The Best Super Bowl Wing, Veggie, And Spice Ideas From Frank's RedHot And McCormick - Exclusive Interview

Nacho, chicken wing, and Buffalo dip lovers rejoice! The Super Bowl is right around the corner, and that means that the peak of snacking season is officially upon us. Not that you really needed another excuse to eat your weight in Buffalo wings in the coming days, but Frank's RedHot (a McCormick-owned brand) has a pretty great reason for you to load up on seconds or thirds and keep chowing down on chicken.

The company has introduced the world's first ever edible NFT. In case you aren't in on the recent trend, NFT's (non-fungible tokens) are basically one-of-a-kind pieces of digital property for sale (via The Verge). Frank's is putting a spicy twist on it though, and sending one lucky winner a real NFT, plus a huge edible version — involving more than 400 chicken wings.

Mashed got the inside details on all that and more from McCormick's VP of Creative and Digital, Alia Kemet. We also talked to McCormick chef Kevan Vetter to get expert tips on making the ultimate game day chicken wings, and other Super Bowl party-worthy snacks using Frank's RedHot. Vetter shared some of his McCormick secrets to making the most of your spice cabinet at home.

McCormick VP Alia Kemet on how football fans everywhere have a chance to win a Frank's RedHot edible NFT

Tell us all the details you can about this edible NFT that Frank's RedHot is releasing ahead of the Super Bowl.

Okay, last week, Frank's RedHot, we released the first ever edible NFT and cryptocurrency, Bonecoin, which is not real currency, right? There's no monetary value. It was really around celebrating what we consider our favorite game day snack, which is Buffalo wings. From now until the end of the Super Bowl, February 13, fans can scan their images of their chicken wing bones and that becomes Bonecoin. Whoever has the most Bonecoin will win. [Fans] go to to do this, they'll win the edible NFT and an actual NFT. The actual's a real NFT. The edible NFT is a replica of that, and it's edible. The wings [make up] a gold Buffalo, and the wings of it are made of chicken wings.

How big is that going to be?

I think it's four feet. It's not little. It's a nice size ... all your friends can dive in and eat the wings.

I think a lot of companies are getting involved in NFT culture, if you will. Brands are jumping on and they're trying to be a part of it, and I think that's fun. I think, like other brands, we, too, are very interested in aligning ourselves with culture and what's important to consumers. Really, for us, that's what this was. We put our heads together with our agency partner and we wanted to align ourselves with culture. We usually do that across many of our digital activations, but we needed to take a step further. One, to differentiate ourselves, obviously from our competitors, but also to really show what we do best, which is food and flavor.

While an NFT is awesome, and an awesome way to engage with people, and get people excited, which they clearly are, I think making it edible and delivering this edible version, which never has been done before, I think it does two things. It's really smart for our business, because it drives what we do best, which is flavor, but it also introduces something that people haven't seen before and gets people excited in a really different way. It's such a cool visual, too, so we'll also capture that content when we deliver it, because that's going to be a lot of fun to see.

We've seen in a lot of ways in recent years how the digital world has sort of impacted food trends through social media, and TikTok, etc. How does McCormick see this intersection of food and NFTs happening going forward?

As a team, we try to really keep our ear to the ground when it comes to any new digital activations ... not to  jump in for the sake of it, but in a meaningful way to our business. I do think that as NFTs make sense for our business, you may see other opportunities with NFTs, from McCormick and Company.

McCormick VP Alia Kemet says Americans will eat billions of chicken wings during the Super Bowl

Do you have any numbers on the amount of chicken wings that are consumed every year during the Super Bowl? How many wings are you expecting to be eaten during this campaign?

I think it's natural that with football comes chicken wings. This is our biggest time of the year, for Frank's RedHot – the Super Bowl is really like Christmas. Last year, I think it was 1.42 billion chicken wings that were consumed on Super Bowl day. My personal estimation is that's going to be higher. I'm thinking we're going to get a little bit closer to 2 billion. I think with the impact of the pandemic, and people gathering, this is a great opportunity for people to come together. I'm hoping they'll eat more than chicken wings. There's so many other options for Frank's RedHot, whether it's Buffalo chicken dip, or my personal favorite is Buffalo cauliflower bites. To answer your question, I think it was 1.42 billion last year, and I'm predicting closer to 2 billion.

The Frank's RedHot products to add to your game day grocery list

Are there any other sort of new McCormick products that we should be looking out for, for Super Bowl weekend or otherwise?

You should be looking out for the Frank's RedHot Nashville Wing Sauce. That's basically taking everything that is so hot about the trendy Nashville hot chicken, which people love, and then we put it in a bottle to create a Frank's RedHot Nashville Hot Wing Sauce. This is really perfect for dousing chicken wings with and being really party-ready. It's red hot, it's extra hot sauce heat, and there's a touch of sweet, so that would be the one, the Frank's RedHot Nashville Hot Wing Sauce.

Besides Frank's Hot Sauce, though, what are some of the top McCormick brand must buys for game day weekend?

I think Frank's RedHot, definitely. We have frozen Frank's RedHot Wings in the frozen section for people who may not want to actually make their wings themselves, or want to supplement. That's an option. The Thick Sauce is a really good option, and that comes in multiple flavors. I would go with any of those, and those are all by Frank's.

Flavor trends to look out for in 2022, according to McCormick VP Alia Kemet

McCormick has a Flavor Forecast that you put out every year. What are the upcoming flavor and spice trends that you are predicting in this coming up and beyond?

I don't think I'm allowed to disclose them, but I'm going to give a hint. The McCormick Flavor Forecast has been uncovering trends that really transformed the way we cook, the way we flavor, the way we eat for over 20 years now. It's created by a global team of McCormick experts – it's chefs, it's culinary professionals, trend trackers, food technologists. The Flavor Forecast inspires culinary exploration and innovation. The 21st edition is out now, and our latest 22nd edition is launching in late April, and I can't actually disclose what those flavors are. My hint would be — there's going to be the celebration of some really wonderful international flavors that we're starting to know and love, so that's a bit of a hint on what's coming.

McCormick chef Kevan Vetter shares tips for making perfect game day chicken wings

We spoke with Alia and talked all about this NFT, the edible NFT, this fun Super Bowl promotion, so I'm excited to just talk food with you. Chicken wings have got to arguably be the most famous, popular, Super Bowl snack. What are some of your top tips for making the perfect game day chicken wings at home?

A couple things. I eat wings once a week, so I am a hardcore wing fan as well. If you can, deep fried is awesome, that's how you typically get them in restaurants. If you don't have a deep fryer, try an air fryer, because that way you get amazingly crispy wings.

I don't have either one of those at home, [so I] use high heat. I'm typically cooking wings at 450. It really helps to get that nice crispy skin, and if you have a baking rack, put the wings on your baking rack. That helps to circulate the heat all the way around the wings to help get that nice, super crispy texture that's perfect for a wing.

Should you rotate your wings while they're in the oven baking?

It depends on your oven. Every oven's a little different. It does help, sometimes, to flip the wings over, particularly if you're baking on a rack. I usually cook wings anywhere from 30 minutes to 35 minutes. It does help to go in and flip them over. Sometimes, if I'm baking on the sheet pan, my little trick is [to] put them on the bottom rack, and then I finish them on the top rack. If they're not on a baking rack and just on a sheet pan, that way, you're getting the bottom crispy, then you put them up top, and get them crispy from there.

How to flavor your chicken wings, according to McCormick chef Kevan Vetter

Should you baste your wings with sauce throughout the cooking process or wait all the way until the end to coat them?

I like to wait all the way until the end. You really want to get that nice crispy skin on the outside, then you take them out, and then you toss them in your sauce of choice. Frank's [has many options], whether it's original, some people like the mild wing sauce, [or] the garlic buffalo is a hit too. There's a Frank's for everybody, for sure.

Do you season beforehand or put them in the oven naked?

You can. If you want a season, a little salt and pepper is good. If you've got a rub that you love, we have a rub that I use at home all the time, which is our Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub, so that adds a little bit of extra flavor. It actually helps, because there's a touch of sugar in the rub [that] helps with the crisping process. You can go either way. If you're a purist and want straight up Frank's, a little salt and pepper never hurts, and then get them crispy and toss them in the sauce.

Super Bowl snacks you didn't think to make using Frank's RedHot sauce

What are some other ways that we can use Frank's RedHot sauce to make Super Bowl snacks besides chicken wings?

I'm going to feel like Forrest Gump here for a little bit, but some of the ones I love, Frank's nachos. We've done tachos, in that same family, but using tater tots and building out this mega awesome dish that's super shareable.

We just launched the Nashville hot sauce, so you can do something with wings, you can twist up the buffalo chicken dip. That's a classic. The OG is with cream cheese and ranch, and diced or pulled chicken, Frank's RedHot, blue cheese if you're a blue cheese fan. Sub in the Nashville hot and come up with a Nashville hot chicken dip, that would be a great thing ... One thing that we did this year that I was blown away by — one of our recipe developers made a vegan buffalo chicken dip using cauliflower rice. Absolutely amazing. It blew me away how good it was.

Buffalo quesadillas, buffalo hummus. If you want to have something that's a little bit on the healthy side, a lot of nice veggies and crudites around that.

Buffalo hummus? What goes into that?

You can make a simple hummus using chickpeas, a little oil, a little lemon, a little garlic, and then as much Frank's RedHot as you want, or you can buy a container of hummus and then mix it into Frank's RedHot. It really gives you a nice twist on a healthy hummus, [and you can] serve it with lots of veggies. You know you're going to have all the good stuff [wings, quesadillas, etc.], but that's not as good for you, so having [hummus with Frank's and some veggies] are a nice option.

[Another options is] Frank's buffalo chicken lettuce wraps. Take some pulled chicken, make a lettuce wrap out of it. We have a couple of recipes for a slow cooker, [like an] Instant Pot, if you wanted to do a buffalo style pulled pork or pulled chicken, so you can do little sliders with that.

If you want something sweet, [there's] kicked up caramel popcorn. It is absolutely amazing. It's sweet and caramel-y, and then the Frank's kicks in. It's really, really good. You can buy popcorn or you can pop your own popcorn. You're making caramel in a pan, so you're converting the sugar you're adding. I think there's a little bit of cream in there. Then, you hit it with the Franks, and then you toss it. You can throw in nuts if you want to ... It's like the best Cracker Jack ... Even better than [any] Cracker Jack that you've ever had, because it's got that Frank's heat to it, but it's not too much. When you think of eating it, it's all about sweet, salty, savory, spicy. It's really good.

How a McCormick chef uses spice blends in his own kitchen

Moving away from specifically Super Bowl foods, what are some of your top hacks or favorite ways to use McCormick's spice blends to cook at home?

I'm a big rib guy. I mentioned that Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky rub. I love that on ribs, I do it on salmon. We also do salmon once a week, and that's our go-to for salmon.

Chili mix is one, and our original taco seasoning [if] you want a simple ground beef taco, or we did a recipe using our street taco carne asada seasoning mix, and did a birria style taco. It's actually not a ton of work, because it goes into the Instant Pot, with the flavors that you develop out of there, and you're getting this taco truck style end result, but really, really quickly, where you get to dip the birria tacos in the consommé that's left over.

[McCormick's] got a range of all purpose seasonings that are really nice as well. Even as simple as taking one of those, we've got that basil garlic, a little red pepper, and sprinkling that in some olive oil to go as a bread dip or a veggie dip or something like that. I've been here for 24 years, it's even harder to pick a favorite.

What is the big difference between taco seasoning and chili seasoning blends?

Oh, completely different. Taco seasoning is a mixture of chilies, garlic, some spices, there's a nice cumin note in there. Chili [seasoning is] a little bit more complex. It's got some different types of chilies in there. The seasoning ratio is a little different than it is with the taco. I would say that the taco has a bit more of a cumin-forward profile, even though there's cumin in chili. Both of them are really well balanced. They're family pleasers. They're really flavorful, but they're family pleasers. When I think of those two particular seasoning mixes, there's something that you can make that the family's going to enjoy, which is important if you're trying to feed a table of people.

The spices every home cook needs in their kitchen, according to McCormick chef Kevan Vetter

What are the top, say, five spices that every home cook should have in their spice cabinet? We'll say salt and pepper's a given.

Oregano, basil, crushed red pepper. I'm thinking through my spice cabinet. Rosemary, thyme. I'm not sure I can stop at five. Is that five?

You're big on the dried herbs.

I am. I think that the dried herbs are always good. When you look at my seasoning cabinet, it's actually really well organized, which I'm happy about that. That was my project back at Thanksgiving, because it was not prior to that, it was things falling out. I really took the time to purge what I didn't need or was out of date.

I've got an equal amount of seasoning blends, as well as herbs and spices. The blends allow you the convenience and the ease of grabbing something that's ready to go, and then the herbs and spices allow you the creativity to season as you wish, and then add a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

I'm a big griller so I've got a lot of our Grill Mates seasonings. We've got a new line of all purpose that we launched last year, so we've got a great black pepper and coarse black pepper and coarse salt. I'm always using black pepper, coarse salt and garlic, and then some smoked paprika and onion and some chilies. I'm in there every night.

Expert tips for keeping your spices fresh for as long as possible

There can be a lot of confusion around the freshness of spices in your spice cabinet, because so many of them stay up there for so long, especially the ones you don't use as often. Do you have any tips that you can share for how long to keep spices and how to keep them fresher longer?

We always recommend that you keep them in a cool dry place. Growing up, mom always kept them on top of the stove, like right in front of the stove. It was really convenient but it's not a great place because it's hot. Heat is the enemy of herbs and spices.

When you're seasoning with the herbs and spices, don't season directly over the pan. All that moisture that's coming out of a boiling pot or something is going to get into the spices and that'll shorten the shelf life. So either season into your hand and then add that directly in, or just another dish.

On average, spices and herbs, depending on what they are, some of the finer grind spices will last you two years. Seeds like cumin seed and some of the hardier spices, they'll last you three, maybe even a little bit longer — again, depending on how you keep them. Vanilla actually keeps getting better. Vanilla doesn't expire. Actually, the vanilla just continues to age and develop complexity and flavor. That's one thing to know, you don't ever want to throw out vanilla.

It is important to go through your spice cabinet. We don't recommend that you replace things every six months. Our spices have a nice long shelf life on them, especially when you keep them stored properly. Don't put them in the freezer, don't put them in the fridge, just keep them in a nice, cool, dry cabinet, away from the stove action and you should be good.

For more information about Frank's RedHot's edible NFT, visit Check out game day recipes and more at