Taste Test

Battle of the Chicken Nuggets: McDonalds vs. Burger King vs. Wendy’s

February 19, 2017

Chicken Nuggets—your fast food order of choice when you’re fancy enough to get the most expensive thing on the menu (at least relative to how filling the dish is, which, in the case of nuggets, is not very much), but not too fancy to eat in a real restaurant. Maybe that is just what alienates the fast food menu item from mainstream popularity. While most of our kababayan tend to favor their sweet spaghetti, burger steak, and fried chicken, nuggets have their own cult following amongst nugget-heads who consider 50-piece nuggets a reasonable lunch-for-one.

While some nugget-heads around the world petition for their countries to serve this miraculous and not at all unreasonably large bucket of 50-piece crunchy goodness, we in the Philippines struggle with their ridiculous comparative cost, but still continue to order it as an occasional treat.

The classic go-to nugget has long been the Chicken McNugget, but international contenders like Wendy’s and Burger King have spawned their own 6-piece versions with the ever popular barbecue dip. Do they dip into the competition?

We decided to battle out 6-piece chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce (because barbecue forever!) and taste for ourselves:

WENDY’S Chicken Nuggets- php 99

Wendy’s chicken nuggets are a shade darker than the others, almost but not quite bordering on orange, with a gritty breadcrumb texture to its coat. With a strangely burnt taste, Wendy’s nuggets are juicy, sweet, and taste like they are homemade. And by homemade, we mean the frozen ones that you buy at the grocery then fry at home (because that counts, right?). They have an unappetizing weirdly textured layer between the crust and the middle, reminding us of crumbly old potatoes. The middle itself is canned meatloaf texture. When we’re not overanalyzing every bite, it’s pretty enjoyable and its flavor stands out from the others.

Their “barbecue” sauce  has the same homespun flavor, tasting literally like they mixed soy sauce in ketchup. And judging from the reddish hue, they probably did?? We’ve made that sauce before, know what it tastes like, and it’s pretty good. Just not what you would expect from a fast food chain, and more what you would expect when eating fries at your cousin’s house.

Nuggets: 3.5/5
Sauce: 3/5

BURGER KING Chicken Nuggets – php 99

Burger King’s nuggets remind us of that oh-so-familiar McDonald’s nugget scent, only stronger, in a weird, chemically way. If Burger King’s nuggets were a person, they would be that dude who wears nauseating imitation cologne, or possibly Axe. Are they trying to compensate for the fact that they are noticeably smaller than the other nuggets? They even come in a box that is about half the size of McDonald’s. It’s hard to not make the comparison when they taste like week-old stale McNuggets (which we presume is not that bad tasting since Mickey D’s is accused of being zombie food). The coating is thin, lacks crunch, and is suspiciously pale. A bite into the nugget reveals a homogenous and almost doughy texture that is more similar to fishballs than nuggets.

Aptly enough, their thick and sticky “barbecue” sauce has the texture and glaze-like appearance of sweet fishball sauce, only more sickly sweet.

Nuggets: 2/5
Sauce: 1/5

McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets – PHP 104

McDonald’s coating is significantly thicker and crunchier than the others: the kind of crunch that gives that satisfying sound in every bite. The chicken “meat” creates a semblance of threads that is almost like the real thing! (Visually at least.) The chicken-like texture does add to our enjoyment as it feels like we are eating actual food instead of lab-formulated dough mixtures. It’s hard to compare it to anything else, really, as the McNuggets proves itself to be in a league of its own. It invented the taste of nuggets that we have grown to love.

Their barbecue sauce is just the right amount of sweet, with a synthetic taste of dubious components, but we don’t care. Because when the two collide, it is everything that we want our fake-ass nuggets to be.

Nuggets: 5/5
Sauce: 5/5


They say you get what you pay for. Who thought that would apply to a 5 peso difference with fast food chicken nuggets? McNuggets for the win! And we’re not even surprised. When you go into a BK or Wendy’s and are in the mood for nuggets along with any of their signature burgers, why not? But if it is specifically nuggets you are craving for, go for the classic McNuggets.

We are sorry we ever questioned you, McNuggets. To quote a song we love to hate, “They can imitate you but they can’t duplicate you.”

Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

1 comments in this post SHOW

One response to “Battle of the Chicken Nuggets: McDonalds vs. Burger King vs. Wendy’s”

  1. Keppy says:

    McNuggets! ❤ 10 pcs nuggets paired with Large Fries. Yum! Hehe

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