The Secret’s in the Sauce

manBrian says:

Buffalo wings are the quintessential “man snack”. Granted, there are a handful of women that I know who enjoy a hot plate of wings every once in a blue moon, the true die hards are definitely of the male persuasion. Now, wing aficionados around the world will argue as to which method of preparation is key. Purists swear that deep-frying is the only way to go while the new school insists that baking your wings is the new hotness.

Luckily, I’m not here to argue in favor of one over the other because both methods have yielded delicious results. I’m here to give praise to the star of the show: the sauce. Hundreds of restaurants and bars around the country have devised, literally, thousands of different sauces and marinades to coat their unique wing creations ranging from the modest to the downright insane. I, for one, do not have a penchant for destroying my digestive system at the ripe age of 23, so I give you a few of my favorite homemade sauces; if you’re nice, I might even pair a beer with each one as well:

1. Spicy Thai Basil Sauce

– 1 tbsp cumin and hot curry powder

– 1 tbsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp ginger

– 4 tbsp salted butter

– 1/2 oz. Thai basil, finely chopped (you can find this at a local Asian supermarket or try growing your own)

– 2 whole Thai peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Melt butter in small saucepan and add cumin, curry powder, cinnamon and ginger. Keep on medium-low heat and stir occasionally. Sauté basil and peppers, then add to saucepan. Let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Toss wings in sauce accordingly. This Asian-inspired sauce is best enjoyed with any decent IPA, or India Pale Ale, like Harpoon IPA or Kingfisher.

2. Red and Bleu Sauce

– 1/2 tbsp white pepper

– 1/3 cup white vinegar

– 4 tbsp salted butter

– 1/4 blue cheese crumbles

– 2 tbsp cayenne pepper

Melt butter and add white pepper and cayyenne. Stir on medium heat and slowly add blue cheese crumbles until melted and combined. Add vinegar last and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Because wings should ONLY be served with blue cheese, this takes the fuss out of a drippy side bowl of dressing or dip. Pair this with a light lager to offset the potency of the blue cheese. I recommend Sam Adams Light or Amstel Light.

3. “SmokedGarlic Sauce

– 2 tbsp garlic, chopped

– 1/2 tsp ginger

– 4 tbsp salted butter

– 1 tbsp vegetable oil

– 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

– 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke

Melt butter and add ginger, oil and Worcestershire to a saucepan at medium-low heat. Heat for about 5 minutes. Toss in garlic and liquid smoke near the end. Most garlic “sauces” I’ve come across lack the sauciness that I prefer on my wings, but with this recipe, you get the best of both worlds: garlic and a sauce to back it up. Since garlic is so intense, I drink only one beer whenever I order or make something like this: Birra Moretti La Rossa. It’s like a “beer wine” that goes great with garlic.

Send your questions to or to me directly,


  1. Blue Dog Food on September 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for this post. It helps a lot.

  2. Blue Dog Food on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for this post. It helps a lot.

  3. Blue Dog Food on September 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for this post. It helps a lot.

  4. J Boulware on August 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Here's an idea to try… I cook my wings on a charcoal grill… adds wonderful flavor that will compliment any of the above listed awesome sauces.

    • HeatherSolos on August 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      When I cooked in a bar kitchen, I'd fry the wings just until done. Then they would be held in the fridge until an order came in, The wings would be tossed in the sauce grilled, and brushed. Dive bar, great wings.

  5. ThatBobbieGirl on August 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Am I the only one who's never heard of Cheyenne pepper? Where do you get it?

    • @GQbound on August 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      From Wyoming, duh.

      • HeatherSolos on August 11, 2010 at 10:18 pm

        Sure, but the shipping is outrageous compared to cayenne.

      • ThatBobbieGirl on August 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm

        Sorry, I didn't realize it was a typo. Figured it was something I'd just never heard of.

  6. Heather on August 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! My husband is going to be so happy after I try these recipes out on him. Thank you!!!!

  7. Stacy on August 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    My husband loves wings, but I always think they smell like photo developing solution. Okay, I'm a weirdo. However, your recipes sound pretty good, especially the last one. I just watched an episode of "Everyday Exotic" (I think that's the title) in which the host was using Thai basil, but that was the first I'd heard of it. I'll check that out. Thanks!

  8. Katie on August 11, 2010 at 11:56 am

    That should say *My two normals cravings…

  9. Katie on August 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Hey now! I'm a diehard chicken wing fan! 😛 Two too normal cravings are chicken wings and prime rib. Okay, so I'm weird. 😀

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