Wings come in so many different styles, flavors and heat levels that trying to find the right one for you can be a daunting task, but don’t fret. Over the course of two weeks, Vox tossed cholesterol levels and calorie counts to the wind and sampled different styles, so your next foray into wings can come without any unwanted surprises.
CJ’s Burn Your Face Off Wings
The hotness level shouldn’t make a wing inedible, and that is why no one should miss out on these. “Even the Burn Your Face Off, it’s very hot, but flavor is more about what (owner Ty Moore) is going for,” says Caitlin Crawford, a manager at CJ’s In Tiger Country. “He wants you to have the heat but still enjoy it.” Chunks of jalapeños are one of the key ingredients, and they’re mixed in with the sauce, providing warmth that will make your lips tingle. It has a fresh pepper flavor to make the experience an enjoyable one. A popular pairing with this wing is the pepper jack cheese balls. Water isn’t a bad idea either. You can buy 1 pound of wings for $9.99, or if you’re feeding a hungry horde, 5 pounds for $35.99.
Lutz’s Dry Rub Wings
When Burl Lutz says “we don’t charge enough” for Lutz’s dry rub wings, he’s right. At only 87 cents per wing, an order almost feels like robbery. The first bite will blanket your tongue in flavors. A blend of paprika, salt, lemon pepper and garlic that form the base of Lutz’s homemade dry rub is key to these tasty wings. The smoky spices will warm your throat, and it’ll be an experience for your taste buds. Lutz’s homemade ranch is the perfect dipping sauce. You can buy six wings for $6.15 and a dozen for $10.55.
Como Smoke and Fire's Buffalo Wings
When Como Smoke and Fire’s head chef Patrick Hawkins thinks of his ideal wing, two traits come to mind: meatiness and keeping the bone. Enter their jumbo-sized buffalo wings, which brings both to the table. Preparation consists of tossing the wings in the restaurant’s specialty dry rub, smoking them between 225 and 250 degrees for about two hours and frying them to give a crunchy coat lathered in a mild buffalo sauce. The result won’t overheat your mouth and includes a smoky accent packaged in some of the meatiest wings in Columbia. Then choose a local beer offered on tap to top off your experience. You can grab six wings for $7.99 or double your haul for $12.99.
Smokin' Chick’s Wing Ding Wings
If you want something with a lot of sweet and a little spice, Smokin’ Chick’s Wing Ding Wings should be on your plate. They’ll wash over the entirety of your mouth as soon as you bite in with the sweet flavors of the Wing Ding sauce dancing with spices from Smokin’ Chick’s dry rub. Owners Chick Orscheln and Lissa Gaw-Orscheln created the sauce themselves and say the Smokin’ Chicks horseradish slaw is a popular side to eat with these wings. Snag 10 wings for $11.50.