Review: Chicken Select Tenders from McDonald’s

In recent months, McDonald’s has made some significant cuts to its menu offerings.  A lot of options can be a good or bad thing at a fast food restaurant.  One product that has been on a hiatus for the last couple of years is now back and updated… call it version 2.0… here’s a review of Chicken Select Tenders from McDonald’s.

Chicken Select Tenders 1McDonald’s describes their updated Chicken Select Tenders like this:

Our juicy Chicken Select Tenders are made of 100% chicken tenderloin and are seasoned to perfection. Try them with your choice of flavorful dipping sauces.

Even though these chicken tenders are targeted to adults and Chicken McNuggets are aimed at the younger generation, I’m a child in a mans body when it comes to my McDonald’s chicken choices. Call it being loyal to my nostalgia… it’s hard to pass up McNuggets.  Comparing Chicken Select Tenders to the version from years ago is a challenge because I can only vaguely remember getting them a couple of times.

Chicken Select Tenders 2 It’s a bit of a relief to feel like I don’t need to compare these Chicken Select Tenders to the old version and just come in with a fresh perspective.  That thought is OK in theory, but then having this “new and improved” product almost instantly brought back my memory of the previous version.  I can’t easily describe how the new compares to the old… all I can say is the change is subtle enough that you likely wouldn’t even realize the change if you didn’t already know about it.

Chicken Select Tenders 3The 3-piece box of Chicken Tenders Selects cost me $2.99.  Two of the tenders were roughly the same shape and size, while the third was a bit heftier.  It’s difficult to tell the true size of the actual chicken tenderloin because the amount of breading plays a significant factor.  Although overly breaded and crusty, I wouldn’t go as far to say Chicken Tenders Selects are too dry and the same can be said about the juiciness of the meat.  Moisture in these tenders is somewhere around the middle, teetering on dry just because of how much the chicken relies on that crunchy breading.  The description on the box reads “Lightly breaded with a unique blend of down-home spices” and to me that translates to “salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder”… you know, the usual suspects.  This clearly isn’t lightly breaded no matter what the box says.  While the chicken itself has been upgraded to the more premium tenderloin cut, the breading doesn’t seem to have been changed.

Chicken Select Tenders 4 I usually like to judge this kind of chicken by trying to determine how well it can stand alone without the need for dipping sauces.  Chicken Tenders Selects weren’t good enough to enjoy without dipping sauces in my opinion.  To be on the safe side I paid a little extra to get six dipping sauces: Sweet ‘n Sour, Tangy Barbeque, Hot Mustard (yes it still exists), Honey Mustard, Creamy Ranch, and Spicy Buffalo.  I felt the Hot Mustard and Honey Mustard sauces went best with these tenders with an honorable mention going to the double-dip of Spicy Buffalo into Creamy Ranch.  The Sweet ‘n Sour sauce is my go-to choice for McNuggets so it was hard to enjoy it with a very different chicken product.  The Tangy Barbeque sauce isn’t bold enough for my liking and very artificial and overly sweet.

Chicken Selects 6As I mentioned before, the 3-piece box was priced at $2.99.  Having a 4-piece box at $2.99 would’ve been an obvious better value, more so just for the quick mental math that goes on with the current setup.  When you can effortlessly determine it’s a dollar per tender, you can’t help but compare those individual pieces to items on the Dollar Menu & More.

Chicken Select Tenders 5I can’t see myself going for a repeat purchase with Chicken Select Tenders.  McDonald’s is aiming for a more premium product and I can respect the attempt at improving.  The improvement shouldn’t have stopped at the chicken itself.  If you’re going for an update to a previously discontinued product, you might as well improve it in all facets.  We’ve learned from countless changes to Burger King’s chicken nuggets to know that the product was originally discontinued for good reason and we’d prefer to shed the memory of it.

Pros: I like the idea of making an attempt to improve upon discontinued products. Plenty of dipping sauce choices.

Cons: Breading is too crusty and has an aftertaste reminiscent of old cooking oil. Breaking it down it's a dollar per chicken tender and then I start comparing that to items on the Dollar Menu & More.

Taste: 5.25/10
Value: 4.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.75/10
Price: $2.99

Overall GrubGrade: 5.25/10

More Info: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.chickenfish.9241.chicken-selects-3-pc.html
Nutrition Facts:
3 piece Chicken Select Tenders:
Calories - 370
Total Fat - 22 grams
Saturated Fat - 3 grams
Cholesterol - 70 milligrams
Carbs - 20 grams
Sodium - 680 milligrams
Protein - 23 grams

30 comments on “Review: Chicken Select Tenders from McDonald’s

  1. James S says:

    Nice review….I suspect people who were fans of the McBites will like these and those who weren’t, won’t like the selects. I think McDonalds has to make the breading substantial otherwise the portion size would look pretty skimpy.

  2. Rondoman says:

    I wanna know where you got hot mustard!!!

    • Daniel Fletcher says:

      That’s what I was thinking. In Upstate New York all the McDonalds said it was discontinued. And this is at more than one franchisee.

      • Cords says:

        Rochester, NY here. Hot mustard still at the 2 locations I frequent.

        • Daniel Fletcher says:

          Syracuse here, and also checked in Canastota right off the thruway, and in Utica. Which two do you frequent, as I need to head out to Rochester for Lego store at Eastview and grab a garbage plate.

        • Daniel Fletcher says:

          NVM. I went to a McDonalds today and asked for Hot Mustard and they said they’ve had ’em back for 3-4 months now!

  3. Robert says:

    I can’t get hot mustard anymore! So jealous!!!!!

  4. Starkzilla says:

    Tried these the other week. The breading felt… dusty, almost, and didn’t have much flavor. I also feel bad for the people who can’t get hot mustard sauce anymore! All the McD’s in my area still stock it after enough people complained when they first discontinued it.

  5. Snackeroo says:

    Those opened sauces look beautiful sitting together.

    • thehottoddy23 says:

      I was thinking the same thing! A good selection of sauces is always key in my opinion, and fun to look at them side-by-side. As for the chicken tenders- I’ll pass. The previous version of these things wasn’t very good in my opinion, and it sounds as though they aren’t too different even though they’re alleged to be new and improved. I’m guessing this will last a few months at best and they’ll be gone again. I think McDonald’s needs to try a new approach- whatever that may be- as they’re watching their market share shrink each quarter despite the fact they are still number #1 in fast food by most accounts. Personally, I think the food there is good, at least for what it is mind you. Compared to some of the other players in the industry, I’d pick McDonald’s any day over the competition as I know I’ll get decent food that is hot and fresh. I’m sure some would argue that, but overall my experiences at McDonald’s in the past few years have been consistently good.

  6. scram says:

    I was hoping these were an improvement over the previous incarnation, but it’s the same exact thing. The breading is boring and generic. On a positive note, the tenders were meaty, and these were helped out by the sweet and sour sauce. I also doused them in some siracha sauce I had at home. Sauce is a must on these things. Too bad McD’s didn’t try to improve these.

  7. Icedus says:

    Are… Are you sure Hot Mustard still exists? Are you sure that location wasn’t holding on to the last one for you for years? I mean, if they’ve brought it back as quietly as they retired it, then great!

  8. GMoney says:

    Are these the same chickem tenders that are in the McWraps?

  9. GMoney says:

    Btw, any MickeyDs have the Sweet Chili sauce?

    • Sarah says:

      I am very upset that this sauce is not available this year.
      Was excited that the select strip were back but pissed about them leaving this sauce choice off.

  10. Jonathan Wayne says:

    I wish they would make more of a tempura kind of tender with the smooth batter rather than the crispy one, but whatever. I am going to see if I can get hot mustard tomorrow, pretty sure it is still around in my area, I know for a fact I had it last summer. $3 isn’t a bad price for this, $2 would be better.

  11. Rondoman says:

    We need a separate hot mustard post/investigation!!!

  12. rlloyd3 says:

    Hot Mustard is still, and always has been, available in my area and that makes me feel blessed by the McD god because it’s easily their best sauce.

  13. Manavee says:

    No Hot Mustard in my Illinois McDonalds.

  14. Joan says:

    I would like to say…. I enjoy this site very much. Never tried these tenders, but they look typical of fast food. Im verrry saucy! So I enjoy sauce option. Chik-Fil-A is my favorite fast food, and their sauces rock.

    That said, I just really only want to say how into food review sites I am. Check em every morning. I’ve always been into Brandeating.com .. But when I searched for more, I found grubgrade. I like how you guys have diverse opinions in your reviews. More contributing editors. Just found you guys a week ago.. And I’ve probably read every review by now! Along w reader comments. I find me and Q (brandeating) have very similar tastes. Yet, reading this stuff is much more entertaining (also loads better on my phone. My only internet source)

    I look forward to commenting more. Although some opinions are so strong, it can come off rude. I think this is can be a strong point though, if worded better. Yall have a nice day.

  15. Joan says:

    Like I said, I just found you guys. But I’ve read a lot from 2009 to now. I don’t know whom still writes for this site, but to give you an idea of my personal flavor profile.. I work well w Dustin’s reviews. I also like Adams health conscience choices. Though I really like Murray’s writing profile. It doesn’t appear Ryan and I like the same things.. Or better yet, their construction. I love spicy, and lots of sauce.. + CHEESE ON EVERYTHING.

    • Dinkins says:

      Really Joan? You’re sitting there 12 minutes later and think yeah let me put some more of my wind out there. SOOOO glad to know you work well with Dustin’s reviews, I’m sure the editors will expedite getting some more Dustin reviews just for you. You must have just found this site?

  16. Ande says:

    So much breading….

  17. al says:

    those sauces all work well but if its dry and that skin.. well if it taste funny and not moist but a meh crunchy then y kill urself with that salt??? ibvious eaasy to know how lousy or great mc can be.. they were never more then kids crap…. bk takes this..

  18. Bryan says:

    2.99 is a bargain. Here in Northern California I paid over $3, I think it was $3.19 or 3.29 something like that. I think they’re much better than the mcnuggets, but obviously you are paying quite a bit more too. i can never decide which sauce to get, i usually get bbq cause that’s a safe bet. i have tried the mustard before and i agree it’s good.

  19. Joan says:

    Yah! Just found this site. Nope, don’t think anyone will do anything special for me. You seem nice, ha. Dinkins tripping.

  20. […] release of Southern Chicken Select Tenders, but until then, here’s my review of the current Chicken Select Tenders […]

  21. Bethany says:

    The fact Hot Mustard still exists somewhere gives me hope!!!

  22. tom says:

    they are terrible

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