MGoBBQ: Super Bowl Finger Foods–Wings and Bacon Tots Comment Count

Seth February 3rd, 2017 at 12:00 PM


[ed-Seth: Special thanks this year to Matt Gase, Michigan grad and CEO of Eat Well Embrace Life, for being a most excellent sponsor of Joe Pichey’s most excellent recipes. I don’t know if I’d have tried his stuff if he wasn’t a sponsor, but now that I have I freak out when my wife forgets to pick up more. He’s also got some plain ones out there now that I plan to try.]



I don’t know about you guys, but I am a strong believer that all Super Bowl grub should be of the FINGER FOOD variety. I need one hand for my beverage of choice and one hand filled with something smoked, fried or DIP-ABLE. Preferably with meat or cheese tucked away all up in there. These 2 recipes have been favorites for awhile and are really easy. I learned a new technique from my buddy Trace of ThunderBird Wings & Thighs Food Truck in Nashville and I’m passing it along. It’s my new favorite way to smoke wings and I’m sure you will love it. His Chicken Scratch rub is LEGIT and fantastic on Wing and Thighs.


  • Chicken Wings (Leave em whole or separate them into dummies and midsections)
  • Olive Oil
  • Thunderbird Chicken Scratch Rub - (Please add link)
  • Honey or Maple Syrup


Fire your smoker up to 225 - 250 degrees and add some PECAN wood to the coals. I know, I know!!! Only 225 - 250 degrees for chicken wings? What about the skin? That’s exactly what I said too. I have always smoked my wings at 325-350 degrees to make sure my skin was crispy at the end. This was more grilling than smoking, but It still produced good wings. Trust me, this method is better. As your smoker is heating up. separate your wings into sections or leave them whole. I did a little of each for this batch. I added all of these to a large bowl and added a little olive oil. Just enough to coat the wings. For these 20 wings, it was about 3 TBS.


[Hit THE JUMP to see how to get that gold. AND A BONUS RECIPE]

Give each wing a healthy dusting of the Chicken Scratch. They have a regular and Fiery hot. Yep, we went HOT. As you can see, I was aggressive with the rub.


Once the smoker is up to 225 - 250, add some PECAN chunks toss the flappers on. These will go for 90 mins on each side. This gives us a 3 hr cook time when the temps are around 225.


At the 90 minute mark, you can see that we are starting to get some nice color and the rub is starting to crisp up a little. You can also see that I went with the IPHONE instead of my DSLR which Seth just loves. :) Sorry buddy. [Ed-S: Yeah well might as well just walk around with one of these wings in your pocket for all the functionality it will have when the next OS bricks your tiny electronic prison]


After 90 minutes, flip the wings. and go for another 90 minutes. Once the wings reach about 190 degrees internal and have a nice color, they are done. They are good to go at this point and super tasty. We went one step further and drizzled a little honey over the wings. If you do this, don’t go crazy with the honey. We piled them up in the middle of the smoker and started drizzling. Cook for another 5 mins and remove from the heat. The heat from the Fiery rub and the sweetness from the honey paired perfectly.


As you can see, the finish on these wings was incredible,. The skin had a nice bite and was not overly crispy. If you want to crisp em up a little more, Trace recommends to put em under the broiler for 1 minute.


Add a nice side of blue cheese or ranch and you are good to go!. I whipped this batch up on signing day and can’t wait until Super Bowl Sunday to make them again. Thanks Trace for my new addiction.


BONUS RECIPE!!!! Because that was all too easy.

Bacon Wrapped Tots



  • Frozen Tater Tots
  • Bacon
  • Your favorite Rub


These can be cooked on a hot grill/smoker or in the oven. I took the easy way out and fired up that thing they call an oven. I was afraid a pack of stray wolves was living’ inside since I hadn’t used it in so long. Heat the oven up to 425 degrees. If you are using your smoker, shoot for the same temp. The smoker is just an oven on the patio with a little more smoke pouring out of the top.


Wrap the frozen tot once in some medium thick bacon. Overlap a little, but not much. 9

You should be able to get 3 bacon wrapped tots out of each strip of bacon.


Dust with your favorite rub and place on a cookie sheet or grill grate. Let them cook for about 20 - 25 mins. Once the bacon is done to your liking, remove from the heat and enjoy. You can also dust them with a little brown sugar and dip in your favorite BBQ sauce. I just popped em in my mouth prior to letting them cool off and now have blisters on the roof of my mouth. I’ll never learn.


Make sure you use frozen tots for this recipe. They do not hold up to the heat if your tots are thawed.

These were great dipped in the Zesty Sriracha Hummus as well. Love this stuff!!!!! I found some green stick like things in my fridge and used them as a dipping device. I think they call them VEGGIES. I hear good things. I may have to try more of them in the off-season.

Have a great weekend and safe Super Bowl Party, Go Blue!


Funky Buddha

February 3rd, 2017 at 2:20 PM ^

I made the tots today with a slight twist: rolled the tot in rub, wrapped the tot in bacon then dusted the bacon with brown sugar. I've also poured a bit of maple syrup over the bacon if enough brown sugar doesn't adhere to the bacon.

Edit: I also run a toothpick through the bacon-wrapped tater tot to help keep the bacon secured to the tot and to make it easier to handle and eat.



February 3rd, 2017 at 2:59 PM ^

Those look good. Picture looks like a Big Green Egg or similar kamado-style smoker. I have one as well... so my question is, do you put these on direct heat or indirect heat (using the plate setter)? 

It sort of looks like you have a place setter in place with the legs up on your BGE, but wanted to check because I thought doing it direct may be important to get the skin to crisp up. Would love to know which way you went and thanks for passing along the recipe!


February 3rd, 2017 at 3:35 PM ^

These were smoked on the BGE with the plate setter in and legs up. These do not have super crispy skin like you get when they are fried. The Chicken Scratch Rub does crisp up and gives them a nice texture and the skin is bite thru and not rubbery at all.  Give em a try.  the honey drizzle at the end is a must.   You are welcome!


Wolverine In Exile

February 3rd, 2017 at 3:08 PM ^

I keep my wings at about 250 deg F with just a simple salt and pepper dusting before they go in and after 3 hr, they're perfectly crispy on the outside and done on the inside. I then break out the tupperware containers with my favorite sauce and spin 'em up. My wife will never let me cook wings a different way again.