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Guava-Glazed Chicken Wings

Courtesy Rosana Rivera
Cook Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it represents my hometown of Tampa, site of Super Bowl LV. The glaze is sweet, smoky with a bit of heat. I was inspired to create this recipe by TODAY's Super Bowl Snack-It Bracket Challenge, wanting to showcase authentic Tampa flavors.

Technique tip: Instead of finishing the barbecue sauce in the smoker, you can finish it in the stove at low heat and cook down until the glaze reduces by a quarter and coats the back of a spoon.

Special kitchen equipment: Grill or smoker.

Swap option: You can do this with eggplant, cauliflower or mushrooms instead of chicken.


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pound chicken wings
  • 1 cup guava paste
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses



Create a dry rub with brown sugar, smoked paprika, dry mustard, black pepper, salt, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix well.


Season chicken wings lightly with rub. Do not cake over the rub. Let marinate for 30 minutes or an hour in the fridge. If you want to marinate overnight, even better.


Smoke using hickory, pecan or mesquite chips, keeping the temperature at 230 F for around 2 hours.


While the wings smoke, in a heavy bottom pot, add the guava paste, vinegar, ketchup, molasses and remaining of the dry rub seasoning. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar and the guava has melted completely.


Place pot inside the smoker by the side of the wings. Let it get smoky and until it reduces by a quarter.To check for doneness, the wings should read 165 F internal temperature. Remove from the smoker and glaze with the guava barbecue sauce.


Serve hot with a side of extra guava barbecue sauce for dipping.

Alternative cooking method:

Instead of smoking, you can grill the wings. Set your grill to 350 F. Grill wings for approximately 30 to 40 minutes at the medium to low heat area of the grill.

To check for doneness, the wings should read 165 F internal temperature. Remove from the grill and glaze with the guava barbecue sauce.