Wendy's Spicy Nuggets Vs. McDonald's Spicy McNuggets: Which Is Better?

Wendy's came out with spicy chicken nuggets first, a few years ago. McDonald's finally caught up to its fast food rival and dropped Spicy McNuggets just last month. McDonald's version was so successful that the chain announced it was running out of its spicy nuggets just two weeks after they launched.

Give Wendy's credit for thinking of this highly popular concept first — though we need to acknowledge that the first fast food restaurant to press chicken meat into nugget form was McDonald's, back in 1983 (via Carolina News & Reporter). Also give Wendy's points for being the undisputed ruler of the nugget Twitter wars. The redheaded chain has dropped devastating tweet bombs on the nuggets from Burger King and McDonald's both. And Wendy's also scored a big Twitter win last year. The chain brought back its spicy nuggets after fans gave a Wendy's tweet more than 2 million likes. (It certainly helped that Chance the Rapper started the buzz by asking Wendy's on Twitter to bring the nuggets back.) 

But the real test of nugget superiority is in the taste. Did Wendy's get it right with the first spicy nugget to hit the fast food marketplace, or did McDonald's just give us a reason to stop dropping by Wendy's when we crave fiery nuggets?

Wendy's beats McDonald's spicy nuggets easily on price

McDonald's brings a tempura breading with chili and cayenne pepper to its spicy nuggets. Wendy's nuggets are coated with nine spicy ingredients, including red pepper, chili pepper, mustard seed, and black pepper flakes big enough to catch your eye (via Chewboom). What really stands out in a comparison with Spicy McNuggets is the price. McDonald's sells the 10-piece McNuggets for $4.49, according to Fast Food Menu Prices. The same website says you can get four Wendy's nuggets off the value menu for just $0.99 — buy two and you're still spending less.

But what about taste? A quick survey of reviews on YouTube channels and food websites showed that opinions were divided. John Jurasek, on his YouTube channel "The Report of the Week," oddly found the McDonald's nuggets to be spicier, but he said the Wendy's nuggets had higher-quality meat. Overall, Jurasek gave McDonald's the edge. "The quality of the chicken itself is higher at Wendy's, but we have to remember this is about the spice." So what's the verdict?

McDonald's spicy nuggets win on crunch. Wendy's wins on flavor

Annie Campbell also reviewed the two fast-food chains' spicy nuggets on the "My Recipes" channel she shares with her mother. Campbell was more descriptive in her evaluation of McDonald's spiciness, saying it has a way of creeping up on you. "Once you get to nugget three or four, it starts to hit a little bit harder," she said. The Wendy's nugget was about as spicy and seemed meatier, but Campbell preferred the crunchiness of the McDonald's version. "McDonald's just came into the game, but they came in hot," Campbell concluded.

Business Insider preferred the Wendy's nuggets, saying they were both spicier and more flavorful. UPROXX called a close race but gave the nod to Wendy's, again based on spice level and taste. All the reviewers agreed the McDonald's nuggets were crispier.

So which should you order? It may be hard to find the McDonald's nuggets because as we mentioned, the chain announced recently they were running out of the spicy version. But Spicy McNugget could make a comeback. Anyhow, McDonald's has (or had) your nugget if a crispy texture is what's most important to you. For taste and spice, go to Wendy's.