- Kentucky Fried Chicken launched its new “KFC Sauce” along with revamped versions of its core condiment lineup in the fall.
- The “KFC Sauce” features a sweet and smokey flavor, a strikingly similar mix of flavors to Chick-fil-A’s signature sauce.
- I tried KFC’s new line of sauces and compared it with Chick-fil-A’s to see whose lineup was the best.
- While KFC’s are still dunk-worthy, Chick-fil-A is still the reigning champion of sauces.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Chicken tenders are great, but the real superstars to any fast food cuisine are the dipping sauces.
In recognition of the importance of sauces, Kentucky Fried Chicken launched a new suite of condiments, including a never-before-seen, “KFC Sauce.”
The restaurant chain describes its new sauce as “tangy and sweet, with a bit of smokiness.”
For chicken-aficionados out there, you’ll notice KFC Sauce’s flavor profile is similar to Chick-fil-A Sauce, which the company describes as, “honey mustard and a smoky tang.”
KFC’s effort to create a competing sauce against Chick-fil-A is no small feat, but it is vital as the Georgia-based company continues to expand.
Chick-fil-A was the third-largest restaurant chain in the US in 2019, garnering a whopping $11.3 billion and earning more than Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Burger King.
And Chick-fil-A isn’t slowing down anytime soon as the company plans to continue expanding outside of the south.
That could spell trouble for KFC, who is already competing with the growing chain for dining dollars.
So who is saucy enough to reign supreme? I dipped in and compared KFC’s new line of sauces against Chick-fil-A’s lineup to see who is the best.
I ordered a four-pack of the chain’s extra crispy tenders to dunk into the dipping sauces.
I also ordered four-piece chicken strips from Chick-fil-A.
To kick things off, I tried KFC’s new “Honey BBQ” sauce.
The sauce was sweet and lived up to the “honey” in its name. It tasted fine, but the flavor was pretty tame.
Next, I tried Chick-fil-A’s barbecue sauce.
This was closer to a traditional barbecue sauce found at a grill out.
The flavor was less sweet and relied more on savory-smokey tones. But it was still pretty muted and didn’t have any spice or pepperiness to it.
Between KFC and Chick-fil-A, the barbecue sauces were tied. Picking one just depends on whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savory.
For my second round of sauces, I went for KFC’s honey mustard.
KFC’s honey mustard had a tiny hint of sharpness.
But mostly, it was a watery-consistency and didn’t taste out of the ordinary.
Chick-fil-A’s honey mustard was sweeter in comparison to KFC’s version of the sauce.
It had a brownish-yellow tone and a vinegary-consistency.
Still, it was nothing out of the ordinary. They were both just okay.
Up next was KFC’s “classic” ranch.
The sauce hit all the checkpoints I look for in a homemade ranch.
The consistency was buttery and thick.
There was a slight lactic-milk taste, but the herb mix was strong enough to contrast it with an oniony-kick.
Overall, it met my Midwestern obsession for high-quality ranch.
I cracked open Chick-fil-A’s “Garden Herb Ranch,” and while it was good, it didn’t live up to the KFC version.
It still had a nice, herby-zing to it, but the sauce was thinner.
If I brought KFC’s ranch to a Super Bowl party, people would be thanking me.
Finally, I popped open KFC’s new house sauce.
The KFC sauce tasted similar to a honey mustard with subtle hints of a smokey barbecue sauce.
KFC Sauce isn’t thick, but it’s still packed with contrasting flavors that made each dip delightful.
I enjoyed it more than the other KFC sauces and expect it to become a popular addition for tender dippers everywhere.
Next up, I compared it to the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce.
Both Chick-fil-A Sauce and KFC Sauce have a similar taste profile: Sweet, yet smokey. Tangy, but sharp. They were also similar in color.
Chick-fil-A sauce was a tad bit sweeter, but the flavor was bolder than KFC’s offering.
It also tasted like a sweet barbecue sauce mixed with sharp mustard.
Its satisfyingly thick consistency and sweet, honey taste made Chick-fil-A Sauce absolutely addictive and superior to KFC Sauce.
Overall, the honey mustard and barbecue sauces from both chains were on par with each other.
KFC’s creamy ranch was definitely superior to Chick-fil-A’s offering.
But if you put Chick-fil-A Sauce and KFC Sauce head-to-head, there is no doubt the beloved yellow sauce packet is still at the top of the pecking order.
The sauce’s unique honey mustard and barbecue blend made me want to dunk my pizza into it, or maybe even drizzle it on a salad.
But while KFC’s attempt to match its growing rival fell short, all of the new sauces, including KFC Sauce, are still dunk-worthy.