When you smoke your chicken wings, buffalo wings, or get something made by a world-famous restaurant. You may be shocked to see that the meat is pink. Most people are surprised by this and think that the meat may still be raw. But are pink smoked wings safe to eat or not?
Yes, smoked wings should be pink, with thicker pieces of meat usually having more pink parts. Most smoked meats will have a thick pink part that shows that they have been smoked; this is entirely normal and will usually be the part of the meat that has absorbed the most flavor.
Understanding why the meat starts to become pink is an essential part of having and making the perfect smoked meats. The very best way to measure how well the meat is smoked. Is by looking at how much pink meat has started to develop; several regulations should also be adhered to.
Why Are Smoked Chicken Wings Pink?
Because smoking meat requires that the meat is exposed to a lower temperature for a longer time. The meat’s myoglobin does not fully break down. Therefore, the lower the temperatures used to smoke your chicken wing, the pinker meat will be when cooked.
However, you may find that store-bought smoked meat or meat bought at a restaurant has a consistent amount of pink flesh. Restaurant and commercially smoked meat have a minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit that needs to be reached to be considered safe.
To achieve this, restaurants also mix in hot steam with the smoke. This is to ensure that the internal temperatures of the meat reach these safe levels.
Usually, this is why the meat smoked in your neighbor’s backyard has much more pink meat. Than the smoked meat, you get at restaurants.
How Do You Know When Smoked Wings Are Done?
The only way to know when smoked wings are done is by waiting a set amount of time. Either two to three hours, or by measuring the internal temperature of the meat.
The thickest part of the meat needs to measure at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered completely cooked.
As you become more experienced at smoking meats. You will learn how long it takes to properly smoke your preferred types of meat.
Every person who loves to smoke meat globally. Has their exact methods and times that they smoke the meat, causing different internal temperatures.
Many people have started slow cooking or pressure cooking the meat first and then smoking it afterward. This creates soft and perfect meat in the middle of the piece, allowing for the smoking to happen at a lower temperature without worrying about the meat being slightly raw.
Why Does Cooked Chicken Stay Pink?
The meat does not stay pink as many people think it does; instead, it is the hemoglobin in the meat not fully breaking down, creating a pink coloring. When normally cooking meat, the hemoglobin will be completely broken down into proteins, causing the meat to change color completely.
When smoking meat over a slow and long flame, the proteins are not completely broken down, and the meat absorbs a lot of the smoke. This causes the meat to start turning pink permanently, which is one of the most tell-tale signs that any piece of meat has been smoked instead of grilled.
It should be noted that the pink coloring is different from the pink coloring in raw meat or chicken. The pink should be an intense pink that become easily recognizable as you continue to create smoked meats and wings, which should help you understand exactly how the meat was smoked.
At What Temperature Should You Smoke Chicken Wings?
Chicken wings need to be cooked to the bare minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that you cannot get salmonella or other bacteria from the wings. Red meat can usually be smoked at lower temperatures because of the lower risk of getting sick.
If you are not sure about the inside temperature of your meat, you can increase the heat slightly, which will dry out the outer layers of meat but cause the insides to be too done. We always recommend that you have a piece that you are willing to cut open to check on the inside of the meat.
Most people learn how to smoke wings and other meats by checking on the temperatures and the meat itself. However, there are several signs that the poultry may be ready that you can learn to look at without using measuring equipment.
How Long Do Have To Smoke Wings Till Cooked?
On average, it takes two hours for chicken wings to smoke until they are ready to eat. Assuming that you have kept a constant temperature and the smoke has been steady. However, if you are using a wood fire. It may take up to three hours for the wings to be cooked until perfection.
Electric or gas smokers are usually able to exactly regulate the temperature and the amount of smoke created to cook the chicken.
Many people prefer to use electric and gas smokers specifically. Because of the amount of control over the smoke and the temperatures.
However, when going to famous grills and smokehouses. You may find that they only use giant smoke rooms to smoke the meat they have on offer. This requires more skill, and with entire chickens being smoked at once. The amount of time needed to smoke the chicken can easily increase to over an entire day.
What Is The Best Way To Smoke Chicken?
The best way to smoke chicken is with an electric smoker and using wood chips rather than a wood-fired smoke system. Using this method, you can easily control the length of the smoking and the temperature while adding and removing wood chips as they stop producing the right level of smoke.
Many people prefer to use wood chips because of the more exotic flavors that can be added, instead of buying large pieces of wood for smoking.
Wood chips come in small bags that can be bought online or from most stores that allows you to easily get some of the best oak woods to smoke your wings with.
Further, we recommend not using just any wood when smoking. As the smoke greatly affects the overall taste of the meat that you are smoking. Unfortunately, we have seen several people who hate smoking meat. Refuse to use proper wood, using wood meant for a fireplace to try and smoke meats.
Most often, the wood needed to smoke wings will specifically not be easy to burn in a fire while also not being so moist that it can kill the fire.
The wood that should create the smoke is only being placed to the side of the fire to create the maximum amount of smoke.
Your smoked wings should have some pink meat in them to show that they have been kept at the perfect temperature while being smoked. The pink meat should be significantly pinker than raw meat would look. With the pink starting on the outside and heading in towards the thicker parts.
Whatever you do, please don’t try to speed up the smoking process; no one wants to eat a wing that is raw on the inside and overcooked on the outside.
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