When I think chicken nuggets, my mind automatically goes to “McDonald’s,” but are these really the best nuggs around, or are they just some of the most popular? This weekend, members of The Polytechnic Jonathan Caicedo ’19, Rex Hu ’19, Sidney Kochman ’19, Nicholas Luczak ’20, Joseph Lyon ’20, Serge Piskun ’20, and I decided to do a chicken nugget review to find out which place in town has the best chicken nuggets.
To begin, we first must define our classification of “chicken nugget.” We decided that a qualified chicken nugget must have breading, be under a certain size—disqualifying chicken tenders—and be made out of chicken. By these means, we chose to review McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chicken Joe’s, and Grandma G’s. Below, I will summarize our reviews and give an overall ranking of the five.
McDonald’s offers very consistent nuggets with a 2–3 bite size. The flavor seems to come from the chicken, which feels very processed and spongy, and leaves an aftertaste.The breading doesn’t have much of a flavor and seems to separate from the chicken, with the nuggets often having air bubbles between the chicken and the breading. The price for a 20 piece box is $5.50, which is on the cheaper side.
Wendy’s offers a very crispy consistent nugget, also in the 2-3 bite size range. This nugget is juicy and has no noticeable artificial taste or aftertaste. The breading has flecks of peppers, and a perfect amount of salt. You can get 20 pieces for $7.97, which makes it the most expensive “standard” nugget.
Grandma G’s was the most unique of the chicken nuggets we tasted. It is sold as “chicken chunks,” which may be why it’s so different. Overall, it was the nugget with the most flavor, but the least traditional. The nugget seems to be flavored with a little curry, giving it a spice and yellow look. They were a lot bigger than the nuggets reviewed, with each piece being around 5–6 bites. The pieces have a more homemade taste, with some being more dry or singed than others, but all being high quality chicken. Grandma G’s comes in a four piece plate with fries and homemade sauce, either barbeque or hot, for $6.48.
Burger King offers consistent nuggets in the 2–3 bite size range. Their nuggets had nice seasoning on the breading, and the chicken didn’t have a processed taste although it still had the processed texture and look. Burger King offers the best price, with a 20 piece ringing up at $3.66.
Chicken Joe’s provided a very juicy, high quality chicken nugget. Served hot, the bulk of its flavor comes in the breading, while the inside is moist, very real chicken. The pieces can be eaten in 2–3 bites. Something unique about Chicken Joe’s is the way it is sold: it comes in a bag, sold by the pound with fries mixed in. It is on the pricier side—one pound of chicken nuggets and fries costs a hefty $16.
Our goal was to rank the nuggets in terms of flavor and quality. Last on our list were McDonald’s nuggets. Overall, its low price didn’t boost it enough to overcome the aftertaste and low quality of chicken. Second to last was Burger King. If you’re looking for a cheap fast food option, Burger King is your way to go! The chicken nuggets were good overall, but had no outstanding qualities to push them up the list. Third on our list was Grandma G’s. This ranking has nothing to do with their quality—they were very high quality nuggets—but rather with our expectation of chicken nuggets. They were very different from our expected traditional chicken nugget taste; if you’re craving a classic nugget, you may want to look at one of the other four options. Second on the list was Wendy’s—offering a very classic and affordable nugget, it earned its spot as second best on our list. Lastly, the winner, Chicken Joe’s, had the highest quality nugget with the best taste. Its pricing makes it more of an occasional buy rather than a quick bite, but they offer a high quality, classic nugget.