Memphis Dry-Rubbed Wings

Last weekend I hosted a driveway tailgate party for our church youth group and our pastors. The party was sponsored by Bush Brothers, and we had a wonderful time of fun, food, and fellowship while we cheered on our hometown Boise State Broncos.

Bush's Gameday Cookout

The weather was absolutely perfect for our cookout. It was calm and sunny with temperatures in the high 60's. We live relatively close to the stadium and in the flight path to Mountain Home Air Force Base just down the freeway, so we were able to see the four Air Force F-15's fly over as they completed their pre-game fly-by. Being an Air Force vet, it always stirs me to hear that thundering sound of freedom overhead.

Bush's Gameday Cookout

It was great to be outside on such a beautiful day cooking and enjoying time with dear friends. The kids were all over the place (naturally) playing, climbing our tree, and tossing the football in the street. Of course I was manning the smoker and grill.

Here I'll share the first of two recipes that I created for the event. These Memphis dry-rubbed wings are great alongside a heapin' helping of Bush's Country Style Baked Beans. The rub gives these wings a perfect balance of salt and sweet, with just a bit of spicy goodness that works very well with the brown sugar in the beans.

10 lbs Chicken wing sections, defrosted
1 3/4 cups Memphis dry rub (recipe follows)
3 cans Bush's Country Style Baked Beans
Canola oil spray

Memphis Dry Rub
1 cup Sea salt, medium fine (no table salt, please)
1/2 cup Unrefined evaporated cane sugar (no table sugar, please)
1/2 cup Brown sugar, golden/light
2 Tbs Sweet Hungarian paprika
2 Tbs Chili powder, medium heat
2 Tbs Granulated onion (not onion "powder")
2 Tbs Dry mustard
1 Tbs Granulated garlic (not garlic "powder")
2 tsp Dry thyme
2 tsp Dry oregano
2 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh
2 tsp Celery salt
2 tsp Ground ginger
1 tsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Ground cayenne (optional)

Combine all of the rub ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a hand mixer or stand mixer.

Divide the wings into three equal batches in gallon zip-top bags. Add 1/3 cup of the rub to each bag, seal and shake to coat the wings evenly.

Refrigerate the bags of wings in a lipped sheet pan for at least two hours, or overnight.

Start your grill or smoker and prepare for indirect cooking at 250-275º.

Oil your cooking grates well with canola oil spray.

Add two small chunks of fruit wood (apple or cherry) to the fire about 10 minutes before you're ready to cook. Wood chips soaked for 30-60 minutes will work well, too. If you're using a gas grill, make a smoker pouch.

Drain the liquid from the bags of wings. Add two tablespoons of rub to each bag, seal and shake to coat the wings evenly.

Cook the wings indirect one hour (I used my Ugly Drum Smoker).

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Wings

Flip the wings over, spray them with a light coat of canola oil, dust them very lightly with rub, and cook indirect one hour more.

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Wings

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Wings

Just before the wings are ready, heat the beans in an large pot.

Serve and enjoy!

Check back later this week for my second gameday recipe. It'll take grilled brats to a whole new level.

Disclaimer: This cookout is in partnership with, and sponsored by, Bush Brothers & Company.

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Anonymous Brian Meagher said...
Those wings look delicious! I love a dry rubbed wing or rib once in awhile.
Thanks for the recipe. And we're a strictly Bush's Beans household here.
Anonymous Jim Barnes - said...
There must be a mistake here. I questioned 1 cup of sea salt ... but did as the recipe called for. I follows the instructions to the letter including allowing the wings to marinate overnight and grilling today. The resultant wings were wayyyyyy too salty. The other flavors were noticed and very good .. but the salty taste ruined the whole thing. I wasted 2 pounds of wings and discarded them as well as the remaining rub. Please amend this to contain the appropriate amount of salt. Perhaps it was to be 1 Tbsp rather than 1 cup.
Blogger Unknown said...
Jim - First, I'm sorry about your results. However, the rub recipe is accurate. I hope that you didn't use all of the rub.
Blogger Unknown said...
Jim - The recipe states that you should use "1/3 cup" of the rub (not 1/3 of the rub) to every three pounds of chicken. So for two pounds of wings you should have used less than 1/3 cup of rub, total.
Blogger Kent Irwin said...
I made these and the saltiness made the rub not edible, really 1 whole cup? We had to wash the rub off to eat.we followed the recipe and was awful I think few tablespoons salt might be much better
Blogger Unknown said...
Kent - It's not an issue of the salt in the rub, it's a matter of how much rub that you put on the meat. If I were to give you a box of pure kosher salt, would you simply indiscriminately pour it onto wings? No. You would be judicious and season according to your taste. The same is true for any rub or seasoning. You taste the seasoning and apply per your taste.
Blogger Unknown said...
Kent - The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of rub for about every three pounds of wings. What wing/rub ratio did you use?
Blogger The DUDE SAYS: said...
made this recipe twice ...first time way to salty.. Second time with two tbs of salt.. Wings were great on the retry
Blogger Unknown said...
Dude - I'm glad that it worked out for you, but one tablespoon of salt for an entire rub recipe as written above? That seems like far too little.
Blogger Don said...
Followed the recipe to the letter from Bush's site (they scale it down for 3 lbs of wings) and it was waaaay too salty...and I'm a salt lover. Great rub otherwise. Definitely try it again but leave salt out of the rub, salt the wings to taste, and then apply the unsalted rub...

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