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World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival

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World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival
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Grilled wings, smoked wings, fried wings … all kinds of hot wings will be taking center stage at Tiger Lane this weekend at The World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival.

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World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival

The annual contest kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. The event, formerly known as the Southern Hot Wing Festival, has evolved into a serious competition with competitors from across the globe.

New Wing Order has placed in the top 3 every year since 2015. I asked Memphian Cole Forrest, a team member and co-owner of the New Wing Order food truck, for his tips on how to make award-winning hot wings.

First and foremost …. While taste is weighted the most in judging at hot wing contests, tenderness is almost 30 percent of your score. Make sure your wings have some bite on the outside, while being succulent and tender on the inside.

Next …. Oftentimes those judging hot wings are coming from the barbecue world where the entries tend to be on the sweeter side, so you don't want to submit anything that's going to set their mouths on fire. That said, it is a hot wing contest, so there should be some heat to your submission.

And lastly …. Unlike barbecue contests where smoking is king, hot wing contests offer more cooking methods which can be successful. Cole said, “We've seen past champs who grill, smoke, or fry wings. We've even seen contestants who cook their wings sous vide.”

One final piece of advice. If attending the World Championship Hot Wing Contest, bring some cash. Teams compete while giving samples to attendees in return for donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis. Each cash donation is a “vote” for your favorite wings.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit.

For more information about The World Championship Hot Wing Contest & Festival, visit worldwingfest.com.