smoked and air fried hot wings

Bad A$$ Mutha Cluckers (Dry-rub chicken wings)

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Dry-rub chicken wings

You know that it ALWAYS starts with a GOOD RUB!

Bad A$$ Mutha Cluckers


(Dry-rub chicken wings)


These crowd pleasing Dry-rub chicken wings recipe starts with a smokey spicy poultry rub featuring smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and chipotle.  You can heat it up at the end with some extra sauce or keep them naked.

This poultry rub is also very tasty on any cut of chicken, turkey, and is great in a smoked fish dip (soon to be published).

A Good Rub

For my b*tches  who ALWAYS ask for an aphrodesi’hack’, I recommend using a 2 Gringo’s Chupacabra Wing Rub or another poultry rub that has paprika, chili flakes or chili powder. You can see from this picture above, the house-made stuff looks a lot more appealing (and there aren’t any extra additives). Chupacbra is a good alternative.   I would recommend that you finish the rub the lazy ass way with a sprinkling of course black pepper or ground chipotle to give it that extra special finish.



My therapist thinks I'm too judgemental, that's because he's a F*cking idiot

Dress or Undress?

Before the rub can be applied, you need to dress (or is that undress?) the wings by cutting off the tips.  I also like to cut the skin at the joint between the flat and drum.  This allows for the post cook separation easier.

Liberally rub your wings with your bad ass smoking rub (or you lazy ass rub). No judgement.

Happy Time for

Dry-rub chicken wings

Then it’s time to let the wings get HAPPY.  Let the wing rest in the fridge for at least 30mins.  I like to let my rubs work for a good hour or two.  This allows all the flavors to penetrate … the skin.

These Dry-rub Chicken Wings take a little fore … thought.  Your next decision is how are you gonna cook these mutha cluckers.  This is a very important decision as it does change the flavor profile.  Your choice is using a grill / smoker or an air-fyer.  Using an oven hasn’t really resulted in any satisfaction. Then again, I’m partial to doing it outdoors.

Right before you put the cluckers on the grill / smoker / air-fryer, spray cooking oil on both sides so that the skin will crisp up.


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Using a Smoker or a Gas Grill

The Wood

While your cluckers are getting HAPPY, letting that rub penetrate, it’s time to soak the wood … chips for your gas grill.  Take a double handful of your wood … chips and put them in a bowl full of water.  Let them soak for at least an hour.  After you light your gas grill, transfer the wet wood to an aluminum pouch and poke some holes in it for the smoke to escape. Place off to the side of the grill. As the grill heats up the smoke will start, and THAT’S when you put the wings on.

When using a smoker or a gas grill, you should use fruit wood chips for your smokey element. Mesquite and Post Oak is a big NO, as it overpowers the meat.

We are Big Green Egg fans as it is THE BEST way to add that smokey deliciousness that truly satisfies.  Just add a couple of handfuls of the wood chips after you get your fire going.  If you don’t have the pleasure of using a BGE, you can still get satisfaction with your gas grill with some well prepared wood.

placing wings on a big green egg with grill grates

At our house, we take it up a notch by using grill grates, which helps with keeping the cluckers in indirect heat and giving that skin a little crunch. *Sorry for geeking out – smoking is a delicious science.

Using an Air-Fryer or Instapot
for Dry-rub Chicken Wings

cooking wings in a ninja aire-fryer

I’m fessin’ up – I’ve never used an Insta-pot. But I’ve been told it can air fry.  Please use the comment section below to educate me!

I do have a Ninja Air Fryer.  It was a life saver  when my oven went out and there was a delay on getting parts.

Even though I’m a fan of using the grill / smoker method because of the added smokey flavor profile, the air fryer hot wings were VERY satisfying.  Comments from friends and family were surrounded about  the skin bite and moisture.

With this method of cooking, I would recommend saucing it up with your favorite hot wing sauce or trying out our simple hot wing sauce.

smoked and air fried hot wings
5 from 13 votes

Bad A$$ Mutha Cluckers

Smoking hot wings with a smokey spicy poultry rub.
Prep Time30 minutes
Active Time40 minutes
Let the cluckers get happy2 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air-fried appetizer, grilled, smoked, wings
Yield: 32 wings
Calories: 525kcal
Author: Juanita Spoon



  • 3 lbs chicken wings
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • celery and carrot sticks
  • ranch and / or bleu cheese dressing

Rub those Mutha Cluckers

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper (add it in the rub or sprinkle it on the wings after the fact)

Sauce those Cluckers


Prep the Mutha Cluckers

  • Rinse and pat dry the wings
  • Trim off the wing tips and cut the skin at the joint between the flat and drum
    hot mutha cluckers prep work
  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the rub
  • Apply the rub generously to the wings
  • Let the wings rest for 1-2 hours in the fridge to get "happy"

Cook Method 1: Smoking the Mutha Cluckers

  • Setup up your smoker or grill for indirect heat
  • If using a gas grill, add your pouch of soaked wood chips to the grill
  • Bring smoker or grill to low heat - 250 to 275°
  • Cook until meat internal temp is at 165° (about 40 mins)

Cook Method 2: Sizzlin' Mutha Cluckers

  • Set air fryer to 400°
  • Cook for 10 mins
  • Flip the wings
  • Cook for another 8 - 10 mins

Getting Saucy

  • Combine Franks Red Hot and butter in a sauce pan
  • Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  • Serve on the side or toss your Mutha Cluckers in the sauce


Serving: 6wings | Calories: 525kcal

She shed Joke Magnet



What goes perfectly with Dry-rub

Chicken Wings?  

Check out this recipe for Smoked Ice from our friends at 


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5 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent wings! Making the rub from scratch is totally worth it, as is letting them rest in the fridge post rub. Both really add to the flavor. I haven’t made these wings on the grill yet, but they turned out great in the air fryer. Very moist and flavorful, definitely a hit!

5 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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