Thai Peanut Sauce Smoked Chicken Wings

Christmas in Indiana this year had as hankering for these Thai Peanut Smoked Chicken Wings. Given the challenges of finding both chicken wings and a smoker in Haiti, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to chow down on an old favorite while back in the US. This pungent Thai sauce is chock full of vibrant flavors, tangy lime, creamy peanut butter, garlic, and spicy jalapeno. For those without a home smoker, the recipe includes an easy adaptation for oven roasting.

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Yield: Serves 4, makes 2 1/2 cups marinade & 5 pounds of chicken wings


  • 5 pounds chicken wings (joints separated)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • juice of 2 limes
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 2 green onion stalks, roughly cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1-3 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed optional (to your heat preference)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (we use unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. In a blender process all the sauce ingredients (vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, lime zest and juice, green onions, ginger, jalapenos, peanut butter, garam masala, salt, oil, and sesame oil) until smooth. Remove approximately 1/3 of the marinade and set aside covered for later use as a dipping sauce for the finished wings
  2. Add the remaining 2/3 of the sauce to a zip-top bag along with the chicken wings. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to distribute the sauce/marinade around the wings. Allow the wings to marinate for at least 2 hours (up to a day) in the refrigerator.
  3. Spread the wings (marinade used on the chicken discarded) onto your smoking racks and smoke at 220 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes. If using a water bath in the smoker, fill with 1 cup apple cider vinegar. I prefer hickory wood smoke for this recipe, with 1 large addition at the beginning of cooking. Do not turn or disturb the wings during smoking. If roasting in an oven, set temp to 220 degrees and place wings on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings. Fill the catch pan with 1 cup apple cider vinegar and a couple drops of liquid smoke to provide flavor and moisture during cooking. Roast for 1 hour and 45 minutes. There is no need to turn the wings during cooking. 
  4. After smoking/roasting, remove the wings and set aside. They can be eaten immediately, but we like them finished on the grill (if it's not too cold) to crisp them up. 
  5. To finish the wings, grill on medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side with the lid down. You are looking to give a smoky charred crust to the outside. 
  6. Serve wings hot with the reserved sauce for dipping.