Fork in the Road: Smoked to perfection, with unique wing flavors

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Bars are not just bars anymore. Many have expanded to include a menu so you can enjoy a cold one, and a good meal.

Tailgater’s at 21st and Urish in Topeka is that kind of bar, with co-owner Christ Profitt serving up some of his own flavors on wings.

“We give them a four hour brine bath to begin with and we smoke them for another 2 hours and 15 minutes,” Profitt said.

You heard him right. He doesn’t pull the wings out of a bag and warm them up. He smokes them, with special seasoning, Dwyers Jamaican all purpose seasoning, made right here in Topeka.

The next step, a quick dip in the fryer.

Proffit – “We’ll do these a couple different ways. In one, we’ll just go with the old faithful. A little dry rub.” he explained as he started mixing the wings in sauce.

“This is the Caribbean BBQ Sauce,” which he makes from scratch.

“And then we have our traditional wing sauce. Really I just try and get them coated a little bit. I don’t want it dripping down off onto the tray really. If they want extra sauce, I’d always be happy to put it on the side, but I try not to make the chicken swim in it,” Profitt explained.

But those are not his only award winning sauces. He also makes home made sweet Asian sauce, and sometimes, he experiments, giving customers a treat now and again.

“It’s just having that wide range of the spice pallet. It’s the mild and the bar-be-queue all the way up to the really hot stuff. Everybody that likes wings can find a home,” said customer Michael Crago.

13 NEWS reporters Deneysha Richard is a wing fanatic and joined us for the taste testing.

“They’re delicious,” she said as she bit into a wing. "I can taste the smoked flavor, and so it seems like it’s been simmering for a couple of hours and that makes it even better. I love smoked wings.””

Proffit says he prefers a side of ranch to dip the wings in, but says you can always go with the traditional blue cheese. He also says if you want to try something unique, you also have to order some of his home made crab Rangoon.

“(It is a) secret recipe. I had to swear on my life I would take it to the grave with me. I’m the only one here that makes it,” Profitt explained.

Tailgaters has been around for 11 years and Profitt wants to take back the title of best wing at next years Wing Fling.