Pumpkin Spice Chicken Wings

Seasonal beer with pumpkin spice chicken wings off the grill.

Get your savory tastebuds ready for the Pumpkin Spice Chicken Wings. These are spicy and loaded with flavor, cooked right over the coals or in your smoker. Which beer will you drink with these?

Pumpkin spice chicken wings, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds

These pumpkin spice chile wings came out of nowhere. Here I am watching people buy pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice lattes & pumpkin spice soap. Obviously, I’m not going to give in to the trend that we all dread but secretly love. So I go out and buy a jar of pumpkin spice.

American 5-Spice

Chicken wings are my favorite blank palette for experimenting with new flavor combinations. Not only can you use any spices but you can easily add second (or third) layers of flavor with sauces to really maximize each bite. The ingredients in pumpkin spice aren’t that foreign: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. There are many variations of this, adding or subtracting one of the ingredients.

Reading them in a list isn’t so scary though! These are warming spices you’d see in Indian food, Mexican food, and even just traditional American baking. I bet you if I posted a recipe for a grilled, spiced pork chop and used those spices you wouldn’t think twice.

Seasonal beer with pumpkin spice chicken wings off the grill.

These pumpkin spice chicken wings were paired with a sweet, spicy hot sauce and roasted pumpkin seeds. You know I’m all about adding different textures with chicken wings, nothing boring on Chiles and Smoke. Grab the details below for this spicy and savory chicken wing recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Dry Rub

The base ingredients of this rub consist of flavors you’d see with a typical, spicy BBQ rub.

  • Paprika
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Mustard powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Chipotle powder
  • Kosher Salt

Combine these ingredients together and you’re ready to go. Making your own rub is a great way to customize the flavor profile depending on what you like. I recommend using any chile powder in lieu of chipotle powder if you don’t have it.

Chicken wings seasoned and ready for the grill

Prepping Chicken Wings for the Grill

  • Pat them dry with a paper towel. Moisture is the enemy here.
  • Season them ahead of time, at least 30 minutes prior. If you can season them and leave them uncovered in the fridge overnight, even better. You’ll have crispier skin.
  • Skip the oil. Some folks use oil as a binder which is unnecessary. It’s a barrier for the salt and spices to draw out the moisture naturally and tends to gum up the spices in the fridge when it’s seasoned.

Smoking or Grilling

Use either direct or indirect grilling. These flavors benefit greatly from the amazing process of using wood or charcoal. Cooking them indirect allows you to have that added smoke flavor, which I recommend. Smoke for about 45 minutes at 250F indirect, and then finish them directly over high heat around 425F. This gives you both the smoky flavors and amazing char that you’d expect with grilled chicken wings.

Grilled chicken wings in the smoker.

Spicy Sauce with Pumpkin Spice

Let’s not forget the sauce. It’s a power move that sets apart ordinary pumpkin spice chicken wings from the rest.

OK maybe it’s not quite that dramatic, but it’s dang tasty.

Prepare it while you’re smoking the wings in the first phase. You simply need to add these ingredients together in a small saucepot and warm on med-low heat for a few minutes until it comes together.

Sauce Ingredients

You can certainly use a different hot sauce if you’d prefer. I’ve tested it with a few but Frank’s is just a classic for grilled chicken wings.

We topped our Pumpkin Spice Chicken Wings with fresh-roasted pumpkin seeds. Take the raw, unsalted seeds and toast them in a pan on med-low heat. Shake pretty often to make sure the seeds don’t burn. Just as they start to brown turn off the heat and keep shaking them. There’s a short window between being toasty and burnt.

More Chicken Wing Recipes to Love

Smoked and grilled spicy wings
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Pumpkin spice chicken wings, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Spice Chicken Wings

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Get your savory tastebuds ready for the Pumpkin Spice Chicken Wings. These are spicy and loaded with flavor, cooked right over the coals or in your smoker.

  • Total Time: 100
  • Yield: 24 people 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Pumpkin Spice BBQ Rub

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder

Sauce

Instructions

  1. Separate the wings and pat them dry. This will ensure that they are super crispy.
  2. Combine the spices for the rub, then apply to the wings. Season them at least 30 minutes ahead of time, up to overnight in the fridge, uncovered. Remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook them.
  3. Preheat your smoker to 250°F. If using a grill, preheat for indirect cooking.
  4. Place the wings on the grill and cook them for 45 minutes undisturbed.
  5. Add the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan on med-low heat, stirring to melt together. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  6. After 45 minutes, crank up the grill to 425°F. Let the wings grill at high heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side, flipping as needed to prevent charring. Glaze the wings lightly with some of the sauce as you flip them.
  7. Grill until at least 175°F with an instant-read thermometer when inserted into the thickest portion of each piece.
  8. Remove the cooked wings from the grill and toss in a bowl with the rest of the sauce. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds as an option.

Notes

Use any type of chile powder instead of chipotle if you don’t have it.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Category: Chicken & Poultry
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Chicken Wings
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