Grocery list

  • 2 trays of Smart Chicken organic party wings, air chilled (it’s what I had, not what you should buy; I’m sure other kinds of wings work just as well)
  • can of Phillips seafood seasoning (good for other stuff too, not just seafood; had it on hand, needed some seasoning, didn’t feel like mixing things)


Akorn fired up with charcoal briquets (about a quarter chimney) and heat deflector in. Lower vent open about 3/4in, upper vent about 1/4 in at the rounded ends. Temperature stabilized (I thought) at about 210°. I put the wings on the grill in a circular pattern, skin down; 2 trays’ worth covered the heat deflector pizza pan just about right. I set the kitchen timer for one hour.

50 minutes later I checked on the wings. Temperature had gone up to 300° and the wings looked fine. I figured what the heck, I’d turn them. When the timer went off, I added 15 minutes just because. When that went off, the wings were a nice golden hue, done but not dry.

About that temperature

The readings above are from the lid thermometer. Getting the coals started with a chimney makes them prone to burning a bit too fast, too hot, so it’s not a good idea to be impatient and open the vents too much. Basically, when you light a fire without a chimney – with a fire started piece atop a pyramid of charcoal, like you see it done in YouTube videos – you’re doing it the natural way: the fire starts cold, and you feed it up to warm enough; it’s OK to give it a bit more air at first, then close the vents down a bit. But when you start the coals with a chimney you’re doing the opposite: the coals are burning hot to begin with and you must choke them down to the temperature you want.

Is this grilling? Smoking?

Dunno. It’s not exactly either. You’re not minding that grill and there’s no high heat. You are cooking with charcoal, so you will get smoke flavor, but you’re not adding soaked wood chunks of any kind. It’s kamado cooking: easy on the fuel, takes a bit of time, gives good flavor.