Original Buffalo Sauce For Wings || How to Make It

The original buffalo sauce is the only way to go when making chicken wings. It is, by far, superior to all of the recipes that have come along since it was created.

original buffalo sauce in a condiment dish on a table

Someone is always trying to make a recipe better, or even just put a bit of a twist on it to make it their own. However, it is my opinion that, no one has been able to improve on this amazing sauce.

It is perfect, just as it was first made. And I have never been able to find a reason to try to change it in any way.

It was born late one night, in a bar room kitchen, in the town of Buffalo, NY. The year was 1964, and apparently it was a very good year for buffalo sauce to be born.

The bar owners son asked her to prepare a snack for his friends. She went into the kitchen, deep fried some chicken wings, made a spicy sauce, tossed them in it, and served them up. They were a hit!

This culinary creation was a big financial win for local restaurants.

It provided them with a very popular menu attraction. And it gave them a way to use a product that had always been viewed as waste.

Chicken wings were primarily considered trash in commercial kitchens. The creation of the original buffalo sauce recipe turned them into a profit maker overnight.

Buffalo Sauce vs Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is one of two ingredients used to make buffalo sauce. It is a blend of cayenne pepper, vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder.

The original buffalo sauce was made with Frank’s red hot sauce, and restuarants all throughout the tri-state area still make it using this very same sauce.

It is a rare occasion that one orders buffalo wings in that area of the country, and gets a different sauce.

And with how simple this sauce is to make, it’s no wonder that restaurants don’t see a need to alter the original recipe.

Frank’s red hot sauce + butter = the original buffalo sauce. It’s sheer simplicity is one of it’s charms.

How To Control The Spice In Original Buffalo Sauce

I found that many bloggers suggest using cayenne pepper to adjust the intensity of the heat of their buffalo sauce recipe.

buffalo chicken wings on a plate with celery

I can’t really wrap my head around the logic that they used to come up with this method. It just doesn’t make any sense. The heat in buffalo sauce comes from the hot sauce in the recipe, which is literally made with aged red cayenne peppers.

Adding more cayenne to make the sauce hotter is counterintuitive.

It is much more sensible to simply adjust the amount of butter used in the recipe to alter the heat level of the sauce.

Less butter, more heat. More butter, less heat. Done. Please stop adding cayenne pepper to your buffalo sauce folks. It’s weird.

How To Make This Sauce

You will have to experiment a bit to get the original buffalo sauce adjusted to just the right amount of heat for you and your family.

original buffalo sauce on chicken wings with ranch dip

It’s very easy to change the level of spiciness in this dish. All you have to do is, heat equal parts of Frank’s red hot sauce and butter in a small saucepan, and then use those same two ingredients to adjust the sauce to your liking.

If the sauce is not hot enough for you, then add a little more Frank’s red hot to the mix. And if it’s too hot, add some more butter.

Mess around with it until it’s the perfect temperature for you. And don’t forget to keep track of how much of each ingredient you’re using. That way you will be able to duplicate it as often as you like. And you’re going to want to duplicate it quite often.

Variations Of This Sauce

I never use anything apart from hot sauce and butter to make the original buffalo sauce recipe, as that is all the first batch contained on it’s birth night 58 years ago. And it’s DELICIOUS!

bar style chicken wings with celery and dip

It seems obvious to me that, if a recipe has stood the test of time for more than half a century there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, as they say. Just enjoy it as it is.

In addition to the odd theory of adding cayenne to adjust the heat in this sauce, I’ve seen it suggested that one should add vinegar to it to give it a little tang.

This suggestion falls just as flat as the one for adding cayenne pepper, as vinegar is one of the 5 ingredients found in hot sauce. Please don’t add vinegar to your buffalo sauce folks. It’s weird.

Substitutions That Are Worth A Try

The suggestions that I found that seem a bit more sensible are; the addition of worchestershire sauce, honey, and/or garlic.

Worchestershire would lend a savory note to the sauce that might be a welcome addition. Honey would offset some of the heat in the recipe with a touch of sweetness, again a possible welcome touch.

And garlic … well, it is my opinion, that garlic is good in just about everything. So, I get it. Someone may want to add garlic.

I would suggest you give the original buffalo sauce recipe a try just as it is to start. And then, if you must, make one of these additions.

I suspect you won’t feel the need to, but you never know.

How To Serve Original Buffalo Sauce

The dish that this sauce is most closely associated with is chicken wings, you might have guessed this already!

deep fried chicken wings waiting to be sauced

I have learned over time that it is best to bake your chicken wings until they are almost completely cooked, and then fry them to finish them off.

Don’t bake them too long, as they will then be too dry after they are fried.

Roll your freshly fried wings in a bowl of the original buffalo sauce, and serve with a side of celery sticks and dressing.

Blue cheese is the most common choice of dressing to serve with buffalo style chicken wings. Ranch dressing is an excellent alternative for those who are not fans of blue cheese.

And then there’s homemade ranch dressing with blue cheese crumbles added. Which, in my humble opinion, is the very best way to serve buffalo chicken wings.

Alternative Ways To Serve This Sauce

This amazing sauce is great tossed with boneless wings as well. So good!

You can drizzle it over eggs or homefries. Or you can drizzle a small amount on a salad along with some blue cheese or ranch dressing.

It can be used to replace traditional sauce on your next pizza, and if you top that pizza with a little chicken and some blue cheese you’ll have a great meal.

Cook up some diced chicken breast and toss it in the original buffalo sauce, then stuff it in a quesadilla with the cheese of your choice. Or use it to top a great big burger fresh off the grill, add some blue cheese dressing and call it a buffalo blue burger, because it is one. And it’s tasty too!

If you want to make an outstanding buffalo style dip to show off to company, you’ll find the perfect recipe for that, right on the Sustainable Slow Living blog.

How To Store Original Buffalo Sauce

I’m not sure what the standard food safety rules call for to store a sauce like this one. It’s very likely that they recommend you refrigerate it. And there’s nothing wrong with refrigerating it if you feel more comfortable doing that.

wings tossed in original buffalo sauce on a plate

You will have to reheat it and make sure it is well blended after you take it out of the refrigerator.

I keep my original buffalo sauce right by the stove when I make a batch. I’ve never had an issue storing it this way. It is literally packed full of natural preservatives. And, additionally, having it next to the stove reminds me to use it in different dishes when I cook.

Every restaurant kitchen that I ever worked in stored it on a shelf in their kitchen. It’s hot as h*** in those kitchens, and I still never saw an issue arise there.

You decide what works for you. It’s also simple enough to make just enough for the meal you’re using it for, and then there will be no leftovers to deal with.

Seperation Is Normal

Please note: This sauce will seperate over time. It can be easily mixed back together by giving it a vigorous shake. This will only work when it is at room temperature. So, if you are just removing it from the fridge, allow it time to warm up before you try to blend it back together.

pinnable image for original buffalo sauce

If you try this recipe and love it, please give it 5 stars! It supports my work more than you may realize, and I appreciate that a great deal!

You can also show your support by tagging me on Facebook @sustainableslowliving and/or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished dish.

original buffalo sauce in a condiment dish on a table


Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The original buffalo sauce is still the very best one out there. This is the recipe for that very sauce. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 c Frank's red hot sauce
  • 1/2 c butter, salted


  1. Place ingredients in a small saucepan and heat through, being careful not to brown the butter.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 936mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 8/24/2022. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


  1. “Less butter, more heat. More butter, less heat. Done. Please stop adding cayenne pepper to your buffalo sauce folks. It’s weird.” haha, love the pluck. Worcestshire and garlic are really interesting ideas. We, like normal people, enjoy wings and I can stand the heat but I’m not a big fan of nose running spice so switching things up will be welcome.

  2. I have hot wings, but I’ve never made my own sauce before, I didn’t realize it would be so easy. I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Really appreciate recounting the history of this great and simple sauce. However, it’s your kitchen. Make it however you want. For some, Frank’s may not be mild or hot enough, may or may not have enough vinegar, etc. Add garlic, honey, even fish sauce or whatever you want. Call it your own special version. I think it’s really weird to say it’s okay to make it milder but not hotter. Get over it. It’s their kitchen. If you can’t take the heat…

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