KFC’s $5 Fill Up Box

by John on July 27, 2009 · 22 comments

You are now free to call me a hypocrite.

A few months back, I wrote a post demanding that certain fast food establishments stop the production of random new items to draw attention to themselves. One of these included the new grilled chicken at KFC, which I believe I called “completely going against everything you served at KFC for the last 50 years.” Well, ever since I began seeing the commercials for their new Five Dollar Fill up Boxes, I have had great admiration for KFC because of their direct rip on Subway’s five dollar footlongs. I have new found respect for the Colonel, even though he’s been dead for years. Dead or alive, anyone who takes a dig at Subway is a friend of mine.

With this new admiration, I decided to pick up one of these boxes on the way home from work last night. If you haven’t seen the commercial which is aired non-stop on what seems like every single channel, the five dollar fill up box comes with a chicken option, a side of your choice, a biscuit, and a medium drink. I was surprised to find that there were several different options, including a two-piece meal, three Original Recipe Strips, a Twister Wrap, five Hot Wings or five Dipped Wings. For some reason, I decided to try the new grilled chicken. You are again free to call me a hypocrite. For my side I, of course, got the mashed taters. I’m just not down with cole slaw from KFC. Here’s what I got:


I was rather disappointed when I opened the box.  I was actually pretty disgusted.  The chicken looked pretty bare and didn’t look like it was going to fill me up at all.  Had KFC abused my new found trust?  Upon putting the pieces on a plate, I realized that the breast was actually a pretty good size hunk of meat. The wing could’ve been a little better, but the appearance of the chicken was much improved from my first glance:


The outside of the chicken was slightly crispy and the chicken had the same greasy texture as the original fried kind.  A paper towel was required to handle it, which is always a great sign.  I am usually a frequent adder of Frank’s Red Hot to most plain chicken I eat, but the grilled chicken didn’t even require any.  The meat was juicy, and the seasoning was tasty.  I wouldn’t call this the finest piece of chicken I’ve ever eaten, but it was a definite surprise.  The Taters?  Delicious as always.  I have to give KFC some props on this.  For 5 bucks, this is one hell of a deal.  I have to say I was satisfied with the size of the meal, and only had fruit snacks after, but that’s only because of my deep love affair with fruit snacks.



I would recommend you go and give one of these boxes a shot.  You may find yourself as surprised as I was.  Oh, and boo Subway.  Nasty.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Bear Silber July 27, 2009 at 8:43 am

You say boxes several times….did you have more than one?

Good to see you liked it. “Dead or alive, anyone who takes a dig at Subway is a friend of mine.” I love that 🙂 I’m not a huge KFC fan, only because they don’t hardly any healthy options but I do love the image of the Colonel.

Those pictures are great by the way….what camera are you using. That chicken DOES look mighty fine, I must say.

Erin Brooks July 27, 2009 at 8:55 am

I really liked the grilled chicken. It’s not as good as if you did it your self be for being lazy it is a good healthier option. Ok now don’t throw food at me but I have never had KFC’s mashed taters. 😛 I guess I should give them a try.

Bear Silber July 27, 2009 at 10:06 am

@Erin Wahhh!?? They’re actually not that bad. KFC does do the sides good. Unlike Jon I even like their Slaw….and OMG their biscuits…with some butter and honey…..mmmmmmmmmm….*drool*

John July 27, 2009 at 10:21 am

Bear, I’m using a Canon Powershot SD960. It really takes great pictures and has a relatively low price tag. Really nice for close ups.

wouldibuyitagain.com July 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

Nice, I liked the $5 box too. Much better than a $5 footlong. Still have yet to try the grilled.

Marvo July 27, 2009 at 11:41 am

Unfortunately, here in Hawaii, the $5 fill up box is six dollars. But we do have $5 Footlongs.

John July 27, 2009 at 11:44 am

I would pay an extra dollar to KFC if I could live in Hawaii instead of Michigan hahaha

Audrey222 July 28, 2009 at 8:15 am

I read somewhere a healthier option for the calorie counters is the grilled chicken, skip the biscuit, and taters with no gravy. I personally liked the grilled chicken ~ but not enough to drag friends back and I certainly didn’t make a huge fuss over the free chicken coupon, but I have one question. Certainly not be a colonel myself … Where are the grill marks? Is this chicken really convection oven chicken? None the less, it’s less greasy and lighter during summer months if KFC is on your lunch stop.

Raiders757 July 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I guess I am one of the few who thinks that KFC has gone way down hill over the years. I guess their $5 box might be worth it, but it seems the chicken just keeps getting smaller, and smaller. I’ll never do their grilled chicken, as i am an avid grill master and make the stuff all of the time. It would defeat my purpose for even stopping at such a place. I once would consider the strips, but they have gotten puny and pathetic looking these days. I would have to go with original recipe.

The sides? I’ll eat their biscuits, but sorry Bear, the biscuits at KFC are an insult to southern style buttermilk biscuits. At times they are good, but when compared to other similar establishments like Bojangles or Popeyes, they are an epic fail. Of course, none of them can compare to home made, so they all fail. I do have to say that I really do enjoy KFC’s mashed taters. There’s just something about their gravy that lures me to them. I say that, and I’m not even a gravy person.

Oh, and to answer Audrey’s question. Well somewhat, that is. When you grill bone in chicken the right way, there will not be any grill marks. Well, unless you want them to be dry. The best way to properly grill bone in chicken, is with an indirect heat. What you should be looking for, is a juicy piece of chicken with crispy skin.

cress July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

This is a good deal. And KFCs’ new grilled chicken is GREAT. I love it. Their mashed potatoes/gravy is great. Their potato wedges are good steak fries done KFC way. But their mac-N-cheese is AWFUL!!! TERRIBLE!! Boston Market has the best mac out there! And KFC biscuits are good. Sorry Raiders757, but if you don’t want a biscuit drowned in butter, these are GOOD. I do love Bojangles biscuits(they are awesome), but KFC lets you taste the biscuit, not the butter.

andrew August 5, 2009 at 11:35 am

i got one of these boxes and the chicken wassmall i only got 10 poatato wedges and it was a horrible deal. GO TO SUBWAY!!!

John August 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Ugh, Subway.

LEAGALBEAGLE August 5, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Decided to try this out. Immediate frustration when the place in Salem,OR on Devonshire quickly informed me that the side was regular fries and they did not offer any choice with this deal. Getting back to work i opened the box. 2 small pieces of chicken (the sparrows in my yard would yield bigger pieces). A rather mediocre biscuit and a package of limp fries. This meal would be well worth about a dollar. The Colonel would have shut ’em down for such insulting food.

Bob October 27, 2009 at 4:08 pm

About not being able to change your side, ever since my store offered the $5 fill up box the customers were able to pick whichever side they wanted. You will most likely be rung up for fries/wedges unless you specify.

Also, grilled chicken seems smaller because both the original and crispy have a thick layer of breading, and although the actual meat gets smaller once grilled, it mostly seems smaller because it is not breaded.

And to answer your question about the “grilled chicken”, it is baked in a special oven, with grill racks, which usually do not leave very noticeable marks.

Connor November 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Im not too much a big fan of KFC but it was a good meal. the mashed taters were good and the biscuit was ok. It was also my first time trying the grilled chicken. Its pretty good It would be better boneless however.
But my current favorite $5.00 meal would be the Mcdonald’s Awesome Threesome which is a Big Mac, Medium Fries, and a Medium Drink. Its satisfying and fills me up. I would recommend it over the KFC box meal.

Bob October 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I never went to KFC very much before they brought out the grilled version because eating the fried original and extra crispy have way too many calories. The grilled is the best chicken on the market…once they had a bar b que grilled that was really, really good. Wish KFC would bring it back. You can get printable coupons off the KFC.com website that are a big help to the pocket book. I will give the $5 box deal a try. Thanks for the review.

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Brenda September 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Fast forward to 2014 and the $5 box is back. Five different choices for entree, biscuit, drink, choc chip cookie and ONLY side offered is mashed potatoes. At my KFC, I was told, NO substitution on the $5 box. I prefer their green beans. So, I left without eating there; I prefer choices.

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