The Precise Temperature Chick-Fil-A Biscuits Are Made At

The "Buttered Biscuit" is among Chick-fil-A's most popular menu items. In 2018 alone, the fried chicken chain sold about 133 million of its buttery, flaky biscuits. And since 2017 (per The Chickenwire), the Buttered Biscuit –– or items prominently featuring it, such as the Chicken Biscuit –– has cracked Chick-fil-A's "Most Ordered" year-end list (including 2020, says The Chickenwire) almost every year, barring 2019 (also per The Chickenwire).

The Biscuit's appeal seems easy enough to grasp: Made from scratch every day with fresh ingredients and coated in an almost profligate three layers of butter, the Chick-fil-A Biscuit is a proven crowd pleaser, one whose popularity has made it the undisputed "centerpiece of the [Chick-fil-A] breakfast menu," according to David Farmer, CFA's VP of Menu Strategy (per Southern Living). But behind the golden, flaky goodness of each Buttered Biscuit is a highly developed recipe, over three decades in the making. Fortunately for us, Southern Living was given a tour of Chick-fil-A's test kitchen in 2018 and managed (more or less) to get to the bottom of what makes Chick-fil-A biscuits so irresistible.

You may be surprised to learn that butter is only half the story. Almost equally important are some basics of technique and the temperature at which the biscuits are baked.

Kicking things up a notch

The Chick-fil-A Buttered Biscuit recipe begins as you might expect any biscuit recipe to begin: biscuit mix is combined with water in a blender. Already, though, the CFA recipe makes two important amendments: Buttered Biscuits call for not just biscuit mix, but White Lily Flour, too –– a self-rising flour low in both protein and gluten that helps give the biscuit its light, flaky texture (via Southern Kitchen). Secondly, as discovered by Southern Living, the Chick-fil-A Biscuit recipe specifies ice cold water, not just room temperature water. As broken down at The Kitchn, ice cold water in biscuit baking is crucial for a few reasons: Not only does it keep the butter in the biscuit mixture from melting prematurely, it also limits the activity of gluten and protein during baking, yielding a lighter, flakier biscuit.

Last but not least: oven temperature. Getting the baking temperature right is essential. Anything other than the exact temperature simply will not yield the balance of moisture and texture that defines Chick-fil-A's Buttered Biscuits, according to Wing Lau, CFA's Culinary Expert (via Southern Living). Standard oven temp for Buttered Biscuits is a scorching 475 degrees Farenheit –– over 100 degrees hotter than normal baking temperatures. At this impressive heat, the biscuits take just 15 minutes to bake, which is just enough time to achieve optimal crispiness while maintaining some of their moisture.