By Angela Petulla

What Is Buffalo Sauce?

Buffalo sauce is one of the most popular condiments in the United States, but many people are left wondering what's in it and how to make it. Even though buffalo sauce is so popular, a lot of people don't know the difference between buffalo sauce and traditional hot sauce.

We're here to break down all things buffalo sauce, including what it is, why it's called buffalo sauce, what it tastes like, and how to make it. Keep reading to learn all about buffalo sauce.

What Is Buffalo Sauce?

First thing's first - what is buffalo sauce? Buffalo sauce, often called wing sauce, is very similar to your typical hot sauce, but it is usually richer and creamier because of the addition to butter. Many people add other ingredients like garlic and Worcestershire sauce to their buffalo sauce recipes, but it is not necessary to do so.

With a smooth texture and zingy flavor, buffalo sauce is an incredibly popular option for chicken wings as the butter helps coat the wings better. However, nowadays, buffalo sauce is used in a variety of foods due to its popularity and versality, including buffalo cauliflower and buffalo chicken dip.

Who Invented Buffalo Sauce?

While there are a few accounts of how buffalo sauce came to be, the most common instance (from our research) was in the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. According to the Anchor Bar's website, Dominic Bellissimo asked his mother Teressa, who was co-owner of the bar, to make a snack for him and his friends. She fried up some chicken wings, which at the time were largely used for soup stock, and these wings were covered in a secret sauce. With a mix of cayenne, butter, and hot sauce, this secret sauce was an instant hit and has now become an iconic condiment across the globe.

Why Is It Called Buffalo Sauce?

The sauce gets its name from the city it was originally created in. As mentioned above, buffalo sauce was initially developed in Buffalo, NY in 1964 at a bar called the Anchor Bar.

What Is In Buffalo Sauce?

While recipes for buffalo sauce can vary greatly, there are usually two key ingredients:

  • Hot sauce
  • Butter

In addition to these staples, you will often find other ingredients such as cayenne, garlic, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce; however, what is in buffalo sauce can change from recipe to recipe, so don't be afraid to put your own spin on the classic flavoring.

Related: Does Buffalo Sauce Have Dairy?

Is Buffalo Sauce Spicy?

Buffalo sauce is almost always at least somewhat spicy, though it is typically a milder hot sauce due to the addition of butter. However, the heat level of buffalo sauce depends on the manufacturer (if purchasing from the store) or how much hot sauce you add to the mixture (if making it at home). The more hot sauce used, the spicier it will be.

person dipping a chicken wing into buffalo sauce

Is Buffalo Sauce the Same As Hot Sauce?

It's easy to get confused by all the different types of hot sauces on the market, but we're here to break it down.

Buffalo sauce is not the same as hot sauce, but it is instead a type of hot sauce. Hot sauce is a general term that encompasses all types of spicy condiments, including buffalo sauce, gochujang, mild hot saucesriracha, and many others. Buffalo sauce in particular is classified by its addition of butter, its silky texture, and its zingy flavor. So, while not all hot sauces are buffalo sauce, all buffalo sauces are hot sauce.

How Do You Make Buffalo Sauce?

There are plenty of buffalo sauce recipes out there, but to make its most basic version, you can simply mix together 1/2 cup of butter with 1 cup of hot sauce in a sauce pan until the butter is melted and the sauce thickens a bit. 

To make other variations of buffalo sauce, consider adding any of the following ingredients to the base recipe above:

  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • White vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Honey

How to Make Buffalo Wings Sauce Less Spicy

Making a mild buffalo sauce is easy to do! Butter can easily be used to adjust the spiciness of your buffalo sauce, so if you've accidentally added too much hot sauce to your buffalo mixture, then you can stir in some additional butter, one tablespoon at a time. Additionally, honey has been known to tone down spicy foods, so if you don't mind a slightly sweeter flavor, you can try adding a tablespoon or two of honey as well. For more ideas on how to make hot sauces less spicy, check out our article.

If you'd rather relax and not have to worry about cooking up a batch of less spicy buffalo sauce, you can purchase a bottle of our Creamy Buff-alo sauce on our website. As the name suggests, our signature mild buffalo sauce is silky smooth and has a kick of heat but not so much that it sets your mouth on fire. This is a great option if you prefer the zing of traditional buffalo sauce but want a bit less spice.

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