Memphis Honey Hot Chicken Wing Sauce Recipe

Memphis Honey Hot Chicken Wing Sauce Recipe | Chicken Wings Blog

Make this Memphis style recipe for a smooth, sweet sauce with a bite that will leave you wiping sweat from your brow and shedding your jacket!

Type: Party Food, Dinner, Southern

Cuisine: Southern, American, Deep South

Keywords: Honey Hot, Chicken Wing Sauce, Hot Honey

Recipe Yield: 4 Servings

Calories: 416

Preparation Time: PT0H02M

Cooking Time: PT0H15M

Total Time: PT0H17M

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup hot sauce I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp hot chili powder
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey local preferred
  • 2 heaping tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp hot Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper my notes call for red chili flakes in future experiments
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste. use 1 tsp of each if unsure

Editor's Rating:
5

More Information for the Curious

For those who like a little more pep in their step, I recommend you try this honey hot chicken wing sauce recipe! I make this for my friends all the time and is my hands down favorite!

But, just a warning to the wise, this is SPICY, so be careful!

The No Frills How To

First, take a small pot and put it on your burner on a medium/low heat. Then, take the butter and, while the pot heats up, allow the butter to warm up and melt. As the butter melts, add the hot sauce and stir until both are wholly combined.

Continuing to monitor your heat, we don’t want the ingredients to boil, add in the honey; stir to combine. Then, once combined, add the white wine vinegar along with all of our various seasonings (hot chili powder, turmeric, hot Hungarian powder, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder). Continue to stir until, as Binging With Babish would say, the flavors get to know each other.

Lastly, once the ingredients have combined to your preferred taste, add in the brown sugar (read below to find out why we put in the brown sugar last!). Allow the sugar to dissolve wholly into the mixture, and stir to combine as the honey hot sauce comes back up to heat.

Once back up to heat, keep at a low simmer until ready to serve! Also, do not let sit for too long, as the flavors will change over time on heat. This is best served immediately with your favorite fried chicken or chicken wings (or with anything honestly, this stuff is like crack).

Honey Hot Wing

Detailed Honey Hot Walk-Through

If you want insanely good Honey Hot wings, read below for more details on how to do so!

How To Get The Best Flavor Possible

Firstly, and you will hear this said by home cookers and chefs alike, but you’ll want to use high quality ingredients in all of your recipes! After all, something that has intentionally been designed for quality can produce superior end results than a product of lesser caliber (ceterus paribus).

Additionally, managing your heat will allow your sauces to attain the correct flavor palate. If your heat is too high, the sauce will burn, reduce quickly, and generally concentrate. While there are uses for higher temperatures, beginners should stay away from this nuanced subject.

In addition to being overly hot, an overly cold mixture will not combine the flavors of your ingredients well. Since heat acts as the catalyst to changing flavors, you will want to ensure that the sauce has a consistent temperature.

However, the feel for the correct heat comes with practice, patience, and experience. So, feel free to note your mistakes, and plan to improve on those mistakes on your next try!

Lastly, high end, well treated equipment will make all the difference as you cook. As you attempt to generate a consistent and quality product, consider investing in yourself by buying higher quality tools! For example, a thick bottomed metal pot will retain heat better than one of a cheaper, flimsier variety. Thus, your heat will remain consistent and easy to manage.

Plus, since you bought higher quality ingredients, which cost more money, now you have a lessened chance of mismanaging your heat. Plus, there’s a higher chance of something accidentally going right instead of wrong!

Two whole, fried chicken wings smothered in Memphis Honey Hot Sauce
The honey hot wings weren’t even cooked that well, the sauce just makes them look and taste so ridiculously good!

The Nuances Of Making Sauces

After all, homemade sauces like Memphis Honey Extra Hot are fairly easy to make! They just require the right know how and then anyone can make them at home.

The Butter

For instance, place the butter into the pot as you turn on the heat. In case you don’t know, if the pot is already hot when you drop in the butter, the butter will froth and bubble. Consequently, the frothiness will negatively impact the creamy consistency of the hot sauce that we want!

The Stirring

In addition to allowing the butter to come up to heat slowly, when managing your sauce be sure to keep the mixture moving as much as possible. What this does is, besides just mixing the ingredients with one another, it allows the heat to distribute evenly and catalyze the flavor changes of the entire sauce.

The Reduction

In continuation, when sauce just sits on a stove top, the bottom of the liquid heats unevenly and causes inconsistent flavors among the sauce as a whole. Therefore, because you want the best possible flavoring, you will want to keep the sauce moving!

The Seasoning Process

Next, and I won’t be the first or last person you hear this from, but taste as you cook! Not only is tasting as you cook a great way to develop the flavors of the dish better, allowing you to make important adjustments throughout the cooking process. But, it also encourages you to focus on the process of making the dish!

In fact, learning how a specific spice will change the flavor of a dish from one spectrum into a whole different one is important. The feeling, mood, and a whole host of thematic factors change depending on your spice choice, amount, and quality of what you put into your dishes!

Express Your Freedom!

Lastly, please feel free to alter this recipe! Some variations call for different ingredients than I call for in mine. Plus, this recipe will change over time as I develop in the art and science of cooking! So, you too should look the expand and change your cooking arsenal every chance you get.

Picture of Memphis Honey Hot Sauce in a steel pot mid cook
The honey hot sauce in action. Just remember, yours may not look like mine, and that is okay!

Several Small Details

To begin with, absolutely make sure that you prepare this sauce with good timing in preparation for consumption. You’ll want to know that after experimenting a bit, I let the sauce sit too long on the burner, which drastically alters the flavor of the sauce by reducing it into a sugary, pasty mess.

Additionally, the reason we put in the brown sugar last is because if we have both honey and brown sugar in the mixture throughout the cooking process, the sugary taste would overwhelm the spiciness that we are going for as the sauces flavors reduce over time and heat!

Last, but not least, use a set of stainless steel mixing bowls to properly coat your chicken wings in sauce immidiately after they are done frying. Since you like the best chicken you can get, when you follow this step I guarantee your chicken will come out great!

Memphis Honey Hot WIngs Sauce on a fried chicken wing
The last picture of these honey hot boys. Whew, does that looks good!

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, there are plenty of ways to make this recipe, and here is presented only one option! In fact, here is an example of Honey Hot Sauce from which I drew inspiration, although in his article, Shawn calls it Honey Buffalo Wings.

Remarkably, there are so many variations to this sauce, that it is hard to call this simply Memphis Honey Extra Hot Sauce (its extra hot because of the added spices and I tweaked the recipe to add more hot sauce!). So, let me, and everyone else reading this, what you think about this recipe in the comments below! Also, once you give it a try, reach out to my on Instagram, @thechickenwingsblog.

Leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you shortly.

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