I Tried Burger King's Ketchup Chicken Nuggets & Here's How They Stack Up Against The Classics
What's up with all the ketchup?
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
That's how Burger King came up with its recently-launched Ketchup Nuggets, and yes, the inspiration does come from ketchup chips.
Do you dip your nuggets in ketchup? I do, so I was excited to try this mashup, but the taste test results weren't what I expected.
We know Burger King has been on a roll lately with its willingness to put unusual new items on the menu. The chain’s latest move is a bold attempt to combine chicken nuggets with Canadians’ love for ketchup-flavoured food. Narcity’s Mira Nabulsi gave them a try and well, let’s say the nugs didn’t quite live up to her expectations. 🍅 Have you tried the new ketchup nuggets? Let us know in the comments!
Burger King launched its Ketchup Nuggets in late July and you can get them in either an eight- or a 10-piece pack. Burger King's website says they're "made with 100% Canadian white meat chicken and coated in a delicious ketchup glaze," and that the nuggets are "tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside."
So are they any good? And is it worth paying extra for Ketchup Nuggets when you could simply slather the OG nuggs in a pack of free ketchup?
I ordered up some Ketchup Nuggets to give them a try and I can tell you that the taste test started the moment those nuggets hit my tray.
You know when you order spicy chicken wings and your nose starts to tingle at that first whiff of the hot sauce? Well, this is how I felt with the Ketchup Nuggets, even though they were not spicy.
The scent of them threw me off immediately, and they also didn't look particularly tasty when I opened the bag. It was kind of a red mess.
However, I went in with an open mind because I do love nuggets and ketchup.
Burger King Ketchup Nuggets.Mira Nabulsi | Narcity
When I tried the nuggets, my first thought was that they weren't glazed but rather sprinkled with ketchup powder. My fingers had ketchup dust on them, similar to eating a pack of Lay's ketchup chips.
In other words, I'd say they weren't necessarily "glazed" but rather sprinkled in ketchup seasoning.
Burger King Ketchup Nuggets with ketchup.Mira Nabulsi | Narcity
As a result, I ended up adding more ketchup to the chicken nugget to see if it made the flavours more potent but that was a bad idea on my part, because I quickly discovered they taste better without the added sauce.
The pack of 8 Burger King Ketchup Nuggets cost $4.99 before tax, but I'm not sure I would pay that again. I enjoy BK's regular chicken nuggets, and I'll be sticking to that classic flavour with a pack of ketchup to go with them.
I went to the online reviews to see if my opinion is similar to what others have to say, and I found that people have described the nuggets as having a "unique flavour." Others have simply said they're "not terrible," and "interesting."
Burger King Ketchup Nuggets.Mira Nabulsi | Narcity
Another thing I noticed from reviews is that some versions other people tried had more red on them than what I found at my local Burger King.
To be honest, the texture of the chicken nugget coating itself and the meat inside were both great. The coating was crunchy and hot, while the meat was juicy — exactly how the website describes them.
I was low-key trying to brush off the seasoning just to enjoy the hot and fresh nuggets, which got me thinking, who does a classic nugget better: Burger King or McDonald's? And will Ketchup Nuggets change people's minds in that debate?
Are Burger King's Chicken Nuggets Better Than McDonald's Chicken McNuggets?
McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Right: Burger King Chicken Nuggets.
I've done a lot of Burger King-related taste tests in recent months and it's led me to fall in love with the franchise all over again. They're creative, unique and kind of the hipster version of McDonald's, in my experience. They may not be as widespread a McD's, but when you compare both the classic nuggets, I think it's very close.
McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are a staple and the chicken bites arguably beat most of their other menu items, aside from their famous fries.
Burger King isn't a chicken-first place, as they're known more for being the "Home of the Whopper." But if we put both the nuggets side-by-side, I think BK would win.
Before you come at me, hear me out.
The appearance of both nuggets is more or less the same. Each nugget has a similar shape and the same thickness. But what really sets them apart is the colour and texture.
The McDonald's McNugget is lighter than Burger King's, which could be because one is left in the fryer for longer.
This leads me to my second point. Burger King's nuggets, arguably, have better texture because they are crispier, hence their darker colour.
As for taste, I actually think they taste more or less the same. Chicken is chicken, right?
Maybe what would set them apart is the dipping sauces that are not the same, but overall, if I were blindfolded and told to try them, it would be tough to figure out which one is which.
Also, from my experience, Burger King nuggets have always felt fresher, maybe because they have shorter lines so things are actually made to order.
But whether it be the fries or nuggets, my Burger King order is always handed to me hot and I have to blow on the food to cool it down. Whereas at McDonald's, I sometimes ask for fries without salt just to get them fresh. (If you know, you know.)
Another thing worth mentioning is the price. At Burger King Canada, a 10-piece chicken nugget order costs $4.99 and is around 434 calories.
At McDonald's Canada, a 10-piece pack of Chicken McNuggets is $8.99 and between 490 to 630 calories.
So there is undoubtedly a price and calorie difference between the two, making BK the cheaper and "healthier" option, if you feel comfortable using that word when comparing fast food chains.
All that said, the comparison for me really comes down to the experience of actually eating the chicken nuggets. The McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal has a certain nostalgic feeling to it, and it's hard to put a price on that warm and fuzzy feeling.
We'll see if Burger King's Ketchup Nuggets can tip the scale!