The Reason Wing Sauce Tastes Better From A Restaurant Than At Home

Spicy, rich, and tangy, buffalo wings are an ideal appetizer to order when you don't mind sacrificing clean fingers for the sake of mouth-watering bites. But if you've ever tried making them at home, you know that simply dousing your wings with hot sauce doesn't give you quite the same results as when you order them from a restaurant. So what's the difference?

The wings you'll get when eating out typically have melted butter mixed into the sauce. Not only does this lend a thicker, richer consistency, but it also adds a little depth of flavor. After all, hot sauce on its own typically overwhelms your palate with straight-up spiciness. As an example, although Frank's RedHot is pretty low on the Scoville scale – it's one of the milder popular hot sauces out there at 450 Scoville heat units — butter dilutes the liquid, and the dairy counteracts the spiciness even more.

Besides at restaurants, you'll typically find some form of butter in bottled buffalo sauces as well. For instance, Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce only includes aged cayenne red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder, while its Buffalo Wings Hot Sauce contains "natural butter type flavor" among other ingredients.

How to make restaurant-worthy wing sauce at home

Now that you know what separates restaurant-worthy buffalo sauce from the rest, you can easily whip it up yourself at home. A basic version couldn't be easier — all you need to do is combine Frank's RedHot or your hot sauce of choice with melted butter and season with salt, pepper, or garlic powder, if you'd like.

But plenty of recipes deviate from this classic version. For added tangy flavor, you can also add apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or Worcestershire sauce in your buffalo wing sauce, and for a dash of sweetness, try honey or a little brown sugar.

Even if you're making a two-ingredient buffalo sauce, there's still room to get a little fancy. Before mixing it into hot sauce, try browning your butter for a richer, nuttier flavor. Simply heat your butter on the stove while stirring until it gets melted and foamy, then combine the caramel-colored liquid with your hot sauce and any other ingredients you're using. You may not even be able to tell the difference between your buffalo sauce and the one at your favorite restaurant.