Burger King's Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries Sneak Up On You

The newest menu item at Burger King takes on a new kind of spice.

Since their introduction in 2005, Burger King Chicken Fries—really just elongated chicken nuggets, optimized for dipping—have come and gone from the menu in various forms. Often, they make a splash by coming back hotter than before: Spicy Chicken Fries, Fiery Chicken Fries, Jalapeno Chicken Fries, and Buffalo Chicken Fries have all entered the lineup at some point over the past 18 years. Now, BK has released Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries, a tasty way to capitalize on the trendiest spice profile on the market. And regardless of whether they're novel, we wanted to see whether they're any good.

Burger King’s Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries, explained

The new Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries are being released alongside the returning Ghost Pepper Whopper, first introduced last year. Burger King explains in its press release that it's rolling out both items so customers have "multiple ways to enjoy the perfect combination of flavor and heat." The two items are also being bundled together in a Friday the 13th meal deal.

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For $2.29, I got the four-piece Chicken Fries, and while this may be partially psychological, they sure feels a whole lot less substantial than a 4-piece order of Chicken Nuggets. In assessing the Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries, it's hard not to be a little skeptical of Chicken Fries as a concept, but it's at least promising to see just how textured the exterior of each "fry" is, and how many peppery flakes are visible on the breading.

As it turns out, the Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries deliver on that promise. The initial bite doesn't hit you with the upfront force of many spicy products; instead, you get some time to taste that classic fast food chicken flavor before the heat creeps in, slowly getting louder on your palate as you swallow each bite. If you eat too fast, you might inhale a bit of pepper and start to cough, which I only mention because it happened to both me and my fellow taste-tester, and there were only four Chicken Fries between us. Those odds feel high. I'm not complaining, though—it proves that this "spicy" fast food offering is capable of having any sort of effect on those who eat it. (Can you tell I've been burned by a lack of burn before?)

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The heat never reaches great heights, at least not for those accustomed to a bit of spice, but it maintains a dull persistence, lingering impressively long after the Chicken Fries are gone (5-10 minutes). For anyone unsure of their spice tolerance, the ranch dipping sauce on the side offers a cool plunge for the spicy fries. For me, the ranch takes the fun out of it, muting all the ghost pepper flavor that makes these worth ordering in the first place. Then again, a Chicken Fry is made for dipping, so without the ranch, it might as well be a Nugget, right? As you can see, the Chicken Fries lead me to some pretty existential places. For $2.29, I shouldn't be left thinking this hard.

If you order BK's Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries, don't make them your main event. Try them as a fun side in the Trick or Heat meal bundle, or order them a la carte alongside any burger if you can't decide between chicken or beef. If you miss them this time around, don't worry; true heat-seekers would probably have more fun dipping regular Chicken Fries into sriracha aioli at home, anyway.

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