Mar 7, 2023

Review: KFC - Double Down (2023)

KFC's Double Down has made a limited-time return to the menu and features two Extra Crispy chicken breast filets sandwiching two slices of cheese, two hickory-smoked bacon pieces, and a choice of either mayo or spicy sauce.

I paid $8.99 for the Double Down and got the regular version with mayo.

The KFC I went to offered views of a fairly open kitchen so I was able to see how they put the Double Down together. Basically, they grabbed two filets out of the warmer, put a small squirt of mayo on each with the sauce gun, placed a slice of cheese on each filet, added two bacon slices from a bin, and then, inverted one of the filets on top of the other. They then wrapped the sandwich in wax paper and slid it into the same foil-lined pouch as their regular chicken sandwiches. The heat from the chicken in the pouch completely melted the cheese on the short ride home.

While the idea of fried chicken as a bun creates a bit of a spectacle around the Double Down, it's really just fried chicken with cheese and bacon. If you chopped up the chicken and threw shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, and a drizzle of mayo on top, most people wouldn't bat an eye.

The fried chicken filets were lightly seasoned, slightly juicy, and fairly crispy. They were a fairly generous size and thickness. Since chicken doesn't squish down like a bun and has more variance in thickness than a bun, it was a bit of work to bite into the thicker portions of the Double Down. Interestingly, where the original Double Down (which I reviewed over 10 years ago) was too salty for my liking, I found the current Double Down to have more manageable saltiness. The chicken itself made for a decent salt buffer. I'm not saying there's less salt here versus the previous version, but it tasted less salty.

The melted cheese looked and tasted like processed White American cheese. It had that creamy, salty flavor and melted easily from just the hot/warm chicken. It, along with the mayo, served as the glue that held the two chicken filets together, and they did the job surprisingly well. The mayo was pretty mild and didn't add much to the sandwich other than some extra moisture.

The bacon was not as crispy as the chicken but provided an occasional touch of salty smokiness for added variety in some bites.

In terms of cost, you're getting two Extra Crispy filets, which are the same as is found in the chain's chicken sandwiches. The sandwiches cost $5.49 each near me so, unless you really value the bun, the Double Down represents more bang for your buck.

Overall, I enjoyed KFC's Double Down a good bit this time around. Besides the slightly clunky eating experience from trying to cram two stacked chicken filets into my mouth, it really does just feel like eating meaty, boneless fried chicken with some melted cheese and bacon, which is not a bad thing at all.

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