Here's Why Chick-Fil-A's Nuggets And Chicken Strips Taste Different

In a world filled where fast food giants seem to be competing for the most over-the-top menu items you've ever seen, from Arby's massive Meat Mountain to KFC's Chicken & Donuts sandwich, Chick-fil-A's menu looks absolutely humble. You'll never see a triple-decker chicken sandwich with a waffle fry bun gracing the menu (despite how interesting such a concept sounds) but perhaps the simplicity of its menu of chicken, salad, and shakes is the restaurant's secret. After all, in July 2021, the American Customer Satisfaction Survey released its list of best fast food joints and landing at the #1 spot was Chick-fil-A — for the seventh year in a row (via USA Today).

Although Chick-fil-A, which was first launched in 1967 (via Chick-fil-A), has remained consistent with its simple method of pressure-cooking in recent years, some customers with particularly adept taste buds have noticed a difference in flavor between their chicken nuggets and their chicken strips. So, if the chicken is all made in the same way, how could these two simple variations taste so different? Fortunately, there's a perfectly logical explanation.

The difference between Chick-fil-A's nuggets and strips is the marinade

After Reddit user u/SizzlingSloth asked if Chick-fil-A's strips and nuggets have different marinades, La_Casa_Nueva, who claimed to be a Chick-fil-A manager, explained that the company does indeed use different marinades for its strips and nuggets. User Darujiboo, who apparently worked at a Chick-fil-A some time ago, elaborated on how the marinade for the strips was made by hand over 20 years ago using a variety of spices. "And then we'd add a bunch of pickle juice and have the strips brew up for some period of time. Was the same for the chargrilled filets," they explained. They also wondered if the process had since been streamlined, or if the strips simply came pre-marinated.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the nuggets, a TikTok released by a Chick-fil-A employee showed the cooking process in full. First, raw chicken was given a "milkwash" (a mixture of milk and eggs) as done by founder Truett Cathy's mother (via Chick-fil-A). Next, it was sifted through a "seasoned coater" for breading and pressured-cooked in oil until golden brown and crispy. The comments on the video ranged from relief that the process wasn't something disgusting to surprise from a McDonald's worker that Chick-fil-A actually prepares their nuggets fresh.

It seems that, despite being made a bit differently, each strip and nugget are so delicious that they make people want to "eat mor chikin."