Review: Hot Wings from KFC

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All things considered, 50 cents is the new 10 cents. In a world where rising food costs have pushed jars of peanut butter past the three buck mark, a lowly two quarters can’t get you much these days. So when Ryan let on that KFC was offering their Hot Wings at just 50 cents per wing, I was intrigued. Not only do I not have a ton of cash to blow eating out, but when it comes to fast food, the snacker in me can admire something I can munch on without having to make a commitment to a full meal. First though, a reminder of what we’re dealing with:

KFC’s sauceless Hot Wings are one of a kind – starting crunchy and finishing spicy for a truly unique wing experience. For a limited time, you can enjoy KFC Hot Wings for 50cents each.

Take it coming from the son of two Buffalo expatriates — these are not buffalo wings by any means. That’s OK with me though, because there’s no commitment to a set number of wings you have to buy to get the 50 cents per wing deal. Not sure if you’ll like them? No problem, you can make like I did and order a single wing to “test” (and get a sauce of your choice) before committing or not committing to anything more.

53 cents poorer, I couldn’t help but come away impressed with KFC’s Hot Wings. The outside is coated in a crunchy, but not oily breading that does well to avoid the major downfall of buffalo wings (greasy exterior). The breading has a texture almost identical to the one you’d find on popcorn chicken, and holds a distinct cayenne kick in along with strong notes of garlic and onion powder. What I like about the taste is that spices and “heat” can easily be balanced out with a dip in KFC’s Honey BBQ sauce. If you’ve never the Honey BBQ sauce before (as I had never had), I recommend it. It’s not cloying like most fast food BBQ sauces, and has a deep flavor which adheres well to the wing.

Being the habitual chicken tender snacker, I’m very much impressed by the depth of flavor in a bite of the wing itself, and get a good reminder of the natural flavor so often lost in chicken breast meat. Forget “all breast meat” and ideas about what’s healthy for a second, because the wing manages to pack an admirable amount of juicy, full flavored and to-the-bone meat in every bite.

That, however, is the only negative I can see with the wing. You have to nibble more than you can bite, and one wing — while possible to purchase — hardly seems practical. Still, the usual problems associated with wings — notably messy sauces, flabby skin, and slimy interior — are avoided, with KFC creating a product which manages to blend the best aspects of fried chicken and chicken wings in one cheap product. As far as I’m concerned, all they have to do now is add televisions to all their stores, so I can watch a game while chowing down on my one chicken wing.

Pros: Great value for an la carte item. Actual serving size is double the advertised weight. Wing manages to pack moist and flavorful flavors of chicken within a crunchy breading with a good kick. No slimy membranes. Honey BBQ sauce is without par one of the best fast food BBQ sauces on the market.

Cons: Could be served a little warmer. Not the most meaty item you can get, nor most filling. Value diminishes as order size increases.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 8.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.50/10
Price: 50 cents (one wing)

Overall GrubGrade: 8.00 (Very Good)

Nutrition Facts:
KFC Hot Wing (based on 22 gram serving: note, mine was 40 grams)
Calories: 70
Total Fat: 14 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Sodium: 140 mg
Total Carbs: 4 grams
Fiber: 0 gram
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 4 grams

16 comments on “Review: Hot Wings from KFC

  1. Ryan says:

    Actually, I’m pretty sure the wing is white meat. Tastes like dark meat, but falls under the white meat category.

    Just picked up 20 of these wings within the hour and this might be the first time ever I like KFC over Popeyes in the Hot Wings vs Spicy Cajun Wings fight… or maybe I’m just really hungry right now. The Popeyes wings are laughably tiny.

  2. Jonathan Corriere says:

    Had these yesterday and thought they were pretty good as well, and I agree they are better than Popeye’s new Cajun wings, but they still don’t compare to any wings when you live in The Buffalo New York area.

    • Ryan says:

      Agreed. As far as fast food goes, there isn’t much to compare them to. I do like sauceless wings though so its nice to have KFC and Popeyes both offering them at the same time.

  3. Keith says:

    I’ve heard that they don’t call them “buffalo wings” in Buffalo – they’re just called “chicken wings,” or “wings” there. I don’t care what you call them, if anything, “buffalo wing” is an homage to a great city that invented them. Thank you Buffalo!

    As for the dark meat/white meat thing – that determination has to do with how much myoglobin is found in the meat, which in turn is based on what the muscle is used for. Dark meat, with more myoglobin, are the muscles use for sustained, high endurance use -in chickens and turkeys, this is really just the legs. White meat has less myoglobin and is only used in short bursts, the breast and wings. I’d say the wings definitely have more myoglobin than breast meat though, so they may be somewhere between white and dark – they’re definitely tasty, but typically considered white meat.

    Also, this is why flying birds – like geese and ducks – are all dark meat. They use their entire bodies in the same way chickens and turkeys use just their legs.

    It’s a myth that dark meat contains considerably more fat and calories than white, and in fact can be considered healthier due to it’s vitamin content.

  4. Manavee says:

    Ordering just one wing reminds me of the movie I’m Gonna Get You Sucka and one of the greatest scenes in cinema history.

  5. Sherm says:

    LMAO @ you ordering one wing

  6. JF says:

    I never had these before but might have to give them a try. I prefer Popeyes over KFC, but was disappointed when I went to Popeyes the other day and they did NOT have the spicy cajun wings. The guy at the drive thru had no idea what I was talking about.

    While I love Popeye’s chicken, I was really looking forward to try them, but when denied, I just said no thanks and drove away.

    I went home and made myself a tuna melt instead.

    Still want to try those Popeye’s wings though. Sigh.

  7. Guest says:

    I know it is sematics, but I hate that they are saying one wing is 50 cents. In reality, you aren’t getting a complete wing but rather a drumette. The entire wing is comprised of a drumette and flat.

  8. DHL says:

    If you like their hot wings and the fries here is the way to go…
    Order the 3 hot wing value box $1.99 in my area.
    3 wings x $0.50 = $1.50
    So you got an order of fries for $0.50

  9. Forrest Gump says:

    The “dark” meat that you appear to be referring to is the hemoglobin around the bone area, which is an indicator of the chicken having been frozen. Not (as others have mentioned) what is traditionally referred to as “dark meat.”