How Long To Brine Chicken Wings For Smoking?

Are you tired of dry and less tender chicken wings? If yes! Then try chicken wings brine!

If you are trying hard to get your hands on perfectly done chicken wings then you must brine chicken wings for the appropriate length of time.

how long to brine chicken wings

Now you must be wondering how long to brine chicken wings?

The precise time to brine chicken wings depends on how tasty and salty you want your wings. You can brine your chicken wings for at least two hours and up to four hours, in a big bowl or a resealable bag in the fridge. After removing the wings from the brine, get rid of the brine.

Whether you bake, fry, or grill chicken wings, brining them makes them fantastic. Make your next batch of wings the tastiest ones yet by learning how to make an easy brine for chicken wings.

What is Brining?

Brining is a technique used in cooking to enhance the flavor, tenderness, and moisture retention of meat, poultry, and seafood. You simply soak the food in a solution of salt and water, often with additional flavorings such as herbs, spices, sugar, or aromatics.

During the brining process, the salt in the solution penetrates the meat through osmosis, causing the muscle fibers to absorb water and the seasoning, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful end product. Brining also helps to break down proteins, resulting in a more tender texture.

Brining is commonly used for various cuts of meat, including poultry (such as chicken and turkey), and seafood. It is particularly beneficial for lean meats that tend to dry out during cooking, such as chicken breasts or turkey breasts.

Why should we brine chicken wings?

Chicken wings are one of the most popular part dishes for many people. The reason for this is that they are very easy to make and are loved by everyone.

But most of the time people complain that making soft and flavorful restaurant-style wings at home is a pain in the neck. 

If you want to get rid of dry chicken wings then you need to follow this method. The best way to cook your chicken wings is to brine them first before grilling, smoking, baking, or frying.

Brining your chicken wings guarantees they remain moist and tender throughout the cooking process.

Some common brines for chicken wings

Many of you used to think that brining is adding just salt to cold water. But here you are wrong.

The heart of brine is salt with cold water, and you can add brown sugar, apple juice, maple syrup, and other spices to add oodles of flavor. In addition, the added sugar and salt will help you make crispy wings.  

Here are some common brine options for chicken wings:

1- Basic Saltwater Brine: Dissolve 1/4 cup of kosher salt in 4 cups of water. Submerge the chicken wings in the brine and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before cooking.

2- Buttermilk Brine: Mix equal parts buttermilk and water in a bowl. Add salt, sugar, and your choice of herbs and spices (such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper) to taste. Submerge the chicken wings in the brine and refrigerate for 4-8 hours or overnight.

3- Soy-Ginger Brine: Combine soy sauce, water, grated ginger, minced garlic, brown sugar, and a splash of rice vinegar in a bowl. Submerge the chicken wings in the brine and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before cooking.

4- Beer Brine: Mix equal parts beer and water in a large bowl. Add salt, sugar, and your favorite seasonings (such as mustard powder, thyme, and bay leaves). Submerge the chicken wings in the brine and refrigerate for 4-6 hours before cooking.

5- Apple Cider Brine: Combine apple cider, water, kosher salt, brown sugar, and whole spices (such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns) in a pot. Bring to a simmer, then let cool completely. Submerge the chicken wings in the brine and refrigerate for 4-8 hours or overnight.

How long to brine chicken wings?

The best practice of keeping the chicken wings in brine solution is for at least 12 hours to work magically. If you are running short of time you can soak them in brine for 2-3 hours. 

But how long should you brine chicken wings? The answer to this question will depend on how salty and flavorful you want the wings to be. In general, you’ll want to let the wings brine for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

chicken wings brine

How long to brine chicken wings for smoking?

When brining chicken wings for smoking, you’ll want to let them soak in the brine for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. The exact amount of time will depend on how salty and flavorful you want the wings to be.

When making a brine for smoked chicken wings, it’s important to use a solution that is specifically designed for smoking.

This means that the smoked chicken wing brine should have a higher concentration of salt than a brine for grilling or baking. A good starting point is to use 1/2 cup kosher salt for every quart of water, along with 1/4 cup of sugar and any other seasonings or flavors you want to add.

Once the wings have finished brining, remove them from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. In order for the chicken wings to get more crispy on the outside, you want to remove as much moisture as possible. Now you can smoke the wings using your preferred method.

Smoking the wings at a low temperature (around 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit) for 2-3 hours will yield the best results.

When smoking brined chicken wings, it’s important to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat.

The wings are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the wings as they smoke.

Which Smoking Wood Goes Best With the Chicken Wing Brine?

We can use applewood for the delicate and flavorful soft smoking of the brined chicken wings. Any fruit wood like hickory and cherry would both work beautifully.

Best chicken wing brine for smoking

For the best brine to smoke chicken wing use Kosher salt and cold water with apple juice, maple syrup, and brown sugar to provide some sweetness.

For flavor and heat, add garlic powder, onion powder, and red crushed pepper flakes.

chicken wings brine

How to brine chicken wings for frying?

Brining chicken wings before frying results in a tastier and crispier crunchy chicken wing. Before frying, brining for around two hours is recommended.

How long to brine chicken wings before grilling?

The best brining time for the wings is two hours, but you can brine them for up to eight hours if you need to. The brine will be ready when you get home to prepare dinner if you prepare it in the morning before work. You can add additional soy sauce in place of salt for a stronger flavor.

6 Easiest Steps of Brining Chicken Wings?

Brining wings is a great way to add flavor to the meat and keep it moist.

There are many different ways to brine your chicken, but we’ll focus on one of the traditional chicken wing brine methods for you.

 This technique will let you make your very own version of our favorite chicken wing recipe. And when we say “your own,” we mean it.

This is an authentic brining technique that takes us back to the days when all our favorite dishes were made over campfires with friends around us.

Here’s the best chicken wing brine recipe for you. 

1) Clean and dry your chicken wings

Start off by cleaning your chicken wings with water. Try to clean them thoroughly to make them free from all sorts of blood and unwanted flesh.

After that, pat dry them with the help of paper towels to remove excess water. 

2) Add water

Place the wings in a large bowl or container with enough cold water to cover them completely. You need to be careful with this step. A large amount of water can turn your wings too soft and less water can dry them out.

For an easy way to escape this hassle. First, put your chicken wings in the bowl and pour water until it goes above 3 inches of chicken. Generally, there are 6 cups of water required for 3 pounds of chicken wings. 

3) Weigh Salt

Many people would say to add as much salt as you like but what about overly salted meat the end? Well, there are different varieties of salts available in the market which makes this part tricky.

If you are thinking how much salt will be required then here you go! Usually, a cup of table salt is equal to half a cup of kosher salt. Then, what can you do? 

Not to fret! You can simply add one-third cup of table salt or half a cup of kosher salt in 6 cups of water. 

4) Introduce Sugar

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring water, salt, and sugar to a boil. You can go with a half cup of white sugar or brown sugar. This added sugar will give your chicken wings a nice brown color when cooked.  Once sugar and salt are well dissolved then let the mixture cool before jumping towards the next step.

5) Drizzle your favorite Herbs and Spices: 

This is a secret step that can bring a whole lot of difference to your brine. Make a scrumptious mixture by combining a half cup of white vinegar or soy sauce with some fresh garlic. Add two tablespoons of red pepper flakes,  black pepper, and white pepper to this mixture. Pour this into your brine mixture and get ready for a holistic taste. 

6) Immerse your chicken wings

Lastly, place chicken wings in the brine mixture. If you have frozen chicken wings then let them thaw first. You can keep them in a pot or sealed plastic bags.

Just make sure that they dip completely in the brine. Then, seal the container tightly and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The longer you leave them in there, the better!

Once they are done you can take them out of the brine and dry them completely with the help of a paper towel. 

You can simply season them with some salt and pepper. These chicken wings are good to go in your air fryer basket or pellet grill.

Can you dry brine your chicken wings? 

Yes, it’s possible to dry brine chicken wings. If you are a die-hard fan of crispy chicken wings then this option should be your best bet. 

To make it on a whim you just need to mix up kosher salt, black pepper, and chili flakes into vinegar and soy sauce and your dry brine is ready. 

Then cover all the wings with this brine and let them rest on a cooling rack for a few hours. Then remove excess salt and moisture to prevent them from being overly salty.

Then you can cook brined chicken wings either by deep frying them or smoking them on your pellet grill. You can also make exquisite brined chicken wings in an oven or in an air fryer too. 

These wings will have extra crispy skin on the outside and more tender meat on the inside.

To amp up the taste of the chicken wings you can serve them with BBQ sauce, red hot sauce, blue cheese dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce. 

Incredible Buffalo Hot Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip Recipe

If you’re looking for something different to spice up your dinner table, or just looking for some great barbecue recipes to try out at home, give this one a try!

This recipe will leave you with the desire for more once you try it.

The combination of brined chicken wings, tossed with hot sauce and served with blue cheese dip will give you so much flavor in every bite.  

Let’s dig into the recipe.


For wings: 

  • 1 pound brined chicken wings
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil.
  • ⅓ cup of hot pepper sauce (Frank’s red hot sauce is a suggested brand)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves
  • Celery to serve with.

For Blue Cheese Dressing:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 6 ounces of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt. 


  • Toss the brined meat in the mix of hot sauce and garlic powder.
  • Then cook them on medium high heat or grill them on the smoker until the internal temperature of the wings reaches up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can also bake them in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit or simply put them in your air fryer basket for 20 minutes. 

For Blue Cheese Dressing: 

  • Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and blue cheese together. Then top some parsley and add salt and pepper to taste. 

This delicious dish is super easy to make and can be served as an appetizer at your upcoming tailgating or Christmas parties. 


How long to brine chicken wings in pickle juice?

You have to be a little extra cautious when brining chicken wings with pickle juice since you don’t want the chicken wings to actually pickle.
So for small-sized chicken wings, a fast brine of approximately 30 minutes works excellent, and the finished food doesn’t actually taste like pickles; rather, it tastes quite savory and tasty.

How long to brine chicken wings in buttermilk?

You can brine chicken wings in a buttermilk for 6-8 hours in the fridge. Here is a recipe for chicken wings brined in buttermilk.

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