We received a very nice email from Angela Eakins, of Hackers BossSauce, LLC from Muncie, IN about reviewing their Wings ‘n Things sauce. Initially, we were not sure if if qualified as a “Homemade Hot Sauce” or “Product Review,” but since it’s a commercially available product we’re going to do this as a Product Review.
From their website, here’s what they say that their Wings ‘n Things sauce:
It stays where you put it because we make it that way.
It amazes me what people have said they use it on; fish, pork chops, fried potatoes, salads, hamburger, ribs, chili, and two of my favorites-chicken and shrimp.
Got some pretzels or breadsticks? Grab your favorite cold beverage and start dipping.
The sauce is hot and very spicy. The more you use…the hotter it gets!
Their ingredients list is fairly respectable, with no icky stuff like additives or preservatives:
Ingredients: Aged Cayenne Peppers, Vinegar, Water, Salt, Garlic Powder, Corn Syrup, Vanilla, Lemon Oil, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Onion, Paprika, Oregano, White Pepper, Red Pepper, Butter
As for the taste, there was a divergence of opinion with us. Joe’s first tasting was followed by the phrase, “Wow, that’s got a really nice taste to it…very cayenne-ish.” Linda’s initial taste had her saying, “Hmmm, that is a very vinegar-y tasting sauce.” In truth, both statements have some truth to them. While wings seem a like an excellent marriage of food to this sauce, we set out to see what else we could use it with. Some things we tried include:
Use as a basting sauce for BBQ chicken on the grill
Added to creamy pasta dish
Dip for french fries
Topping for an egg scramble
Condiment for hamburgers
and of course, good ol’ chicken wings
This is a picture of the grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts we made on the grill using this sauce like a BBQ sauce. It had a nice cayenne flavor to it that was made better by the grilling process. However, it was with this we really noticed a saltiness that couldn’t exactly identify. Since we had used a minor amount of spice mix to lightly coat the chicken, we thought that that might be the source of the saltiness. That, plus the vinegar taste was made better but not eliminated by grilling.
As a french fry dip and add for creamy salad dressing, this sauce excelled. I (Joe) am not a big fan of ketchup with my fries (living in Belgium will affect you that way with your frites), and this sauce was just nummy to dip into. In the salad dressing, it makes for livening up an otherwise dull portion of Ranch dressing for your salad.
With the eggs and burger, it was still good…but we didn’t find it a perfect marriage of tastes. I loved their unique cayenne flavor with those dishes, but the vinegar taste was still more noticeable than I would have liked. A good idea in theory, but it’s a taste you may have to try a couple of different ways to see if you like it.
With chicken wings, you really discover the strength of this sauce. It’s just made for going on wings like chocolate syrup is made for pouring on ice cream. We liked it slightly more with breaded wings than with regular boneless variety, but neither were ones that could be easily turned away. It’s cayenne heat hits you at about a 5/10 on the heat scale, and cumulatively builds to about a 6.5/10. I found it very manageable for my palate. The taste is very good, although it still is a tad bit too heavy on the salt and vinegar. If you like to use a little butter when you make your wings, that would be a good addition to help smooth out the edges of the taste a little.
Overall, we really liked the taste & heat of the sauce a great deal. Our constructive criticism would be to tone down the salt & vinegar just a touch, and this sauce would definitely move up a notch in our estimation. You can certainly try this sauce with stuff other than wings, but it’s one of those “your mileage may vary” tastes with other recipes. Give it a try for yourself and see. We’re willing to bet they have plenty left to send a bottle to you.