I've looked for the buffalo wings recipe, trying to find a way to make it from scratch, and came up with recipes revolving around this sort of ingredients:

3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt to taste
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/3 cup Frank's red hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

The recipes vary but about all include Frank's red hot sauce. I can't easily obtain it here so I checked its ingredients:

White vinegar
Cayenne Red Peppers
Garlic Powder
Canola Oil
Natural Butter Type Flavor
Xanthan Gum

Compare to the list above. Butter substituted with butter-flavored canola oil. Xanthan gum. Water.

Essentially, this looks like the buffalo sauce could be made from ~3 cups of Frank's red hot sauce and half a teaspoon of Worcestershire. Or I could just skip the bought hot sauce and double the rest of ingredients, except Worcestershire. Maybe add a bit of xanthan gum to make the sauce stick to the wings better.

Is that it? The recipe first duplicating the sauce, then adding more of the sauce on top of it for no good reason? Or did I miss something?


3 Answers 3


The Frank's sauce is thickened (the xanthan gum) so your sauce might be runnier. That's easy to fix with a thickener of your choice. I'd probably use arrowroot or cornflour (corn starch to Americans) because I've got them in the cupboard. Arrowroot gives a clearer sauce but you don't want to boil it or the thickening properies will be reduced.

The bought sauce is also likely to be cooked for longer, allowing the flavours to mix, while at least one of your links only heats the final sauce briefly. That's also easy to fix by cooking a little longer.

Looking at the proportions, it seems like a slightly thinned Frank's sauce with extra butter rather than a sauce flavoured with Frank's. That doesn't affect the conclusion that it's possible to make your own.


Franks Red Hot is fine to use in a pinch, they use it at Swiss Chalet for their "hot" wings, while they mix a Swiss Chalet Brand BBQ & Wing Sauce with Franks Red Hot for "medium". You are correct to assume you can make a similar cayenne-based sauce and xanthan gum will likely not be required but helps thicken your sauce with less time spent reducing, just like in the factory. The process does give off some fairly "spicy heat" so open a window or throw on the hoods. You can have some fun with the recipe but I would start with freshly chopped cayenne peppers, white vinegar, minced garlic, salt and paprika at a 70:70:2:1:1 ratio. Simmer for 30 minutes, puree and simmer for another 15 minutes or until your desired thickness. The vinegar lowers the overall pH of your sauce which slows bacterial growth, the sauce will last for a lot longer than you might think. Use a clean container and don't contaminate your sauce, over time it will likely separate and need to be mixed, or shaken if you funnelled it into a squeeze bottle.


Any time you have a recipe that calls for a brand name product that's not available, or just a desire for a brand-name product you can't get, you can look up "copycat" recipes.

Here are two links to a replacement for Frank's Hot Sauce:



(Both links appear to be the same recipe -- just cayenne peppers, vinegar, garlic, and salt. I guess boiling it down substitutes for the gum.)

As an added bonus, here's a copycat recipe for Cholula hot sauce (called out by name in several recipes for buffalo wings) which uses carrots as a thickener:


  • 1
    A list of ingredients is not quite the same as a recipe.
    – arp
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 17:49
  • Fair enough actually
    – Hugo
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 17:51
  • While a good advice in general, it really seems like I really can skip it here, because it completely overlaps with what it's supposed to be added to.
    – SF.
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 19:04

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