We tasted Buffalo Wild Wings against its biggest competitor - and the winner is clear

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chicken wings 9Hollis JohnsonWho will win this season's spicy, saucy showdown?

October is here, and the 2015 NFL season is in full tilt.

It's time to pop some fresh batteries in the remote, kick back, and enjoy the game - and the half-time snacks.

Chips, dips, and a heaping pile of wings are essentials for the football season.

But there are a few decisions to make before you can break out the blue cheese and celery. Sure, wings are a no-brainer, but from where to get them?

Buffalo Wild Wings, with more than 1000 locations worldwide, is a major player in the sports bar and wings world, offering 21 wing flavors.

But Texas-based Wingstop is proving to be an adept competitor. While the chain offers less flavors - only 12 - the similar prices and quality are gaining new devotees every day.

To find out which chain is truly the best wing experience, I chose five comparable wing flavors from both and put them to the ultimate taste test.

Which blazing wings were on fire, and which flavors fizzled out? Which chain is the master of the mild and the head honcho of the hot?

Scroll down to find out who takes the chicken wing championship.

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This is quite the undertaking, especially resisting the urge to start eating on the subway ride back to the office.

This is quite the undertaking, especially resisting the urge to start eating on the subway ride back to the office.

Approximately 100 wings in five flavors – a fair mixture of boneless and traditional per flavor – meet on the field.

Approximately 100 wings in five flavors – a fair mixture of boneless and traditional per flavor – meet on the field.

The flavors are: Classic Mild, Garlic Parmesan, Asian (Buffalo Wild Wings' Asian Zing, and Wingstop's Spicy Korean Q), Classic Hot, and Mango Habanero.

The flavors are: Classic Mild, Garlic Parmesan, Asian (Buffalo Wild Wings' Asian Zing, and Wingstop's Spicy Korean Q), Classic Hot, and Mango Habanero.

The Mild flavors are up first for the coin toss – Buffalo Wild Wings (BBW) on the left, and Wingstop on the right.

The Mild flavors are up first for the coin toss – Buffalo Wild Wings (BBW) on the left, and Wingstop on the right.

Almost immediately, one of our tasters comments on the dryness of BBW's offering. It tastes as though all of the flavor is in the sauce, with the chicken itself coming up rather flat and average.

Almost immediately, one of our tasters comments on the dryness of BBW's offering. It tastes as though all of the flavor is in the sauce, with the chicken itself coming up rather flat and average.

Wingstop's Mild has a much more comforting balance of flavor, and our tasters relished in the the saucy, chicken-y goodness both on and off the bone. The coin toss and early advantage goes to Wingstop.

Wingstop's Mild has a much more comforting balance of flavor, and our tasters relished in the the saucy, chicken-y goodness both on and off the bone. The coin toss and early advantage goes to Wingstop.

Next play is the Garlic Parmesan, and right away there's a big visual difference. Is that actual parmesan on Wingstop's wings?

Next play is the Garlic Parmesan, and right away there's a big visual difference. Is that actual parmesan on Wingstop's wings?

To me, BWW's Garlic Parmesan wings have just the right amount of creamy sauce and garlic flavor, although one taster wholeheartedly disagreed with a succinct, "Gross." That's a definite flag from the ref.

To me, BWW's Garlic Parmesan wings have just the right amount of creamy sauce and garlic flavor, although one taster wholeheartedly disagreed with a succinct, "Gross." That's a definite flag from the ref.

In comparison, Wingstop's were very salty and comments were made as to their lack of flavor. However, the cheese on top is a nice touch. It's a close call, but BWW gets a field goal here.

In comparison, Wingstop's were very salty and comments were made as to their lack of flavor. However, the cheese on top is a nice touch. It's a close call, but BWW gets a field goal here.

Next play: the Asian flavors. Buffalo Wild Wings' Asian Zing, on the left, is directly comparable to Wingstop's Spicy Korean Q.

Next play: the Asian flavors. Buffalo Wild Wings' Asian Zing, on the left, is directly comparable to Wingstop's Spicy Korean Q.

The Asian Zing flavor is subdued, with little to no spice. They're almost too sweet, and the soy sauce flavor is much too strong, adding an unpleasant saltiness.

The Asian Zing flavor is subdued, with little to no spice. They're almost too sweet, and the soy sauce flavor is much too strong, adding an unpleasant saltiness.

Wingstop's Spicy Korean Q wings, however, execute the perfect play: the sauce is strong, hot, and sweet, all at once with fantastic balance. These were overwhelmingly preferred in our taste test, and ran out first. An easy touchdown for Wingstop before halftime.

Wingstop's Spicy Korean Q wings, however, execute the perfect play: the sauce is strong, hot, and sweet, all at once with fantastic balance. These were overwhelmingly preferred in our taste test, and ran out first. An easy touchdown for Wingstop before halftime.

The next quarter starts with classic Hot. Both teams are looking pretty fiery from here – this is where the tasters might prefer milk over Gatorade.

The next quarter starts with classic Hot. Both teams are looking pretty fiery from here – this is where the tasters might prefer milk over Gatorade.

The Hot wings from BWW definitely pack a lot of heat, there is no question – but the validity of the heat is a concern. A number of tasters lamented that the extreme heat comes at the cost of a satisfying flavor.

The Hot wings from BWW definitely pack a lot of heat, there is no question – but the validity of the heat is a concern. A number of tasters lamented that the extreme heat comes at the cost of a satisfying flavor.

The real game day heat comes from Wingstop's Hot variety, which the tasters overwhelmingly preferred. They're incredibly spicy, but don't disappoint in terms of true wing flavors – the heat is paired with an actual taste without burning your mouth for the sake of burning. Another effortless touchdown by Wingstop.

The real game day heat comes from Wingstop's Hot variety, which the tasters overwhelmingly preferred. They're incredibly spicy, but don't disappoint in terms of true wing flavors – the heat is paired with an actual taste without burning your mouth for the sake of burning. Another effortless touchdown by Wingstop.

Finally, the spiciest of the game: Mango Habanero. The holy grail of spicy and fruity, where sweet meets heat.

Finally, the spiciest of the game: Mango Habanero. The holy grail of spicy and fruity, where sweet meets heat.

First off, Buffalo Wild Wings' are confusing. The first 10 seconds of eating comes with an incredibly mild, fruity taste, lulling one's taste buds into a false sense of security before a slow-building heat erupts into an all-out inferno in your mouth. It's a sneaky, scorching fireball that only manages to beat a slow retreat following a generous glass of milk. These are a pyromaniac's chicken wing.

First off, Buffalo Wild Wings' are confusing. The first 10 seconds of eating comes with an incredibly mild, fruity taste, lulling one's taste buds into a false sense of security before a slow-building heat erupts into an all-out inferno in your mouth. It's a sneaky, scorching fireball that only manages to beat a slow retreat following a generous glass of milk. These are a pyromaniac's chicken wing.

On Wingstop's side of the field, the heat is present, but it's a more complex heat intertwined with a delicate yet tangy mango flavor. It isn't as ferocious a spiciness as BWW's, but for those who eat wings for the full experience rather than a five-alarm blaze, these are your wings. Field goal: Wingstop.

On Wingstop's side of the field, the heat is present, but it's a more complex heat intertwined with a delicate yet tangy mango flavor. It isn't as ferocious a spiciness as BWW's, but for those who eat wings for the full experience rather than a five-alarm blaze, these are your wings. Field goal: Wingstop.

The clock has run down, the milk is gone, and the tasters have spoken. Will Buffalo Wild Wings' stampede to victory, or will Wingstop fly away with the final match?

The clock has run down, the milk is gone, and the tasters have spoken. Will Buffalo Wild Wings' stampede to victory, or will Wingstop fly away with the final match?

In the midst of the spicy, saucy carnage, a winner has emerged: Wingstop. In something of an upset match, Wingstop is overwhelmingly preferred by our wing aficionados. Overall, the wings are meaty and the flavors are strong, accurate, and avoid the cloying sweetness or saltiness of BWW. The Wing Bowl must go to Wingstop this season, hands down.

In the midst of the spicy, saucy carnage, a winner has emerged: Wingstop. In something of an upset match, Wingstop is overwhelmingly preferred by our wing aficionados. Overall, the wings are meaty and the flavors are strong, accurate, and avoid the cloying sweetness or saltiness of BWW. The Wing Bowl must go to Wingstop this season, hands down.
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