What’s America’s Favorite Wing Sauce? The Great Chicken Wing Survey (2020)

As the saying goes, there “ain’t no thing like a chicken wing.” Whether you like bone-in or boneless, hot or mild, or ranch or blue cheese, there’s nothing quite like digging into a plate of wings. And because National Chicken Wing Day is July 29th, we wanted to find out just what are America’s favorite wings.

We conducted a survey of over 2,500 Americans asking them about their favorite sauce or seasoning, preference of wing type, and whether they’d rather have ranch or blue cheese — basically all the go-to questions from your waiter or waitress. We left the celery and carrots out, though.

Keep reading to see our full results and what the favorites are in your state.

Main Findings

U.S. map of each state's favorite wing sauce or seasoning

Let’s get to the really important stuff first: which sauce is boss? In this case, we asked for respondents to give their preference from a list of 16 sauces or seasonings. While we know 16 isn’t enough to cover everyone’s favorite, we felt these were staples of most wing joints. What we found is that America likes a lot of different sauces!

There was no clear winner here. Honey BBQ had a plurality of states at 14, followed by hot buffalo sauce at 9 states and Parmesan garlic with 7. It cascaded down from there with spicy garlic (6 states), lemon pepper (5), and sweet barbecue (5). 

Teriyaki, salt and vinegar,, honey mustard, and Caribbean jerk each had one state a piece.

Here’s a list of every state and their preference:

StateWing Sauce
AlabamaHot Buffalo
AlaskaSpicy garlic
ArizonaHot Buffalo
ArkansasHot Buffalo
CaliforniaParmesan garlic
ColoradoHot Buffalo
ConnecticutHot Buffalo
DelawareHot Buffalo
FloridaHoney BBQ
GeorgiaLemon pepper
HawaiiHot Buffalo
IdahoParmesan garlic
IllinoisHoney BBQ
IndianaSweet BQ
IowaHoney BBQ
KansasSweet BBQ
KentuckySweet BBQ
LouisianaLemon pepper
MaineParmesan garlic
MarylandHot Buffalo
MassachusettsHoney BBQ
MichiganHoney BBQ
MinnesotaHoney BBQ
MississippiHoney BBQ
MissouriLemon pepper
MontanaSalt and vinegar
NebraskaHoney BBQ
NevadaHoney BBQ
New HampshireLemon pepper
New JerseyHoney BBQ
New MexicoLemon pepper
New YorkSpicy garlic
North CarolinaHoney BBQ
North DakotaParmesan garlic
OhioHoney BBQ
OklahomaHoney mustard
OregonSpicy garlic
PennsylvaniaSweet BBQ
Rhode IslandHot Buffalo
South CarolinaSpicy garlic
South DakotaSweet BBQ
TennesseeParmesan garlic
TexasSpicy garlic
UtahTeriyaki
VermontCaribbean Jerk
VirginiaHoney BBQ
WashingtonHoney BBQ
West VirginiaParmesan garlic
WisconsinParmesan garlic
WyomingSpicy garlic

 

U.S. map of each state's wing type preference (bone-in or boneless)

When it came to preference of wing type (traditional bone-in or boneless), there’s a much clearer winner. Bone-in is the preference in 36 states and boneless in 14.

When looking at the overall national results, 56% of American’s prefer traditional wings to 44% who prefer boneless. 

Here’s the results for preference on wing type by state:

StateWing Type Preference
Alabama
Bone-In (Traditional)
AlaskaBoneless
Arizona
Bone-In (Traditional)
Arkansas
Bone-In (Traditional)
California
Bone-In (Traditional)
Colorado
Bone-In (Traditional)
Connecticut
Bone-In (Traditional)
Delaware
Bone-In (Traditional)
Florida
Bone-In (Traditional)
Georgia
Bone-In (Traditional)
Hawaii
Bone-In (Traditional)
IdahoBoneless
IllinoisBoneless
Indiana
Bone-In (Traditional)
Iowa
Bone-In (Traditional)
Kansas
Bone-In (Traditional)
KentuckyBoneless
Louisiana
Bone-In (Traditional)
Maine
Bone-In (Traditional)
Maryland
Bone-In (Traditional)
Massachusetts
Bone-In (Traditional)
MichiganBoneless
Minnesota
Bone-In (Traditional)
MississippiBoneless
MissouriBoneless
Montana
Bone-In (Traditional)
Nebraska
Bone-In (Traditional)
Nevada
Bone-In (Traditional)
New Hampshire
Bone-In (Traditional)
New Jersey
Bone-In (Traditional)
New Mexico
Bone-In (Traditional)
New York
Bone-In (Traditional)
North Carolina
Bone-In (Traditional)
North Dakota
Bone-In (Traditional)
OhioBoneless
Oklahoma
Bone-In (Traditional)
OregonBoneless
Pennsylvania
Bone-In (Traditional)
Rhode IslandBoneless
South Carolina
Bone-In (Traditional)
South Dakota
Bone-In (Traditional)
Tennessee
Bone-In (Traditional)
Texas
Bone-In (Traditional)
UtahBoneless
VermontBoneless
Virginia
Bone-In (Traditional)
WashingtonBoneless
West VirginiaBoneless
Wisconsin
Bone-In (Traditional)
Wyoming
Bone-In (Traditional)

And finally, the ever important question: Ranch or blue cheese? American has spoken and we prefer ranch. Similar to preference on wing type, ranch is the clear winner with 40 states. Only 10 preferred blue cheese. 

On a national level, 58% of Americans prefer ranch to 42% who say they prefer blue cheese. 

StateDressing
AlabamaRanch
AlaskaRanch
ArizonaRanch
ArkansasRanch
CaliforniaRanch
ColoradoBlue Cheese
ConnecticutBlue Cheese
DelawareRanch
FloridaRanch
GeorgiaRanch
HawaiiBlue Cheese
IdahoBlue Cheese
IllinoisRanch
IndianaRanch
IowaRanch
KansasRanch
KentuckyRanch
LouisianaRanch
MaineRanch
MarylandRanch
MassachusettsRanch
MichiganRanch
MinnesotaRanch
MississippiRanch
MissouriBlue Cheese
MontanaRanch
NebraskaRanch
NevadaRanch
New HampshireBlue Cheese
New JerseyRanch
New MexicoRanch
New YorkRanch
North CarolinaRanch
North DakotaRanch
OhioRanch
OklahomaRanch
OregonRanch
PennsylvaniaRanch
Rhode IslandBlue Cheese
South CarolinaRanch
South DakotaBlue Cheese
TennesseeRanch
TexasRanch
UtahRanch
VermontRanch
VirginiaRanch
WashingtonBlue Cheese
West VirginiaBlue Cheese
WisconsinRanch
WyomingRanch

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that Americans have some clear similarities when it comes to chicken wings but also some clear differences. But, as they say, spice is the variety of life. Overall, no matter what type of wings you like, if you get the chance to enjoy some this week for National Chicken Wing Day, you’re in for a treat. 

Methodology

Grill Cook Bake surveyed 2,550 Americans in July 2020. The respondents were a mix of ages and genders. We estimate the margin of error is less than 3.2% with a confidence level of 90%.