Popular KFC Menu Items. Home Cooked Vs In Store

So has anyone made some of the popular KFC menu items like zinger burger or original recipe chicken pieces at home or by themselves and has it ever lived up to expectations? The texture flavour and oilyness.

I ask because I am interested in trying to make it on my own (mainly the burgers and original recipes) and compare the tastes and costs.

If it comes out being not to difficult and easy on the money then it might mean a direct switch for me.

I assume KFC's overhead just for cooking/ingredient costs would be negligible but how much extra do you think we are paying? Say for a 9 piece feed example.

If you can make the same thing at home for near same quality but half the cost well need I say more ;)

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KFC Australia
KFC Australia


  • +2

    No-one knows the recipe because the 11 herbs & spices are secret!

    • -1

      Apparently it's only flour, salt, black pepper and msg. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KFC_Original_Recipe.

      • +1

        What? That article states 11 different spices

        • +3

          the secret ingredient is cough syrup

        • and fire.. flaming

        • Somewhere under recipe…

          In 1983, William Poundstone conducted laboratory research into the coating mix, as described in his book Big Secrets, and claimed that a sample he examined contained only flour, salt, monosodium glutamate and black pepper.

          Poundstone, William (1983). Big Secrets. William Morrow. pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-688-04830-7.

        • @terminal2k: Lies I tell you. It's LOVE. Cough, cough.cough.

          I think I may need that syrup…… lol

      • Wot rot.

  • +1

    I wait until Tuesday for the 9 piece feed for 9.99. Eat half Tuesday, and put the other half in the fridge for 1-2 days and eat cold later. The cost would be hard to beat, I would think.

    • +2

      hey, today is your lucky day!

      today is tuesday, you get to unseal the flaps on that box and devour the cheap chickens. mmmnnm.mmmmmmm ..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      fingering licking goodness

      • I missed out yesterday. Now i have to wait a week for that finger lickin' goodness. :(

    • What is the price normally?

      • +1


        • You sure not $9.66

        • Yes I like to pay $3 more on Tuesday because I think they may use organic free range chickens on that day

  • +2

    They actually taste a lot better if you put them into the oven the next day. :D
    After the thick layer of fat under the skin gets melted away.

    • Amen to that.. they definitely go a little bit fry crazy with the oil but I guess better more than less since you can oven it out

  • You'll need a deep fryer (or similar) to do the chicken pieces properly. Just google southern fried chicken and you'll find a ton of recipes. With practice you'll be able to make it better than KFC.

    I've made plenty of chicken burgers at home and it's pretty easy. You can just pan fry the chicken using a similar method to schnitzel. Fairly easy and you can adjust the crumb to suit your tastes. Panko crumb with parmesan, chilli, mixed herb, salt and pepper is one of my favourites.

    Costs probably aren't much less but the quality is much higher.

    • ^
      plenty of youtube clips out there on how to copy/mimic the flavour
      flavour will be hit and miss until you "perfect" the recipe

      you'll find it hard to find any savings in cost as they are bulk buying
      unless you too bulk buy items…but unless your going to have a massive party or catering exercise
      what you are going to do with 5kg of each herb/spice

      then there is butchering

      so you can butcher whole chicken yourself to save costs but then you have odd cuts or pieces you wont be using (save for something else)
      or buy chicken wings/breasts/drumstick at premium because you had someone else butcher it

    • -1

      Pressure fryer, not deep fryer. A decent pressure cooker can be used instead.

      • Pretty sure that's dangerous advice. The safety valves melt at the temperature of superheated oil.

        • I know what you're referring to, and understand what you're saying. However while cheaper pressure cookers do have rubbish valves (and therefore shouldn't be used to cook anything in my book), if people fill them above the 'maximum' line causing liquid/food to reach the pressure relief valve, then they're using the pressure cooker incorrectly, in a dangerous manner. They'll eventually get scalded, no matter if they're cooking oil or water-based foods.

          I've tested and found the oil cannot be 'superheated' in a pressure cooker, at least not when some common sense steps are followed.

          Firstly though, if you're cooking meat there will always be oil/fat present. The person that started that superheating claim, never bothered to explain how that oil from meat doesn't also become 'superheated' and explode through the relief valve. I don't know where their claim comes from, but it's certainly not from personal experience. I've read the claim repeated online many times, and it's false, and here's why…

          I've pressure-fryed in my (caveat) DECENT QUALITY pressure cooker. (Not a cheap one from Aldi/BigW/etc. that costs less than $150 say.)

          I bring oil up to 350 deg F using a FRYING THERMOMETER, lower chicken pieces into the oil in a wire basket, and while the oil is now 'coping' with the moisture from that chicken, I add 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup of hot water. Obviously you NEVER add water to hot oil without knowing it's temperature first, and NEVER do it before lowering the chicken - because the water can spit/jump/make the oil surge out of the pot. You only add water AFTER knowing the temp and AFTER lowering the chicken into the oil, and you don't just splash it in. I usually dribble it over some chicken poking out of, or close to, the oil surface. Again, you NEED a frying thermometer so the oil isn't at a ridiculously high temperature. 350 deg F MAXIMUM. But if the oil were at a silly temperature, even lowering just the chicken alone would cause oil to splash/surge out of an open pot.

          So you get the oil temp right, lower in the chicken, stir/move it a little to get oil between all the pieces where they touch together to slightly brown the coating all over. Then add a little water, lock the lid on, and allow pressure to climb until the valve begins venting. When of IF it does (explanation to follow), you then back off on the heat.


          Here's the important part I wanted to get to… The steam produced by the chicken alone and/or the small amount of added water - LOCKS/PREVENTS the oil from these false claim someone came up with about 'superheated oil'. Steam (either from the food itself or added by you) actually forces the oil temperature down, making it impossible to reach even as high as the 350 degrees F you had with the lid off. (Which is the maximum ideal temp recommended from frying chips/chicken.)

          I learned that fact online, then tested it myself several times. By doing what I just described. Frying at 350 deg F, water in, locking the lid on, and deliberately turning the hotplate up to maximum. The maximum recommended time for cooking 8 chicken pieces in a 15 psi pressure cooker in oil is 12 minutes. It often took 80-90% of that time for the pressure cooker to even pop up its pressure gauge, and begin venting steam. This is much longer than if water based foods were inside.

          i.e. No matter how hot I made the oil before locking the lid on, what I just said above, happened again and again. I even tested the oil temperature right after removing the lid. I forget what that temperature was now, but it was well below 350 deg F. I later read Col. Sanders would attach a compressed air hose to his pressure cookers to reach full pressure sooner. This is obviously why he did that - because the steam lowers the temp of the oil, which in turn prevents the steam from being created, which makes it difficult/increases the time to reach full pressure.

          HOWEVER… Having said all that I now don't bother doing it that way. If you want to use the above method, I want to impress on people to read the above over again and again until you understand everything I've said - and do NOT skip the thermometer - and do NOT go above the maximum level line in your pressure cooker, and you MUST add some water to create steam in case the chicken doesn't have enough moisture of its own, and do NOT have it venting violently the entire 12 minutes IF you even can get it that hot.

          Why don't I do it anymore? Because it requires too much volume of oil, which means you're either storing a large amount of used oil until next time, which often goes off before you can use it again, thus making it too expensive. I now use the method mentioned later on in this thread: fry one chicken for a short time in less oil in a saucepan, then put all pieces into a pressure cooker with boiling water. It comes out soggier, but it wastes less oil.

          If you had only oil, and no moist food, and no added water - then it might become a concern. But who puts ~3L of oil in a pressure cooker, with no food, and turns up the heat full blast? The key is the water, which creates steam, which forces down the oil temperature.

          Because it often took 80% or more of the full cooking time to reach full pressure, it became obvious using mostly oil in a pressure cooker could actually be SAFER. i.e. Water based foods = higher pressures faster. Oil with water = a lower temperature that takes much longer to reach full pressure.

          But again, while the entire thing can be done in mostly oil, it's not really necessary. I still get great results with the method later in this thread.

        • @GregMonarch: I checked the instructions of a $400+ WMF pressure cooker:

          "Do not use your pressure cooker to fry food in oil under pressure."

          The fact that you've never been injured doesn't mean that what you're advocating is safe.

        • @ragrum: Yep, all non-pressure fryer pressure cookers will say that. I've used different two brands of pressure cooker to pressure fry with the same results (low oil temp, not enough pressure). And I know of other people that have used various other brands.

          Please note people:

          1. I did say it's not necessary to pressure fry chicken in oil to achieve what the OP asked. You get nearly the same result, only with more moisture, using the other method I mentioned.

          2. There are pressure fryers designed as such. They have a bar going across the top of the lid. They're designed assuming the only thing in them could be oil; and the food may have no moisture. They have to design, test, and state what purpose they're intended for, so they don't get sued when someone makes a mistake.

          But that bar across the lid doesn't mean all the pressure needs to be 'kept in'. All of these devices have multiple pressure relief safety mechanisms. It's not about 'keeping it all in', it's about maintaining a certain pressure for a given time. It doesn't much matter if it's food, oil, stock or water taking up space inside… if someone is going to shake the thing around, something is going to spurt out of the valve - and all of them will burn. Oil will burn worse of course, but still.

          I'm not saying to do it. I'm pointing out steps to do it safer for those determined to do it anyway: keep the oil below the maximum line, don't tilt/move the pot violently (just as you wouldn't do that no matter what was inside it), add some water to make certain steam will be produced for 12 minutes, and that steam will lock the oil temp down and maintain pressure to cook the chicken - and don't do it well beyond the time all the steam stops venting. (Obviously continuing to heat oil to a high temp after all water has been vented as steam isn't the cleverest of choices.)

  • If you can make the same thing at home for near same quality but half the cost well need I say more

    Unless you are purchasing in bulk and serving the food in bulk, I would not be surprised if your costs to manufacturer exceeds KFCs RRP
    Besides purchasing the main ingredient, all the little additional bits and pieces will blow the budget.
    Do you already own a deep fryer with suitable oil, or will you be purchasing these items?

  • +3

    KFC uses pressure frying to cook their chicken which can't be replicated at home.

    • Ah cool Today I learnt

    • False.

  • After some simple googling and cross referencing ingredients with woolies and coles yeah they don't seem to be making that much which I guess is a good and bad thing

    Thanks everybody for your great responses and input and feedback

    • Well, you would try the smaller supermarket amounts just to experiment first, then buy much cheaper in larger amounts. e.g. I saw an entire bag of one spice at Tong Li, for the same price as a small masterfoods-sized jar at Woolworths.

  • A few weeks ago I made some home made KFC from a recipe theat I saw on news.com some months ago. Cost wise it's cheaper to go buy the real thing, BUT I used free range chicken breast, left out half the salt and cooked it in a deep fryer. The verdict: I'd say about 90 to 95% of the real thing. Less salt, less fat, less oil. The taste was extremely close. Not as salty and strangely missing a bit of sweetness. The other half , who refuses to eat KFC, has even asked me to do another batch.
    So home made vs store;
    Cost = worse
    Taste = better
    Health implications = better (still deep fried and lots of salt)
    Making it at home from a recipe from the internet = priceless.

    • Nice thanks for your feedback this gives me hope.

      How much would you say it roughly cost for a whole batch or per piece?

  • Sorry to be so blunt above. But the misinformation about this never ceases to amaze me. I regularly make a recipe that not only equals, but surpasses KFC. People should try things for themselves, instead of repeating what they read online.

    What am I on about? I've tried many times and you get mediocre results in a frypan/saucepan. The only method that really works is a pressure fryer/cooker. Deep frying in an open saucepan/frypan might produce an acceptable coating. But the chicken itself will have little taste.

    As for claims I see online: "KFC Recipe Revealed!"… Well, sorry, but just salt, pepper, and MSG is false. And anything using a french onion, italian, or tomato soup packet mix is false. I've tried many recipes and the majority are a joke. They don't even taste good, let alone taste like KFC - past or present.

    It can be complicated but I've simplified it over time to where it isn't a pain to do and still tastes great.

    Woolworths and Aldi sell whole chickens for $3.50/kg. There are youtube videos how to cut a chicken into 8 pieces.

    It's best to brine pieces overnight in the fridge. Making the spice mix ahead of time improves the taste a bit too. As does using buttermilk. But I don't bother with these anymore. It's too complicated, too expensive, so what's the point of extremes if you never make it.

    Mix together:

    • 4 teaspoons rubbed sage (If you use powdered sage you'll probably want to reduce it to 1.5 to 2 teaspoons, and experiment from there.)
    • 4 teaspoons white pepper
    • 3 teaspoons black pepper
    • 1.5 teaspoons coriander powder
    • 1.25 teaspoons powdered ginger
    • 1 teaspoons powdered ancho chili/chile (Can be a pain to find. This is not a heat chili. So don't think chili powder will do. It has more of a 'chocolate' taste.)
    • 3/4 teaspoons powdered bay leaf (Put some whole bay leaves mortar & pestle if you can't find it.)
    • 3/4 teaspoons summer savoury/savory (Can be a pain to find. If you can only find winter savory then only use 1/2 teaspoon because it's stronger.)
    • 3/4 teaspoons powdered tahitan vanilla bean (Can be a pain to find but I have bought it online from an Australian business and it is WELL WORTH IT.)
    • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom
    • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
    • 10 teaspoons fine salt (i.e. Not cooking salt.)
    • 1 teaspoon MSG powder

    Adding the salt & MSG before storage can make it clump together. You could leave them out until the day you cook. But I've found shaking the jar is enough to break it up again.

    The mix above is enough to coat 4 chickens or 32 pieces. The reason for making so much is to make measurements easier. (Imagine trying to measure out 1/4 of 3/4 of a teaspoon.) I zero my digital kitchen scales with an empty container on top. Then pour in the mix to get its total weight. Then divide it evenly into four glass jars - 1/4 of the mix per jar/chicken.

    On the day you use it, mix 1/4 of the above spice mix with 1 cup of bakers flour, for every 1 chicken or 8 pieces. e.g. https://shop.coles.com.au/a/a-national/product/anchor-lighth...

    Whisk 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of milk with a fork in a large bowl. Remove chicken from brine and dry with paper towel (or at least let most of the brine drip off). Then into the egg & milk. Buttermilk is ideal but expensive. So I use skim milk powder and water, adding more powder than usual which makes it more like buttermilk. (Doing it on-the-cheap still surpasses KFC.)

    Do it with bare hands becomes really messy at this point. You could use disposable gloves. But I just put the flour and spice mix into an old cornflakes bag, and only coat one piece at a time, so the coating stays put. You could also spread the mix out on a tray/plate like they do at KFC. But using the bag also means less clean up.

    Let most of the egg/milk drip off one piece of chicken, drop it into the bag, completely coat it in flour & spice mix, shake off the excess, put onto a plate (no paper towel). Repeat to coat all pieces. Keep them separated on the plate, again so the coating stays put.

    Then do the egg and flour thing a second time. Only this time don't soak the pieces in the egg/milk. Just dip one piece at a time in and out quickly, so the first coating doesn't come off. Put each piece back onto the plate again. Coating twice this way produces a thicker coating.

    Heat oil in a frying pan or saucepan to the same temp you'd use to cook chips. (No hotter than 350°F/180°C is ideal.) Fry one or two pieces of chicken at at time for no more than 30 seconds, flipping midway if the oil level is shallow. Remove onto a plate (NO paper towel or the coating will stick). Repeat until all pieces have been in the oil. Note you're not cooking the chicken, just sealing the coating, giving it a LITTLE bit of colour, and hopefully cooking the skin underneath just a LITTLE so it's not like the disgusting result KFC often produces (particularly with their wings).

    This is not an exact science. You'll learn over time what works best for your stove/cookware, etc. But you don't want the coating brown at this stage, or it will come out too dark later.

    Put only one chicken-worth of pieces onto a rack, on a trivet, both of whose diameter fits inside the pressure cooker - spacing the pieces out as much as possible with minimal touching of their coating. (BCF sells two sturdy round racks. The smaller one fits inside most pressure cookers.)

    Boil some water in, or pour boiling water into, the pressure cooker. Then lower the rack of chicken pieces in, making sure the chicken is above the water level. (Use an old coathanger to make a 4-leg lifter with hooks at the ends to lift/lower it easily.)

    Turn the heat flat out, lock the lid on, turn the valve to the high position. After the valve starts venting, turn the heat down so it remains at full pressure, but isn't going berserk. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

    Release pressure by putting the pot in the sink and running cold water over it. Remove lid.

    Remove pieces carefully to try and keep their coating intact. The chicken will be soggy. I usually just leave the rack to rest on the sink while I fry the chips, and eat the chicken still damp. It does dry out slightly in that time, but if you want it drier, preheat an oven on very low heat while you we're coating the chicken. Then out of the pot and into the oven on a wire rack, checking regularly until it's dry enough for you. My oven takes 30-40 minutes which is too long for me, and causes the coating to turn too dark. So I just leave it on the sink until the chips are cooked and eat it as is. It does dry out slightly, and still tastes 170% better than KFC - so I don't care.

    I use the same method for boneless pieces.

    Oh - and I checked that news.com recipe, and it is one I recently tried. It is not even close to the original KFC recipe. When I first saw it online weeks ago I could tell it had mostly the wrong ingredients. But I put my bias aside, made it anyway giving my best effort. And what a disappointment. Certainly not worth all the effort of making it yourself. So if someone liked that, they'd be on cloud 9 with the one I've listed above.

    There's several reasons it's not only fake, but not even from Sanders. He understood flavours. His recipe originated with his mother and he adjusted it for mass production. Basil & oregano are more suited to italy. e.g. On pizza and in tomato-based dishes. And celery salt is pungent, with an unmistakable presence in food. I'm hardly a chef, but I know when celery salt is present, and it has never been in KFC - old or new. Mustard is a huge question mark, if not funny. Paprika, well maybe… for colour alone. It MIGHT work as a replacement for the ancho chilli powder. But the above recipe produces the correct colour without paprika which certainly tastes far better. He also wouldn't have used SALT and GARLIC SALT in the same recipe because the ratio of salt to garlic in garlic salt could change from one batch to the next. i.e. He would have used all base ingredients: salt, and garlic powder.

    I can't fathom the fuss online about the second recipe (I've seen it dozens of times now), but not about the first one which is superior. It must be because the ingredients of the first are more difficult to obtain, meaning less people have tried it. Well I gave the second one my best attempt using the same proven method, and it came in well behind the one above, and modern KFC. (Most people could do better by listening to the Simon & Garfunkle song and just using parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme + salt & pepper. And leaving out the mustard, garlic salt, and 'obnoxious' celery salt.) Ugh, it was only a few weeks ago and I still remember it's taste. It was just… awful in comparison.

    • Wow thanks for writing all this I will have to maybe try it some day.. just need to work out which fry cooler to buy because yeah like you said open pan frying is not the way to go for a full authentic fried chicken taste.

  • KFC does have great original chicken. I enjoy their mashed potatoes and gravy.

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