Fast Food Review: Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s

With a new McNugget sauce hitting McDonald’s restaurants for a limited time, I’ve had McNuggets on the brain for a couple of weeks now.  If you’ve got a dollar, a 4-piece is in your future.  While I’m sure that a majority of the readers know all about McNuggets, I still thought it would be fun to revisit this classic and feature them in a review.  Every kids favorite and yet another food I have yet to grow-up from, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

For a lot of you, McNuggets were probably your introduction to the world of McDonald’s.  As a kid I can remember sitting in the back seat of the family station wagon on a Saturday afternoon, patiently waiting for my Happy Meal with McNuggets.  It’s really such a simple item and that’s likely why it appeals most to kids with simple tastes.  Even though it’s simple, I’d still get excited over a breaded morsel of chicken with a dipping sauce.  I think back in those days and sauces were more limited.  I’m sure there are some out there that used ketchup over anything else.  I would always get Sweet & Sour sauce as my dipper of choice.  Not much has changed today because I’ll still opt for Sweet & Sour over the other options.  As far as other sauces go, I have tried them all. Your basic choices of dipping sauce are Sweet & Sour, Barbeque and Hot Mustard. I put BBQ sauce on just about everything but I’ve never been crazy about the McD’s version.  The not-hot Hot Mustard sauce can be a nice change of pace but McDonald’s Sweet & Sour sauce just seems to be perfect for McNuggets.  It’s more sweet than sour and unlike most Sweet & Sour sauces I’m used to.  It truly deserves it’s own unique name.

The switch to all white meat McNuggets took place about 6 years ago and it only took McDonald’s about 20 years to make the official change.  We’re just talking about shaped pieces of minced chicken meat and deep fried to a golden nugget here so I’m fully aware that the all-white switch isn’t going to be that Earth shattering.  With that being said, I still appreciate the all white meat upgrade. There seems to be a cleaner, less-greasy taste to the McNuggets without really changing the classic taste that I grew up with.  The golden crunchy fried shell of the McNugget might be infused with the same addictive qualities as the McDonald’s french fries. To get a 4-piece for $1.00 is a great buy but just 4 McNuggets are not very filling. $3.00 for 12 is a good amount for a meal but that $1.00 4-piece option is a nice choice if you’re picking and choosing items from the Dollar Menu.

I mentioned before that we’re talking shaped pieces of minced chicken and I’d be doing this review a disservice if I didn’t mention “The Circle”, “The Tombstone” and “The Boot”.  What’s your favorite? How can you not love “The Boot” or what I used to call “The one with the handle”.

From Left to Right: The Circle, The Tombstone, The Boot

McNuggets have nostalgic value for me and for that I give them bonus points. I don’t really like the Burger King tenders and the Wendy’s Nuggets are a little too spongy for my liking so in my opinion, McDonald’s gets the nod above those two.  I’ll still put them all behind Chick-fil-A in the battle for best fast food nuggets.  As CFA nuggets go, I wouldn’t expect anything else from a place that focuses all it’s attention on chicken.  Even though I don’t go to McDonald’s often, I know that the McNuggets will still be there and true to my memories as a kid.  Even through it’s changes, the familiarity of the McNugget always seems to win me over.

Pros: Cheap. All white-meat. Crisp and crunchy golden shell.

Cons: Even though they are cheap, you'll still need a bunch to make a dent in your stomach.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 7.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: 1.00 for 4

Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10

More Info: McDonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
McNuggets (4)
Calories - 190
Fat - 12 grams
Saturated Fat - 2 grams
Cholesterol - 30 milligrams
Sodium - 400 milligrams
Carbs - 11 grams
Sugars - 0 grams
Dietary Fiber - 0 grams
Protein - 10 grams

45 comments on “Fast Food Review: Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s

  1. Adam says:

    Good review Ryan. I eat McNuggets each week. Like you said; it’s a nostalgia thing. But I also do really like their taste. While a CFA nugget is a work of art, there is something about the taste of a Micky D’s nugget which just screams awsomeness to me. I recently tried them with the sweet thai sauce and found it wtered-down. Frankly, I’ve always been a ketchup man myself, ever since I was a little kid. The funny thing is that McNuggets seemed to give the Golden Arches their reputation as a “junk food” place; but in reality they are a reasonable choice if you don’t go for the 20 pack lol.

  2. Tony jaguar says:

    I like the boot shape, and sweet and sour is my go to sauce. If I’m at home real Chinese hot mustard is best.

  3. Robby says:

    I dip these little bundles of goodness in honey mustard.

    Aww yeah.

  4. Patrick says:

    My personal favorite shape is the circle, it’s just so simple and idk why I like it but still!

    My ultimate fav sauce for McNuggets is either BBQ, or Buffalo :D Ahh so good…

    The new sauce didn’t really appeal to me that much, I mean it was ok, but I’ll stick with the above 2.

    And I LOVE Wendy’s and Burger King’s nuggets, as well as McDonalds, and the Wendy’s chicken sauce thingys are good too, but I’m not to keen on CFA’s nuggets. Sorry.

  5. haha, i grew up on mcnuggets. gross. i was always really horrified when i got a dark one. grosser. i didn’t know about the white meat switch but if i had (and still ate meat), i’d be really excited about it.

  6. Nick says:

    Good review, but with one very minor caveat. I’m wondering why, if the review was timed to coincide with its release, the new McNugget sauce (Sweet Chile/Chili) was never mentioned. I’m still looking for a review of that sauce before I take the leap.

  7. rightclue says:

    Dark meat simply means more mitochondria (energy producing organelles) was in the muscle cells.. because the chicken uses its legs and thighs more vigorously than its chest muscles.

    Dark doesn’t exactly mean it’s mud or anything.

    Then again, knowing McDonald’s, they could have used unsavory meat and called it “dark.

    You know, the total price of a big mac, with all the packaging and labor associated with it, cost about 33 cents in 2005. Perhaps with teh increased meat and cheese costs it is marginally higher. But they sell a Big Mac for at least $3. Talk about a profit margin!

  8. drpep says:

    4 for a buck? Not at Mcds around me :(

  9. Justin says:

    Hey drpep, it’s on the menu. Some places don’t have it on the menu, but it’s there. At the very most, it’s $1.19.

    I preferred the dark meat nuggets. There was more meat and it tasted better. Most Chinese food places use dark meat too. The white meat has no flavor, and it’s true.

  10. Ken says:

    The McChampion of fast food nuggets. I love these things, especially pairing the boot shapes with tangy BBQ. Sadly McDonald’s is a bit judicious with how much dipping sauce you get.

  11. I have a dollar but I think I’d rather eat it than eat McNuggets. Apple Pie on the other hand….WHAT DO THEY PUT IN THERE!!??

  12. Canadian Jill says:

    Honey is my favourite dipping sauce, but I wish that the honey packets weren’t half the size of the other sauce packets.

    • nikita coltrane says:

      This. I don’t know how widespread the use or availability of honey as a dipping sauce is, but it seems like a ridiculous percentage of people I know or have known have never had it and either didn’t know it’s available or think I’m outright making things up :P

  13. food_eater says:

    I like the old nuggers way better, they remind me of my childhood more. I loved those greasy nuggers and only sweet and sour for me! I used to always get them in my happy meal too, before they were an “official” happy meal item I just asked to substitute them for a burger no charge and 6 nuggers, woot! Free sauces(as many as u wanted, not 2 for a 20 piece like hey do now)wootx2! Aw that yellow styrofoam nugger holder*memories*

  14. Yum Yucky says:

    When I inhaled nuggets all the time, my favorite was the Boot so I could bite the toes off. But I don’t have a foot fetish. m’Kay?

  15. Kylemeat says:

    Honey was my condiment of choice.

    Wanna know where your McNugget really comes from?

    http://www.mikethepod.com/mcnugget.jpg

  16. Maj says:

    Yes, the meat is “white,” but it wasn’t white when it came off the bone. McDonalds’ factories use a chemical bleaching technique to make “white meat” out of misc. chicken parts. So while it’s technically “white” (according to FDA regulations) it’s not the “white” (as in breast meat) you’re expecting.

  17. Used to love the boot but I found the boot had a higher probability of the dreaded gristle piece.

    When I used to work at McD in high school people would frequently asked for the honey packet to mix into the BBQ. Its the only way I can eat McNuggets now.

  18. Larry says:

    mcnuggets are great. chipotle bbq compliments them perfectly as well. i also ask for a side of the special sauce for the nuggets sometimes. i eat a lot of fast food, haha.

    does anyone remember the taco bell chicken fiesta melt. that was hands down the greatest fast food iteam of all time. please bring back the chicken fiesta melt

  19. Justin says:

    McDonald’s prior to the early 90′s was the BOMB. Styrofoam containers, fries cooked in beef fat, bigger, tastier nuggets, it really was the king of fast food.

    Then it got big and corporate, and whenever some activist group yelled, they jumped. I’m honestly surprised the giant hasn’t tumbled yet, but I fear it’s coming soon. Their restaurants are trying to do EVERYTHING. The jack of all trades nonsense never works.

    I prefer Five Guys for my fast food burger fix now. They don’t give a damn about anyone’s allergies, environmental concerns or religious beliefs. They just cook damn good food. The only thing McD’s has going for it is their fantastic interior for lunch…other than that, it’s pretty much garbage!

  20. Atleye says:

    I agree that CFA has the best nugs, but will endorse Zaxby’s for second place.

    On another note, I think the new sauce tastes like the sauce on the Wendy’s Asian bonless wings.

  21. IBeAnonymous says:

    I love Ranch to dip just about anything. I really need a list of all the dipping sauces McDonalds has because I always forget (since I only get the McNuggets about once a year) and I hate being the one holding up the line while deciding about the sauces!

  22. nausea,heartburn,indigestion, upset stomach DIARRHEA...... says:

    I like to skin them and then eat their flesh w. sweet n’ sour sauce! people always stare when I do this,mmm…

  23. Helldog says:

    I’m 100% hot mustard now, but does anyone else remember the Mulan sauce? That was the best McNugget sauce ever! It was some sort of sweet asian something or other, and it was great with 20-pack.

  24. Katie says:

    So after seeing this I got a huge craving to try them out again. I went today and they weren’t on the menu so I asked how much they cost….$2.10!! Ridiculous!! I backed up and left. =/

  25. [...] my way to get my 20-piece McNuggets after all. Until then, I’ll  just check up on Adam’s review on McNuggets at [...]

  26. ECF says:

    Im a hot mustard guy myself, but will take an occasional dip in sweet n sour or BBQ. i also like ‘salsa ranch’ when we have it at the house… basically a ranch sauce with sum kick. its yummmy!

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I liked the dark meat chicken nuggets. I miss them… :( But–when I do eat McDonald’s nuggets I like the “boot” and ranch as a dip. Burger King has a good buffalo dipping sauce.

  28. I’m a huge mcnugget fan, the boot is the best of the shapes not sure the reason behind it, i always go with bbq sauce, my wife tho swears by honey.

  29. Big Unit says:

    I am a 56 year old man, a retired bodybuilder who still trains like I did 30 years ago. When I am bulking, trying to put on weight rather than get lean, I have, at one sitting, eaten 120 Mcnuggets. Mostly I like them with no sauce, but sometimes I’ll use BBQ. Nothing like a gut full of McNuggets for dinner…. Oh, I also ate 2 large orders of fries and 2 large diet cokes.
    Diet you say…. well I make it a practice that I get no calories from anything I drink, it helps me control my weight.

  30. Robert Chin says:

    Truthfully, I hate the switch to white meat. I used to like the Chicken McNuggets, but last time I had them they were just gross… just dry white and flavorless. Dark meat with more fat content tastes better. Just like their fries used to be better when fried in tallow.

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  32. Mario says:

    Rightclue can you stop complaining compared to other places their good. :)

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  35. mels says:

    am i weird because i prefer them sauceless?

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