Buffalo Wild Wings opened its doors in Columbus, Ohio, in 1982, and since then, the fast-food/casual-dining chain has become one of the country’s favorites. We can’t get enough of their fried foods, sports streaming on over-sized TVs, and a long list of beers. Of course, the star of the show is the Buffalo Wild Wings “wings” and their myriad of sauce and seasoning options. Whether your flavor preference is spicy, sweet, savory, salty, a combination, or any taste in between, B-Dubs has a sauce for you. Every once in a while, the chain offers a limited-time sauce that brings even more exciting flavors – but you have to catch it before it’s gone. So which of the 24 current sauces and seasonings are the best? While none of them are “bad” per se, we’ve ranked them from worst to first below.
Buffalo Wild Wings Sauces Ranked
While even Americanized teriyaki generally has garlic and ginger flavors, these are missing from the wing sauce. The teriyaki sauce tastes like a sweetened soy sauce but lacks Asian flair like sesame and umami. It’s not spicy at all, so if you prefer sweet soy sauce and no heat, you might enjoy this sauce.
The Blazin’ sauce is like a glowing neon yellow color – so right off the bat, you know this is going to be on a different level. The spice isn’t enjoyable- it’s a painful, stinging zing that your whole body will react to. The Blazin’ sauce used to be spicy, but the recipe was reformulated to mimic the ghost pepper, which is no pepper to mess around with. With it’s extra hot punch, there’s also a distinct flavor, so if you enjoy the pain and can make it past the intense burning, you might enjoy this sauce. If you’re looking for a more pleasurable heat, I’d skip this one.
CHIPOTLE BBQ SEASONING
The Chipotle BBQ dry rub seasoning is powdery, which makes the texture questionable, but the flavor in itself is pretty tasty. It has a mesquite smokey flavor from the chipotle and the sweet tang of barbecue. It also packs a nice punch in the heat department- but not so much that it overpowers the flavors. As far as dry rubs go, besides the powdery texture, this is an ok choice.
BUFFALO DRY RUB SEASONING
While this seasoning is described as “classic heat and soothing buttery flavor”, we might disagree. Ia dry rub seasoning, more like a gristly powder than a sauce, so there’s no buttery melt-in-your-mouth flavor. It has a very mild heat more similar to Old Bay Seasoning than buffalo sauce, and it seems to make the wings feel dry.
The Sweet BBQ sauce is perfect if you want a truly sweet sauce. It has a nice tang to it, and like the other BBQ sauces, it coats the wings well and has a nice thick texture. However, it doesn’t offer the smokey flavors of the Honey BBQ or the heat of the Hot BBQ sauce. It’s just satisfyingly sweet.
LEMON PEPPER DRY RUB SEASONING
The Lemon Pepper dry rub seasoning is as tart as a lemon and a bit spicy from the pepper – so it tastes just how you’d expect. I like to order a few of these and pair them with wings coated in other sauces because it pairs well with different flavors. It also tastes great on fries. Bright and citrusy, this is a well-balanced and delicious seasoning.
SALT & VINEGAR DRY RUB SEASONING
The Salt and Vinegar sauce reminds me of the salt and vinegar potato chips with a zing. It’s similar to the Lemon Pepper dry rub, where the saltiness and acidity work together, and I enjoy the tanginess of this rub. Just make sure your wings are properly tossed in the seasoning, so you get even flavors of both.
DESERT HEAT DRY RUB SEASONING
If you want to try a dry rub seasoning, this might be the best. The flavor is bold, spicy, salty, and slightly reminiscent of chipotle. My only complaint is that for a rub called “Desert Heat,” I’d expect a hot, smokey flavor, but this seasoning is heavy on the salt, which masks some of the flavors. It’s more like a salty chipotle rub.
The Honey BBQ sauce is a rich color with a sweet, smokey flavor. It has a tinge of spice, but the honey balances it out nicely. It’s not as wet as the Sweet BBQ sauce, but it has a better flavor. The best part of this sauce is that it coats the wings nicely and evenly, giving a consistent taste in each bite.
The Mild sauce is a creamy, zingy tomato-like sauce with rich buffalo flavors. While I prefer a spicier buffalo sauce, this sauce has a slight peppery spice that’s perfect for kids or adults who don’t like sauce with too much heat. It’s the perfect sauce for sharing with a large group because it can please almost any taste preference.
The Spicy Garlic sauce is both spicy and garlicky, so it’s not at all misleading. It offers a garlicky spin on the traditional buffalo sauce- a bit spicier than the mild with more heat on the front end of the bite, but not as spicy as the Original. The garlic flavors are bold, so be careful if you have a business meeting afterward. I like the Parmesan Garlic a bit better, but this is a fun way to mix up flavors.
Parmesan and garlic make an excellent pair if they’re adequately mixed. This creamy sauce is a perfect blend of both flavors and pairs well with some of the spicier sauces to balance out the heat and mellow out your taste buds. With its bold flavor, it’s a delicious dipping sauce for fries and other side items too.
The Medium Buffalo sauce is true to its name- right in the middle of our rankings, with mid-range spice flavors. It’s not as creamy as the mild sauce, but a little thicker and more fun to eat. It’s a bit spicier than the Mild buffalo, though not as spicy as the Hot buffalo sauces, giving you exactly what you’d expect from a medium sauce.
The Jammin’ Jalapeño sauce was originally a limited-edition sauce, but fans loved it so much that it became a permanent sauce option. It’s inspired by southwestern flavors, supposedly offering tastes of lime and tequila. The lime is there, but the tequila isn’t prominent. It has a nice heat to it, though, giving people a spicy lime flavor that they seem to love. It’s a decent sauce, but I’d take mine with a side of “margarita.”
This sauce doesn’t taste like Thai Curry, but more like a sauce inspired by Thai curry just for wings. The flavor is well-rounded with sweet chilis to coconut flavors, though it’s a bit heavy on the spices. The texture is thick and chunky, which was unexpected, but it’s one of the most exciting options on the menu.
I enjoy sticky sauces for finger-licking fun, so the Asian Zing is one of my favorites. The soy, singer, and spicy chili flavors are balanced by sweetness and a tang in the aftertaste. This Asian-inspired sauce is more flavorful than the Teriyaki sauce, and the mid-range heat makes this one of the more well-balanced wing sauces.
BOURBON HONEY MUSTARD
This sauce combines the classic zing of honey mustard with sweet honey flavors. There’s a splash of citrus and a fun kick of bourbon flavors. It’s an interesting combination of flavors, and if it’s mixed properly, it’s a well-balanced sauce. Slightly spicy with just a bit of heat, you’ll probably either love it or hate it.
The Wild sauce is the second hottest sauce on the menu, and it’s the hottest buffalo sauce. It has a tangy smokey flavor, but the spiciness can slightly overpower the taste so that you might not even realize it’s a buffalo sauce. But if you’re looking for hot wings without the painful burn of the Blazin’ wings, then this is a perfect choice.
This tangy, ginger-packed sauce has a sticky sweetness that’s fun and delicious to eat. It’s inspired by Jamaican flavors, so this sauce is sweet, salty, spicy, and citrusy, just like the traditional island tastes. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a sweet sauce that isn’t BBQ-based, and it has a bit of heat, but it’s not too spicy.
The Hot BBQ sauce is not the best of the barbecue flavors, but it’s flavorful. It’s spicy but not so spicy that it suffocates the flavor. It’s also smokey, which gives the sauce an authentic barbecue taste, but it’s missing the sweetness you’d expect from a BBQ sauce. If sweetness is important to you, try the Honey or Sweet BBQ Sauce.
The Original Buffalo sauce is a classically hot sauce with a smooth buttery flavor and a zippy tang from the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. It’s a fun sticky sauce that has you licking your fingers and dipping your wings at the bottom of the container to get every last drop.
One of the best buffalo sauces, the Hot sauce has everything you could want in a wing sauce – it’s spicy, sweet, well-seasoned with salt and pepper, and zingy thanks to the vinegar. The spice doesn’t overwhelm the flavor, and while it’s hot, it’s not painfully hot. This sauce tastes great on boneless and bone-in wings, as well as french fries, onion rings, chicken tenders- you name it.
If you’ve caught on to the rivalry between Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes with their Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, then you’ll understand why Buffalo Wild Wings wanted in on the action. The Nashville Hot sauce has just the right amount of heat without it being too spicy, and it’s sweet and tangy flavors resemble some of the other buffalo sauces offered. You can try this sauce on your wings or the franchise’s Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich – either is an excellent choice.
Adobo sauce is primarily made of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar. So this wing sauce offers an excellent flavor profile of smokey, sweet, and spice. It goes well with boneless and bone-in wings, but this sauce is so versatile that it can also be added to most other items on the menu, including fries and burgers. It’s comparable to a barbecue sauce, so if you’re a BBQ fan, you’ll want to try this sauce.
The flavors of this sauce work so well together while offering a more intense eating experience. The mango-forward flavors are backed up by the super spicy habanero, giving it a balanced amount of heat and flavor. Some of the other spicy sauces can be too heat-forward, drowning out the flavors. But this sauce offers both pretty evenly. The sweetness rounds out the flavors nicely, and the sauce is thick, sticky, and messy – just the way wings should be. It’s definitely one of the best spicy sauces, and in our opinion, the best of the bunch.
Not all wings are created equal – but they’re not that different either. Most of the sauces are high in calories, sodium, and sugar. The dry rub seasonings are a bit healthier except that the wings themselves are deep-fried. For a healthier snack at Buffalo Wild Wings, you could opt for Naked Wings. But if that doesn’t sound very fun, the most nutritious option is the Desert Heat seasoning, which has 5 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 250 mg sodium. On the flip side, the least nutritious option is the Thai Curry sauce, which has 150 calories, 14 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, and 900 mg sodium.
The prices of the sauces are just about the same, and if you’d like to order a side dish for some extra goodness, they each cost around $0.60. The price variation depends on the type and amount of wings you choose. A snack serving of 6 wings (boneless or bone-in) is around $6.79. A large order of 20 wings is about $20. You can also order a 4-piece of naked tenders for $8.99 or a 6-piece of extra crispy wings for $10.49. The traditional wings with any of your favorite sauces are definitely the best deal.
What do you think?
Do you agree with our ratings? Which is your favorite dry rub, and which is your favorite sauce? Let us know in the comments below.