03.19.2010 12:02 PM

Kraft Dinner: the crucial question

As we sit here in a blecchy airport in New Jersey, reflecting on life, it occurs to me that the biggest response a wk.com posting received, in recent years, was about Kraft Dinner.

I ate a lot of it in university; I still do, given that I am completely incapable of (a) cooking and (b) learning how to cook. Besides, one box neatly satisfies one single and solitary person, which I decidedly am.

Anyway. Recently, a young fellow I know in Wales asked me about Kraft Dinner. “Still prefer butter over milk?” he queried.

Yes, I replied. Yes, yes, I do. Of course.

Being a person who is (sort of) interested in the opinions of complete strangers, I decided to extend my Welsh inquisitor’s inquisition to you, Dear Reader. I’m that kind of guy. I’m open to other points of view. (Sort of.)

So, then: when you make KD, do you use lots of butter, like I and other smart people do? Or do you – yuck! – use milk instead?

Comment now, comment often!


  1. Harvey Martin says:

    What’s wrong with using both, like I do? Half and half, baby.
    The better question is what do your readers add to the KD to jazz it up?

  2. Ashley McLellan says:

    It’s all about the butter. Forget about milk.

    The more butter the better. And that’s how everyone at home makes it too.

    Now I want KD for dinner. Thanks.

  3. James Smith says:

    I am old enough to have eaten way too much KD on too many fridays as a child (it was still a sin to eat meat on Fridays – go figger). I swore when I got old enough I would NEVER eat KD again & I’m proud to say I have kept that pledge to this day except for once my wife & I went to dinner at friends & guess what they served? You would be happy, they made it with butter & since it was for company they baked it with crushed potato chips (shudder!).
    My dear wife (despite being a great cook) loves it & made it for our kids – yes with butter & grated cheddar, but she always has salad with it.
    My Brother in the USA makes his with milk, & half a bottle of Ketchup – he claims it’s not the same in the USA.

  4. Lipman says:

    Shaving against the grain here, I use Becel, with just a tiny bit of milk.

  5. Dana says:

    I prefer the PC white cheddar version but I still think of it as KD. Branding specialists hate me.

    There’s lots of things one can do to jazz it up.

    Grated cheese obviously but which one? Depends on what else you’re going to put in. Monterey Jack with hot peppers, black olives and tomato salsa. Old cheddar with wee little trimmed broccoli tips, capers and cherry or grape tomatoes (and some basil). Swiss with crispy bacon and asparagus.

    Another question is whether to put it in the oven to brown or just mix it all in the pot.

  6. Dana says:

    Oh, and you’re supposed to use both butter and milk actually.

  7. James Smith says:

    A conversation on this topic must consider this:


  8. Liz says:

    OK, is it just weird co-incidence that re-branded KD popped up on Sympatico homepage right after I read your note today – or are you REALLY connected to everything? I am grateful to report that I have never cooked (nor eaten) KD in my entire life, but I am glad to see they are going to reduce the sodium by 10% over next 2 yrs (way faster than Harper’s greenhouse gas emissions targets!)…for all you non-locavores. However, trust me on this, you can use lovely whole wheat elbow macaroni, made with Canadian wheat, and add all the local cheese, butter and tasty veggies you want, for not much more effort and a LOT more taste!

  9. Lipman says:

    Another Tory temper tantrum! Jean-Pierre Cuervo has a lot of splainin’ to do…

  10. TH says:

    Butter and milk. It’s the ONLY way to go.

  11. smelter rat says:

    Always butter. Never milk.

  12. Meagan Trush says:

    Butter is the only way to go. Milk ruins it. Adding a bit of brie cheese makes it not dry out as fast, for those who cant finish a box in one sitting. Also, I drowned KD in hotsauce once by accident at a friends house, thinking it was ketchup. In my defense, it was the same color and consistency as ketchup and the writing on the bottle was in Chinese. That was pretty tasty. Then again, I love spicy food

  13. Brian says:

    I make mac and cheese from scratch, like an adult, complete with bay leaves and garlic.

    It’s totally brainless; anyone who wants the recipe can have it. Anyone who wants to stick with the Kraft is making a terrible mistake.

  14. J. Coates says:

    Use butter and milk. Add some bacon pieces, chopped onion and celery. Add some grated old cheese. Canned dices tomatoes work too.

  15. Robert K says:

    I had never thought of it as an either/or question. Until now I have used both (as it may say on the box??) Anyway I will experiment a la blind Pepsi taste test with my seven year old to figure out which is best and report back.

  16. Rob says:

    Our Compliments brand “KD” with half milk and half butter. Extra points for ex. creamy packs once in a while. Otherwise just good ol’ plain Our Compliments. I find the actually brand name KD to be like eating plastic.

  17. D. says:

    Giant glob of butter…and pepper…there is no other way. Although I have used strait clarified duck fat – THAT is off the hook, and it put my cardiologist on speed dial .

  18. Mike says:

    Orange powder only — no butter, no milk. Like Cheetos, yum.

  19. thor says:

    Milk is redundant, of course. It must be butter.

  20. Jan says:

    Brie cheese, duck fat? I hope the Cons don’t get wind of this conversation, they’ll have a whole new round of elitist cracks.

  21. Visionseeker says:

    Milk is evil. My kids agree. Wife uses milk. I do not. Guess who the kids want their lunch made by. Hey, maybe my wife is on to something. Nah.

  22. MCBellecourt says:

    I have two versions of homemade in my culinary repertoire, a stove-top version with ground beef and bacon, and an oven-baked version. The stove top is quicker, but there’s nothing like the aroma of the oven version baking–mmmm….made with Old Cheddar.

    I haven’t eaten KD for years…buuuttt…creating recipes has been a lifelong hobby for this old foodie.

  23. Connoisseur says:

    I am with Liz and Brian, never bought it, never ate it. Make mac & cheese from scratch. KD is tape worm food. Ugh !

  24. parnel says:

    Never ever ate it.

  25. Eugene Parks says:

    From scratch and with veggies…. with a balance of milk and cheese. I like to bake the extras with green peppers, corn and peas.

    You need a visit from chef Ramsay

  26. ray says:

    both… haven’t had it in like 5 years. Maybe I will now. Kraft should thank you, Warren.

  27. Bill says:

    When I am in the Islands, which is frequently, I stir fry in some Conch, onion, loads of garlic & top it off with hot sauce. With or without corn. Because Conch is hard to get in Canada, subsitute clams.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I thought you were supposed to use both.

  29. jbro says:

    HP sauce all the way, screw ketchup. also, pretty much whatever veggies that might go to waste. i use olive oil now, and a touch of the 3.5% coffee milk, and i chop up some garlic and throw it in. i always call it kd, regardless of who produces/makes it.

  30. Travis says:

    Typically make it simply with orange powder. Pure goodness.

  31. Pat C says:

    I switched to the “White Cheddar” PC stuff, and I will not go back. Definite upgrade.
    I have a lot of experience with KD though and I, over time, eased into using a little bit of milk with a lot of butter. It was a tough transition. I essentially use the same with the new brand. However the powder for the PC stuff needs a little more help and a bit more butter is required.

    Bonus info, as I learned more about health and requirements for sustaining oneself as I aged, I have begun adding a can of tuna. Yes! Protein in my carbo/sodium mix I know. Please do not flame me until you have tried it. It’s REALLY good.

  32. Lee Hill says:

    I am clearly beyond the pale and no longer welcome in polite society…I hate Kraft dinner and prefer making my own vegetable sauce with an appropraite fresh pasta when in, to paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel, troubled waters. Best wishes PS – I have also been known to watch cooking programs…on my own.

  33. Justin says:

    I follow the box. 3 tablespoons of butter 1/4 cup of milk.

    The biggest question is do you use ketchup?

  34. Travis says:

    Who doesn’t use ketchup? Ketchup is a must on KD. I’m still unsure if KD is best fresh or when eaten cold.

  35. Angus says:

    Butter and 2 eggs, and lots of ketchup for sure.

  36. Allan says:

    Definitely butter but with extra grated cheddar cheese.
    Ketchup as the final garnish just before savouring.

  37. Bob says:

    Butter – some milk and a heaping tablespoon of Cheeze Whiz! Awesome!

  38. Elizabeth says:

    I had KD for the first time when it was only 29 cents a package.

    I don’t touch the stuff now. Had enough in the 70s.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    But — it’s better than Amy’s Organic Bunny Pasta.

  40. Elizabeth says:

    Make your own — cheddar cheese sauce, based with milk, grated onions, mustard, s&P, bit of nutmeg, grated parmesan with the grated cheddar . . it’s wonderful.

  41. KevArr says:

    For the record, I enjoy my wife’s homemade mac & cheese from scratch best of all.

    However, KD needs to be prepared with both milk and butter. I’ll usually add a few hot dogs to the mix and top with a liberal portion of heinz ketchup.

  42. Garth says:

    Throw in half a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup (per box) in addition to the usual. mmmm…. hungry now…

  43. CQ says:

    No milk. No margarine.
    Often less than the full package of orange powder, either 1/2 or 2/3.
    Used to stir in black pepper; switched to adding in Curry powder some years back.
    Cannot stand the whole grain KD, even if on sale, stick to original.

  44. Growing up, I used to put nothing in it other than the cheese. The butter was slathered on the bread which made up the Kraft Dinner Sandwich ™. Later in life I have grown to just put butter (never margarine). Wendy puts in milk and if I had known that before we got married, I may have had second thoughts.

  45. JP M says:

    Both, with more milk…

    …although the older I get, the trend is to more butter…

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