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McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s, store-bought chicken nuggets to the test – so which came out on top?

They are the popular go-to snack for children everywhere – but nearly every fast food chain has its own version of chicken nuggets.

With so many brands to choose from, it’s hard to know the golden nugget of choice.

From McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s to store-bought and homemade, Australian experts have put the popular fast food and supermarket brands to the test based on taste, cost and nutrition – so which came out on top?

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McDonald's was voted as the best because it contains the lowest sodium

Hungry Jack's version has the highest in salt content

Nutritionist Joanna McMillan said between the fast food chains, she found McDonald’s (left) is the best because it contains the least amount of sodium while Hungry Jack’s (right) version has the highest in salt content

Australian experts have put the popular fast food and supermarket brands to the test based on taste, cost and nutrition - so which came out on top?

Australian experts have put the popular fast food and supermarket brands to the test based on taste, cost and nutrition – so which came out on top?

‘When it comes down to the fast food [chicken nuggets], it came to splitting hairs but McDonald’s came out slightly better because it was lower in salt,’ Sydney nutritionist Joanna McMillan told the Today show.

‘So the things I was looking at were the list of ingredients and I’ve got to say the lists were really long – so that means you’ve got lots of emulsifiers, refined seed oils, and the chicken are a highly processed meat.

‘A lot of them have worked hard to get their salt levels down so the McDonald’s ones was slightly better, the Hungry Jack’s ones were coming out with the highest in sodium.

‘I would say if it’s an occasional treat, who cares, that’s absolutely fine if your family enjoys them but you are much better to make them at home.’

Between the supermarket brands, Ms McMillan said the best products were Ingham’s free range chicken breast nuggets, retailed at $8.30, and Woolworths’ crumbed tenders for $3.50.

If you want to make a healthy alternative at home, all you need is five ingredients - chicken thighs, panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs and olive oil

If you want to make a healthy alternative at home, all you need is five ingredients – chicken thighs, panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs and olive oil

9Honey Kitchen editor Jane de Graaff said store-bought chicken nuggets were priced between $2 and $8, while you can get a 24-pack at McDonald's for $9.95 or $10 from Hungry Jack's

9Honey Kitchen editor Jane de Graaff said store-bought chicken nuggets were priced between $2 and $8, while you can get a 24-pack at McDonald’s for $9.95 or $10 from Hungry Jack’s

‘These two were my two winners,’ she said, adding the Woolworths brand had a four star rating and it was found to have the lowest salt content. 

9Honey Kitchen editor Jane de Graaff said the prices are very comparable when comparing fast food chicken nuggets and supermarket brands.

She said store-bought chicken nuggets were priced between $2 and $8, while you can get a 24-pack at McDonald’s for $9.95 or $10 from Hungry Jack’s.

‘It really comes down to what your children are going to eat because most of us buy these for the kids for an easy Friday dinner,’ Ms de Graaff said. 

When it comes to finding the best value between fast food chains, she said it depends on whichever store you drive past on your way home.

Ms McMillan said one of the best products is Woolworths' crumbed tenders for $3.50 because it contains low sodium

Between the supermarket brands, Ms McMillan said one of the best products is Ingham's free range chicken breast nuggets, $8.30

Between the supermarket brands, Ms McMillan said the best products were Ingham’s free range chicken breast nuggets (right), $8.30, and Woolworths’ crumbed tenders (left) for $3.50

To find the best coating, Ms de Graaff said she preferred to bake crumbed over battered chicken nuggets in the oven.

‘I tend to find the crumbed ones go crispier in the oven and the battered ones tend to dry out a little bit,’ she said.

She said if you want to make a healthy alternative at home, all you need is chicken thighs, panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs and olive oil.

‘What I like about this is you can make them pretty much the same amount of time it would take you to heat up some store-bought ones in the oven,’ she said.

She said you can simply put nugget size pieces into eggs, dip them into the bread crumb and cheese mixture, put on a dray before drizzling with oil and then put it in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Ms McMillan said homemade chicken nuggets were the clear winners when it comes to nutrition because it only contains five ingredients.

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