanted to swing by your digital real estate here, and thank you kindly for the follow of our humble meat blog. Means a lot. Likewise, nicely executed wings at your pit! Dare I say, they look perfect. Love the photos too. I do believe you’ve got the knack for it. Well done, sir.

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