At Siren, a Hot Wings Eating Contest: Plus, Strategy from Atomic Wings’ Founder


Obviously, you are heading to Coney Island this weekend to check out the Voice‘s Siren Music Festival. (Free!) On Saturday between 12 and 2:30, mosey on over to the Atomic Wings booth, where you can sign up for the first annual Atomic Wings Buffalo Wings Eating Contest. Later that day, at 5:30, the contest will commence, and the lunatic competitor who can munch the most wings to the bone will be crowned the Wing King of New York.

Click through for a chat with Atomic Wings’ founder and owner Adam Lippin on how many hot wings he can eat in one sitting, and strategic munching.

How many hot wings can you eat in a sitting?

Probably 20 to 25 wings

What strategy would you advise the eaters to use on Saturday?

This is a personal preference–some competitors will spin them, and others will skin them. Either way, it’s the most number of wings picked clean to the bone and consumed in 12 minutes that will determine the title of Atomic Wings Wing King of NY.

Do you prefer the drumsticks or wing tips?

Personally, I prefer drumsticks, but the majority of our customers prefer the wing tips. [Ed. note: Drumsticks all the way.]

What makes a great hot wing?

Three key factors go into making a great hot wing: the bird, the technique, and the sauce.

At Atomic Wings we are very particular about our birds. We choose only jumbo birds and the skin must be white, not yellow in color.

We are also sticklers about our technique–we fry them until they are crispy and brown. Then we sauce them up–how and with what are the key to the best-tasting Buffalo wings ever.

A great hot wing must have authentic Buffalo flavor. That’s why we only use Frank’s RedHot–the original Buffalo Wing sauce used to create the first-ever Buffalo wings in 1964.

As to our technique for saucing: We toss them with Frank’s, but our point of differentiation is that we “bang ’em up.” This means we not only coat them in the sauce but shake the wings up to break the skin, a technique that distributes the flavor throughout the wings.

Is it possible for a hot wing to be too hot?

That’s a matter of personal preference. That’s why at Atomic Wings we offer several options. For the sane: Mild, Medium, Hot. For the insane: Abusive, Nuclear, and Suicidal

Besides Atomic Wings, any places that serve hot wings you admire?

One of the reasons I created my own restaurant/s was that none of the existing restaurants seemed to satisfy my Buffalo wing standards.

As for my inspiration, there used to be a joint down on 2nd and 29th called Aiello’s. They served pizza, wings, fries, etc. They made good wings, but I was also intrigued by the fact that the place was a “destination.” They seemed to get customers from all over the city not just the neighborhood.

What’s the most misguided hot wing you’ve ever come across?

Any wing that is undercooked, that lacks the crispy crunchy exterior that consumers crave, is misguided in my mind.