Ain't No Thing But a Chicken Wing: 7 Tips and Recipes All Wing Lovers Must Know

Buffalo Wings

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

When you're thinking about the perfect appetizer during a night out at the bar, chicken wings are probably the first dish to pop into your mind. The crispy and usually-spicy treat is a go-to for football games, happy hours, birthday parties and more, and there's no shortage of ways to prepare them. Whether they're deep-fried, grilled or smoked, the morsels of tender meat are always a big hit.

In honor of The Great Chicken Wing Hunt special on July 5 at 8pm ET, we're rounding up some of our favorite chicken wing recipes and the best hacks to eat them without making too much of a mess. First things first: Check out You're Eating It Wrong host Dan Pashman and competitive eater Crazy Legs Conti's tips for getting the most meat out of your wings without having saucy fingers forever:

For the Traditionalist: Buffalo Wings (pictured at top)

All you really need for Alton Brown's  classic Buffalo wings is hot sauce, butter, garlic and chicken. Oh, and delicious blue cheese and celery on the side, of course.

For the Grilling Aficionado: Grilled Chicken Wings with Provencal Flavors

Photo by: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Evan Sung for The New York Times

These flavorful grilled wings are coated in Provencal spices before being grilled to perfection, but you can mix it up with any herbs you'd like.

For the Hot-Sauce Averse: Balsamic Chicken Wings
chuck-hughes-balsamic-chicken-wings-recipe_s4x3

chuck-hughes-balsamic-chicken-wings-recipe_s4x3

Sticky-sweet glaze and lemon zest make for bright and bold  Balsamic Chicken Wings. They are a cinch to make and not one bit spicy.

For the Adventurous Foodie: Beer-Braised Szechuan Chicken Wings

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

The ingredient list for these  Szechuan-style chicken wings is hefty — including soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Chinese five-spice powder, Szechuan peppercorns, red chiles, beer and more — but it's worth it for the incredible flavor.

For the Daring Heat-Seeker: Crispy Chicken Wings with Tsaketa Hot Sauce

Nadia G's recipe is not for the faint of heart. The habanero chile — aka one of the world's spiciest peppers — is the star of the show in  Tsaketa hot sauce, so proceed with caution.

For the Health-Conscious Wing Enthusiast: Bobby's Buffalo Wings with Tangy Cheese Dip

You'd never know these crispy wings were low-calorie. Bobby Deen bakes his  chicken wings before coating them in hot sauce and honey.

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