How Spicy Is Wendy's Hot Honey Sauce?

When a fast food restaurant introduces a new "spicy" item to its menu, the burning question on the minds of most pepper heads and heat aficionados is 'Okay, but just how hot is it really?' The titans of the quick-service industry must find ways to appeal to as many people as possible. However, not everyone enjoys genuinely spicy food, so perhaps a little skepticism (and caution) is warranted.

This exact point has been debated in forums such as Reddit, where disappointed spice lovers have vented their frustration at the lack of heat contained in so-called spicy chicken sandwiches, burgers, nuggets, or fries. Another discussion on the subreddit r/fastfood laments the false labeling of spicy fast food items that don't offer even a mild kick and opens up a conversation on the spiciest fast food a person has ever eaten.

Wendy's has long been a player in the spice game with its spicy chicken sandwich and chicken nuggets. In February 2022, they unveiled two new products smothered in a hot honey sauce: a Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich and a Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit (via Meat + Poultry). But again the question must be asked, 'Just how spicy is Wendy's hot honey sauce?'

'Great spice expectations'

Wendy's hot honey sauce is made with habanero peppers, which on their own pack a healthy spice punch. Habaneros measure anywhere between 150,000 to 325,000 units on the Scoville scale (that measures spice intensity). Compare that with 2,500 to 8,000 for jalapenos (per Grow Hot Peppers).

But Wendy's isn't going to deliberately alienate more than half of its customer base by creating a product that only the most spice tolerant among us can handle. So its culinary development team spent over a year concocting something that would nicely balance the heat with the sweet (via Meat + Poultry).

The verdict on the spice level is that the hot honey sauce delivers only a small amount of heat to the palate, which — according to The Takeout – might be due to the addition of vinegar to the recipe. Another reviewer found the hot honey sauce to be just right, a perfect blend of spice and sweetness that doesn't assault the senses (per Thrillist).

There have also been rumors swirling, as referenced on the subreddit r/wendys that the hot honey sauce has been discontinued at certain locations, though it is still listed under nugget dipping sauces at Give it a shot and see if its heat meets your spice expectations.