Review: Chicken McBites from McDonald’s

Can anything possibly usurp the mighty McNugget from McDonald’s? Sure it’s nothing too special and I failed to give Chicken McNuggets a spectacular review, but it’s still a beloved classic fast food item.  For reasons most likely only being to keep up with the competitors, McDonald’s has come out with a new popcorn chicken style offering called Chicken McBites.  McBites don’t taste like McNuggets, but they still stand firm as being a worthy new limited time only addition to the McDonald’s menu.

The Chicken McBites box description says:

Ready Steady Pop!  Bite through the satisfying crunch of poppable pieces of chicken made with premium breast meat.  They’re lightly breaded with a home-style flavor.  With the handy holder for your favorite sauce, one dip and you’ll experience the perfect tasting snack and a delicious new way to love chicken.

Chicken McBites come in 3 sizes.  The $1.99 snack size (pictured),  the $2.99 regular and the $4.99 shareable size.  When comparing Chicken McBites to other fast food popcorn chicken, let’s look back to Arby’s Popcorn Chicken.  The major difference in the two is found in the breading.  McDonald’s Chicken McBites have more of a delicate breading than the thick Arby’s version.  If anyone reading this has tried KFC Popcorn Chicken, McBites are quite similar.  A pretty respectable value for the $1.99 snack size, the Chicken McBites snack size came with a total of 18 popcorn chicken morsels of varying sizes.  14 of the 18 chicken morsels had a good amount of breast meat while the rest were more breading than anything else.  In a competition of value, 3 size choices for McDonald’s wins over the Arby’s 2.

The texture of a Chicken McBite is a lot more subtle than a McNugget. While McNuggets have an obvious crispy crunch of an exterior, the McBites breading seems to coat the chicken morsels a lot closer so the focus is more on the chicken.  Not too much of any interesting flavors from the breading but a slight hint of black pepper.  Dipping sauces are your friends and you’ve got a good amount of choices.  What’s your go-to sauce?  Sweet ‘n Sour, Honey Mustard, Chipotle BBQ, Tangy Barbeque, Spicy Buffalo, Sweet Chili, Hot Mustard, Creamy Ranch.  The snack size packaging is decent, but could use some work.  It’s an odd shaped box that should have been a cup to fit snuggly in your cars cup holder for grubbing on the go.  There’s a built-in compartment to put your sauce in, but it isn’t the most secure thing in the world.

Mobile eating is a big focus, or should be, when it comes to fast food.  Too many fast food establishments try too hard to go “premium” these days and try to skimp on value and go bigger, more expensive.  McDonald’s Chicken McBites are a good example of what fast food should be.  Quick, easy and cheap.  I don’t see McBites wowing anybody, but they are a solid buy for your two bucks.

Pros: Good value for the $1.99 snack size. Plenty of dipping sauce choices.

Cons: Packaging could use some work. Good luck finding the spicy version

Taste: 6.75/10
Value: 8.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Price: $1.99 (snack size)

Overall GrubGrade: 7.00/10

More Info: McDonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
not available

37 comments on “Review: Chicken McBites from McDonald’s

  1. gbear says:

    Had these today for lunch and they where good. Just the right amount of heat

  2. cdarl says:

    So were they really all breast meat? Or are they funky like the nuggets. I really like the selections, and really don’t like the nuggets. Just wondering which these were more like.

  3. […] Out Spotted: New Spicy Chicken McBites November 18, 2011 By: Ryan Category: Food NewsFresh off my review of McDonald’s Chicken McBites, a spicy version is spotted on the campus of TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.  Spicy Chicken McBites […]

  4. M86 says:

    To be honest, I’m in the minority… I’ve never cared for anything at McD’s… besides their fries… every once in a while. I’ll definitely have to give these a try though. Sounds like a great value!

  5. Chefprotoss says:

    I don’t get the appeal of popcorn chicken. Mini food has always baffled me. I do like mcnuggets though. Hot mustard ftw. The sweet and sour tastes like tamarand jelly to me. Bad eats.

    • Ryan says:

      Haha… it really shouldnt be called “Sweet ‘n Sour” at all. But that’s what started me off as a kid and my palate hasn’t grownup much since in that dept.

      And don’t be baffled by Chick-n-Mini’s from CFA. 🙂

      • Robert says:

        But isn’t the Hot Mustard gone?! That’s what they keep telling me!

        And their Sweet n Sour takes nothing like tamarind. It tastes like crappy duck sauce. AND IT’S AMAZING.

  6. Adam says:

    I think the big reason people like popcorn chicken is for the crunch of the breading. That was my main attraction to Arby’s, but I don’t think they carry their “popcorn” chicken since rebranding their tenders. I’ve been meaning to try Sonic’s though…I’ve heard good things. So these are now in the Baltimore market? I knew they tested them out in Detroit, and if memory serves, the MD market is something of a “stage 2” developing ground.

  7. Lylat says:

    Hopefully these come to Newjersey soon i wanna try them already!

  8. Mike N says:

    I’m a big fan of the current Rally’s popcorn chicken, which is only 99 cents, or $1.99 in a box with fries. I’m wondering how McD’s compares.

  9. Smile says:

    I was never a fan of McNuggets; they were easily the bottom choice of chicken for me from the ‘Big Three’ fast food chains. But these actually look pretty good. And while I’ve never had the Arby’s popcorn chicken, I can easily plow through a family sized box of KFC’s popcorn chicken. 😀

    +1 to you, then, McDonald’s.

  10. Mattitude says:

    Bothe McNuggets and anything Mickey D’s offers these days outside of the Quarter Pounder with Cheese are God awful and I would rather eat a dirty diaper than anything else off thier menu

  11. @graciHas says:

    looks good. and i agree with Chefprotoss…hot mustard is the greatest sauce the Donald has to offer

  12. @graciHas says:

    these look pretty good, i’d definitely try them. and i agree with Chefprotoss…hot mustard is the greatest sauce the Donald has to offer!

  13. somesteve says:

    This is actually intriguing, if only mildly so. It shows McDonald’s is actually trying. I want to try it.

    • Robert says:

      What on earth are you talking about? It shows they’re trying? By offering something KFC does, in a sauce-holding container that Burger King invented? This is totally not McDonald’s style. These bites will not last.

  14. HolyFruits says:

    This does seem like something that has a bit of potential. Do these taste similar to the Chicken selects?

    • Pete says:

      No. The illustrations made me think they would also, but this is more crunchy batter outsides than juicy tender insides. The funny thing is, the McD where I got mine is next to the wallyworld I was getting ready to shop at, and their deli has little chicken cubes ($2 for a box about the size of the middle size mcbites box) which actually DO have tender, real chicken, much like tenders; they’re decent, but its not something I would go out of my way to get. Really disappointed on this one, and I’m not a McD hater by any means. Nowhere can you get tasty, fast, cheap food like McDonalds. They have food I don’t like – I don’t eat it. But really this is a different level of bad.

  15. Andrea says:

    I thought they were absolutely disgusting and i’m not a picky eater. It tasted like the same seasoning doritos uses on their cool ranch chips, but on a nugget. One of the seasonings is over done, I absolutely loves popeyes popcorn chicken and like wise with KFC you wont catch me spending $1.99 for something that only tastes good with sauce to camo the flavor.

  16. Bruce says:

    I agree with a previous poster – I don’t understand the fascination people seem to have with “mini” foods these days. If an eating establishment really wants to “wow” me, give me LARGE portions, not small ones! Same thought behind those miniature candy bars you buy in the stores – called “fun size”. What is fun about that? A BIG candy bar is “fun size”!

    Back on topic – I have yet to try these McBites. I used to love the McNuggets years ago, until they changed to all white meat. The old McNuggets were juicier and tastier. Now, half the time they’re dried out and tasteless.

    P.S. Is this line correct? ” A pretty respectable value for the $1.99 snack size, the Chicken McBites snack size came with a total of 18 popcorn chicken morsels of varying sizes.” The reason I’m asking is because another review I’ve read online stated that the $1.99 size came with only 5 McBites.

  17. Dont matter says:

    The chilli sauce is amazing with fires. And I still like the McDouble and the McChicken lol. I might try these. But Tacobell gives you more food for less.

  18. geebee says:

    Tried these twice, first time not bad; second round, more “hulls” than chicken, and some so overdone it was all crunch. These “popcorn” things put me in mind of fish sticks, a very low fish to breading ratio. On another subject raised, I prefer the sweet chili sauce (wannabe Thai Sauce) to anything else they have.

  19. ash says:

    Recently I got a shareable size mcbite…. And there were about 60 pieces all of varying sizes but not all of them had chicken, some of them were just the breading…. For $5 you get enough food to feed 2 adults if you also get some fries or alone if you aren’t both really hungry. Would be a great option for kids though to feed multiple kids. Hope this helps 🙂

  20. Ansari says:

    Looks like McDonalds is doing some viral marketing:

    chickenmcbites.com

  21. Pete says:

    I tried these tonight, and I was really, really disappointed. FAR too much batter and FAR too little chicken. I can’t remember ever being so disappointed in McDonald’s. I bought the $5 box; figured I would eat some and bring the rest home to the kids to see if they liked them. Wow. The only thing I could think of was cheap convenience store food. I know they must have put considerable expense into researching what people will want before bringing a product to market, so I guess my disappointment is with the consumer as much as MCD, but jeez these were gross.

  22. Jon says:

    I got these last night and I couldn’t of had even one decent size piece with any chicken in it. The entire box was full of basically just breading that was too crunchy. I may go back and try again but I will mention to them ahead of time how my last order was and if thats how they are supposed to be, then I won’t be buying them

  23. Kayla says:

    I personally loved them. I work in the mall and tried the snack size on my lunch break & just fell in love. Its way more than 5 pieces.Very similar to KFC’s popcorn chicken, but KFC doesn’t serve fries. After work I stopped by a different McDonalds & bought the sharable size for me and my boyfriend. Even though he said he wasn’t hungry, after tasting one he couldn’t stop eating them. I hope these stay at McDonalds. Far better than the nuggets.

  24. JustInn014 says:

    Tried these today, it’s the same meat and breading as the Chicken Selects, which I also like. Goes great with “Hot Mustard” sauce. Hope they keep these around someday, it’s a shame they’re limited time.

  25. Jenne says:

    haven’t tried these yet. KFC’s are a ripoff… Sonic still has the best with big chunky pieces of tasty chicken.

  26. […] McDonald’s Chicken McBites reviews: An Immovable Feast Grub Grade Fast Food […]

  27. Peter says:

    I had a snack size of these yesterday. I’d have to say that they are probably great as something you pop into your mouth while driving. The package appears to be designed to be placed in a car’s beverage holder, and has a spot for you to mount the sauce once the container is opened. The product itself, at least in this instance, was overcooked and had very few pieces large enough to taste more of chicken than of bland batter and fryer oil. Overall 3 stars for car food, 2 stars for food-food.

  28. bh says:

    Huge ripoff…got the shareable size….$5 for nothing…taste was average….mostly tiny bread…very little chicken