Why Add Butter To Hot Wing Sauce?

Really, any true wing sauce connoisseur knows that the addition of one magic ingredient elevates their hot wing sauce like no other: butter.

But what exactly does butter do to hold such significance in the making of hot wing sauce? 

In this article, we’ll find out all the how’s and why’s of adding butter to hot wing sauce!

Why Do People Mix Butter With Hot Wing Sauce?

You may have heard of the popular combination of butter and hot wing sauce, especially when it comes to coating chicken wings. 

But do you know why this seemingly odd duo works so well together? 

Let’s burst the bubble!

By mixing butter with hot sauce, you add richness to the mixture which translates in both the taste, texture and appearance, ensuring that the sauce looks good, tastes good, coats the wings evenly and adheres well. 

Remember that butter has its own distinctive flavor profile too, characterized as slightly nutty and creamy which is perfect for complementing heat and tanginess, and that’s why it works so well with hot wing sauce especially based upon Frank’s Original.

Then also, butter helps to mellow out the spiciness of the hot sauce with its fat and creaminess, providing a more harmonious and cool blend of flavors that appeals to the buds. If you’re using a hot sauce that is spicy, you’d thank the makers of the “butter-hot sauce” duo! 

How To Add Butter To Hot Wing Sauce?

Step 1: Melt the Butter

Start by using unsalted butter – this allows you to control the saltiness of your sauce better. 

For every cup of hot wing sauce, you’ll need half a stick of butter. 

Get the butter and melt it in a microwave-safe dish on a low setting, making sure to check it periodically to ensure it doesn’t overcook or splatter. You can also do the melting on a stovetop set to low heat. 

Step 2: Mix in the Other Ingredients

Once your butter has fully melted, combine it with your other hot wing sauce ingredients – typically including hot sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper making sure to mix thoroughly so that all components are evenly distributed and blend well.

What Can You Add In Place Of Butter?

If you’re looking for a butter alternative for your wing sauce, here are some great alternatives to try out.


Ghee isa clarified butter that’s popular in Indian cuisine and is an excellent alternative to regular butter. 

It’s lactose-free and offers a rich, nutty flavor that pairs well with the tangy heat of traditional wing sauce. If too much fat isn’t your thing though, you’re better off with regular butter. 

Sunflower Oil

If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, sunflower oil is a fantastic choice. It has a light composition and neutral taste which allows the flavors of your wing sauce to shine through easily just like when you’re using butter. 

Other Fats

You can also try out other fat options like coconut oil or avocado oil, which can add unique tastes and textures to your wing sauce.

Roasted Garlic

If you want to amp up the flavor of your sauce while simultaneously eliminating the need for extra fat, consider adding roasted garlic to your wing sauce recipe. 

Roasted garlic complements spicy sauces beautifully and adds a depth of savory taste without using additional fats.

What Are The Optional Things When Making Wing Sauce?

When it comes to creating a wing sauce, some ingredients can be considered optional, though they do add a touch of flavor to the mix when incorporated. One such duo is salt and pepper – two classic seasonings that are familiar to us all.

Although salt and pepper might not be the stars of your wing sauce, they play a supporting role in enhancing the overall taste of your creation. 

How To Make Wing Sauce Peppery?

If peppery heat is what you’re after, we’ve got a few simple tricks that’ll transform your sauce from mild to mouthwatering in just minutes. 

First, consider adding more cayenne pepper instead of sauce. Cayenne pepper is known for its spiciness that delivers an instant heat boost without overwhelming the other flavors in your sauce. Simply adjust the amount of cayenne to taste, and you’ll have a zesty wing sauce that packs a punch.

Another option is to add a touch of Tabasco sauce, but keep in mind that Tabasco contains vinegar which if used too much, can alter the overall flavor profile of the sauce because of the existing vinegar content of the hot sauce itsef. 

To maintain balance in your wing sauce, use just a little Tabasco; this will add some peppery heat without creating an overpowering sharpness.

How To Make Wing Sauce Taste Better?

If you’re looking to upgrade your wing sauce experience, consider experimenting with these extra additions. 

Add a Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

A splash of Worcestershire sauce can amplify the savory notes in your wing sauce, giving it a richer and more complex flavor profile.

Sprinkle in Some Paprika

Paprika is a brilliant way to add both color and depth of flavor to your wing sauce. This vibrant spice brings a mild smokiness and warmth that complements the tangy base of the sauce.

Boost Flavor with Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is an easy way to infuse your wing sauce with delicious garlicky goodness without having to mince fresh cloves.

Try Roasted Garlic or Garlic Confit

For an extra-special touch, swap out garlic 

powder for roasted garlic or garlic confit. Their mellower, caramelized flavors will take your wing sauce to new levels, really.

Enhance with Onion Powder

Onion powder may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when making wing sauce, but trust us on this one—adding a pinch can make all the difference by adding a subtle aromatic layer.

Serve Warm Sauce for Optimal Flavor

Finally, it’s essential to always serve your wing sauce warm—or at least reheat it before serving if it’s been chilled. 

Warming up the sauce helps to release all its wonderful aromas and flavors, ensuring you get the most out of every bite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Substitute for Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce?

Frank’s red hot original sauce makes the best buffalo wing sauce ever, but if you’re out of it, substitute any other hot sauce that you like (for example Crystal) and it should work well. 

Just remember that each hot sauce has its unique flavor profile, so the end result might slightly differ from the original recipe that specifically calls for Frank’s.

How Do You Get Sauce to Stick to Hot Wings?

A mouthwatering plate of saucy hot wings is all about consistency. To get the sauce to stick without trying any of the thickening methods below, try cooling it down a bit before mixing it with the wings, which allows it to thicken up and adhere better. 

Alternatively, let the sauce cool in the refrigerator, then scoop some onto a piping hot wing and mix—the heat from the wing will warm up the sauce just enough for it to reach that perfect clingy consistency. 

What Thickens Wing Sauce?

There are a few ways to thicken wing sauce to make it stick better. 

Reduce it down by cooking

Simmering your sauce over low heat will cause the liquid to evaporate and the flavors to concentrate, transforming the consistency from thin to thick and robust. 

Just be careful not to reduce it too much or your sauce could end up overly salty or intense.

Use a Roux

A roux is a combination of equal parts flour and fat by weight, typically made by adding flour to melted butter or oil. 

Cook this mixture until the raw flavor of the flour disappears, then gradually whisk in your wing sauce until you achieve the desired thickness. 

The roux’s starchy properties will bind with the liquid in the sauce, creating a silky-smooth texture.

Use a Cornstarch slurry

Combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to create a slurry. 

Bring your wing sauce to a gentle simmer before stirring in the cornstarch mixture. Then cook for just long enough to thicken – usually around 1-2 minutes – but don’t overdo it or you could impair the texture and taste. 

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