KFC’s Tabasco Sauce Chicken: Taste Test

KFC’s Tabasco Sauce Chicken: Taste Test
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Yesterday KFC sent us a ridiculous four buckets of their latest chicken — which is reportedly marinated in Tabasco for 24 hours. We ate a lot of it.

Here’s what we thought.

Mark Serrels, Managing Editor

I mean, it’s KFC chicken. That’s a positive from the outset. Giving into the KFC compulsion is beautiful experience when it happens.

So, being quite honest, I was too deep in the ‘oh my god screw diets I’m eating fried chicken’ high of consumption to really properly digest the difference between normal KFC and the ‘new’ chicken I was consuming.

My gut feeling: it wasn’t very spicy. I wanted it to be spicier. But whatevs, it’s still KFC chicken. I’m a fan.

Danny Allen, Publisher

Listen, I know my KFC. My first ever job was at KFC and I still eat it once a week even though I should cut back. 24 hour Tabasco soak? I get the Southern chicken tie-in and it is spicier than the normal Zinger spice. Can I get it on a cheese and bacon Tabasco Zinger *burger*? If so, totally would. But if anyone at KFC is listening: bring on the Vietnamese chilli chicken. Fusion Mr Sanders, sweet, spicy finger lickin’ fusion.

Amanda Yeo, Night Editor

All I’ve wanted from KFC for a long time is a drumstick in a Wicked Wing coating. These assorted chicken pieces are the closest I’ve come. They’re like Wicked Wings’ weird cousin, with a similar crispy exterior, and I was thrilled that they didn’t skew closer to the soggy Original Recipe. Though the Tabasco-marinated chicken skin didn’t seem quite as crispy, it’s barely worth mentioning and did not impede my enjoyment of the chicken pieces.

However, though the new recipe claims to be hot and spicy, it is a spicy for people who don’t eat spice. When I first bit into it, I had to ask, “Is this meant to be spicy?” I could subtly detect what it was trying to do, but any sort of spice only becomes apparent after you’ve eaten three or more pieces and the heat has been able to build. Further, the Tabasco sauce provided is a bit too much like straight up pouring vinegar over your chicken. It doesn’t improve the flavour at all, and you’d be better off throwing the sauce out and eating your chicken as is.

Tegan Jones, Commercial Editor

I don’t just like chicken. I thirst for chicken.

It was with this frame of mind that I tried the new offering from KFC. And it was a positive experience. It’s the closest that they have come to fulfilling my dream of Wicked Wing spices on a drum stick, and that pleased me.

If you enjoy super spicy food like I do, it errs on the mild side of the flavour spectrum – but the taste sensation is still there. And it does get a little warmer with every subsequent piece you shame-eat. Trust me, I did the research.

The addition of the tabasco sauce is interesting. It definitely brings it more of a kick, but I felt like it offered an after taste reminiscent of vinegar that drowned out the natural flavour of the chicken. In my opinion, it’s worthy of being enjoyed sans-condiments. Or, if you have to dunk it into something, kick it old school by getting on the potato and gravy train.

Alex Walker, Kotaku Editor

Vinegar isn’t the sort of flavour that comes into my head when I think of fried chicken. But that’s the profile you get from KFC’s new Tobasco chicken, which is aiming for that spicier, almost Southern style of fried chicken.

It’s hotter than a standard Zinger breast or drumstick, but it’s hardly searing hot. There are plenty of Korean BBQ places around that will serve much hotter fried chicken; it’s not even remotely on the same level as Mad Mex’s hottest spicy sauce, for instance. But otherwise, the chicken tastes like … well, good KFC fried chicken.

As for the tobasco, the slight vinegary aftertaste reminds me more of a very British fish and chips from a greasy spoon. And while that’s fine, I always preferred my fried chicken dry – or much hotter. Korean BBQ or sriracha still, for me.

Nina Faelnar, Designer

I resent KFC for not making spicy chicken on permanent rotation at all their stores, they clearly have the talent to take over the number of indie fried chicken joints that have popped up the past couple of years.

Although not entirely spicy as I’d hoped, it has that amazingly crispy texture that we hunt for with fried chicken, and the sweetness of the Tabasco sauce gives that extra kick without overpowering the flavor. If KFC stops producing this after May 15th then sweet mother of mercy I will have a hunger strike in front of their head offices until they make this permanent.

Have you tried KFC’s newest chicken yet? Thoughts?


  • KFC’s original recipe is greasy AF and couldn’t possibly resemble the recipe that made the Colonel a fortune.

    Regarding this Tobasco sauce marinade? Bugger this gimmick. Who even consumes Tobasco these days?

    • Many people with common sense consume Tobasco these days, it is a chilli sauce, enhances flavour and if YOU don’t like it, too bad, princess and it isn’t a ‘gimmick’, it is chilli chicken and will appeal to many people, unlike initiquitous you and other iniquituos people who spend each day being obsequious in a cellar and subjecting your non-responsive water outlet to perform a secondary function whilst watching naked people gyrating and grunting in front of a camera, each consumed in a daily, low-paid, boring chore.
      Eat your celery away from the keyboard!

  • tabasco? is this for all the old grandads out there? what’s next, ‘old spice’ flavour?

    if they wanted to do this properly, it should have been buffalo flavour, marinated with franks hot sauce and a buttery franks condiment pack to pour all over it. I kind of get the feeling that’s what they were going for with tabasco, but they really missed the mark.

    if it had been franks buffalo chicken with the crispy wicked wings coating, they’d have had the lines queued round the block day and night!

    • If and But and Where and When and Who are You to Complain about a product with an almost never-ending load of clap-trap.
      If YOU want Flavours which Suit YOU, then buy a BASIC dead, plucked chicken from a shop, cover with spices which YOU like, cook in oven for time specified on-line in the “How To Cook A Chicken” web site and eat it.
      Who ever approves of all the people like you whinging and complaining about what you DON’T like, who cares, NO-ONE, you no like, no eat, cook your own meals you lazy sods…..
      LifeHacker merely asked YOUR opinion on Tabasco KFC, you negative t*oo*ls have to write a sermon on everything OTHER THAN the rerquest.
      No wonder the illiteracy level in our younger generation in Australia is below zero….. Get Real, You Are Unimportant, But Why Is Proving Otherwise Too Difficult For You !

    • Tabasco is for MEN and Women, adults who can eat Tobasco-spiced food, unlike an unknow flavour of buffalo droppings, but of course, being uneducated in the wisdom of food flavours, you will eat garbage if flavoured with buffalo poo!
      Oh well you knowledgeable person, if it was franks, it isn’t, or wicked wings, it isn’t, all buttery, it isn’t….none of it suits YOU, so go away, write to KFC and COMPLAIN, tell them that you were asked by LifeHacker to try Tabasco Chicken, but tell them you did NOT answer the question which was asked……..dum didee dum dum comments from dum didee dum dum, untitled, illiterate juvenile part-humans.

  • Bought six pieces of the new KFC marinated in Tabasco sauce. Sorry not a fan. The chicken had a different taste…not going for a second round…

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