How Do I Choose the Best Sauce for Chicken Wings?

G. Wiesen

To choose the best sauce for chicken wings, you should consider the kind of flavors you want on the wings and think about the sauce you coat them with and any dipping sauce you might want. In many recipes for chicken wings, the sauce that coats the wings can be swapped between many different types of sauces, allowing a single recipe to be used to produce many different types of wings. You should consider if you want a sauce for chicken wings that is hot or one that provides a different flavor, such as barbecue or honey mustard, as well as any dipping sauces you might prefer.

Hot sauce is commonly used with chicken wings.
Hot sauce is commonly used with chicken wings.

Sauce for chicken wings typically indicates the sauce that is used to coat chicken wings after they are otherwise cooked. Wings can be deep fried or baked in an oven, and different recipes can produce wings with a variety of textures and overall feel in the mouth as they are eaten. Once the wings are cooked, however, then they are typically placed in a bowl and tossed with one type of sauce or another. The sauce for chicken wings that you choose should match your culinary preferences in general, and provide the type of flavor you are looking for in particular for the wings you are serving.

Honey and mustard are common ingredients in sauces that are served with chicken wings.
Honey and mustard are common ingredients in sauces that are served with chicken wings.

Hot sauce for chicken wings is, perhaps, the most common and traditional way in which to prepare wings and can be made quite easily. It typically consists of a cayenne hot sauce, a number of different types are commercially available and can be chosen based on your preferences, that is combined with melted butter. This sauce is then poured over chicken wings in a bowl and mixed or tossed to coat the wings, which are then allowed to drain on a rack or baked slightly to cook the sauce into them.

Other types of sauce for chicken wings are also quite common and you should choose the sauce that best suits your tastes. Barbecue sauce, both American and Asian-inspired sauces, can be used to coat wings and you can use your favorite store-bought sauce or make your own. Honey mustard is often used on wings and provides both sweetness and tang. This can even be combined with hot sauce to use sweetness to cut through heat on the wings.

You might also consider sauce for chicken wings that you can dip the wings into as you are eating them. For hot sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressings are commonly used to dip the wings into, which offset the heat and provide a creamy texture to accompany the wings. The same sauce used on the wings can also be provided for dipping, accommodating you or your guests who prefer more sauce on the wings.

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Discussion Comments


I let my kids try all of those insanely hot sauces. I have never considered hot sauce like the kind served on Buffalo wings to be especially flavorful, just painful. I prefer to try savory combinations like honey mustard and Jamaican jerk on my fried chicken wings. They may get a little tangy or peppery, but not to the point where I have to drink a gallon of water or eat celery to cool my mouth down.

I'd say you should not be afraid to try the more exotic chicken wing sauces, as long as you can handle the heat. I find I enjoy sauces like Sesame Chili or Parmesan Oregano more than the traditional hot sauce. Sometimes even the mildest hot sauce can be too much.


I think people should be honest about their heat tolerance before ordering hot sauces for chicken wings. I've seen people order the hottest sauces available and turn ten shades of purple later. If the sauce is called "Nuclear Fusion" or "911" or "Liquid Dynamite", take it seriously. You can't go back and complain to the manager if he or she told you how hot it would be.

I say sneak up on the hotness scale in stages. If you find you're getting bored with the medium hot variety, then take the bump up to serious heat. If you're just trying to impress people with your tolerance for heat, then don't do it at all. You could really cause some damage to your body.

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