Here we are at #4 in the Hot Sauce Diaries. I feel like a chimpanzee shoved a flame thrower down my throat and beat me with a branch. Why? Because I ate a lot of Hog’s Ass Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce.
As I said from the get go, I promise to be honest about the sauces I eat for this “journey” into Dante’s kitchen. I enjoy a little garlic, but truth be told, I am one of those guys that it seems to go straight to my skin and I stink to high heaven. If you are a fan of garlic, you’ll probably appreciate the actual chunks of it in this hot sauce. You can’t take a bite without it staring you in the face. So, that’s good if you love it, it’s not so good if your body seems to have a natural aversion to it.
The garlic also seems to crank up the heat. I was told once that’s because the garlic makes your taste buds more reactive. Frankly, I don’t know if that’s complete B.S. or not, but it sure seemed true tonight.
My wife digs garlic in a way that is foreign to me, so of course she is included in this one. We started by going for the obligatory straight taste- just on a spoon right out of the bottle. I knew I was in for a long, lonely night as soon as we opened the bottle because the first smell was of garlic. They call it Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce for a reason- there is plenty of both.
I, being a gentlemen, went first. You might expect the “Ladies First” motto to apply here, but when it comes to things that might hurt, you know I had to go first or face the scorn. So, I did. After that fact, I look back and think I may not have gone at all if my wife had gone first. This stuff is insanely hot! Okay, maybe not insanely hot, but it’s really frickin hot- like “Holy S#$t” hot. Even with that, I could handle the heat if I used it sparingly, but the garlic was just too much for me. My wife, on the other hand, loved the garlic, but thought it was just a tad too hot to eat straight. We disagreed, go figure.
We could have called it a night there, but we chose to crack open a few beers and get to work on finding a use for this hot sauce. So, we went with making a wing sauce with it. I used the basic wing sauce from Pete himself and gave it a go- just butter, vinegar, and hot sauce. I had two choices with cooking them- either bake them or fry them in coconut oil. I know, neither is the way to cook wings. You guessed it though, my wife won’t use fry oils and when I bring them home they seem to disappear overnight. So, not having any inclination to eat coconut oil fried chicken wings, I baked them. Why is that not the way to go? Well, when you fry the wings, the skin bubbles up and gets nice and crisp. That’s not just a matter of presentation, the fried skins absorb the wing sauce and make that signature sloppy wing experience. The adjustment is that you have to continually dip the wings in the sauce. If you let them cool a bit, the butter will congeal a bit and stick better, but who wants cooled wings? Not me.
I’m glad we had a few beers, because even with the massive amount of butter I used, this wing sauce was still frickin hot! Like really, really hot. I would say it was among the top 10 hottest wing sauces I have ever had. The garlic was cut enough for me to enjoy it and my wife really liked them. I will say that we started to make fun of each other as our noses ran and she coughed a few times when she breathed in as a wing was in front of her mouth. If you have ever had a nice steamy plate of wings, spicy ones, you know the scent coming off of them can get you in the throat if you inhale it. It’s truly a bit like tear gas or pepper spray, if we’re being honest. But, that’s one of the marks of a great plate of wings, isn’t it?
I realize I am beating on this one pretty hard, but I can’t let the point go unnoticed- these are really hot wings! I’m not kidding when I say that my lips and mouth were burning for a good 20 minutes after we ate them. Not just a little either. Heres the thing though, I’ve had really hot wings that make your gut feel like you drank napalm. These weren’t like that at all. The burn was completely in the mouth, on the lips, and a little in the throat. That simple fact allowed us to actually enjoy the whole plate.
There was a little additional humor when my wife rubbed her eyes and got some hot sauce in them. I know, that’s mean, but she was so confused by what hurt more, her lips or her eyes, that she was pretty good humored about it. Note, she did wash her hands before doing that, so this stuff has some staying power on your hands. I, having seen that, chose to don some latex gloves before going to the bathroom. I may never know if that was a necessary measure, but I’m okay with that. I’ve never had a burning sensation there, for any reason, and I’d like to keep it that way.
So what’s the bottom line? I have to go with a strong 8 for heat on this one. For me, straight from the bottle, I have to go with a 5 for flavor- just because I am not a huge garlic fan. My wife says it’s more of a 7 for flavor on her scale. When we mixed it as a wing sauce, the heat was still really strong. Even with the dilution I would stick with an 8. The flavor, however, gets a nice bump up to a 7. If you are a fan of garlic butter type sauces and dishes, you would absolutely love these wings. Of course, that assumes you also like to be set on fire.
All in all, I would definitely eat Hog’s Ass Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce in a wing sauce again and actually look forward to making it at our next BBQ. My wife says she thinks she would enjoy it on her eggs in the morning, but just a tiny dash. If you have a great recipe that uses garlic hot sauce, let me know and I’ll give it a try.
In case you’re interested, here’s how I made the wing sauce (note how scientifically I make measurements):
Half stick of unsalted butter (yes, it was organic), melted in the microwave.
About four tablespoons of Hog’s Ass Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce.
About 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.
That’s it: mix it up, throw the cooked wings in a bowl, pour the sauce in and shake it up.