Review: Mighty Wings from McDonald’s

Hey, would you look at that, back to back reviews with a product dubbed “Mighty”.  Fresh off my review of Arby’s Mighty Minis, I’m here to cover a much anticipated new product from McDonald’s… Mighty Wings.  Bone-in chicken wings from the Golden Arches aim to grab some of the market share away from KFC and Popeyes.  KFC has Hot Wings and Popeyes has Spicy Cajun Wings available on limited time runs and new Mighty Wings wants in on the action.

Mighty Wings BoxMcDonald’s Mighty Wings are described like this:

Mighty Wings are a natural bone-in chicken wing that comes in two varieties, a drummette or a wingette.  They are lightly breaded providing a crispy bite of home-style flavor seasoned with cayenne and chili pepper delivering a solid spicy kick.  For a customized flavor experience, customers can pair their wings with one of nine sauces, ranging from sweet to tangy to bold & spicy.

McDonald's Mighty Wings

McDonald’s Mighty Wings are available in three portion sizes.  There’s a 3-pc for $2.99, a 5-pc for $4.79 and a 10-pc for $8.99.  Per wing you’re looking at around $0.99 each for the 3-pc, $0.96 each for the 5-pc, and $0.90 each for the 10-pc.  My local McDonald’s in Maryland had a 5-pc Mighty Wing Meal for $6.79.  Each Mighty Wing clocks in at around 96 calories.   Familiar sauces available for Mighty Wings include Chipotle Barbeque, Creamy Ranch, Honey Mustard, Hot Mustard, Spicy Buffalo, Sweet Chili, Sweet ‘N Sour, Honey and Tangy Barbeque Sauce. 

Mighty Wings from McDonaldsTime for some preconceived notions: Even though I’ve been anticipating a national release of Mighty Wings ever since their test market days, I haven’t really been looking forward to trying them on a personal level.  Like I mentioned in a recent episode of The Nosh Show, where I gave them a “NOT” in our Nosh or Not segment, the price sticks out to me as pretty steep.  The classic Chicken McNuggets are priced at $4.99 for the 20-piece portion currently so paying $4.79 for a 5-piece Mighty Wings feels very unbalanced.  For the smallest portion you’re paying a dollar per Mighty Wing… can you imagine the option of one Mighty Wing appearing on the Dollar Menu?  I guess it’s a positive commentary for the many value options on the McDonald’s menu currently that make Mighty Wings seem so out of place.  Bone-in chicken wings also seem a little far out for McDonald’s.  I understand bone-in chicken wings are standard fast food grub for places that specialize in fried chicken like KFC and Popeyes, but as a normal consumer they don’t seem to mesh well with the rest of McDonald’s products.  The way I felt about Mighty Wings at McDonald’s is right on par with the way I felt when Burger King was selling BK Ribs.

Mighty Wing McDonaldsWhile I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards Mighty Wings, for review purposes, Mighty Wings definitely need to be sampled and judged.  When it came to order my Mighty Wings, I decided to go with the 5-pc portion for $4.79. I was asked what kind of sauce I’d like and with nine to choose from and no list on the drive-thru menu board I just asked “What do you have?” like a complete McDonald’s amateur.  The lady said, “same as the nugget sauces”.  Thanks, big help.  I guess I shouldn’t have expected her to rattle off my 9 sauce options and I ended up just going with BBQ.  I actually didn’t end up using any sauce and just had the wings as they came.  After now experiencing Mighty Wings, I’d probably have to recommend Creamy Ranch to balance out the heat.  Upon first view I’m thinking I won’t be filling up on these 5 Mighty Wings the way I’d be satiated by spending 20-cents more for 20 McNuggets… not even close.  Also I was a little disappointed that I only received one drummette and the rest wingettes.  Mighty Wings are sized like a typical Buffalo wing, but they aren’t overly meaty.  The bulk of the Mighty Wing size comes from the piled on thick, crunchy, seasoned breading.  The breading is a hearty greasy crust that will provide a crumbly mess so needless to say, not a good option for grubbing on the go.  As for flavor, the seasoning of cayenne and chili pepper do provide that “solid spicy kick” as described in the promo.    These Mighty Wings work without the need for dipping sauce as the peppery breading has more than enough flavor.

McDonalds New Mighty WingsIn closing, I’m likely not going to be a repeat buyer of McDonald’s Mighty Wings.  They seemed out of place for McDonald’s when I first heard about them, and now that I’ve had a chance to try them, my thoughts have been confirmed.  If you like spicy chicken, you should give them a fair try, but to me I think there are better options available that are likely a lot cheaper.  I’ll stick with nostalgia and McNuggets when I want a McDonald’s chicken fix.

Pros: Enough peppery flavor to work without sauce, but Creamy Ranch would work. A spicy chicken option at McDonald's.

Cons: Overly crusty breading makes up most of the size. Need a meatier wing! Not a good value. Only one drummette out of my 5-piece order.

Taste: 5.75/10
Value: 4.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 3.75/10
Price: $4.79 for 5

Overall GrubGrade: 5.00/10

More Info: http://www.mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
Three piece – 290 calories
Five piece – 480 calories
Ten piece – 960 calories

52 comments on “Review: Mighty Wings from McDonald’s

  1. Roger C. says:

    Looks gross.

  2. ginamarie starfruit says:

    They had mighty wings back in the 90s. Were good then

  3. Nick says:

    The pricing/value just isn’t there for these. Sit-down restaurants are priced the same or less.

  4. MP says:

    The last time I bought McNuggets had to be February 2003. 20 pieces were $4.99. They have not gone up in over 10 years??
    Those wings look like a mighty rip-off .

  5. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Overpriced and look like garbage, this review of them is exactly what i expected of them.

  6. alexG says:

    I don’t how they could possibly make it even cheaper!! Remember when they were putting in Pink Slime to strech a few pennies off their 100% Pure Beef Hamburgers? What kind of Bio-Engineered Madness would McD’s have to do so that their eaters get their 5 Piece Chicken wings at a Dollar!! I mean for God Sake Man, next thing you know Chickens will be sprouting 6 wings and 6 pair of legs each!! That would bring down the per unit cost. Get that price down boys!! Feed America and get them hooked on the Dollar Menu. Monster Chickens for everyone!!

  7. Brian says:

    Yea, figured as much.

    As far as fast food goes why bother with McD for wings when you can go to KFC, Popeyes or a higher quality local wing place. I don’t see KFC or Popeyes selling burgers…Less choices and more focus = better quality, they should go back to this concept.

  8. CC says:

    Buffalo Wild Wings is 60 cents a wing on tuesdays. There are other local places that sell 50 cent wings nightly.

    Considering that I can get wings at a drive-through for half the price as McDonalds..and the wings are probably tastier/better..yeah I don’t think I could see this doing well.

  9. TJ says:

    I guess I’m just the type that when a new random item comes out.. who cares?! Are they gonna take the Big Mac off the menu to make room for it? I’ll probably try these once for the heck of it, and then move on with my life. Not hating on the review, but really, is this such a travesty? From the comments at this site, it almost feels like there is a region in the US where people take a gun and force you to exclusively eat Subway, BK, MCD’s, Wendy’s, etc.. and they say I have a peanut brain. Maybe I should make a ridiculous claim that they are exec’s at Jimmy John’s or Firehouse.. oh wait my peanut brain is at least functional! :)

  10. Scrape says:

    As a rule, chicken wings are really only acceptable when they are buffaloed. Thats the point, to use parts of the chicken you normally wouldn’t by lightly frying them and then drenching them in a a buttery hot sauce and a side of BLEU CHEESE and celery (ranch need not apply).
    If you want any kind of traditional battered fried chicken expereince, get traditional fried chicken with breasts, thighs, and drumsticks! This goes not only for McD’s, but KFC and Popeyes as well, and leave the wings for places that will put them to good use.

  11. Ray says:

    Where are the magic dragon farts?

    Seriously, these don’t excite me, especially given the price, but I’ll have to try them once. One good thing about new products at McD’s is that we usually get some good deals/coupons to promote it shortly thereafter.

  12. Mary says:

    The Impulsive Buy actually gave this a 9 out of 10 rating. I guess I better give this a shot to see who’s more in the right here.

    If McDonald’s was looking for more non-beef options, they should bring back the Fish McBites. So much tastier than the Filet-O-Fish and I can’t wait till the Lent season again.

    • JaY says:

      Lol. I was about to post that about impulsive buy, my other favorite food review site. I never seen a review so opposite from these 2 sites.

      • Zack says:

        It’s obvious why. I like GrubGrade, they do a good job with new product news and keeping track of new test market stuff, but the reviews are hit and miss. Especially when Ryan writes something that he’s gone into with a preconceived notion with. While he willingly admits it here, it still sucks that he doesn’t give the actual product enough credit so it’s doomed to a poor review.

        Look at his complaints, none of which are relevant to anything about the product itself:

        • Price: Yup. Mighty Wings are pricer than the value menu items. This isn’t shocking to anyone who follows McDs (which you think he would). Operators are complaining about the $1 items and you’re going to see them go away. Nice to see them go with new items like Mighty Wings rather than unimpressive “value” replacements (CBO) or truly overpriced items (McWrap)

        • Sauce options not disclosed. Sure, a minor annoyance, but completely dependent on the employee/location, and this complaint makes no sense after he just got done ranting about how great McNuggets are. Same exact sauces.

        • Out of place at McDs. WHAT? That doesn’t even make sense. McDs isn’t just a burger place, and not everyone needs to “grub on the go”. They’re a great new addition to the menu and mentioning this “gut” feeling rather than flavor shows how misguided this review is.

        The Impulsive Buy called these a great product with a good flavor, and that it was rare that chicken wings were done so well. If only reviews here could live up to the same standard

        • Rabi says:

          Zack, you are totally right. These were the things that jumped out about this review. I listen to their podcast on occasion, and it was clear before trying them, that grubgrade was not interested in them. It was a clear “not” for grubgrade in the nosh or not segment: 10 minute mark of episode 12. http://www.thenoshshow.com/

          They had these complaints before trying them (with the exception of the breading complaint).

          • Ryan says:

            True, and thanks for listening to the show :) . I always have some expectations before trying anything new. That’s normal right? Sometimes I’ll try something that I didn’t expect to like and I am pleasantly surprised and I’ll give my personal honest opinion on it. Sometimes I’ll try something I have high expectations for and it fails. Whatever the case, I just wanted to share my thoughts going in. If it turns out that Mighty Wings were awesome, I’d talk about how they exceeded my expectations. Some love them, some hate them. The only thing I really confirmed with my thoughts going in was the value. These wings were just too reliant on excess of greasy breading for me.

  13. M says:

    Now, this begs the question are these anything like the BK tenders of the 90s?
    I liked those , you know when they toted we don’t form our tenders.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mjB1Jbi0Yy0

  14. Rabi says:

    This seems like a really biased review from the beginning. If you go in thinking something is out of place and terrible, you aren’t going to like it. Also, this dude isn’t too keen on spicy things. I found the review on impulsive buy to be more helpful.

    I just had these and although I wouldn’t give them a 9/10 like impulsive buy, they are actually pretty decent.

    These are not buffalo wings, these are spicy fried chicken wings. If you are looking for buffalo wings, hit up QS$L or BWW (or better yet, a local wing place).

    • Ryan says:

      I never went in to it thinking they’d be terrible… out of place, sure. As for the spicy part, I like spicy when it isn’t an overwhelming amount of heat. Mighty Wings weren’t too spicy for me and I could still take in the flavor. My gripe with spicy is when it detracts from the actual flavor.

  15. alexG says:

    I had these at the McDonalds in Mainland China for the past 3 plus years. They were good. Just like KFC. My previous comment about unit costs and corporate food companies and their crazy bio-engineered food still stands.

  16. James Brown says:

    When I heard the news about Mighty Wings I was stoked. Not sure why. Maybe it was the fact something new was presented to me. Maybe it was the fact I grew tired of the same old menu from McDonalds. Today I tried Mighty Wings and I wasn’t blown away. I wanted to like these more than anything. I agree with reviews of them having too much breading. Also, I’m not one for spicy foods. I think they should have gave you a option for either mild or spicy. Not all people like or can eat spicy things. The other downfall is the price. I think that will be a big turn off for the general public. I had the 5 piece and was concerned that would not be enough. After eating them I began to regret that I didn’t get the 3 piece. I don’t see myself getting these again. These are not terrible but not something I desire again.

  17. airtoast says:

    I like to try new things at fast food restaurants, but these wings are wildly overpriced. Wings really don’t make any sense at McDonald’s. You can get cheaper wings just about anywhere you look, and they will taste better because… they’re not from McDonald’s! Did someone somewhere ask for chicken with bones? Isn’t the current trend to move away from bones like KFC did with their awesome new boneless chicken? Why won’t McDonald’s bring back Chicken McBites? They obviously sold well yet have never returned!

  18. Ric says:

    I was going to try these for lunch today even though I hate the price point of $2.99 for 3 wings. As I pull up to the drive thru I see that this McDonald’s decides to make it even worse, $3.29 for the 3 piece. I decided it’s not even worth it to try for that.

  19. Richard says:

    Screw 2.99 for Three. I have a McDonald’s selling three of them for 3.19!!

  20. Groggy says:

    What’s a review without telling us how they tasted

  21. Steven says:

    I had these and they’re good, better than KFC’s hot wings frankly. Yes they’re overpriced but for once Alaska doesn’t get screwed as much here. Wings at places here are around a buck so these are priced around the same but for other places they’re definitely overpriced.

  22. Ray says:

    Why compare nuggets (processed mystery meat) with the price of wings? There’s an obvious reason why you can get almost 2 dozen nuggets for less than $5, it’s not real meat! You pay for what you get. Obviously you ppl like to eat cheap…and overly processed foods.

  23. Mary says:

    Having now have tried these, I do like the spicy taste, but it did seem like it took one too many trips in the deep fryer.

  24. Chanel says:

    Had them today paid $6+ 3 in a combo… my stomach still hurts.. the quality of the chicken is bad and the crust is just crust its not good at all.

  25. Fitgirl says:

    Price breakdown seems clear, “99cents for the 3pc, 96cents for the 5pc, 90cents” That’s pricey to me. No wonder that’s one reason he didn’t like them.

    These seem like relevant complaints about the product itself, “they aren’t overly meaty”, “greasy crust”, “crumbly mess”, “bulk of the size comes from the breading” … more reasons for a poor value.

    Credit was even given in some areas to balance it out… “cayenne and chili pepper provide spicy kick”, “peppery breading has more than enough flavor” to work without sauce. Seems fair to be a 5 score to me.

  26. CulinaryZerg says:

    Finally tried them. No, just no. Review is correct–overpriced and way too much breading. I much prefer KFC wings.

    The other problem for me is there is no signature taste. Say what you will about Big Macs, McDonald’s fries, or McNuggets…you aren’t easily replicating the taste at home. These wings and their generic crust taste like a Tyson’s spicy frozen chicken product. So uninspired and boring.

  27. alex says:

    i’m game to get mighty. don’t know how mcd’s deals with bones but we’ll find out.

    recently got into nuggets, gotta scope the new chicken offerin

  28. dmen says:

    I like them. I’ve had them half a dozen times now and they are good wings. It’s good chicken – not fatty. They could be a little less expensive, and they could have a bit lighter breading, but for fast food chicken wings they beat the heck out of Pizza Huts or Dominos.

  29. ChowCow says:

    the price difference between a mcnugget and mighty wing can be sum upped like this… With a mighty wing you eat around the bone with a mcnugget you eat the bone. Quality over quantity.

    Had them today and they are DGD dog gone delicious.

  30. Carol says:

    I tried McDonald’s Mighty Wings last night and by early next morning found myself spending my time in my bathroom with the most horrible stomach craps and the burn from my back side is still hurting’s when I go. It’s now 7:00 p.m. at night and I am still visiting the bathroom. The wings tasted like they were old and freezer burned and I had brought 10 wings but only ate half and through the rest away. What a waste of money and putting my health through that by eating them. Never again.

  31. Nicole says:

    The wings are good if you eat them soon after you get them. But for them price I would never ever but them. For give bucks I can but a whole pack of wings. 5 PC should be $3.50 at most!!

  32. Mike N. says:

    It seems like things aren’t going too well for the Mighty Wings. McD’s has 10 million pounds of wings in cold storage it needs to unload! See:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mcdonalds-rid-10-million-pounds-155800642.html

  33. tommy bass says:

    The mighty wings are great i hope they bring them back!

    • BigBelly says:

      they’re sitting on 10 million pounds of frozen ones that they couldn’t sell. I think I read the other day they might try one more push to get rid of them…

  34. […] released Mighty Wings nationwide back in September and I found them to be pretty mediocre.  One major issue with Mighty Wings was the price.  Nearly a dollar per Mighty Wing was far from […]

  35. jason c says:

    They’re pretty good. I had some today. I think 3 dollars plus a 1 dollar drink will get you pretty full because the soda is empty calories to begin with. I also got side salad to make it healthy. It’s tastier than mcnuggets. That’s for sure.

  36. mark says:

    I love mighty wings, they’re like fast food versions of hooters wings, but they are like any mcdonald’s food- best when made fresh. If you get the ones that have been sitting a while the grease saturates them. The fresh ones are greasy too but they taste juicy and good not like a stale greasy taste. So they are kind of hit or miss, but when they’re on they are great.

    My biggest complaint is actually that the sauce containers are too small to dip a wing into. They should make special ones for the mighty wings that are circular and larger or something.

    About value, three of these fill me up with fries, or five without. I can’t say the same about buffalo wild wings. Even on wing tuesdays with a drink and fries bdubs is a ~10 meal. I think you need to look at the whole package, a 3-piece meal is still around $5 and plenty filling.

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