Why McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets Come In Four Basic Shapes

In case you weren’t aware, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets come in four different shapes. They’re not just formless blobs of chicken meat; they’re actually formed into distinct shapes.

We had no idea.

Next time you eat them, see which shapes you get: a bell, boot, ball or bone.

See if you can spot them here.

“Our Chicken McNuggets are shaped uniquely for kids and kids at heart—it makes dipping more fun!” the company said on its website.

We agree. But why four?

“Three would’ve been too few,” McDonald’s said. “Five would’ve been, like, wacky.”

Okay. Four it is.

And you may be wondering: How are they made?

First, the chickens’ skins are removed (with a bit added back later “for flavor”). Then, the chicken is ground up. The dark meat from the drumsticks and the thighs does not get used for the McNuggets, Amy Steward, principal meat scientist at Tyson Foods, told CNET.

So what does get used? The breast and rib meat, in addition to the chicken tenderloin.

Next, the shapes are made with cookie cutters (!) and coated in tempura batter—they’re semi-fried and flash-frozen, so they’ll be at peak flavor when the individual McDonald’s restaurants fully fry them.

The various shapes are all about the same size, so that they’ll require the same length of time to cook, McDonald’s stated.

Are you “lovin’ it” yet?

You can even gather together a whole lot of McNuggets to make a McNuggets bouquet.


(Yes, please.)

You can watch a video on the whole McNugget-making process below.

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