The Best Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce: I Tried All 26 Flavors to Find the Winner

Buffalo Wild Wings cover 2

Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

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Buffalo Wild Wings cover 2
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

From Mild to Wild

"This is a marathon, not a sprint," I reminded myself as I gazed upon the trays that held wings coated in the 4th, 5th, and 6th wing sauces of the day at Buffalo Wild Wings. I had shown up to a local B-Dubs hungry since I'd be eating at least 26 chicken wings — there are a total of 26 sauces and dry rubs to choose from — in my quest to determine the best Buffalo Wild Wings sauce, but I had to pace myself. Over the course of two hours, I slowly confused and angered my stomach, ensuring I wouldn't want to look at another buffalo wing for at least a month.

Stupidly trying over two dozen sauces and dry seasonings back-to-back led to some clear winners and losers in my mind, but I was curious what Buffalo Wild Wings had to say about the popularity of their sauces. 

What Is Buffalo Wild Wings' Most Sold Sauce?

Here are Buffalo Wild Wings's most popular sauces, according to a representative for the company:

  • Honey BBQ
  • Parm Garlic
  • Medium
  • Mild
  • Asian Zing

How does my ranking compare? I definitely disagree that one of them is worth ordering. Here are my thoughts on all 26 Buffalo Wild Wings flavors, ranked from best to worst, including the two limited time offer sauces available at the time.

(And if you're hungry for more we also tried all the wing flavors at Wingstop to find the best.)

buffalo wild wings tasting table
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Our Methodology to Find the Best Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

I visited a Buffalo Wild Wings near Milwaukee, WI in mid-June, 2023 for this taste test. The wings were brought out in batches of three flavors from mildest to hottest over the course of about two hours for photos and tasting. 

The visit was arranged and paid for by Buffalo Wild Wings, but the company in no way interfered with the tasting or outcome, and the opinions are purely my own. I do not recommend trying it yourself for the sake of your GI tract. 

Buffalo Wild Wings lemon pepper
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1. Lemon Pepper Is the Best Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

There's a lemon pepper sauce now at B-Dubs, and it's freakin' great. I figured I'd enjoy this one because I love citrus, but it blew me away how much I loved this one: This is the best Buffalo Wild Wings sauce. There's much more tangy lemon flavor than black pepper, but the pepper sneaks up on you at the end with a surprising amount of kick. 

I rarely stray past hot sauce-based wings because it's the flavor I think of when I think chicken wings, but BW3's* lemon pepper sauce is what'll convince me to break out of that mold, and I suggest you do the same. If you're a fan of the lemon pepper dry rub, try this version next time — they even get a sprinkle of the rub on top of the sauce for an extra tart punch. 

*Buffalo Wild Wings was once known as Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck, hence the BW3 moniker.

buffalo wild wings hot
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2. Hot Is the 2nd Best Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

This right here is what I think of when I think buffalo wings. It's messy and it's just spicy enough to make you reach for that beer after a few wings. There's just enough vinegar bite, and Buffalo Wild Wings avoided the temptation of adding sweetness to it to counter the heat. If you're looking for a wing covered in Frank's RedHot, this is the one that'll come the closest. 

Buffalo wild wings nashville hot
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3. Nashville Hot Is the 3rd Best Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

Chalk another wing flavor up in the 'surprise' column. I'm very picky about my Nashville hot-style fried chicken, and this one came damn close to imitating the flavor of the authentic stuff in Nashville — or at least much closer than lots of other imposters I've had outside of Tennessee. Sure, it's a wet sauce and not an oil and spice paste, but the flavor is all unmistakable cayenne. 

It needs more heat in order to live up to its namesake's reputation, but I'm not even mad about that. My server, Ellen (shout out to her, she was amazing for this 2-hour marathon), told me that it's got a bit of butter flavor in the sauce, which added a just the right amount of creamy, mellow backbone to smooth out the slightly bitter cayenne. 

buffalo wild wings jammin jalapeno
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4. Jammin' Jalapeño Sauce

Are you a heat and sweet kind of person? Then this Jammin' Jalapeño is the best Buffalo Wild Wings sauce for you. It's definitely thick and jammy in consistency, with little bits of multicolored peppers lacquered throughout. It's mercifully not too sweet and has a medium heat level in the grand panoply of B-Dubs sauces. You'll love it if your great-aunt used to make that cracker spread with a jar of jalapeno jam over a block of cream cheese.

Related: Spicy Fast-Food Menu Items to Order If You're Feeling Brave

buffalo wild wings honey bbq
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5. Honey BBQ Sauce

Oooh, this one's nostalgic. It makes me think of picnics and the barbecue sauce in my school cafeteria that I'd slather the chicken nuggets in to make them edible as a kid. If you're a barbecue person, skip Buffalo Wild Wings' other barbecue option and head directly here. Perhaps not surprisingly, this one tastes better on boneless wings since it's just the best version of a childhood chicken nugget.

buffalo wild wings jerk
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6. Caribbean Jerk Sauce

Caribbean jerk is the most complex sauce that Buffalo Wild Wings offers. Spices like clove and allspice hit you directly in the nose when you take a bite, and you can tell it's going to be good just by looking at all the little flecks of flavor in the sauce. It's a little bit sweet, has a medium heat level, and it'll have you reaching for more wings. 

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buffalo wild wings chipotle bbq rub
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7. Chipotle BBQ Seasoning Is the Best Buffalo Wild Wings Dry Rub

Behold: the best of the dry rubs! The Chipotle BBQ rub also has another thing going for that none of the other wing flavors do: smokiness. I didn't realize it until I tried this one near the end of my taste test, but smoke flavor is absent from all the sauces. This is like if you took a smoky, sweet, and spicy barbecue potato chip seasoning and dumped it all over a chicken wing. And if you value crispy chicken above all else, dry rubs are the way to go.

Related: The Best Chicken Wings in Every State

buffalo wild wings lemon pepper rub
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8. Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Following closely behind the Chipotle BBQ rub is the Lemon Pepper dry rub. This is good, but the Buffalo Wild Wings sauce version is better. You'll get more citrus flavor and tang from the sauce, and more straight black pepper from the rub. The rub is also a little less spicy than the lemon pepper sauce, despite more of a pronounced black pepper flavor.

buffalo wild wings medium
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9. Medium Sauce

Buffalo Wild Wings' Mild, Medium, and Hot sauces are all pretty creamy. That works in the hot and medium versions pretty well, where there's a nice heat to counteract the richness of the sauce. This one's a little less spicy than the Hot, but it'll still creep up on you if you eat a whole basket. This is a great classic buffalo wing for people who are unsure about heat, but aren't wimpy either.

buffalo wild wings spicy garlic
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10. Spicy Garlic Sauce

Spicy Garlic is pretty much the standard Medium sauce with a bunch of added garlic flavor, and I'm always here for garlic. That pungent allium taste will stick with you for a while, while the heat dissipates much faster. If garlic is your first love, definitely grab this over the Parmesan Garlic sauce, which is further down the list.

buffalo wild wings thai curry
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11. Thai Curry Sauce

I eat (and cook) Thai food a lot, and this hits similarly, but in kind of an anemic way. The flavor at first tastes like creamy coconut milk, followed by a burst of lime, but there's not much else going on. It does have a good, searing heat, but it needs more of a flavor punch from things like Thai basil or fish sauce. It's certainly not bad, but it'll disappoint if you're a Thai food connoisseur. My much-less-picky taste test companion thought it was great, so there you go.

buffalo wild wings original buffalo
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12. Original Buffalo Sauce

Apparently the Original Buffalo went away from Buffalo Wild Wings at some point, but it's back now. It's very distinct from the Mild, Medium, Hot, and Wild sauces, even though most people would describe them as buffalo sauces as well; it's all a little confusing. But what you really need to know is that the Original Buffalo is a sweet buffalo-style sauce, with sugar added to compensate for the heat and vinegar. It's good, but I prefer the straight shooting Hot or Medium better.

buffalo wild wings parmesan garlic
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13. Parmesan Garlic Sauce

I'll probably get flak for placing Parmesan Garlic in the middle of my ranking of the best Buffalo Wild Wings flavors because everyone seems to love it. This is the first time I tried it, and I don't really understand why. It's OK? Kind of alfredo sauce-y? Needs more garlic and more parmesan cheese funk, though. At least there was a little bit of heat at the end, which was a pleasant surprise. If you absolutely need your wings covered in a creamy mayo-like sauce and ranch or bleu cheese won't cut it, then this one's for you.

buffalo wild wings mild
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14. Mild Sauce

Mild is buffalo for beginners (or buffalo for babies, if you want to be judgmental about it). It's creamy, it's pretty thick so it coats the chicken really well, and the vinegar is pretty strong. What's not strong is the heat, which is kind of the point. 

buffalo wild wings wild
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15. Wild Sauce

On the other hand, Wild is buffalo for badasses. It's the hottest of the four classic buffalo sauces (Mild, Medium, Hot, Wild), and it's hard to tell much of a difference between it and Hot. But this one has a heat the builds and lingers longer, plus the sauce is a little gritty on account of the ground chile powders. If Hot is too wimpy for you, this is the upgrade. 

buffalo wild wings salt and vinegar rub
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16. Salt and Vinegar Seasoning

I'm not a huge fan of salt and vinegar potato chips, so I was thrilled to find out this wasn't horrible! It's got some little green herbs in it, so it's almost like a sour cream and onion chip seasoning. 

The vinegar is not nearly as mouth-puckering as I've tasted on some chips (including the Kettle Chips flavor I tried in our taste test), and neither is it like a salt lick, thankfully. It made slightly more sense when I thought about all the vinegar that goes into the buffalo-style sauces. If you ever thought, "boy, I wish this hot sauce had no chiles in it," then step right up. 

buffalo wild wings general tso's
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17. General Tso's Sauce

General Tso's is a limited-time Buffalo Wild Wings sauce flavor, and even at #17 on this list, it's the best of the generic "Asian" sauces. (Yes, they're all pretty bad, sorry B-Dubs.) This is the stickiest sauce I encountered, so you'll need to keep those wet wipes handy.

There's no real flavors you can pick out in this one, it's just vaguely Chinese-American. If you tossed it with boneless wings and a few vegetables, it'd be on par with Panda Express. You decide if that's good or bad.

buffalo wild wings mango habanero
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18. Mango Habanero Sauce

Where's the mango, B-Dubs? I expected to love this one, because I love variations on this same flavor combination at local wing places. But there's very little fruity flavor at all, let alone mango. There's some good heat, and it's certainly sweet, but not much else in the way of flavor. Super bummer.

buffalo wild wings buffalo rub
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19. Buffalo Seasoning

I like the idea of this dry Buffalo rub. In reality, it's really disappointing. I want that classic buffalo wing flavor without the mess and sog of a sauce, but this is very bland compared to the sauces. It also somehow manages to be both creamy tasting and dry at the same time. It's by far the weakest of all the buffalo-style options at Buffalo Wild Wings.

buffalo wild wings blazin knockout
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20. Blazin' Knockout Sauce Is the Hottest Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

Buffalo Wild Wings' Blazin' Knockout is the hottest sauce they have. It comes with a little sticker warning that it "may irritate eyes or skin," along with a cup of ice cream to put the fire out in your mouth after. You're going to need it, too, because this stuff is no joke. 

This is only a sauce you order for the novelty of it, or you somehow determine your worth as a human being based on the amount of spiciness you can handle. Because of all the chile powder in it, it's bitter, but you're not really ordering this for its flavor anyway. It's about the same level of heat as the Dave's Hot Chicken Reaper tender, but this heat is slower and lingers more, making your tongue and lips tingle instead of your throat like at DHC. 

You can order Blazin' just like any other sauce if you're so inclined to have a mini spice-off with your friends, or you can do the Blazin' challenge where you have to eat 10 bone-in wings in five minutes or less with no drink, no dip, no wipe, but definitely a signed waiver and a very stylish Blazin' branded sweat band on your head. 

Related: 25 Belly-Busting Food Challenges That Offer Winners a Free Meal

buffalo wild wings sweet BBQ
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21. Sweet BBQ Sauce

Yes, there are Buffalo Wild Wing sauces that are actually worse than the spicy challenge one, starting with Sweet BBQ. If Honey BBQ is your good memories from childhood chicken nuggets, this is your childhood nightmare. It's super sweet, thick, and ketchup-like. I don't want to dip my wings in ketchup and neither should you.

buffalo wild wings orange chicken
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22. Orange Chicken Sauce

This one made me angry. Chinese-American-style orange chicken sauce seemed like a slam dunk for boneless wings, but in a bizarre twist that no one saw coming, there's no orange flavor. It tastes like generic bottled sweet chili sauce, like the kind you dip crab rangoon in. Blech.

buffalo wild wings sweet chili lime
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23. Sweet Chili Lime Sauce

The second of Buffalo Wild Wings' limited time offers during my taste test, Sweet Chili Lime confused me. Are the flavors supposed to be inspired by Mexico or Southeast Asia? After tasting it I'm guessing Asia because again, it tasted mostly like sweet chili sauce with a bit of sour lime (or maybe vinegar and the name is making me imagine flavors at this point?). It tastes flat and not nearly as enticing as its name.

buffalo wild wings asian zing
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24. Asian Zing Sauce

Oh great, another (air quotes) Asian (air quotes) flavor. It's very sweet, very indistinct, and I don't know what it's trying to be. "Big whatever to this one" is what I wrote in my notes and that sums it up.

buffalo wild wings desert heat
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25. Desert Heat Seasoning Is the Worst Buffalo Wild Wings Dry Rub

Have you ever eaten the absence of flavor? I have, and its name is Desert Heat Rub from Buffalo Wild Wings. It's like they took sand — I guess that's where the name comes from — added a hint of Southwest-like seasoning, then dumped a handful on some chicken. I don't know how they managed to put so little flavor in such a large quantity of seasoning, but by god they succeeded.

buffalo wild wings teriyaki
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26. Teriyaki Sauce Is the Worst Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

Terrible "Asian" sauce strikes again! This time Buffalo Wild Wings is flipping off Japan with their rendition of teriyaki. This tastes of soy sauce, and literally nothing else. I imagine they took a big gallon of the stuff, watered it down, and then thickened it with enough cornstarch to sustain a Chinese-American restaurant for a year. If you absolutely have to get it, get it on the boneless wing because the breading helps cover up the one-note soy sauce a little bit. A paltry D- grade, simply embarrassing.