We Tasted and Ranked the New KFC Saucy Nuggets flavors

Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media
Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media

Competition in the fast food chicken category has been fierce in recent years, and KFC is definitely kicking itself into high gear as it tries to keep up. The fried chicken chain has just expanded its fairly new nugget offering into a saucier category with five new flavors, per an announcement from KFC.

The Saucy Nugget options joining KFC’s menu include, Honey Sriracha, Korean BBQ, Sticky Chicky Sweet ‘n Sour Sauce, Nashville Hot, and Georgia Gold. The latter two flavors are reruns, which the brand notes were favorites among its customers, while the rest are brand new. All five nugget flavors are available at KFC restaurants in eight, 10, or 12-piece sizes, with prices at the location we visited starting at $4.59 for an eight-piece order of Saucy Nuggets.

KFC only just introduced nuggets to its menu a year ago, but within a few months of their debut the nuggets were a driving force behind the chain’s sales, so it’s no wonder the brand is looking to capitalize and expand on that success. Let’s see which one of these tidbits is the best nugget on the KFC menu.

#5 Georgia Gold

Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media
Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media

The Georgia Gold flavor is described by KFC as a “honey mustard-style BBQ sauce which contains vinegar, honey, and a savory seasoning.” Little to none of this is discernible in the actual taste of the nuggets.

This particular sauce is oily with a flavor that has a little saltiness and a hint of pepper in it. Outside of that, I truly could have ordered the plain nuggets and with some salt and pepper packets on the side for a similar experience. This is sadly the exact opposite of what the brand was aiming for, considering the announcement praises the sauce as having a “flavorful punch.” On the plus side, the actual quality of the nugget is able to shine through because the sauce flavor is so weak. Unfortunately, that’s the most redeeming quality for this Saucy Nugget.

In this very rare case, please do not stay golden; it just isn’t working for you.

#4 Nashville Hot

Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media
Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media

To give the likely spiciest of the bunch a fighting chance on this ranking, I left it for last. Unfortunately for the nuggets themselves, this didn’t help their case very much.

I could tell just by the scent that these nuggets are well-seasoned and have a kick to them. If you like your spicy foods to have a slow release, these nuggets are for you. Like a celebrity on “Hot Ones,” I was deceived by my first bite of the Nashville Hot nuggets thinking they weren’t very spicy at all. But, as I chewed on it, the spice level crept up and picked at the back of my throat.

The Nashville Hot sauce is oily like the Georgia Gold but with a much more menacingly orange color. The nuggets themselves are also cooked darker and crispier than their saucy siblings. This author is just not a fan of spice levels that make other flavors impossible to enjoy, and that’s why this nugget is ranked so low.

#3 Korean BBQ

Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media
Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media

The Korean BBQ flavor is what I would consider a truly saucy nugget. KFC describes this new nugget as having a “sweet and savory umami sauce with soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and sesame.” Immediately the smell of soy sauce is evident but it’s the actual thickness of the sauce that helps it live up to its flavor profile and outshine the previous two flavors on our list.

This option is not the most innovative or out of the box, but for those looking for a familiar taste that satisfies without feeling greasy, then Korean BBQ is your winner.

#2 Sticky Chicky Sweet ‘n Sour Sauce

Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media
Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media

Similar to the Korean BBQ flavor, the Sticky Chicky Sweet ‘n Sour Sauce has a thicker consistency, making it visibly more saucy and appealing. KFC shares the sweet and tangy sauce contains pineapple, garlic, vinegar, and chili flavors.

Although the names are similar, I would not describe this sauce as being nearly as sweet as the Sweet n’ Sour sauce offered at McDonald’s. This sauce is once again on the thicker side, which makes for a more substantial flavor. Despite having competition at other chain restaurants, KFC’s Sticky Chicky Sweet ‘n Sour Sauce stands out thanks to its strong tang and the way its taste brightens up the fried chicken bits it covers.

#1 Honey Sriracha

Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media
Photo: Angela L. Pagán/ Static Media

And it’s the sweet but spicy Saucy Nugget that wins out. Who saw that coming? The Honey Sriracha sauce is described by KFC as “a blend of red chili peppers, garlic, and honey” which deliver that perfect balance of sweet and heat the chain restaurant promises.

Biting into the nugget, the honey sort of coats your taste buds first, but then you’re hit by a little heat from the sriracha that lingers. This is a hard balance to strike in the fast food world where flavors are either too bold you can’t stand it or so weak you can’t taste them at all (looking at you Georgia Gold). These nuggets are also perfectly coated in their respective sauce so as not be drowned but not giving the feeling you’re missing out on what you paid for. Plus, once again, this sauce is thick enough to be noticeable and doesn’t make the nuggets feel like little greased up chicken leftovers.

All in all, if you are interested in trying KFC’s new Saucy Nuggets, we suggest choosing one of the options that is actually saucy. Our top pick is the Honey Siracha.

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