What type of grill/smoker do you have? Big Green Egg: L, XL and Small. Also have Weber Smokey Joe 14” Portable and a KitchenAid Natural Gas Grill with GrillGrates.
What grills/smokers have you had in the past? Weber Kettle 22” and numerous propane grills in the past.
What is the favorite grill/smoker you’ve ever had and why? The BGE. I first got the small, but quickly realized I couldn’t cook for masses with it. So shortly after the XL joined. Many years later, the large joined the family. The gas and webers were essentially retired by Kamado cookers.
At what age did you start grilling/smoking meat? 20+ years but primarily on gas grills. Didn’t get into charcoal until about 10-11 years ago.
What do you enjoy the most about grilling/smoking? The simplicity. Little efforts required for great yields. Often it’s just salt, spices and fire. Dry rubs and dry brines simplify the process; I usually avoid long marinades or wet brines. And I’m not opposed to using premade rubs to simplify the cook.
What’s your signature dish? A whole spinalis dorsi. Hard to come by, it’s a custom cut. The steak filet’s are available at Costco, but I have to make a special order from my butcher to get it intact. Simple spice rubs and smoke it low and slow. High heat sear at the end. Flavor and tenderness unlike any other.
Give us one tip/hack to make improve our grilling/BBQ skills. Know the temperatures and ignore the times. Learn the temp of the grill/smoker and the temp of the meat. Get a good instant read thermometer and use that to follow the cooks. Meat comes off once it hits goal temp, not after a fixed time. That may mean each piece comes off a different time. For long cooks, a pit probe is just as useful. If the pit is off from the recipe, understand the consequence of having it off target. Often, you can live with 25 degree variance with no noticeable difference in result, as long as you cook to temp and not time. Learn your hot spots and cool spots in your setup. And the same applies to indoor cooking/baking as well.
I only cook about 25 wings on the large and 30-35 on the XL at any given time. I think keeping adequate airflow around each piece is critical, so provide ample space between each. No overcrowding. So producing a large quantity of wings means a recipe that is simple and reproducible.
There are four ingredients to this dish (aside from the chicken):
- French’s Crispy Jalapeños: Because these were already fried once, incorporating this into the crust gives a nice fried texture and taste.
- Wonder Quick mixing flour: I suppose any flour will do. But this has consistently added a nice crisp to every wing recipe I’ve tried.
- Himalayan Pink Salt: because that’s all I use. Pink salt adds a distinct and milder flavor. I think if you use table salt, sea salt or kosher salts, I would decrease the quantity used.
- Sour Cream: Just a light base for everything to stick, not marinade. Adds a subtle creaminess and flavor that I prefer over yogurt, mayo, butter or ghee (I tried them all with chicken).
In a food processor, grind the three dry ingredients.
- 5oz container of crispy jalapeños
- 1/3 cup of flour
- 1 tablespoon of pink salt
This will be enough for about 15-20 cut wings pieces.
Toss the chicken in sour cream. No need to let it sit. Wipe off excess. If too heavy, it doesn’t incorporate as well during the cook.
Toss wings into the crust mixture. Cover liberally.
I’ll set aside enough (on a raised grid) and then load the BGE with all at once. I like using my fingers or kitchen forceps to handle the wings, to minimize disruption to the crust.
BGE indirect at 350. I think a high heat indirect setup cooks and crisps the skins really well too.
400 tends to burn the crust here, but I’ll use it for other wing recipes.
Hickory and apple chunks, but your choice here.
About 9-12 minutes then flip.
Make sure the crust is starting to golden brown, and still not green after flipped.
Another 10-12 minutes I open and check temps.
I pull at 160 internal temperature.
Serve and enjoy