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Smoked pastrami chicken wings will surprise you with a burst of flavor.

Smoked Pastrami Chicken Wings

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Kick your chicken game up a notch with Smoked Pastrami Chicken Wings – a blend of juicy chicken with the bold flavors of smoked pastrami.

  • Total Time: 2 Days
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x


  • 3 pounds of chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil


  • 2 quarts ice water ( 8 cups)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ¼ cup pickling spices
  • ½ cup coarse kosher salt
  • ½  cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Prague #1 curing salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves

Pastrami Seasonings

Use either of these recipes, depending on your flavor preference.

Traditional Pastrami

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Firecracker Pastrami

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru flakes
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Prepare the brine. Pour 2 quarts of ice water into a large non-reactive container (plastic preferred). Boil 2 cups of water, and add the pickling spices, salt, sugar, and curing salt to a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the spices and whisk to dissolve the salts and sugar. Add this warm mix to the ice water, along with garlic and bay leaves. Stir to combine and cool to room temperature.
  2. Brine the wings for 48 hours. Make sure the brine has cooled to room temperature and add the wings into the brine. Place a plate or weight on top of them if they are floating. Set the container in the fridge for 48 hours to brine.
  3. Desalinate the wings. After the brining time, discard the liquid and rinse the wings gently with cool water to remove the spices. Soak the wings in fresh water for 2-4 hours, which removes excess salt.
  4. Prepare the pastrami spices. Grind up the peppercorns and seeds using a spice grinder, and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Season the wings. Remove the wings from the water and pat them dry with paper towels. Rub the wings with a little oil, and season generously with the pastrami spice blend. Allow them to rest for at least an hour.
  6. Smoke the chicken wings. Heat up the smoker to 250°F and smoke the wings for an hour. Crank up the temperature to 350°F and continue to cook, crisping up the skin. Remove the wings when they are around 180-185°F and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Brine Time: 48 Hours
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Chicken & Poultry
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Appetizer, Chicken Wings
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