March 25, 2022

That Time We Did the Hot Ones Challenge

That time my friends and I did the Hot Ones challenge and developed our own homemade fried chicken for the event! Hot sauce optional!

This recipe is for the time my friends and I did the Hot Ones challenge and developed our own fried chicken for the event. We opted for Season 15 Sauces where they interviewed celebrities like: Elizabeth Olsen, Ed Sheeran and Lorde.

When we mapped out the logistics for this challenge we decided make the wings from scratch for the sake of time, money and absolute freshness. We opted for Chinese-style chicken wings since they are flavorful on their own but can easily be tossed with sauce. Though, for you, hot sauce is completely and totally optional!

So whether you want to try these as is or take on the Hot Ones challenge, we got you with this recipe! That said, scroll down to taste for yourself, read some tips on the challenge, and for snapshots of our hysterically painful night!

Helpful Tips for Tackling the Hot Ones Challenge:

  • There is a card game! (We realized this afterwards, so when we did the challenge we came up with three tiers of questions and an “Explain the Gram” category. The questions increase in complexity as the wings increase in heat. It was a gooood time hah!)
  • Have cooling liquids on hand like milk and plenty of water.
  • Plain vanilla ice cream is great to have on hand too.
  • Also, celery with blue cheese and/or crackers are great for combatting spice as well.
  • Whatever you do, avoid ginger right after the challenge. Typically ginger helps with digestion but in this case, it intensifies the lingering heat.
  • Have silly amounts of tissues and paper towels on hand. The table will get messier and more chaotic as everyone burns up. Wet wipes or damp towels are a Godsend!
  • Pepto Bismol is a good idea, just in case, just saying.
  • You might want to call out of work the next, day in just case.
  • DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES! Avoid touching your face, period!
  • I suggest taking pictures for good old times and memory’s sake. When everyone reacts it’s such a funny way to remember what the heck even happened! Because trust us when we say it took us plenty of hours (some of us a few days) to recover!
  • And of course, most importability, have fun and laugh plenty!

Hot Ones Fried Chicken Challenge


Fried Chicken Ingredients:

  • 4.5 lb. chicken wings
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/2+ cup all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch, divided
  • Vegetable oil for frying (enough to fill a heavy-bottomed skillet or pot with 4″ of oil)

Coating the Chicken:

  1. To coat the chicken, season with sea salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and sugar. Toss to coat until evenly combined.
  2. Afterwards, lay the pieces of chicken flat on a tray and sprinkle evenly with half the amounts of the cornstarch and flour. Flip each piece and repeat with the remaining half. Toss to coat as evenly as possible.
  3. Then, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to marinate for 3+ hours, or overnight until ready to fry.

Method for Cooking:

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge to warm up to room temperature. Remove the plastic and give another stir. Add extra flour as needed to dry out the coating. In the meantime, add vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven. Then, bring to medium heat, until it reaches an ideal frying temperature, or about 350°F on a thermometer.
  2. When ready, add the coated chicken to the frying pan, working in batches to avoid overcrowding. Fry for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy all over. (For reference, I use my Staub Dutch Oven. Timing may vary depending on the stove and cookware. It takes me 3-4 batches to complete the frying process).
  3. Afterwards, using tongs, transfer the fried chicken to drain on a paper towel-lined rack/tray until cooled or when ready to toss with the sauce. If saucing, transfer the fried chicken into a large mixing bowl and add sauce. Then, quickly toss together until evenly coated then transfer to a platter, and serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • Keep in mind that cast iron retains more heat than aluminum so cooking times may vary.
  • I hope you enjoyed this recipe! For more food inspiration or for other dishes to pair alongside, please visit the Kitchen Journal.