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Nice work. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. Find all the best restaurant recipes from Waffle House to Zaxby's here. New recipes added every week.

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    Much of Wingstop’s success can be pinned on its great selection of unique wing flavors such as Korean, Louisiana Rub, Garlic Parmesan, and Hawaiian. But it’s the traditional buffalo-style hot wings that are one of the top two picks at the 1,124-unit chicken wing chain (the other one is Lemon Pepper).

    The chain’s buffalo-style sauce is darker red than most buffalo wing sauces, which are typically made by combining Frank’s RedHot sauce with melted butter. Frank’s is more orange than red, so I set out to find an alternative Louisiana-style hot sauce that looked the part.

    My market had several other Louisiana hot sauces, but the one whose color best matched Wingstop was called “The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce.” This particular vinegar-and-pepper hot sauce has been around for over 90 years, and it has the right color and flavor to make a great knockoff of the wing sauce. You’ll just need to add a few more ingredients, including butter, and it’s ready for saucing your wings.

    If you can’t find The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, you can use another Louisiana-style sauce, such as Crystal, Bulliard’s, or even Frank’s, and although your wings won’t look quite the same as Wingstop’s, they’ll still taste similar.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    If you feel like diving into a pile of wings with big flavor and no heat, you'll love this hack of a top pick at Wingstop. At the restaurant, these wings are deliciously doused with a buttery garlic Parmesan baste and then sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. A home clone is easy when you toss crispy wings in this hack of the top secret baste and top them with a snowfall of good Parmesan cheese. 

    To duplicate the baste, you clarify a stick of butter, then add a little oil so that the butter doesn’t solidify. Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt are mixed in, then the sauce is set aside to cool and thicken.

    Once the wings are fried to a golden brown, toss them with the baste in a bowl, then grab the grated Parm and make it snow.    

    Check out my other Wingstop clone recipes here.  

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    In March 2020, Wendy’s entered the fast food breakfast wars with 18 new items, and the star that emerged from the bunch is a bacon-lover’s dream. The Breakfast Baconator help lead Wendy’s to morning meal sales success in the midst of a pandemic, as other fast feeders, like McDonald’s, struggled in the a.m.

    Wendy's substantial sunrise sandwich is made with a square (of course) sausage patty, a fried egg, 2 slices of American cheese, and 6 halved bacon slices. That's good right there, but when you slather Wendy's delicious top secret Swiss cheese sauce onto a brioche bun, you've got something really special. And filling. All the building instructions are here, including an easy hack for the Swiss cheese sauce using just 4 ingredients!

    One of the ingredients—Swiss cheese Singles—is what allows us to make a smooth, non-gritty sauce. If you can’t find Singles, use any other brand of Swiss cheese “product” that contains sodium citrate. That’s the secret ingredient that helps make the sauce so creamy. 

    Find more of my Wendy's copycat recipes here.

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    Score: 4.25. Votes: 24

    The real version of this chili sauce comes to each Wienerschnitzel unit as concentrated brown goo in big 6-pound, 12-ounce cans. After adding 64 ounces of water and 15 chopped hamburger patties the stuff is transformed into the familiar thick and spicy chili sauce dolloped over hot dogs and French fries at America's largest hot dog chain. The proper proportion of spices, tomato paste, and meat is crucial; but the real challenge in hacking this recipe is finding a common grocery store equivalent for modified food starch that's used in the real chili sauce as a thickener. After a couple days in the underground lab with Starbucks lattes on intravenous drip, I came out, squinting at the bright sunshine, with a solution to the chili conundrum. This secret combination of cornstarch and Wondra flour and plenty of salt and chili powder makes a chili sauce that says nothing but "Wienerschnitzel" all over it.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 6

    At only 10 1/2 ounces per serving you might think this drink a bit wee. But I assure you, one of these packs a wallop, and two will get you speaking in haiku. This delicious raspberry margarita, along with an incredible southwestern cuisine, is making this small chain a big success story.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    The secret to duplicating the taste of this great Wendy's burger comes down to recreating the spicy Southwestern pepper sauce. And, if you want to stay true to the original burger, you'll have to get yourself some sliced yellow and white colby Jack cheese. Look for the marbled cheese in the deli section—I used Tillamook brand. Cook up some bacon, slap it all together, and you'll have one of the best homemade hamburgers on the planet.

    Now, how about a refreshing Wendy's chocolate or vanilla Frosty? Get more of my Wendy's copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 11

    When sales of this once limited-offering sandwich exceeded expectations, Wendy's made it a permanent menu item. Now you can re-create the spicy kick of the original with a secret blend of spices in the chicken's crispy coating. Follow the same stacking order as the original, and you will make four sandwich clones here at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

    Check out more Wendy's copycat recipes like their famous chili here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.42. Votes: 52

    First served at Wendy's in 1969, the Frosty continues as a favorite in fast food shakes. Our frosty's recipe is an improved version of the recipe that appeared in my first book, Top Secret Recipes. Top Secret Recipes. I've designed this new version for a one-person serving and have given it less of an intense chocolate flavor that's more like the real thing. I find the smaller yield also helps to make the shake blend better.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Western Sizzlin is a steakhouse similar in some ways to Sizzler, but the companies are not related. Although Western Sizzlin is known for its steak, the restaurant has a nice teriyaki chicken dish, topped with a slice of pineapple. You may like that this recipe includes a way to make delicious teriyaki sauce to use as a tasty marinade for a variety of dishes, and it keeps well for weeks in the fridge. For the pineapple juice in the teriyaki recipe, you don't have to buy a separate can of juice. Instead, you can use the juice that comes packed in the can of pineapple slices that you use as a garnish on the chicken—it's just the right amount for this recipe.

    Oh, and if you have any leftover pineapple slices, here's a recipe for a killer Mai Tai.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 6

    Nicknamed "Sliders" and "Gut Bombers," these famous tiny burgers were one of the earliest fast-food creations. It all started in 1921 when E.W. Ingram borrowed $700 to open a hamburger stand in Wichita, Kansas. Ingram chose the name White Castle because "white" signified purity and cleanliness, while "castle" represented strength. permanence, and stability. White Castle lived up to its name, maintaining that permanence and stability by growing steadily over the years to a total of 380 restaurants.

    Ingram's inspiration was the development of steam-grilling, a unique process that helped the burgers retain moisture. The secret is grilling the meat over a small pile of onions that give off steam as they cook. Five holes in each mini-burger help to ensure that the meat is completely cooked without having to flip the patties. Today customers can buy these burgers "by the sack" at the outlets, or pick them up in the freezer section of most grocery stores, but hey, making them at home is fun!

    Now, how about some fries and a milkshake to complete the meal.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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