Mar 19, 2014

The Great Pizza Chain BBQ Wing Off!

Along with comparing the Buffalo wings of the Big Three pizza chains (Domino's, Papa John's, and Pizza Hut), I also tried and pitted their BBQ wings against each other.

The prices and wings were the same as the Buffalo wing comparison (which you can read here if you missed it), so I'll get right to the sauce.

I got Honey BBQ wings from Pizza Hut, BBQ wings from Domino's, and Spicy BBQ wings from Papa John's. Of the three, only pizza hut offered more than one variety of BBQ sauce (they also offer Spicy BBQ).

Taste (Sauces)

Domino's BBQ Wings
Domino's BBQ sauce was a very basic, baseline barbecue sauce with the standard tomato sauce, sugar (not table syrup, but high fructose corn syrup), molasses, and spices. There wasn't much going on in the way of smoke, but it had the requisite sweet and tangy combo. They seemed to just splash some sauce on top rather than tossing the wings.

Pizza Hut's Honey BBQ Wings
Pizza Hut's Honey BBQ sauce had a nice honeyed sweetness that was the most prevalent flavor to it with lesser notes of tanginess and smoke of barbecue. It was really mostly "Honey" and just a little "bbq." The honey flavor was good though and tasted like they may have actually put honey in it.

Papa John's Spicy BBQ Wings
Papa John's Spicy BBQ sauce was the oddest of the three. It seemed to combine tomato with another fruit, possibly pineapple, which made it taste less like a barbecue sauce and more like a weird Polynesian-type sauce. It was sweet, fruity, and had a slight bit of a kick to it. The heat didn't linger much.


Go with Domino's if you're looking for a very by-the-book (and plain) barbecue sauce and Pizza Hut, if you like some tasty honeyed sweetness with hints of barbecue. Papa John's just was just a little off for me.

Left to right: Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's
I'm not a huge fan of BBQ wings though (because it makes me want actual barbecued wings... or brisket... or ribs... you get the idea) and would either just go plain or with Buffalo wings 9 times out of 10.