Fast Food Hot Sauces – Which is Best When You’re on the Run?

When you have the open road in front of you and little time to grab a bite to eat, the most common destination would be fast food restaurants. Many of them now offer a Buffalo dipping sauce to partner up with their nuggets or fingers, but what’s really in them and do they taste any good? Let me answer the first part with another question: Do we EVER really know what is in fast food? But to help determine which place to go when the Buffalo urge comes a calling and there is no time to stop for some real wings, I decided to grab all of the hot sauces that the fast food restaurants of the North East had to offer and do a sampling to see how I would rank them against each other. From order of best to worst (1 being best) I give you my list:

#1 McDonald’s

This sauce reminded me of the Buffalo sauce from Applebee’s. I could taste the peppers, and it was nice and thick so it stuck well to the chicken. I could keep going back to this sauce without getting sick of it, which was a big plus.

#2 Arby’s

This sauce had a pungent taste to it at first, but kept a good flavor throughout. It wasn’t as thick as the sauce from McDonald’s, so it didn’t coat the chicken as well and tended to be a bit more acidic.

#3 Checkers

This was a great sauce, but it was very heavy on the Tabasco flavor. The presentation of this sauce reminded me of something I would find at a bar rather than Fast Food which was a nice change from the branded packages.

#4 Chick-Fil-A

This sauce had a sharp kick to it and was flavorful, much like the sauce from Arby’s, but it left a slight aftertaste that wasn’t as appealing. Overall, it wasn’t one of the best, but it also wasn’t bad.

#5 KFC

This sauce started off strong, but it had a nasty aftertaste that I couldn’t overcome. I also found it more difficult to work with the packet since I had to empty the contents onto a plate instead of easily dipping into a container.

#6 Popeyes

I expected a lot more from the Bayou since it is an area known for bold flavors and spices, but this sauce really disappointed me. It had no real heat, and the flavor tasted a lot like celery.

#7 Burger King

This sauce was DISGUSTING and tasted more like Thousand Island dressing than Buffalo. It shouldn’t even fall into the “Buffalo Sauce” category. Don’t be fooled!

#8 Taco Bell

I didn’t expect to find a relevant hot sauce here, but I figured it was worth a try. It had a good amount of heat, but it is taco sauce and definitely not Buffalo sauce. So, there really wasn’t a fair comparison.

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One Response to “Fast Food Hot Sauces – Which is Best When You’re on the Run?”

  1. Excellent review, bro! I’ve only had four of these (McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and KFC) and you were spot on with all four. McDonald’s whips BK’s ass in a head to head comparison. The BK stuff is definitely too sweet and too, well, mayonnaise -ish. As for the KFC, I find it tastes pretty much like generic store brand hot sauce. Not good, not bad, just meh. The Taco Bell “Fire” is an awesome taco sauce for a fast food joint, but if you REALLY wanna explore some ass kicking taco sauce/salsa then look no further than your local Moe’s (if it’s available in your area). They usually have 3 or 4 of them available, and I’d be surprised if they weren’t made fresh instead of being trucked in.

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