Review: Hot Shot Bites from KFC

Human beings have evolved into very peculiar creatures; specifically when it comes to our eating habits. Some of us want our meat cooked to the consistency of shoe leather while others like myself want it struggling feebly for salvation atop the dinner plate. No onions on the burger, but go ahead and load up the salad with the suckers. Ketchup on your fries, but not on your hash browns, and vice versa. Some want a cool, refreshing  salad when the thermometer boasts 92 degrees or conversely, they want a steaming bowl of chili when the climate drifts down into the single digits. Maybe I have yet to evolve such a refined palate, but I just like food. I rarely find myself hindered by temperature constraints. So with the top off my Jeep and a white-hot summer sun beating down on me, I made a detour on my way home to pick up some Hot Shot Bites from KFC.KFC Hot Shot Bites BoxFirst off I was disappointed in the size of the box. I secretly hoped there was a door to Narnia hiding behind the branding. Maybe I sound like someone’s cheapskate grandfather but you used to get a whole lot more for three bucks. There were six Hot Shot Bites in my $2.99 order, but for a dollar more you can get the combo which adds a side and drink.  Seriously, consider how many hours of your life you have to while away to earn the scratch for your next purchase and you may look at it a little differently.

KFC Hot Shot Bites 1That aside the bites had superb flavor. The breading had that unmistakable, patented KFC flavor of eleven herbs and spices or whatever. You know exactly what I mean. There was even a show on the Food Network that tried to duplicate their famously secret recipe. Ever so slightly greasy, these bites did have a fair amount of heat. It simmered on the tongue a bit and slowly built but never reached a painful or tear-inducing crescendo. Slightly less temperate than your average TABASCO sauce, for a comparison. Enough with the breading though. That crispy, golden-fried, signature breading with the perfect amount of spice.KFC Hot Shot Bites 2The bites were clearly made from quality, all white meat chicken breast of the tastiest variety KFC has to offer. Normally white meat is a touch dry to me. I have even come to expect a certain lack of moisture especially when dealing with fast food and these bites were no exception. They needed some ranch dressing in a bad way. Once properly doctored however, I was instantly able to dismiss the dry quality.KFC Hot Shot Bites 3I did enjoy the great taste and I appreciated the novelty.  So my issue is really only with the portion size and price point.  I would hesitate to rush out and grab an armload. I do prefer Popeyes spicy chicken to these and there just was not enough for me to order the bites a second time. Unless you are looking for a spicy alternative to McNuggets you might want to order something a little more substantial than a mouthful of spicy chicken. Maybe get the family size all to yourself or order a couple combos so you can double up on chicken AND sides.

Pros: Tender meat, quality ingredients, adequately spiced to tingle but not scorch.

Cons: Disappointing portion size, admittedly anticipated lack of moisture. No one slapped me in the face =(

Taste: 7.75/10
Value: 5.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.75/10
Price: $2.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.75/10

More Info: http://www.kfc.com
Nutrition Facts:
Nutritional information not available on www.KFC.com at this time.

19 comments on “Review: Hot Shot Bites from KFC

  1. Ric says:

    Not a huge deal, but if you sign up for KFC’s Email there’s a 10pc combo coupon for $4.99. In my opinion 10 pieces is enough ot make 2 sandwiches so it’s a decent amount of chicken. add a side and a drink for $5 isn’t too bad a deal.

  2. BigBelly says:

    they look good! no skin membrane gluing them together LOL
    so I used to get the dublicious combo, sometimes with a extra side, and I think it was close to $8 like that, don’t really want/need a second drink though :/
    I think someone mentioned a 10pc in other thread, how much for that?

  3. Jay says:

    KFC is emailing coupons – for $4.99 you get a 10 piece combo meal. Still a little high probably but considering that a value meal is tipping out at $7.00 plus these days, not terrible.

  4. SkippyMom says:

    Nice review. I love KFC when I don’t feel like cooking my own fried chicken, but I have found, lately, ALL fast food is outrageously expensive. My kids went to BK last week and one had a chicken tender combo, the other a whopper combo [neither super sized] and it was almost $16.00. Really? I realize food costs are outrageous – I have to feed my family at home, but I just refuse to pay these prices anymore. Those two meals at BK cured me of Fast Food for the foreseeable future.

    Oh, and is it just our BK or do other locations do this – when you order a combo they say “Medium or Large” – I guess the customer assumes the Medium is not supersized and goes and orders that. Wrong. I actually said “Small” and the clerk asked “So you don’t want to super size to a medium or large for $xx.xx more?” No. But how many people do they get by doing this?

    And our local McDonalds has lower prices on their drive through menu board then what you actually pay at the window. When I pointed this out to the cashier she said “Oh, yeah. That’s prolly ‘cuz we changed our prices recently.” Okay…so change the menu board. It’s illegal. Sigh.

    So yeah, nice review. I guess I can live vicariously through your reviews for my Fast Food jonesing in the future. Thanks! :)

    • Jay says:

      I agree with you on high prices of food. However, I nearly never pay full price and really prefer bogo’s or half price offers for fast food. To that end, here is what I generally do to combat high prices and eat on the cheap.

      1) Utilize the good coupons that come in the mail through companies like redplum.

      2) Purchase coupon books like enjoy the city and entertainment – tons of half price offers and in many areas they even have a free large pizza at papa johns just to get you started.

      3) Ask as you go through the drive through for coupons. You would be surprised how many times the ff company will have coupons that don’t get handed out.

      4) re-use really good coupons if you can. After having numerous locations tell me to keep my coupon, my motto is now, if they don’t ask for it, I’m not surrendering it. I’ve used a bogo as many as 4 times during a promotion. It’s become hard to tell if that’s the actual game plan of the company since most companies will stress to their employees the things that they deem important. If collecting my coupon isn’t important then it’s mine until it expires or they ask me to surrender it.

      5) Be sure to read the fine print of each coupon. Some will allow you to purchase multiples of the offer. Example..Hardees will run a 1/3 lb cheeseburger (a classic cheeseburger btw) for $1.99 and allow up to 4 at that price.

      6) Don’t squander the savings by purchasing drinks or other non-sale items. I never buy drinks at a ff place. Generally they are priced high and I don’t like to drink soda anyway.

      7) Some ff places accept the coupons of their competitors. So if your local bojangles has a great deal but you prefer kfc, call your local kfc and ask them if they accept competitors coupons. Many times they do and that offer now becomes especially valuable at an over priced place like kfc.

      8) Plenty of mom and pop pizza joints on restaurant.com – good way to save around 50% on some subs, etc

      9) And of course, I usually stock up on groupons at places like qdoba when those offers come around.

      Typically I want to save 50% when I eat ff. Doesn’t always work out for me but usually it does and if not, there is some kind of savings available.

      Good luck! My kids are grown so I don’t have that issue anymore but eating out in general can still take a bite out of a budget.

      • Jay says:

        forgot- join the email club at ff places you like. they’ll send you offers too.

        • Sarah G says:

          Hey Jay,
          Also wanted to plug mobile apps to find good deals- many of the ff joints have them, and we also have created an app that puts a lot of specials, new menu items, etc. together in one called Free Food- find deals for popular restaurants (android or iOS).
          Thanks!

      • Raiders757 says:

        All of your post is good advice, Jay, but Skippy Mom has the better idea. The more you cook at home, the more you save. Not only that, but the more you cook, the better you get at it. The better you get, the more creative you get. The more creative you get, the more fun you have cooking. When cooking becomes fun, it’s no longer a chore or a forced obligation. At this point, your meals have become awesome and eating fast food becomes a bit of a turn off, yet at the same time, a self indulgent treat. When you have children, eating out becomes very expensive, no matter the coupon strategy. When taking your teenage daughter and her friend home from the mall, you learn not to say things like Chick-Fil-A and Taco Bell out loud, so I know where Skippy is coming from.

        • Jay says:

          No doubt about that R…I’m a helluva cook (including the best ribs in tennessee ;-) and other then some high end dining, my food is far better then most restaurants.

          I was just rambling about how to not pay the ridiculous prices for ff IF you are in fact going to make the purchase.

          (No offense meant to anybody but quite frankly, the last female I know who actually cooked good food from scratch belonged to my Grandmothers generation. Marinating boneless skinless chicken breasts in a bottle of wishbone salad dressing isn’t a good idea, isn’t cooking from scratch, and isn’t even good food as far as I’m concerned)

  5. Dustin says:

    Thank you SkippyMom! It’s always great to receive positive feedback rather than a scathing analysis of why I rated it x when I said y in my review. Food is so subjective and fast food chains are infamous for inconsistent service, preparation and pricing so it’s really difficult to please everyone or for two individuals miles away to have the same experience.
    I agree with you on pricing one thousand percent. Fast food seems to be increasing in cost and decreasing in substance or quality. The convenience factor for me is definitely paling in comparison to the price point for many restaurants in my area.

    • Robert says:

      Fast foods i increasing in price because everything is increasing in price. Cooking for yourself is great, I love doing it, but it is also VERY expensive most of the time. As for being shocked why 2 value meals are expensive, it’s simple. “Value meals” are the biggest ripoff on the menu at most fast food places, HANDS down. Because the dollar menu has taken over everywhere, and these places have to make up costs somewhere. Why anyone would pay $8 for a Whopper combo when TWO whoppers are $5 just shows that you have to think. Don’t just order the first thing you see on the menu. Which is, of course, the Whopper combo.

  6. Pasquinel says:

    Does this signal the potential return of KFC’s spicy crispy chicken strips that were discontinued some 15+ years ago!? Those were the best pieces of poultry I’ve ever had…

  7. Ric says:

    I managed a KFC back when those spicy chicken strips came out. I absolutely loved them, big sellers at my store as well. The thing with those was that while the crispy strips were actually fresh chicken strips we hand breaded and fried in the store, the spicy strips were frozen in a bag and already breaded. We just placed them in the frier.

  8. lz says:

    Since all the Popeye’s near me do not offer spicy strips, I will have to try these out.

  9. Dustin says:

    All of that is excellent advice Jay. Thank you for the helpful info!

  10. James says:

    I have tried these and found them very appetizing. The heat was near perfect and I also asked for ranch for dipping which added a nice cool flavor to the heat. I also appreciate I was not charged when asking for extra side of ranch just in case.

    Considering the commodity price of chicken these days, the price is actually pretty good for an all-white meat cut. Comparing these to ground up mystery parts found in McNuggets is not a fair comparison in terms of price. Like comparing ground chuck to sirloin.

  11. CulinaryZerg says:

    I didn’t think these were that special. They are 90% like the Original Recipe Bites, with the same familiar salty MSG flavor. The pepper in the breading did add heat and a taste similar Chick Fil A’s spicy breading.

    They don’t hold a candle to the old KFC Blazing Strips or Popeye’s Spicy Tenders, however. Both those feature chicken washed in hot sauce and then breaded in regular crispy batter. It works a lot better than the Hot Shots.

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