Fast Food Review: New! French Fries from Burger King

When I first read on BurgerBusiness.com a few weeks ago that Burger King had changed their french fries, I had to do a double-take. It’s not that I knew the fries were unpopular amongst a large group of fast food eater — including many here on GrubGrade — but rather that I hadn’t noticed any advertising campaign to go along with the fries. I mean, with all the attention given to the Chef’s Choice Burger and the new BK Toppers, you’d think the King would also want to rep any fry improvements (especially with those movie-theatre preview commercials they’ve got going).

But that hasn’t been the case, and the only clarification I got when asking about the new fries at Burger King last weekend was a “yes, they’re thicker” explanation from the girl at the counter. Well, more is more, right?

I tend to think of myself as the rare objective reviewer when it comes to Burger King. I don’t love BK, but I don’t hate it either, and that same attitude perfectly sums up my thoughts on the “old” Burger King fries. Distinctive with their potato starch exterior that yields a slightly crunchier crumb, the fries have always struck me as more “artificial” and heavily salted than other fast food french fries. Being artificial has a certain advantage though, and in the case of Burger King’s recipe, I’d argue that the coating makes the fries oddly addictive even without ketchup. At least, that is for those who don’t mind that starchy coating. And I didn’t mind. So while I wouldn’t go out of my way for the fries (as I would for McDonald’s fries or In-N-Out fries) I appreciated them as a change-of-pace, with my only complaint being that they were distinctively lacking in “real” potato flavor, and oftentimes failed to deliver the golden and fluffy interior which all fries should shoot for.

The good news for longtime BK fry-haters is that these french fries have more of that potato flavor and a fluffier interior than the old fries. The bad news is that the flavor remains the same, and probably won’t convert any of the hardcore critics out there.

The fries are, as reported, noticeably thicker. The comparison to Wendy’s old fries is a good one, but unlike the old Wendy’s fries, which were often prone to become soggy and flabby, the Burger King fries maintain their crispy exterior well, and come out remarkably consistent. I received a scant number of “burnt ends” in my value fry purchase, and only one or two fries were too long and soft. The crumb — more crunchy than crispy, and tasting somewhat like a baked potato chip — is still there, but the diameter of the fries themselves allows for more fluff on the interior. I found the interior to be a bit moister than ideal and not as “fluffy” as attempts by fast-casuals like Zaxby’s, but I also appreciated the size of the fries with respect to salting. While on the heavier side, the salt is more spread out over the surface area, giving you the impression that you’re not just munching on a hunk of table salt (an experience, I think, many of us had with the old fries).

I like Burger King’s new french fries, and I think those who didn’t dislike their old fries will find the new fries an improvement. This was only my first try, however, and given that I had the fries in an empty BK at 11 a.m., it remains to be seen whether the french fries can be replicated along the same quality control lines of McDonald’s french fries. Until that time I’ll remain cautiously skeptical, but still a fan nonetheless.

Pros: Better than the old fries... that is, if you liked the old fries. Fluffier on the interior, and holds outside crunch well. Salt dispersion is better given increase in fry surface area. More area to dip ketchup, too. Just say no to soggy fries. Still just a buck for a value order.

Cons: at/calories/sodium in single order? (new nutrition info still pending) No 'wow' factor.

Taste: 7.00/10
Value: 8.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Price: $1.00 for a value size order

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

Nutrition Facts:
Burger King French Fries (value order, may not reflect changes)
Calories: 240
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 330 mg
Total Carbs: 34 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 2 g

42 comments on “Fast Food Review: New! French Fries from Burger King

  1. Jay says:

    These look revolting and undercooked! I look forward to trying them, though. I stopped eating fries at Burger King after the switch years back, and I stopped eating fries at Wendy’s after their switch. I’m pretty much a McDonald’s fry only guy at this point.

    • Marie says:

      I agree with you on both statements…BK’s OLD fries (before the switch in 1997-1998) were really good, and I also miss Wendy’s old fries. I dislike the natural cut/sea salt new ones that Wendy’s recently introduced, and long for the days when the fries were a little softer. Yes, although I am in the extreme minority here, the best tasting fries were Wendy’s when they were soft and pliable.

      • mike says:

        I agree with you 100%. same with KFC. I used to love their old fries they were soft and thicker like real potatoes. When you put the vinegar or ketchup on them they went limp, and I liked that. I hate crispy coated fries. When they changed them about 10 years ago I stopped eating them. Actually I have been to KFC about 3x in the last 10 years because of this. I used to go once every 2 weeks.

  2. somesteve says:

    can’t wait to try these! hmm. I remember the time they changed their fry recipe back in the day.

  3. Marvo says:

    I’ve lived long enough to experience Burger King’s three or four french fries changes. None of them have come close to being as addictive as McDonald’s fries.

  4. Daniel N says:

    I personally loved the old BK fries. From your description Adam I don’t think I’m going to like the new fries :(

  5. Justin says:

    I’m not very objective about BK – I admit it is my least favorite fast food chain by a long shot. And I hated their old fries. These new ones are much better, although the ones I had were LOADED with salt, just as salty as Wendy’s new fries. But I don’t know if they’re always like that.

  6. Justin ST says:

    The fries are still horrible.

  7. Matt says:

    I have always liked BK’s fries, and these new ones are even better in my book.

  8. Daniel N says:

    Matt I seriously doubt that because I hate Wendy’s old fries and I hate thick fries.

    • Matt says:

      Why is everyone comparing these to Wendy’s fries? They are absolutely nothing like any fries Wendy’s has ever offered.

      BK’s new fries taste the same as before, just slightly larger.

  9. drpep says:

    A&W also changed their fries. I noticed this about a month ago. They used to have the worst FF fries.

  10. Ub says:

    BK fails again, these fries are just horrible still. They are grasping at any straw they can and copying everything McD has done in the last 5 years to save themselves. Their sales are down 5% to 10% year over year and they are so desperate it’s funny

  11. Jack says:

    Meh, liked the old fries more. Actually prefer small and crispy fries. But i like that coating and stuff on it. My favorite big fries, though, are Famous Dave’s!

  12. Sohroosh says:

    I still think Burgerville is the best. Only in southwest Washington and northern Oregon to my knowledge, though.

  13. Adam says:

    With all due respect to the ‘haters’ out there, can someone explaint to me WHY they dislike BK’s fries (texture, salt level, potato taste, etc?). Perhaps that would reveal whether or not it’s a consistancy issue on the part of BK, or if it’s just a matter of disliking thicker fries.

    • Raiders757 says:

      I think the new fries are an improvement, but not much of one. If I have to break things down, it boils down to flavor and texture. I don’t like the coating they are so determined to use on their fries. It would be easier to explain if I were eating some right now and in front of you. BK fries just fall short of the curve for me, and despite the upgrade, are still near the bottom of the fast food chain for me. Still, if I have to pick one thing, it’s the coating, which for me, effects everything from the texture to the flavor.

      • Darryl says:

        You are right on the money! I used to really like Burger King – much more than McDonalds – UNTIL – thy changed their fries back in the ’90s. Horrible decision. I hardly ever go there now. You’re right – it’s the taste and texture, in that order. It’s got to be the grease they use – or at least that’s got to be part of it. Please, please, please – go back to the old fries of the early ’90s and I’ll be back. (I just hope the old recipe wasn’t peanut oil; if so, I can understand the change, but I hope they can find a substitute to match the old taste anyway.) And yes – the coating is a real turn-off, too.

  14. Ub says:

    I hate the crap coating they put on them. Only reason they put it on there is so they can hold them longer before throwing away to save on food cost waste. I haven’t ordered a fry with my order there in 7 plus years now.

  15. squidycent says:

    i think Burger King fries are the best.. these taste that much better than their old ones.

  16. Matt says:

    Next project: better onion rings

  17. [...] BK says the new fries are larger, fluffier, and have better potato flavor than their old fries. Our pals over at Grub Grade gave the new fries a try. [...]

  18. Nicole says:

    I’ve hated BK’s fries since the switch in the ’90s. I used to love them but the coating on them is weird. Plus they’ve always tasted like they are fried in the same oil as their fish patty. Yuck. McDonald’s fries were better when they were fried in the beef tallow. I’d say my favorite fries are Portillo’s (if you’re in Illinois).

    As for BK in general, their food sucks. It’s usually cold and not very flavorful. I almost never eat there anymore. Such a shame too since I worked there in high school and really loved the food. Now I’m just waiting for them to go out of business. Ever notice how their parking lot is always empty? They hire some real lazy people too who can’t be bothered to make eye contract or act friendly when taking your order. It’s happened at so many different locations over the years that I consider it part of their business model. Between that and the horrible quality control on the food they won’t be missed once they’re gone. Oh how I long for the days when a Whopper was actually good.

  19. Allen Garvin says:

    I preferred their older fries, before the change in the 90s (the one they announced following weeks of advertising, featuring fried potato characters using animation from the Wallace & Gromett guys). I can’t remember what, exactly, it was about them since it was long ago, but I think it was the texture and taste of the surface.

    My last time I went to a BK was about 2 years ago, and it’s been years since I went regularly. They got too expensive. When you could get a whopper for 99 cents, that was great. When they cost $3.99, and a meal sets you back close to $10, I’ll happily trade them for What-a-Burger or Sonic or a local Dallas burger joint.

    Plus, you don’t even get a paper crown to wear on your head anymore.

  20. Sai says:

    Loved their old fries, hate the new ones, not as much salt and not that crispy at all. They remind me of Wendys old fries, last time i buy fries or chicken nuggets there again. :/

  21. Chefprotoss says:

    I just tried them. I liked the old fries for how crispy they were. These bigger ones taste the same but due to their larger size have a mushy interior.

    I rate them five mushy fries out of ten.

  22. Dillon Doe says:

    BK’s new fries are great! They are now my new favorite fast-food fry. Well done BK, well done.

  23. [...] Other New Burger King French Fries reviews: Serious Eats Grub Grade [...]

  24. [...] 2011 By: Ryan Category: Food NewsHave you had a chance to try the new fries at Burger King yet?  Here’s our review.  If you think it’s a risky venture to drop a buck on a value sized portion on the new fries, [...]

  25. samco says:

    These new BK fries were really disappointing to me. They are just so dry they are almost tasteless. The first time I tried them there was barely any salt. I disliked them enough that I had to try them one more time to make sure it wasn’t just a bad batch. More salt made them tolerable, but BK is going to shift out of the rotation. Too bad because I love their burgers.

  26. New Fry HATER says:

    The new fries are so bad, they have to give them away with their new promo “Free Fry Friday”—–Pathetic

  27. Jordana says:

    I have to say that I was an avid lover of BK’s old fries…as in I went out of my way, just to stop at BK to buy a large fries with some sweet and sour sauce on the side…With that being said, I have tried the new BK fries a few times now, and I just don’t like them…I don’t know if it is the thicker cut, but they are cloying and a little unappetizing to me.

    In fact, I rarely go to BK anymore, since the fries were my main motivation. I’m very disappointed. Now I have to find a new source for my French Fry needs…McDonald’s and Wendy’s don’t do it for me.

  28. George says:

    The new fries suck, if they don’t go back to the old fires I will be going to McDonald’s.

  29. Clay Renoit says:

    I MADE MY ORDER AND DROVE AROUND TO PAY AND THE CASHIER TOLD ME TO GO BACK AROUND AND RE-MAKE MY ORDER BECAUSE SHE DID NOT GET IT. SO I ASKED HER WHY SHE CAN’T JUST RE-TAKE MY ORDER NOW. SHE SAID IF I DON’T SHE WILL CALL THE POLICE. SO I DID NOT WON’T PROBLEMS. SO I DROVE BACK AROUND TALKING TO MY BABY AND THEN LOOKED UP AND THE LINE WAS TO LONG SO I ASK TO TALK TO A MANAGER AND SEEN THAT THE MAN…AGER IS THE CASHIER. SO I DID NOT WANT TO GET MAD AGAIN. THIS WAS THE LAST TIME I’LL EVER WASTE MY MONEY IN ANY. EVERY BK I’VE BEEN GOING TO 1000′s AND NEVER GET ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT.I HAD A HISPANIC FRIEND BEFORE DRIVING-UP AT THE DRIVE-UP WINDOW I WAS TALKING TO HIM ON MY CELL PHONE BEHIND MY FRIEND AND I ASK MY FRIEND TO ASK FOR KETCHUP AND BECAUSE THEY BOTH ARE HISPANIC AND THE GUY WAITING ON MY FRIEND HE WOULD GIVE HIM 2 HANDS FULL OF KETCHUP SO TALKING TO MY FRIEND AND PULLING UP TO THE DRIVE-UP WINDOW WAITING ON THE SAME GUY TO GIVE ME MY FRIES AND SEE A BIG BOX OF KETCHUP RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY EYES AND ASK FOR SOME KETCHUP AND THE HISPANIC GUY INSIDE SAYS HE DON’T HAVE ANY HE JUST RAN OUT. WHATS THAT IN THIS BOX AND THE GUY WOULD EMPTY THE FULL BOX OF KETCHUP ON THE FLOOR JUST SO I DON’T GET ANY.SO I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A I HATE BURGER KING PAGE ON FACEBOOK AND NOW I AM HAPPY. I ‘M A RISK-TAKER AND WEALTHY AND WANTED TO MAYBE BUY BURGER KING HAVE SOMETHING PROFITABLE BUT I TOOK A SLOW LOOK AT EVERYTHING AND I THINK THAT BURGER KING NEEDS TO CLOSE THERE DOORS. EVERYONE OF THEM AROUND THE WORLD IS TRASHY RUN BY TRASH. WITH THAT BEING SAID I WILL NOT EVEN DRIVE-IN TO TURN AROUND BECAUSE SOMEONE MAY SEE ME AT BURGER KING AND WONDER WHY AM I THERE. PLEASE CLOSE-UP SOMEONE SAID BURGER KING NEEDED A NEW MAKE-OVER AND I SAID IT NEEDS HAULED TO A LANDFILL/DUMP. SORRY THAT MAY DISRESPECT THE DUMP…THANK YOU

  30. [...] be bringing a nice freebie of french fries and green St. Paddy’s Sauce. Anyone a fan of the new BK fries?From the BK Facebook page:You don’t need to wear green and you don’t have to be Irish to feel [...]

  31. [...] fast food world has been all atwitter with big headline items like Dorito’s Locos Tacos, Burger King’s new fries or Wendy’s new burgers and as much as I like… scratch that… love a taco inside a [...]

  32. LilyA says:

    I work at McD and one of my managers said she went to BK and they forgot to give her a sandwich in her bag.. she went inside to inform them and, not trusting her receipt, they actually made her bring the bag so they could check it! We never do that at McD. Why? Because the customer always is right. And what’s worse, their reason for checking her bag? Because “a lot of mexicans steal food by lying about not getting their food.” That’s seriously what they said to her… mind you, she’s not some pimply faced teen, she’s a middle aged woman.. how can they get away with such rudeness, not to mention racism?