Brett’s “House Wing Cook-off Challenge”

6 Batches of chicken wings going into the oven

It’s Saturday evening. I text Brett that I do not have to work on Sunday and would be available to do some brewery work. I work at a large, retail jewelry store. Th Sunday was the 13th of February, and with it being Valentine’s Eve, I was happy to not have to be there. I was even happier when Brett responded with an invite to come over for, what later became to be know as, House Wing Cook-off Challenge.

The idea was simple. Prepare and cook chicken wings 8 different ways, taste them, and make notes. We were after two important characteristics: crispiness and taste. We are always trying to find new ways to make wings crispy without deep frying them; which we will be doing relatively soon. None of the wings came out under cooked and we got a wide variety of semi surprising results, which can be found at the bottom.


8 different ways we prepared the wings

Pile of bags of wings marinating in their respective sauces

All wings are baked in oven at 450F+ 20 min each side.

They are also served with our house wing sauce for dipping. Recipe coming soon.

Adding BBQ Sauce to hout sauce

Batch A)
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Italian Dressing

Batch A preparation - soy sauce & Italian dressing

Batch A - soy sauce, Italian dressing - baked

Batch B)
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 tbl vegetable oil
2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
2 tbl chili powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1tsp Hot Sauce

Batch B preparation - oil, cider vinegar, soy sauce, sea salt, pepper, & hot sauce

Batch B - cider vinegar, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, sea salt, pepper, hot sauce - baked

Batch C)
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Sea Salt

Batch C preparation - flour, garlic powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper

Batch C - flour, pepper, garlic powder, sea salt - baked

Batch D)
1 tsp four
1 tsp Sea Salt

Batch D - Sea Salt, flour - baked

Batch E)
Steam in steamer to cook

Steaming Batch E & boiling Batch F

Batch E - Steamed then baked

Batch F)
12 oz coca cola
1/2 Cup Hot Sauce
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1tbl soy sauce
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
(pictured boiling above)

Batch F preparation - coca cola, hot sauce, soy sauce, pepper, cayenne pepper

Batch F - Coca cola, hot sauce, soy sauce, cayenne & black pepper

Batch G)

Batch G - Plain wings - baked

Batch H)
Boil in Black Heart Brewery imperial sweet stout
1 tsp four
1 tsp sea salt

Batch H preparation - boiling in BHB sweet stout

Batch H - Black Heart Brewery imperial sweet stout, flour, sea salt - baked


The Results

In first place came Batch F – The cola, pepper and hot sauce wings. The were the closest to the crispiness to what we were shooting for and had the best flavor. The pepper and hot sauce was great up front with a sweet, well cooked chicken inside. A few minutes longer in the oven would have made them perfect.

Second came Batch A – The combo of the soy sauce and Italian dressing is perfect. We have named them “Canal Street” in honor of the street in NYC that divides Chinatown and Little Italy. They are teriyaki salty tang up front with the Italian dressing coming through on the meat. A winning recipe that we plan on making again. Not crispy, but spot on.

And in third comes Batch E – It was one of the crispiest and would have gotten more points had we seasoned it. In hot sauce it cam across as a very decent bar wing.

All of the rest went from okay to meh to not that tasty. None were undercooked, just under flavored: honorable mention to the boiled stout wings. I think the beer was the wrong beer for wings, but otherwise would have been great. Be interesting to try with a roasted chicken. We will be back again with more on cooking chicken wings – up next is deep frying.

Let me know if you try any of these, or if you have any recipes of your own. Leave us a message in the comments section below.


3 comments on “Brett’s “House Wing Cook-off Challenge”

  1. Shawn says:

    Brush on melted butter before baking, it will crisp them up.

  2. pam says:

    On the “F” wings did you boil them in water, then place in cola hot sauce marinate then bake or

    just boil in cola mixture then bake.

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