Taste Test: KFC Hot & Spicy Nuggets

Taste Test: KFC Hot & Spicy Nuggets

It’s taken an incredibly long time, but KFC is finally selling Hot & Spicy chicken in nugg form! We sampled this limited-edition menu item yesterday. Read on for our verdict.

It is almost inconceivable that KFC hasn’t released a Hot & Spicy nugget until now. It seems like such an obvious pairing! Mind you, it took McDonald’s a good 40 years to offer Big Mac sauce in a bottle so who knows how these marketing boffins think.

Available for a limited time only, the Hot & Spicy Nugget is available in a pack of 24 for $10. That’s a pretty generous asking price when you consider a pack of ten regular KFC nuggets sets you back $8.95. The deal also includes four sauces.

Here’s the official KFC sales pitch:

Seasoned with KFC’s top-secret Hot and Spicy blend, these nuggets are one of a kind and have even been requested from super-fans on social media, with posts asking KFC to bring the spice back in the shape of nuggets.

Just like their original recipe counterpart, Hot and Spicy nuggets were made to be dunked in KFC’s famous dipping sauces. Whether you want to turn up the heat with the supercharged sauce, or cool it down with aioli – there’s a perfect pairing for every nugget craving.

This Hot and Spicy menu addition is only here for a good time, not a long time and once they’re gone, they’re gone – so fans are urged to get in fast!

According to KFC’s website, the Hot & Spicy Nugget box contains 5426kJ of energy, 65.8g of protein, 73.2g of fat, 92.1g of carbohydrates, 32.1g of sugars 3669mg of sodium – “per serve”.

It’s not clear whether a ‘serve’ includes the whole box or just a portion of nuggets. Either way, anyone who is conscious about their health should probably share this with a buddy or two.

But that’s enough dietary hand-wringing: let’s find out how these things taste!

The first thing you notice after opening the box is how red these nuggets are. Hot & Spicy batter is usually light brown – a few shades lighter than Original Recipe, in fact. By contrast, the Hot & Spicy nuggets look as spicy as they taste. Presumably, this is because the thinner nugget batter is unable to obscure the spices and flavourings beneath.

Ah, yes – the thinner batter. This is a huge departure from Hot & Spicy’s recipe and it’s something that is sure to divide customers. The nuggets’ outer coating tastes nothing like the boned version of Hot & Spicy. It’s much softer and the batter-to-chicken ratio is completely different.

Now to be fair, it would have been nigh-on impossible for KFC to use real Hot & Spicy batter – its nuggets are floured and frozen off-site and this form factor wouldn’t suit thick, crispy batter anyway. But there’s no getting past the fact that this isn’t really Hot & Spicy chicken. Instead, you’re getting run-of-the-mill nuggets with some Hot & Spicy flavouring thrown in.

In conclusion, if you’re specifically looking for Hot & Spicy chicken’s distinct crunch and texture in nugget form, prepare to be disappointed. But if you just want a KFC nugget that packs some extra heat, give these bad boys a go.

Taste Verdict: 7/10


  • My experience with these was a 1/10. They had absolutely no “Hot & Spicy” element to them at all. Just tasted the same as regular nuggets for me 🙁

    (Yes, I did check they were they H&S ones, they were the same as shown iridescent orange)

  • You mentioned the taste but one major concern is that for these nuggets… they have shrunk the size of the nugget. If you seen the shrink in Hungary jacks nuggets…. expect the same for these too.

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