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If you know someone from Buffalo, they know someone who told them the secret ingredients to the Anchor Bar's famous Buffalo chicken wings. I know people from Buffalo. This is my version of Buffalo sauce, as described to me many years ago, over almost as many beers.

Recipe Summary

5 mins
5 mins
8 servings

Everyone needs a good Buffalo sauce recipe in their back pocket. Once you try Chef John's tried-and-true Buffalo sauce (inspired by the original recipe from Buffalo, New York), you'll never go back to the bottled stuff. 

What Is Buffalo Sauce?

Buffalo sauce and hot sauce are not the same thing. Hot sauce is a spicy blend of cayenne pepper, vinegar, and salt. Buffalo sauce, meanwhile, is hot sauce that's been enhanced with butter and other ingredients. Buffalo sauce is much richer and smoother than regular hot sauce. It's used as a dipping sauce or a condiment. Of course, Buffalo sauce is most commonly associated with chicken wings

Why Is It Called Buffalo Sauce?

So where does the name come from? It has nothing to do with bison. The spicy sauce was named after its birthplace: Buffalo, New York. 

Who Invented Buffalo Sauce?

Teressa Bellissimo, owner of Anchor Bar, invented Buffalo sauce in 1964. At the time, chicken wings were usually thrown out or used to make stock for soup. When Bellissimo's son asked her to prepare a late-night snack for his friends, she deep-fried the wings and tossed them in a buttery hot sauce. Thus, Buffalo wings (and Buffalo sauce) were born. 

Is Buffalo Sauce Spicy?

It can be! Buffalo sauce is usually available in mild, medium, and hot options. When you make homemade Buffalo sauce, you have the ability to control the spiciness level — use more cayenne pepper if you like it hot or less if you prefer milder flavors. 

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients

Homemade Buffalo sauce comes together surprisingly quickly with just a few ingredients. Here's what you'll need to make the best Buffalo sauce of your life: 

Hot Sauce
A hot, cayenne-pepper sauce (such as Frank's or Crystal) is the spicy base for this classic Buffalo sauce. 

Butter adds a velvety smooth richness. It also balances the flavors of the other ingredients. 

White vinegar lends welcome acidity and a pleasant tanginess. 

Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne, and Garlic Powder
Worcestershire sauce deepens the flavor, cayenne pepper turns up the heat, and garlic powder adds a powerful bite. 

How to Make Buffalo Sauce

Anyone can make restaurant-worthy Buffalo sauce at home. Seriously — it's as simple as combining all the ingredients in a pot, bringing it to a simmer, and whisking until the sauce is nice and thick. Find the full recipe below for detailed, step-by-step instructions that'll make the process a breeze. 

How to Store Buffalo Sauce

Store homemade Buffalo sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You may have to shake up or stir refrigerated Buffalo sauce, as the ingredients have a tendency to separate over time. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is a terrific sauce," according to Tim Anderson. "You can mess around with the heat via the cayenne, but I like it as it is. The vinegar and butter really bring balance to it."

"This sauce is perfect," according to Abby215. "So easy to make and exactly what a wing sauce should be — the perfect blend of tangy and spicy. And, if you bake your wings, the butter really helps with the crispiness. Delicious — thanks Chef John!!

"You cannot go wrong with this wing sauce if you make sure to use Frank's as your base," says BARCHAM. "It is easy to adjust the heat level by the amount of butter you add to the mix. I usually add some paprika for a bit of a flavor boost and sometimes a few drops of liquid smoke to finish things off."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring with a whisk. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble on the sides of the pot, remove from heat, stir with the whisk, and set aside for use.


Nutrition Facts

104 calories; protein 0.2g; carbohydrates 0.4g; fat 11.6g; cholesterol 30.5mg; sodium 576.2mg. Full Nutrition