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Spicy, sweet and funky. Grab your napkins.
You ever look in the fridge and think, “Oh yeah, let’s combine maple syrup with spicy wings for lunch”. Unfortunately, I don’t have an elaborate story for this recipe, that’s pretty much how it went. Call it creative quarantine cooking if you will. These maple sriracha chicken wings are in my top 3 wing recipes. Spicy, sweet, crunchy, funky, they just happen to hit every tastebud.
Recently I fell in love with the Sriracha line of spices from Spiceology. This Smoked Maple Sriracha Blend completely reminds me of breakfast, or Fall, or bacon, you choose. I haven’t made a lot of recipes yet using this blend, so I figure we’ll toss it on some wings. What could go wrong?
Building flavors together
Absolutely nothing if you were wondering. My plan was to dry-brine my wings for a couple hours so I could throw them in the smoker around lunchtime. I was just going to stop there, enjoy the wings. As I am pulling the wings out of the fridge I notice my delicious bottle of maple syrup, so I grab that. I’m not a “sweets” person when it comes to my food, especially BBQ, so admitting this is a bit weird for me.
Devouring a pile of cooked chicken wings isn’t enough. Adding a crunchy element helps elevate the dish and adds more layers of flavor. Maple and pecan seemed to make the most sense, so I quickly toasted a few in the pan. This started to feel like dessert wings, despite the boost from sriracha heat. Blue cheese was a completely random choice that just made sense: the bright, funky flavors to contrast the sweet heat. Blue cheese and buffalo pair well for this same reason, so let’s try it here!
Changing the cooking process
These maple sriracha chicken wings are meant for the smoker. Want to make these in the oven? This time, you’ll miss out BIG TIME if you choose to go that route. Grilling them would be acceptable, but the maple sriracha combination is begging for that bacon-flavor of low and slow smoke. Trust me.
The smoke flavor is so key that my methods deviate from the Best Buffalo Wings recipe, just to make sure we get extra smoke. Let’s talk about the steps:
Steps for Smoked Maple Sriracha Wings
- Seasoning the wings. I always recommend to dry-brine chicken wings when possible, which will draw out some excess moisture and give you crispier skin. Give it at least 1 hour, no more than 4 is needed.
- Smoke the wings low, then finish higher. Smoking with lump charcoal will usually give you the smoker flavor you’re seeking, but if you’re using a pellet grill I recommend smoking at a lower setting, such as 225°F for 45 minutes and finishing at 350°F to crisp up the skin at the end.
- Toss with syrup. Keeping it simple, once the wings are at least 175°F (higher temp for wings than breasts) toss immediately with some high-quality maple syrup, adding just a little at a time. You want it to lightly coat the outside, not swim in syrup.
- Top with the good stuff. Add toasted pecans and blue cheese at your discretion. I promise that this works, and it’s incredible.
Want to see a recipe using your favorite seasoning?
Hope you enjoy this recipe and creativity using this bottled seasoning from Spiceology. Please drop me a line if you’d like me to review a rub/seasoning, or would like to see more recipes ideas using a specific one you’re interested in: