Chicken Nuggets Vs. Chicken Tenders: What Is The Difference?

Who would prevail if chicken nuggets and chicken tenders squared off?

Some would argue that these two favored finger snacks don't differ all that much from one another. They are both fried and breaded before being dipped in various sauces. But a deeper examination reveals that there are a few significant variations.

What are chicken nuggets?

Chicken prepared for nuggets is processed. Whether the breast meat is all white or not, it has been ground and prepared before being breaded. As a result, nuggets can have amusing shapes, such as the classic childhood favorite, star nuggets.

What are chicken tenders?

This is chicken that has been cooked from a chicken's more tender section, usually the pectoralis minor, which is located beneath the chicken breast. They become soft and juicy when cooked properly.

So, what is the difference?

Classic chicken tenders should be created from the chicken breast's tender, but nuggets are generally manufactured from the ground and processed chicken meat, including breast and thigh meat, which is then molded into different shapes.

Chicken fingers and tenders are occasionally marketed as chicken strips, adding to the misunderstanding. This could be because the strips of actual chicken meat are sliced into smaller pieces before being breaded and fried.

Contrary to tenders and fingers, strips are not technically required to be manufactured from breast meat, according to the USDA. For instance, Applegate offers a frozen chicken strip product made from "formed and breaded white flesh chicken patties," much like nuggets.

Final Thoughts

Your best choice is to go for chicken tenders or fingers if you yearn to bite into tender breast meat beneath your crispy fried breading. If you don't care about the form or texture of the chicken, choose strips or nuggets.