McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets: What To Know Before Ordering

In August 2020, Canadians were finally treated to McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets. Unfortunately, as blogTO reported, this came as a disappointment to a large swath of the country who were hoping that the company would finally return the McPizza. This differs drastically from the nuggets' American reception, which PEOPLE says was so popular that McDonald's felt compelled to bring them back. 

 This means that since The Daily Mail covered their debut in Australia in 2018, these nuggets have officially graduated from a one-off gimmick to become a genuine limited-time offer. Where it goes from there is harder to say. Do the Spicy Chicken McNuggets have the ability to dethrone the McRibs as McDonald's limited item of choice? Will they be able to win over the Canadian public? Or, is it just a half-hearted attempt to win the nugget market that Burger King dominates? While it's too early to give a definitive answer, we can use what we know of the Spicy Chicken McNuggets to make a reasonable estimate.

What's in McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nugget?

The name might have given this information away. The Spicy Chicken McNugget is a McNugget, but made spicy. McDonald's explained that it managed the spicy kick by mixing both cayenne and chilli peppers into the nugget's tempura batter.

In case that wasn't enough, the Spicy Chicken McNuggets were also released with Mighty Hot Sauce, the first new sauce made since 2017. It features red and cayenne peppers with undertones of garlic, making it the hottest sauce McDonald's has ever offered.

Really, the bigger mystery of the Spicy Chicken McNugget is what is in the McNugget itself. For years, McDonald's has labored under the pink goop and mechanically separated chicken memes. These, as Snopes explained, have some basis in reality as McDonald's used to run chicken carcasses to cheaply scavenge all their edible meat. So did many companies that provided cheap meat meals. But McDonald's stopped using mechanically separated poultry in 2003.

How much do McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets cost?

Getting an accurate idea of what McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets cost in the United States is difficult. Currently, they don't cost anything because they're a limited-time offer McDonald's isn't running. Moreover, since franchises can raise or lower prices to some degree, pointing to an exact number is out of the question.

That said, we do know that McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets do tend to sell for a dollar or so more than the regular chicken nuggets. In ReportOfTheWeek's 2021 review, we learned that ReviewBrah, the name given to him by his fans, paid around $6 for a ten-piece. In his 2020 review, a 6-piece set cost $3.19. A Business Insider review paid $5.49 for 10 pieces before tax. These prices track with what McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets currently costs in Canada, as listed by Food Gressing.

So, McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets costs slightly more than the regular ones with their price tags of $2 for 6 pieces and $4.79 for 10 that Fast Food Price shares. 

When Daym Drops tried the nuggets in 2020, though, he spent $2 for 6 spicy nuggets and $2 for the regular ones. Whether this is because the McDonald's in his area is consistently cheaper or whether they lowered the price in the first run to encourage more people to get hooked cannot be determined as Daym Drops has not conducted a follow-up review. 

Is McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets nutritious?

No. McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets are not nutritious. 

When McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets made their debut in 2020, Fast Food Nutrition recorded the item's nutritional data. The good news is that ten pieces will fill you with 24 grams of protein, which makes up 48 percent of the recommended daily intake. The issue is that in addition, it also includes 27 grams of fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, and 910 milligrams of ever-dreaded sodium. These more negative aspects carry diners respectively to 42 percent, 25 percent, and 38 percent of the way to your recommended limit. 

Despite the new coating, these are still chicken nuggets. This is clear when you see that the information Fast Food Nutrition shares about 10 pieces of the regular chicken nuggets is almost exactly the same as the spicy ones. The difference is that the sodium for the Spicy Chicken McNuggets is 50 milligrams higher than the regular ones. Or, more precisely, that each individual Spicy Chicken McNugget has 5 milligrams of sodium more than a regular one due to the added ingredients in its coating. 

So, the Spicy Chicken McNuggets are less nutritious than the regular chicken nuggets. That being said, these nuggets are great for an occasional treat.

What do McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets taste like?

In a pattern you might have picked up on, McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets taste like chicken nuggets, but spicy. Well, the spiciness of the nuggets really depends on the reviewer.

As ReviewBrah described in his review, the exterior of the newer nuggets is slightly crispier and the spice was definitely present. For Daym Drops, the nuggets came with only a slight tingle, but brought out all the flavor to which the regular nuggets aspire. When he dunked the Spicy McNugget into the Mighty Hot Sauce, Daym Drops appeared to go into a state of supernatural bliss.

The Canadians, however, disagreed. blogTO reported that the consensus on social media was that these nuggets were barely spicier than the original and, more importantly, nowhere near spicy enough. "It is agreed upon that they are 'suburban spicy,' or how you might expect your aunt in Aldergrove to spice up a meal," the reporters for Vancouver Awesome decided. In other words, McDonald's Spicy Chicken McNuggets are spicy in the way that some people find mustard too exotic.

However, one lukewarm response from an audience primed for a different food release will probably not stop McDonald's from keeping their Spicy Chicken McNuggets as a permanent member of their limited-time offer roster. 

How to get McDonald's Spicy Chicken Nuggets

But what if you disagree with the disappointment exhibited on Canadian social media? How can you get the Spicy Chicken McNuggets? Well, in most cases you can't. The Spicy Chicken McNuggets were introduced as a limited-time offer and they're unlikely to join the permanent menu.

When McDonald's first introduced the Spicy Chicken Nuggets as a limited-time offer in 2020, they lasted only for a month. Taste of Home reported that McDonald's simply did not predict that the item would prove so popular. That popularity, which the Food Network notes let countless fans beg the company for their return, brought the item back in February for this year as a limited-time offer.

However, that very popularity means that it is unlikely McDonald's will move them to the permanent menu. According to Today I Found Out, the McRibs' popularity is what makes it a seasonal menu item. It seems more probable that McDonald's will restrict supply with random releases in order to fuel the devotion that would be lost with its constant presence. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and wallets fatter.