REVIEW: KFC Hot Shot Bites

KFC Hot Shot Bites

In the ever changing fast food world, there are still a few things you can take to the bank. Aside from the universal appeal of McDonald’s French fries and the undisputable fact that Taco Bell always tastes better after a few beers, you can pretty much count on whatever is being billed as the latest “spicy” item to be not really that spicy. Sure, there are a few exceptions (I’m looking at you, Chick-Fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich), but for the most part, the fast food execs calling the shots know many of us are wimpy gringos who really can’t handle the flaming stuff.

That, or they know their employees would find a way to screw it up when it came time to serve it.

Hence, the case of KFC’s new Hot Shot Bites. You matriarchs out there can relax, because these are not, as they say in the Dixie, “slap yo mamma silly” hot. In fact, depending on the KFC you walk into, you might find them even less seasoned than their Original Recipe Bites.

Which brings me to perhaps the most tried and true hallmark of fast food: consistency, or lack there of. Yes, you might as well fetch the cheese board, because I’m about to do some whining when it comes to KFC’s remarkable record of inconsistency.

I went to two separate KFC’s to buy the Hot Shot Bites, and in both cases was presented with something that was being sold as the authentic Hot Shot Bites. The first occasion found me receiving what looked more like Popeyes Rip’n Chicken than anything else; with dry, stringy meat that displayed no red hue, absolutely zero heat or spice, and more cornflake-like breading than actual meat.

We’ll get back to those impostors later, because my second trip (to a completely different KFC) at least managed to turn up the Mars red-hued nuggets that matched the promotional photo.

KFC Hot Shot Bites Innards

The good news was the batch I received on the second trip contained moist and juicy meat right out of the fryer. The bad news? The breading, which was oily and falling off as soon as I touched the Bites. While I’m sure eating the Bites is healthier this way, it definitely also reduced the heat level. However, the problem with these Bites is that heat level wasn’t high to begin with.

KFC Hot Shot Bites Orange Hue

Crunching on the exterior breading, I detected a noticeable but very restrained cayenne and black pepper flavor that you might associate with Tabasco sauce. True, it’s got a kind of buttery-Buffalo style aftertaste because of how oily the Bites are, but unless you’ve been living in the Arctic Circle, I doubt you’ll find the Bites hot and spicy.

Now, back to those impostor Bites. Remember those? I actually returned to the KFC selling the impostors after buying what I’ll call the real Hot Shot Bites (“hot” being used in the most liberal of applications), and I brought along one of the real Bites to compare.

After asking the manager about the discrepancy, I was assured the Bites I received from the first store were “up to standard,” and was shown, much to my amazement, the exact same impostor Bite I received on my first trip (lack of red hue and all). What do I make of it? Well, you’ve got me. All I can opine is what I’ve noticed to be a record of inconsistency at KFC franchises, a record which makes getting something truly spicy akin to playing the fast food lottery.

All things considered, the real KFC Hot Shot Bites aren’t bad. No, they’re not very spicy or hot, but they’ve got enough flavor to eat sans sauce, and when cooked properly, are succulent and juicy. Still, they’re not nearly as good as Chick-Fil-A’s now discontinued Spicy Nuggets from a few years back, and that’s assuming you get a good batch.

In that case, perhaps the best question isn’t, “Can you take the heat?”, but rather, “Are you feeling lucky?”

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website.)

Other KFC Hot Shot Bites reviews:
Grub Grade
Brand Eating

Item: KFC Hot Shot Bites
Purchased Price: $3.99 (combo with a side and drink)
Size: 6 pieces
Purchased at: KFC
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Moist and succulent white meat. Has buttery Buffalo sauce aftertaste thing going on. Crunchy breading. KFC’s Sweet Kernel Corn (the most underrated fast food side in the world, if you’re asking me).
Cons: Inconsistent spicing and cooking by location. Not actually slap-yo’-mamma hot. One note in cayenne heat. Breading falls off too easily. A bit oily. Fast food manager rage.

NEWS: KFC Introduces Dip’ems ANOTHER Dippable Chicken Product


When KFC introduced their KFC Bites, I thought to myself, “Don’t they already have popcorn chicken?” They did.

And now after learning about their new KFC Dip’ems chicken tenders, I’m thinking to myself, “Don’t they already have dippable chicken strips?” They do.

I guess it’s hard to come up with different products when you can use only chicken.

The new chicken product is made using 100 percent premium all-white meat chicken, marinated and double-breaded in special seasonings. They’re available in a bucket of 20 tenders, which includes all six sauces, or in a combo with three tenders, a choice of two sauces, a side item, a biscuit and a medium drink. Along with the Dip’ems, KFC also introduced three new dipping sauces — Creamy Buffalo, Orange Ginger and Bacon Ranch.

KFC Dip’ems commercial below:

Source: Grub Grade

Image via flickr user Marufish / CC BY SA 2.0

NEWS: KFC Brings Back Chicken Littles, But No Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosey, Gander Lander, Turkey Lurkey, or Foxy Loxy


A long time ago KFC offered a chicken sandwich called Chicken Littles at all their locations. Then only a few restaurants offered them. Then they disappeared. Before they disappeared, KFC Chicken Littles fans got mad and started petitions and Facebook fan pages to get KFC to bring them back.

Well, all their petitioning and Facebook liking paid off because KFC has brought back the Chicken Littles…sort of.

Actually, the new Chicken Littles aren’t like the old Chicken Littles, and that has people upset. Instead they’re more like KFC Snackers. So I expect more petitioning and Facebook fan page making to bring back the original Chicken Littles.

These updated Chicken Littles have an Extra Crispy Strip, pickle slices, KFC’s signature Colonel’s Mayo (Wait, KFC has signature mayo?), and a sweet bun. The chicken strip is made of 100 percent all-white breast meat chicken. Yes, the sandwich is small, but it’s got a price to match at $1.29.

Grub Grade has a review.

Image via flickr user Marufish / CC BY SA 2.0

REVIEW: KFC Original Recipe Bites

KFC Original Recipe Bites

As a quirky 20-something looking to recapture my childhood in the nutritionally devoid menace of fast food, you might say I live with unrealistic expectations of fried chicken products which harken back to my childhood. And, as a 20-something reluctant to embrace the finality of entering the “real world,” you might say I have unrealistic expectations of my parents to put up with my avoidance of grown up stuff.

Thankfully, KFC has offered me the chance to proliferate both of these unrealistic expectations with their new Original Recipe Bites. Marketed for “a distinctly grown up taste,” they feature the Colonel’s secret recipe of herb and spices applied to “100 percent white meat.” They also, apparently, will allow millions of Xbox playing bums living in their parents’ basements to prolong their bygone dreams of winning the Heisman trophy in the alternate world of NCAA 13. And while I hardly live in my parents’ basement (Please, I’m above that. No, literally. We all live on the same floor), I am well versed in putting off actual adult things in favor of rushing for 700 yards a game in a video game.

KFC Original Recipe Bites Closeup

In the world of fast food chicken, the “bite” is a relatively recent if not overplayed phenomenon. Not quite a nugget, not exactly popcorn, and clearly not a finger or a tender, the best comparison for what KFC’s Bites actually are would be Chick-fil-A’s nuggets. Like Chick-fil-A’s moist, juicy, succulent, and nutty-sweet nuggets, KFC’s Bites have a breading that’s lighter than popcorn chicken, but still crunchy in spots. The flavor is classic KFC, which is to say a little pepper here, and little garlic here, and, obviously, a lot of salt all around. Not prone to the same burning or dried out effect that has plagued some versions of McDonald’s “McBites,” they come in an order of either six or ten with your choice of dipping sauce.

KFC Original Recipe Bites Innards

For the most part, the bite sized pieces aren’t bad, albeit a little small. My order – which is supposed to be 100 grams – clocked in at a pedestrian 78 grams, although the meat to breading ratio was much more respectable than McDonald’s aforementioned Spicy McBites. That being said, you can clearly see some crunchy ends jutting out of the main “bite.” Crunchy but hardly meaty, they tend to be saturated in oil. Speaking of oil, as someone who has long given into the seductive peanut oil infused taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture of Chick-fil-A’s nuggets, I can’t help but measure KFC’s Bites against them. And when it comes to matching Chick-fil-A’s nuggets, KFC just can’t do it. There’s no sweet aftertaste imparted from the oil, and the white meat itself, while not dry, is plain in flavor and nothing to write home about. All things considered, it’s about as “grown up” as Tommy Pickles in the Rugrats cartoon offshoot.

KFC Potato Wedges

I probably wouldn’t order KFC’s Original Recipe Bites all by themselves, but the six-piece $3.99 combo deal provides me with enough of an excuse to indulge in one of fast food’s most guiltiest pleasure: KFC’s potato wedges. Potato-ey, greasy, and probably filled with enough chemicals to keep a high school science class happy; they’re not much to behold, but damn are they good.

All things considered, KFC’s Original Recipe Bites probably won’t stave off getting “the talk” about actual life responsibility from your parents, and probably aren’t good enough to convince those parents to invest one more year in exorbitant electric bills earned through Xbox Live play in their basement. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for something with a little more meat than a McDonald’s McBite, or you just want an excuse to eat KFC potato wedges, you could do a lot worse. Like, you know, grade school shake-and-bake nugget worse. Thankfully, I’m too grown up for grade school chicken nuggets.

(Nutrition Facts – 6 bites – 200 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 660 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams sugar, and 22 grams of protein.)

Other KFC Original Recipe Bites reviews:
An Immovable Feast
Brand Eating

Item: KFC Original Recipe Bites
Purchased Price: $3.99 combo with 1 side and a drink
Size: 6 pieces
Purchased at: Kentucky Fried Chicken
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: 100% breast meat. Better than shake-and-bake nuggets. Decent meat to breading ratio. Crunchy end pieces. 11 herbs and spices. Excuse to eat KFC potato wedges. Never having to grow up.
Cons: Not as hefty as advertised. No where near Chick-fil-A nuggets in terms of interior moisture or flavor. Kind of bland. Oily. Celebrating a fast food product that celebrates, essentially, bumdom.

REVIEW: KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl

KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl

I want to mouth kiss the KFC Chickengineer who came up with the KFC Famous Bowl. I don’t care if it’s a man, woman, bionic chicken, or the computer that reads the thoughts of Colonel Sanders preserved brain, which holds the only list of all 11 secret herbs and spices.

When I find that person, I’m going to treat their mouth just as good as they treated mine when I ate their way to feed me popcorn chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and cheese in bowl form.

I also want to mouth kiss the KFC Chickengineer who developed their new KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl, but not because I was to thank them for creating it, but to help me get rid of all the saltiness in my mouth.

You’d think combining a KFC Famous Bowl with bacon would be one of the tastiest forms of gluttony ever and make the computer that’s hooked up to Colonel Sanders preserved brain feel the emotion of happiness, because after all, like resting my head on the bosom of a well-endowed woman, bacon makes everything better. However, with the KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl, that’s not the case.

The bacon comes in small chopped bits and, before being eaten, my KFC Cheesy Bacon bowl looked like it was caught in a bacon hailstorm or a drunk bacon fairy went a little crazy with the bacon dust. Actually, the amount of bacon isn’t surprising because there’s a lot of everything in this bowl, especially mashed potatoes, gravy, and meaty pieces of popcorn chicken. I was surprised by how heavy the KFC Cheesy Bacon bowl was. So much so, that I felt compelled to weight it.

It’s hard to taste the bacon, because there are so many pieces to this fast food puzzle called the KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl. It’s there, but it gets lost among the chicken and gravy. The bacon doesn’t make it better. All it really does is make it saltier, and that’s sad because I had high expectations for the combination of the KFC Famous Bowl and bacon. As matter of fact I was so eager to eat it that I forgot to take a photo of it before mowing it down with my KFC-issued spork, hence the half eaten bowl above.

However, with that said, I have to say I enjoyed the KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl. But just as much as the original KFC Famous Bowl, because they’re pretty much the same tasty amalgamations.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website yet, but a regular KFC Famous Bowl has 680 calories, 280 calories from fat, 31 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,130 milligrams of sodium, 74 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 26 grams of protein.)

Other KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl reviews:
Grub Grade

Item: KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl
Price: $4.99 (most other places $3.99)
Size: More than a pound
Purchased at: KFC
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: As good as the KFC Famous Bowl. Heavy. Lots of bacon bits. Sporks. The KFC Famous Bowl. Meaty pieces of popcorn chicken. Lots of mashed potatoes. Lots of gravy.
Cons: Bacon doesn’t make it better. Bacon makes it saltier. Just as unhealthy as a KFC Famous Bowl. Not being able to meet the KFC Chickengineer who created the KFC Famous Bowl and make their mouth feel as good as they made mine.