Buffalo Sauce vs. Hot Sauce: What’s the Difference?

by Charlie
Difference Between Buffalo Sauce and Hot Sauce

If you’re one of those who like it hot and maybe even very hot, then you probably know all about the taste of buffalo sauce and hot sauce. These are widely consumed sauces that add hot pepper spiciness to your dish. They have a similar taste, but they’re not exactly the same.

What’s the difference between buffalo sauce and hot sauce? The main difference between buffalo sauce and hot sauce is this: buffalo sauce is a type of hot sauce, while hot sauce is a general term and category for all types of hot sauces. Hot sauces come in many varieties with their own specific names and brands. Buffalo sauce is a hot sauce variety, and it is otherwise called buffalo wing sauce, wings sauce, or red hot wings sauce.

What are Other Differences Between Buffalo Sauce and Hot Sauce?

There are two more differences between buffalo sauce and hot sauce. One is that buffalo sauce is made with more cayenne pepper on it. It is the distinguishing ingredient and taste. Hot sauce, on the other hand, differs according to the type of pepper used. And whatever chili pepper that product uses will be the distinguishing taste of that particular hot sauce.

The other difference is that buffalo sauce has a specific purpose. Hot sauce is your all-around sauce. And you just choose what type of hot sauce you want for the dish you are having. But buffalo sauce was essentially made to coat fried (or baked as they alternatively do nowadays) chicken wings before serving. It is a primary ingredient in making buffalo wings, which are also called chicken wings, wings, or hot wings.

Why is it Called Buffalo Sauce?

This variety of hot sauce is particularly called Buffalo Sauce or Buffalo Wings Sauce because it was first made in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964 at Anchor Bar, Buffalo, New York.

It was there that unbreaded chicken wings were first served coated in a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter glaze. And those are the base ingredients of buffalo sauce: cayenne pepper, regular hot sauce, melted butter, and vinegar.

Buffalo sauces range from mild, medium, hot, and extra hot. Depending on who cooks it, you may taste these additional ingredients in small amounts: Worcestershire sauce and/or garlic powder.

Besides the buffalo sauce coating, chicken wings may also be served with celery sticks paired with blue cheese dressing. Ranch dressing is also a popular choice to pair with buffalo wings.

It is interesting to think that the word buffalo is now a coined term for any spicy food or dishes that have buffalo sauce in it. For example, buffalo pizza and buffalo fries or chips.

What are Other Types of Hot Sauce?

Besides buffalo sauce, there are more types of hot sauce bottles you can find in stores. Hot sauce is simmered peppers, cooked till soft. It is made with vinegar and a little salt. And the hot sauce will be colored by the color of peppers used.

Habanero pepper is red, green, orange, or yellow. So you can buy habanero hot pepper sauce in those colors.

Jalapeño is green or red, so you can buy jalapeño hot sauce in those colors.

One of the oldest hot sauces made in the country is Tabasco hot pepper sauce. Edmund Mcilhenney first made this in Avery Island, Louisiana using peppers he harvested from his garden. Tabasco is a brand name exclusive to his company, which is McIlhenny Company. Today, different manufacturers produce either a copycat or modified version of this original tabasco sauce.

Today, you can taste other Louisiana hot sauces such as Tabasco. These sauces like Tabasco are slightly salty, and the peppers are sometimes fermented to create that rich-tasting hot sauce.

Another popular variety of hot sauce is Sriracha, or otherwise called rooster sauce, because of the rooster you can see printed on its bottle. This is sold in many countries and some make their own version of this hot sauce.

But this popular red-orange hot sauce was first made in the town of Si Racha in Thailand. It’s made from red chilies, sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar. It infuses great flavor and spiciness on any dish and type of cuisine. Have them on your rice meals or Asian noodles. Try Sriracha chicken wings or mix up some sriracha mayo to dip your fries in.

Hot sauce has a lot of uses, whether as condiments or as one of the ingredients in your recipes. Hot sauces complete your meat marinades. They add a kick to your pulled meat sandwiches. They are great to mix with mayo for that spicy dip. You can drop some in your stir fries, rice bowls, egg dishes, burgers, tacos, and more. Enjoy some on your favorite slice of pizza and more. And of course, you can use hot sauce to make buffalo wings sauce.

Does Buffalo Sauce Taste Like Hot Sauce?

Yes, buffalo sauce essentially tastes like hot sauce because it is made from hot sauce. However, buffalo sauce, in particular, has more cayenne pepper in it.

Can You Substitute Buffalo Sauce for Hot Sauce in Recipes?

Yes, you can substitute buffalo sauce for hot sauce in recipes. Use it, especially if you want that strong cayenne pepper taste and kick. You may also use plain hot sauce in your hot chicken wings recipe if you are not particular about the type and taste of hot sauce you want to use.

Final Thoughts

  • Hot sauce is a general term or category for all types of spicy hot sauces.
  • Buffalo sauce is a particular type or variety of hot sauce.
  • Hot sauce is an all-purpose sauce, while buffalo sauce is specifically made to coat fried or baked chicken wings before serving.
  • Buffalo Wings Sauce was first made in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar in 1964.
  • One popular variety of hot sauce is the oldest hot sauce created, the Tabasco Hot Pepper Sauce. It is made with aged peppers, salt, and vinegar.

You may also like