Here is a product from Hot-Headz whose name is bound to send a shiver down the spine of any RSPB member – Kickin’ Chicken Wing Sauce & Marinade (Very Hot). For those not in the know, Hot-Headz is an established business which has been catering to the needs of chilli-heads since 1994. In addition to stocking a staggering range of products from across the globe, they also have their own extensive range of over 50 products. In the past few months we have reviewed several of their own brand including beef jerky, ketchup and even gummy bears!
The Hot-Headz Kickin’ Chicken range currently comprises of three Buffalo-style, Cayenne pepper sauces and a fourth smoky chipotle sauce. Today I will be taking a look at the hottest of their Cayenne sauces which features a helping of Naga Jolokia too.
Picking up the bottle, I’m not sure which aspect grabbed my attention first – the size of the bottle or the striking design of the label. At 354ml this bottle is 2-3 times larger than most of the products we get sent for review. The branding is very familiar with the Hot-Headz logo taking centre-stage, but this time the logo is emblazoned with flames and wings which leave you in no doubt as to the nature of this product. The other noteworthy point is the “Made in the USA” statement which resides on the right-hand side of the product label.
Water, Distilled Vinegar, Dried Cayenne & Naga Chilli Pepper (5.5%), Salt, Natural Butter Flavour, Canola Oil, Xanthan Gum, Dried Onion, Black Pepper, (less than 0.1%) Sodium Benzoate (Natural Preservative).
Bottle kindly provided by Hot-Headz.
Looking at the list of ingredients there is one item that stands out – natural butter flavour. Traditionally a Buffalo wing sauce is made by combining a Cayenne pepper sauce (Such as Frank’s RedHot Original) and melted butter. By adding natural butter flavouring to the sauce, Hot-Headz provide the convenience of a sauce that’s ready to use straight from the bottle.
Upon removing the seal and opening the bottle I am greeted by a slightly earthy smell which I attribute to the use of dried Cayenne pepper. There is also a hint of vinegar and Canola (Rapeseed) oil too.
The sauce is brown in colour and speckled with ground spices. It pours easily from the bottle and whilst the texture is smooth, the use of ground chillies is noticeable.
The initial taste is a combination of cayenne and butter – exactly what you’d hope for in a Buffalo-style sauce. Unfortunately, that flavour is short-lived and the aftertaste is a little bitter. The overall flavour isn’t bad, but the lack of fresh ingredients or use of a pepper mash is reflected in the overall flavour.
At first I didn’t think this was a particularly hot product, but after consuming a plate of wings coated in this sauce I was starting to break into a bit of a sweat. The heat built slowly and by the end of the meal my lips, tongue and throat were well and truly ablaze.
In addition to using this product as a wing sauce, it would work equally well as a marinade or condiment. Each sauce in the Kickin’ Chicken range is priced at £3.99 a bottle which is great value. You can purchase the Kickin’ Chicken sauces and many other products from the Hot-Headz website.