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Spicy BBQ Sauce Wing Throwdown

This guest post is from our friend Big Wayne Brown of BigWaynerBBQ.com

I’ve been on a chicken wing kick lately.  Actually, it’s been a craving induced by a demand from my wife for more space in the pantry.  When I did this last week, it was for mustard-based sauces.  And with Brian and Marilyn asking me to do a guest blog for them, I thought it would be sort of appropriate to do a chicken wing throwdown with spicy BBQ sauces.  So without further delay, here are the sauces for this week’s chicken wing throwdown:

From left to right:

The Method to My Madness

In a matter similar to the last chicken wing throwdown, I used Tyson wings purchased at Sam’s Club and lightly seasoned them with a 50/50 blend of Draper’s AP Rub and Moo’d Enhancer.  However, rather than cooking them in the smoker and then finishing them on the grill, I cooked the wings directly on the Weber OTG Kettle Grill using Kingsford charcoal and a single Red Oak Mojobrick Bar-B-Qube.  Cook time was approximately 15-20 minutes (I wasn’t tracking the time all that close). 

So now on to the sauces…

Grumpy’s Private Reserve Black Label

Grumpy’s BBQ Sauce is based out of Thornton, CO (just north of Denver).  Their entire line of sauces have been garnering awards since 2005, including placement in the prestigious Scovie awards.  The Black Label sauce is a classic tomato-based sauce with habanero and cayenne peppers providing the heat.

Ingredients: cider vinegar, tomato paste, water, dark brown sugar, hot sauce, liquid smoke, cracked black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, habanero powder, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, oriental hot mustard



On Wings

Appearance Thick consistency, dark red color Coated the wings very well
Aroma Peppery; Naturally sweet from the tomato ingredient Tomato sweet aroma
A Taste Sweet with a touch of bitterness; medium heat level that lingered for a bit Sweet with a little tang; very natural flavor; not as much heat, but still present

Angry Nephew’s BBQ Sauce

This BBQ sauce comes to us from Garner, NC (a suburb of Raleigh).  Angry Nephew’s has been featured in Country Living magazine as one of their top BBQ sauces in the country.  This sauce incorporates ghost chili peppers to add that extra punch.

Ingredients: ketchup, soda beverage, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, kosher sauce, Bhut Jolokia pepper, spices, garlic powder, liquid smoke flavor, onion



On Wings

Appearance Smooth dark red color; slightly thinner consistency Coated the wings quite well for a thinner sauce
Aroma Tomato sweetness; a touch of “fizziness”; pepper Sweet and spicy, with a touch of tang
A Taste Balanced flavors with a medium heat level Retained balanced flavors; heat level started out low and gradually grew to a medium lingering heat

Hoosier Daddy Ghost Roast Barbecue Sauce

Based out of Dyer, IN, Hoosier Daddy Barbecue Sauce is putting Indiana on the BBQ sauce map by offering a unique buttery sweet flavor.  Ghost Roast markets itself as a “flame throwing hot barbecue sauce that can wake the dead and make you howl”.

Ingredients: brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, mustard, water, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, peach puree, cayenne pepper puree, salt, spice extracts, modified corn starch, caramel color, natural smoke flavor, onion powder



On Wings

Appearance Dark caramel color; thick consistency Coated the wings well
Aroma Buttery rich sweetness; a touch of tang Sweet, sweet, sweet
A Taste Buttery sweet flavor; multiple levels of sweetness; this sauce gets really hot really fast HOT!!  Heat lingers for quite some time; rich sweetness

The Shed Spicy Orange Sunset Sauce

Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, The Shed has been providing BBQ goodness to people since 2001.  They have received wide acclaim in numerous media outlets, and their sauces have done well in various BBQ sauce competitions.  Their Spicy Orange Sunset Sauce offers one of the more unique flavor profiles out on the market today.

Ingredients: maple syrup, ketchup, orange concentrate, water, minced onion, cider vinegar, orange rind, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, A-1 steak sauce, clove, cayenne pepper, salt, other spices



On Wings

Appearance Thick consistency with a slightly chunky texture; dark red color Nicely coated the wings; sauce appeared a bit more orange
Aroma Citrus/sweet aroma combination with some pepper Sweetness prevails here; citrus is not as apparent
A Taste Very unique flavor (sweet/citrus orange); lower heat level Sweetness prevails; citrus orange is not as prevalent; very nice flavors


So what do I recommend?  It really depends on what you’re looking for.  Hoosier Daddy Ghost Roast packs some serious heat – it may be too hot for a majority of people out there.  It is also the only sauce that concentrates solely on sweet flavor profiles.  The other three sauces are a toss-up.  Any of them will work very nicely.  The Spicy Orange Sunset Sauce offers the most unique flavor profile out there with the addition of the citrus orange flavors… this one will work great on poultry!


Grumpy’s BBQ Sauce –  http://www.grumpysbbq.com/ 
Nephew’s BBQ – http://nephewsbbq.intuitwebsites.com/
Hoosier Daddy BBQ Sauce – http://www.hoosierdaddybbqsauce.com/
The Shed BBQ – http://theshedbbq.com/

We’d like to thank Big Wayne Brown for this guest post. Check out his BBQ blog for great recipes, reviews and BBQ goodness at BigWaynerBBQ.com

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  1. I recommend Sticky Brand Sauce’s “STICKY GHOST” for a great spicy BBQ sauce.

  2. I’m going to order some of the Grumpy’s and The Shed Orange sauces for sure! Thanks Big Wayner for a great post.

  3. Great wing throw down, Wayne. I think side by side comparisons like this always give me the best way of testing new sauces, but I don’t always have time to do it. Thanks for sharing!

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