REVIEW: KFC Ultimate BBQ Fried Chicken Sandwich

I confess that I can sometimes be stubborn about changing my mind; luckily, that’s not required here because KFC has always been my favorite fast food chicken chain, and its new, limited time only Ultimate BBQ Fried Chicken Sandwich just makes me even more confident in that choice.

The first thing I noticed about this sandwich was an extremely pungent (and promising) barbecue smell, followed closely by an observation of just how pretty it looked. A pristine golden bun with a plump fried chicken filet peeking out, nestled among glimpses of ruddy sauce, vibrant pickles, well-cooked bacon strips, crispy fried onions, and a dense layer of cheese…. befitting of the “Ultimate” moniker indeed! (I should note that I had to order this twice, though, as my first go-round was missing the onions, so you might want to check before leaving the store to confirm that no sections of your sandwich are MIA.)

Fortunately, KFC’s latest creation tastes just as good as it looks. Individually, each element sparkled. The fluffy, shiny bun tasted wonderfully light and buttery! The bacon hit the sweet — or should I say smoky — spot right between too lean and too fatty! The just-barely-melted blanket of cheese provided a comfortingly Velveeta-esque creaminess without being runny enough to leave a mess! The fried onions were earthy and savory with a frizzled feel that perfectly backed up the crispy fried breading practically dripping from the chicken! The pickles were snappy and sour (I must admit I don’t usually eat pickles on sandwiches, so I don’t have a ton to say about them, but I’d like to think I could at least tell if they were terrible, and they definitely weren’t terrible)!

The barbecue sauce was nicely sweet but had a subtle spicy aftertaste that left my tastebuds buzzing for more, and its presence was much more powerful than I expected, so thick and sticky it almost reminded me of jam! And the chicken would make Colonel Sanders proud, with the meat providing tender, juicy nourishment and the breading throwing in a zesty crunch that even managed the rare feat of not flaking off immediately the second I bit in!

When taken in all together, a few components stepped out of the spotlight — the flavors of fried chicken, barbecue sauce, and pickle dominated, with the cheese, onions, and bacon more noticeable in terms of texture than taste — but I didn’t find that to be a problem. As I begrudgingly learned in my high school marching band, not everyone can play the fun parts all the time, but even if some bits aren’t as exciting, they’re just as important for a harmonious whole. I truly can’t imagine the Ultimate BBQ Fried Chicken Sandwich without any of these ingredients.

The biggest potential criticism I could predict some having is a desire for more barbecue sauce; mine was merely glopped timidly onto the top and bottom buns rather than boldly oozing out as it does in promotional images, and while that was just enough for me as someone who eats my pancakes without syrup, my fries without ketchup, etc., I can see others finding it a little dry. Ultimately, though, I’d suggest this sandwich for even the sauciest shopper.

I’ll also mention that KFC suggests pairing this with another newbie for the summer menu, its Blackberry Lemonade. It was unfortunately sold out at my local store. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck — but then again, anyone who has this sandwich as an option is already pretty dang lucky.

Purchased Price: $8.37
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 650 calories (other nutritional info not available at time of publication).

9 thoughts to “REVIEW: KFC Ultimate BBQ Fried Chicken Sandwich”

    1. The bbq sauce was thinly spread on the bread and the chicken had hard to chew pieces. Total letdown and a waste of money.

  1. Your experience was pretty much spot on as mine. It was pretty good, but the combo goes for 12.49 here, and I don’t know if I’ll order again at that price point. Mine also lacked in the bbq sauce department, and when that’s the theme of the sandwich, it’s kind of a let down. I found the choice of cheese and thickness of the slice to be a major positive, it had a great chewiness to it.
    The blackberry lemonade was really tasty, if I go again I’d definitely reorder that

  2. Out of bbq sauce, but gave a packet to put on my self
    No pickles, no onion, no bacon
    The sandwich was basically served with cold cheese and that’s it

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