Buffalo wings are one of the easiest things in the world to make at a tailgate, and a true crowd pleaser. Pick up a 10-pound bag of frozen wings at BJs or other discount stores and you're ready to go. But the key to any hot wing is not the wing itself, but the sauce.

We usually get our sauce to-go from Wendell's, the "King of Wings." It's something of a shit-kicking roadside honky-tonk on East Main Street (Route 123) in Norton, Mass., about 15 minutes south of Gillette Stadium. Most who visit are addicted to the wings, and the Cold, Hard Football Facts and their friends travel long distances to nibble on the glorious Wendell Wing.

Try as we might, we can't get the folks at Wendell's, or at any other decent wing joint, to share their secret sauce recipe with us. Fortunately, it's very, very easy to make your own Buffalo wing hot sauce. Mix it up, store it in a container and you're ready to whip up a batch of oh-so-satisfying hot wings in the parking lot or in your own backyard.

Here's how to make your own wings:

Heat the oil in your deep fryer to 400 degrees (wings cook best at about 375-380 degrees, but the temperature will drop once you put the cold wings in the hot oil). Do not fill the oil more than halfway. The oil will rise and bubble once you put the wings in it.
Carefully place no more than 1 pound of wings at once into the oil, using a fry basket or some other method that keeps your hands away from the oil. Be careful: oil can jump up and burn you, especially if wings are frozen or otherwise have water on them. The steam that rises from frozen wings can also burn you. So, again, use a fry basket or some other method that keeps your hands away from the oil.

Cook frozen wings for 10 to 12 minutes; unfrozen wings for 8 to 10 minutes. While waiting, fill a big Tupperware container with the hot sauce of your choice. Carefully remove the wings from the oil with a fry basket or tongs. Put as many wings as practical in the Tupperware container, cover tightly, shake vigorously to coat all the wings

Dump the wings onto a big plate or into another container (we use cheap aluminum pans). Move your fingers away from the pan as quickly as possible. Smothered as they are in delectable hot sauce, your fingers may be confused for a wing and chewed upon ravenously. But, hey, if that's your bag, who are we to judge.
Couple of hints:
  • temperature is key: oil at 375 to 380 degrees will make a nice, crispy wing
  • if the temperature is too low, your wings will be greasy
  • if the temperature is too high, your wings will burn on the outside, or may crisp up before they fully cook inside
With a little practice, you'll become adept at maintaining a perfect temperature and will find the range that creates wings with a crispiness perfectly suited to your tastes.