(You can learn about proper, CHFF-approved Buffalo wing cooking techniques here.)
We've mastered the art of the awkward social encounter. You know those moments: the time you forgot the name of the chick you're dating; that day you flipped off the guy at the intersection, only to find out it was Father O'Connor; and, of course, the wedding where you got busted checking out your buddy's 16-year-old niece. Good times.
But none of those moves are quite so gauche as having the audacity to ask a wing joint owner for their sauce recipe. You might as well ask if you can borrow his bed to sleep with his wife (believe you us, that won't make you many friends, either).
Nobody wants to share their wing sauce recipe. We've asked a lot of people and we have the shattered friendships to prove it. Fortunately, you can whip up your very own unique tailgate wing sauce in a matter of minutes. Essentially, most wing joints take a basic hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Texas Pete's, etc.) and mix it with butter and spices to their own specifications to come up with a house hot sauce.
We do it all the time. Unfortunately, we never really write it down. However, with a few basic tips, a handful of spices and a slow, football-free evening, you can come up with your very own tailgate hot sauce. Here's what you need.
  • hot sauce
  • butter
And any combination of the following spices
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • ground mustard
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • celery salt
  • cinnamon (sparingly)
  • crushed red pepper (highly optional)
For 10 pounds of wings, mix together 2 cups of hot sauce and 1 cup of melted butter (use smaller batches when experimenting). Change the proportions to suit your tastes. We like a spicier sauce with a higher proportion of sauce to butter. Instinct and your arteries will tell you to dispense with the butter altogether, but you need it to give the sauce texture and to help it stick to the wings.
Mix in the spices of your choice - a quarter teaspoon of each will give you a good base to work from (we'd go a little over a quarter teaspoon on the cayenne, and a little under on the cinnamon). You can then adjust from there to suit your tastes, or feel free to experiment with any other spices you see fit.
When sauce is done, store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It will keep for several months. Then break it out when you're ready to whip up your wings.