KFC employee dishes out secrets behind Colonel Sanders’ world-famous recipe (2024)

It’s been a closely guarded family secret for decades - and now, a KFC employee has shared details about Colonel Sanders’ world-famous recipe.

KFC worker Jo says only a handful of people know the real blend of the 11 herbs and spices for the fast food chain’s Original Recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“It’s kept in a vault in Kentucky,” she told UK documentary Secrets of the Fast Food Giants.

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“Across KFC, only two or three people actually know the exact recipe.”

The fast food chain has two different factories to make part of its recipe so no one company would ever know the entire formula.

KFC employee dishes out secrets behind Colonel Sanders’ world-famous recipe (2)

“We have two different spice blenders so one factory does half of the blend, and then another does the second half and then packs it,” Jo said.

“So actually not one factory knows the complete recipe.”

For the gravy, it’s actually made from scratch using the meat juice from the fryers - debunking those who assume it’s out of a packet.

“This is an original recipe that has come from the fryers, we drain it overnight and then it goes into making our gravy,” she said.

“It’s literally as you’d make proper gravy at home with those meat juices.”

KFC employee dishes out secrets behind Colonel Sanders’ world-famous recipe (3)

Multiple versions of the fast food chain’s recipe have been circulating online for decades.

In 2016, one relative of KFC Colonel Harland Sanders claimed he found what he believed to be the original recipe tucked away in a family scrapbook for years.

The ingredients included plain flour, salt, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, celery salt, black pepper, dried mustard, paprika, garlic salt, ground ginger, ground white pepper, buttermilk, egg and chicken.

However, the company responded at the time, saying: “Lots of people through the years have claimed to discover or figure out the secret recipe, but no one’s ever been right.”

KFC employee dishes out secrets behind Colonel Sanders’ world-famous recipe (2024)


What was Colonel Sanders recipe? ›

  1. 2 packages dried Italian salad dressing mix.
  2. 3 tablespoons flour.
  3. 2 teaspoons salt.
  4. 1 dash black pepper.
  5. 14 cup lemon juice.
  6. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  7. 2 12 - 3 lbs broiler-fryer chicken pieces.
  8. 2 cups carbonated soda water.

How many times was Colonel Sanders chicken recipe rejected? ›

Kentucky Fried Chicken Begins

His delicious recipe was rejected 1,009 times! He had over a thousand rejections, yet he didn't quit. He knew he had a successful idea on his hands. Finally, Sanders made his first sale in 1952 to a restaurateur in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What is KFC chicken coating made of? ›

The flavorful coating is created by combining flour with 11 herbs and spices, so get ready to load up the grocery cart with salt, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, celery salt, ground black pepper, ground yellow mustard, paprika, garlic salt, ground ginger, and ground white pepper.

What is the king of all spices? ›

Black Pepper is considered the 'king of spices' and rightfully so. Unlike its perennial companion, salt, which is easily available in any nook and corner of the world, the black pepper owes its origins to Kerala – a state in South India.

What oil does KFC use? ›

KFC products are fried in oil which may contain the following: Canola Oil and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid Added To Protect Flavor, Dimethylpolysiloxane, an Antifoaming Agent Added OR Low Linolenic Soybean Oil, TBHQ and Citric Acid Added To Protect Flavor, Dimethylpolysiloxane, an Antifoaming ...

Who is the owner of KFC now? ›

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, it is the world's second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald's, with over 30,000 locations globally in 150 countries as of April 2024. The chain is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.

What was KFC's original name? ›

KFC's original name was "Kentucky Fried Chicken." It was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952 in North Corbin, Kentucky. The name "Kentucky Fried Chicken" was chosen to reflect the Colonel's signature style of cooking chicken, which he had perfected over many years.

Whose famous chicken recipe was rejected 1009 times before a restaurant accepted it? ›

After retiring at the age of 65, Sanders borrowed $87 from the bank to purchase a fryer and ingredients for his unique recipe. He traveled all over the country to sell his recipe to restaurants. Selling door to door, he got rejected 1009 times, but the 1010th restaurant accepted his offer, leading to the birth of KFC.

What does buttermilk do to chicken? ›

The secret to making the perfect fried chicken is the use of buttermilk, as it helps tenderize each piece while leaving each bite juicy and crispy. After marinating, dredge your chicken pieces in the flour mixture and get to frying!

How does KFC get their chicken so crispy? ›

KFC deep fries its chicken for 15 minutes and then drains the oil off for another five minutes – 20 minutes in total. If you don't have a deep fryer, heat up plenty of oil in a large saucepan and do it that way.

Why is the KFC recipe a secret? ›

There are two separate spice mixing companies that each produce half of the "secret recipe" spice mix. These two products are then combined together at the store to bread the chicken. Each of these companies' contracts are managed by separate KFC employees, so at most, anyone could only come up with half of the recipe.

What is 11 in one spice? ›

Our 11-in-1 spice mix is an aromatic blend of herbs and spices essential for creating a tasty dish at home.

What is the ingredient list for KFC chicken? ›

Original Recipe® Chicken Fresh chicken. Breaded in: Wheat flour, Salt, Monosodium glutamate, Spices, Dehydrated garlic, Modified milk ingredients, Dried egg white (Egg white, Baker's yeast, Citric acid). Cooked in: Canola oil (Dimethylpolysiloxane (Antifoaming agent), TBHQ). Contains: Wheat, Milk, Egg.

What are the ten essential spices? ›

Top Ten Spices for Home Cooks
  • Cumin. Cumin starts the list for a simple reason. ...
  • Dried Red Chile Flakes. Stepping in second as the most versatile spice for any kitchen is red chiles. ...
  • Cinnamon. There's something about the heartening flavor of cinnamon. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Sesame. ...
  • Coriander. ...
  • Turmeric. ...
  • Ginger.
Sep 7, 2020

What are the elderly spices? ›

SPICES is an acronym for the common syndromes of the elderly requiring nursing intervention:
  • S is for Sleep Disorders.
  • P is for Problems with Eating or Feeding.
  • I is for Incontinence.
  • C is for Confusion.
  • E is for Evidence of Falls.
  • S is for Skin Breakdown.

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