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Wingstop's menu offers nearly a dozen flavor variations of fried chicken wings including original hot buffalo-style, garlic parmesan, and mango habanero, but it’s the lemon pepper wings that get the most raves. And even though they’re referred to as “dry rub” wings on the menu, the secret to a perfect hack of the chain’s lemon pepper wings is in the buttery baste that goes on first.
The lemon pepper won’t stick to the wings without first making them wet, and that’s where the sauce, or baste, comes in. The baste is easy to make by clarifying butter and combining it with oil (to prevent the butter from solidifying), then adding lemon pepper and salt.
I obtained a sample of the lemon pepper that Wingstop uses and took a few stabs at cloning the blend from scratch. Ultimately, I decided the task was a waste of time and unnecessary when pre-blended lemon pepper is so easy to find. I compared Wingstop’s lemon pepper with the blends from two of the most popular brands, McCormick and Lawry’s—each one slightly different than what Wingstop uses. McCormick’s is lemonier than Wingstop’s blend, and Lawry’s version is chunkier and less lemony, but either blend is still close enough to deliver a satisfying clone.
After the wings are fried, baste them with the sauce below, and sprinkle them with your favorite lemon pepper. Now you’ve just whipped up wings like a Wingstop pro.