Review of McDonald’s Chicken BBQ Smokehouse
What they say:
Two pieces of succulent chicken with a smoky BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, maple-cured bacon, red onion, lettuce, and tomato & onion relish, all in a ciabatta style bun.
Price: £4.19 or £5.79 for a medium meal.
Calories: 633 kcal.
The BBQ Smokehouse returns to McDonald’s from today and alongside it is the new Chicken BBQ Smokehouse.
McDonald’s teased the release of this a few weeks back alongside the re-naming of the beef version to “The Original BBQ Smokehouse” burger.
What is interesting about this build, is that instead of using a Chicken Legend or McChicken patty it is the first sandwich (aka burger) to use two Chicken Selects.
This concept isn’t entirely new to the McDonald’s menu. The Golden Arches use two Chicken Selects in their Big Flavour Wraps when you order the crispy option. I do confess to being a fan of them, so I was curious to see how they would work as the main ingredient on the Chicken BBQ Smokehouse.
It seems that “BBQ Smokehouse” has now become a range at McDonald’s and the chicken version is its newest addition. But would you say that using toppings from the regular Smokehouse on a menu mainstay makes for a lazy promotional item?
As you can see, the chicken version has its own distinct packaging and the branding clearly mirrors that of its beef cousin. Mine had been made-up fresh and looked really respectable today. I must say I was impressed with the look of the burger.
The texture of the Chicken BBQ Smokehouse is perfect. You get the crispy coating of the Selects which provide a fantastic crunch between your teeth before making your way to the white chicken breast meat. They work really well between the softness of the Ciabatta style bun (still one of my favourite McD’s buns).
Last year, I was unfortunate and got leftover breakfast bacon with my original Smokehouse, so I was adamant I’d get the maple-cured bacon this year! And I did!! It’s actually very smoky when you break a piece off on its own and helps contribute to the smokiness which is prevalent throughout this burger.
I am going to re-visit the texture of the Chicken BBQ Smokehouse because for me, this is the real winner and defining feature. The crunch from the Selects and the contributing healthy looking, green crispy lettuce really stands out in my mind… and I expect to see this method (of using Chicken Selects instead of a patty) adopted in the future.
Flavour-wise it’s obviously barbecue all the way with the BBQ sauce on the heel bun bringing a strong, smoky BBQ taste to proceedings.
What I found as well, is that the red onion really compliments both the chicken and the sauce with its satisfying tang hitting your taste buds now and then.
The mature cheddar is certainly a better standard than the regular cheese slices used on other burgers. When taking a whole bite, you fail to pick it out, but trying the component on its own you get the very mildest hint of cheddar coming through on your palate.
The only downside for me today was the tomato & onion relish. This is spread on the crown bun but it got slightly lost with the strong BBQ, red onion and chicken being the more prominent flavours of the Chicken BBQ Smokehouse. I also don’t think there was enough on my build compared to how much of the BBQ sauce was present.
Now I paid the premium end of the pricing scale at £4.19 – I would expect to pay £3.89 upwards at other locations. What I did note, was that three Selects here were £3.19, so if we look at it at, what £2.12 for two Selects, in essence you are paying approx. £2.07 for the rest of the ingredients. So pretty good value… You can also get the Wrap of the Day containing two Selects for £1.99 so it looks about right in terms of price.
I wondered how the build would cope with the Selects replacing a patty i.e. if some mouthfuls would be missing meat in a bite – but I’m glad to report back this is not the case.
Overall, the Chicken BBQ Smokehouse is a surprising and actually very enjoyable limited time promotion from McDonald’s. I wasn’t expecting much from it but with that crispy, crunchiness of the Chicken Selects and salad items mixed with the slightly piquant BBQ sauce and smoky bacon makes for a decent sandwich/burger.
When I learned of a new burger joining the Smokehouse range I’d had my fingers crossed for a build with jalapeños. Or maybe something like the Angus BBQ Bourbon in Mexico or the Signature Mushroom Dijon in places like Brazil or Uruguay. Maybe one day we’ll see something like this, but it makes perfect business sense to do what McDonald’s have done with the Chicken BBQ Smokehouse.
Lazy promotion or stroke of genius adding the “Smokehouse Range” ingredients to two Chicken Selects? I’ll let you decide. From me though, it’s a definite thumbs-up!
The Chicken BBQ Smokehouse is available at McDonald’s until Tuesday 30th August.