Advertisement

10 Reasons McDonald's Burgers Are Some Of The Best

three burgers on napkins
three burgers on napkins - McDonald's

Are you dreaming of a McDonald's burger? If so, you're not alone. McDonald's makes some crave-worthy burgers, from the juicy patties to the toasted buns and everything in between. These burgers appeal to the masses and manage to strike the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and umami flavors.

Whether you keep it classic with a hamburger or go all out with a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, these burgers consistently hit the spot — and that reliability has paid off. According to Title Max, McDonald's leads the pack as the highest-grossing fast-food chain in the States. This comes as no surprise seeing how many believe the restaurant boasts some of the best fast-food fries out there. That being said, its burgers also deserve some love. After all, the company has been grilling delicious burgers since 1948, and it continues to improve the quality and taste of its patties, buns, and toppings.

I've had my fair share of McDonald's burgers, as I'm sure most of us have. After many personal taste tests, I can confirm that the fast-food chain also makes some of the best burgers. As far as I'm concerned, the Golden Arches gets a gold star in the burger department, and I'm here to explain exactly why. So if you're wondering what makes these burgers so special, keep reading for the juicy details.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

McDonald's Buns Are Perfectly Soft And Toasted

hand holding burger
hand holding burger - Matt Cardy/Getty Images

McDonald's burgers are the whole package right down to the buns. And these buns keep it all together — literally. While some burgers make an absolute mess, McDonald's burgers are easy to eat and it's thanks in large part to its outer layer. First off, the buns run flush or slightly larger than the meat patties, so everything is safely contained inside. Secondly, the bread has a soft yet sturdy consistency, so it doesn't crumble as you bite into it.

Functionality aside, the bread's flavor and consistency complement the burgers well. For this reason, McDonald's has distinct buns that pair with different burger styles. You've got the regular bun for your standard hamburger or cheeseburger and sesame seed buns for Quarter Pounders and Big Macs. But the company doesn't stop there. It continuously improves its bread to give it that competitive edge against other fast food chains. In a 2023 press release, McDonald's stated that it has rolled out "Softer, pillowy buns that are freshly toasted to a golden brown," and since I've tried these buns firsthand, I can personally attest to these claims. The bread also has a hint of sweetness — not enough to overwhelm the palate, but just enough to round out the more salty and acidic flavors.

The Meat Is Well-Seasoned And Flavorful

gloved hands holding burger
gloved hands holding burger - McDonald's

When it comes to fast food, preseasoned patties can shave several seconds off prep time — but McDonald's isn't one to take shortcuts when it comes to flavor. When biting into a McDonald's burger, you can taste the fresh salt and pepper on the meat. It's a simply seasoned patty, but each meaty bite is somehow super reliable, which begs the question, what's the chain's secret?

Unlike many other fast-food companies, McDonald's adds salt and pepper to the meat patties only after they're cooked, not beforehand. The chain also uses a sprinkler designed for even distribution, which explains why I've never had a chunk that was bland or overly seasoned. Instead, each scrumptious bite is juuust right. Rumor has it that each branch adjusts the amount of seasoning to suit its customer base's taste preference, like adding more salt Stateside than they would in Europe.

But that's not all McDonald's has done to produce quality meat. As part of the company's Best Burger initiative, staff are limiting grills to six burgers at a time instead of eight, per CNBC. The idea is that more breathing room will make the meat more flavorsome. The difference is subtle and it's near impossible to do a taste test, but the effort doesn't go unnoticed. The company is doing something right, and with perfectly seasoned, flavorful burgers, I can't complain.

The Beef Tastes Super Fresh

boy eating burger
boy eating burger - Chung Sung-jun/Getty Images

McDonald's meat actually tastes freshly cooked — and for a good reason. Despite rumors to the contrary, McDonald's reassures customers that "every patty is 100% real beef with no fillers, additives, or preservatives" and since they're grilled to order, it "brings out all that great beef taste." To top it off, the company has been transparent about its meat handling practices, including freezing its standard burger patties. While frozen meat gets a bad rap, it ensures freshness longer than refrigeration, and you might even be surprised which popular restaurants use frozen burgers. However, McDonald's patties aren't conventionally frozen but flash frozen, which prevents freezer burn and ensures longer-lasting freshness.

There's one exception to the flash-frozen rule, and that's the Quarter Pounder. In a viral TikTok video, one employee showed the delivery boxes of its standard versus Quarter Pounder burgers, proving that the Quarter Pounder is refrigerated, not frozen. This does limit its shelf life but it also ups its freshness factor. So while you might have to shell out a few extra bucks for that Quarter Pounder, you get your money's worth.

The Quarter Pounder With Cheese Might Be McDonald's Best Burger

quarter pounder on box
quarter pounder on box - Scott Olson/Getty Images

Do you prefer a higher ratio of meat to bun on your burger? Enter the McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese. The beauty of this burger is in its simplicity, and it's exactly as it sounds; the ¼ pound of freshly grilled pure beef is sandwiched between two slices of melted cheese and topped with chopped onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard on a sesame seed bun. Because you get more meat, the patty fills the bun right to the edge, and there's something very satisfying about having meat in every bite. You don't have to wait to get to the good stuff.

As a meat-lover, this is my go-to McDonald's burger, and not just because of the meat-to-bun math. As previously mentioned, Quarter Pounders are some of McDonald's freshest burgers because they're not frozen. They're also grilled-to-order, meaning they aren't sitting out long. In fact, a Quarter Pounder won't hit the stovetop until you order it. This often results in the patty's edges being slightly burnt, creating that tasty Maillard effect we all love.

Another reason to love the Quarter Pounder is because there are a few variations available. Want even more meat? Order the Double for a half pound of beef. Extra goodies? The Deluxe has you covered with crisp shredded lettuce and tomatoes. And if you have a penchant for bacon, you'll love the Quarter Pounder with Cheese Bacon.

You Can Double Goodies To Suit Your Tastes

close-up Big Mac
close-up Big Mac - Spflaum1/Getty Images

They say you shouldn't trust an enormous menu, because if a restaurant is a jack of all trades, it's a master of none. McDonald's, though, doesn't have a huge burger menu, so you won't find elaborate gourmet combinations. However, what this restaurant does, it does well. It keeps it classic with meat, cheese, and a few sauces and toppings. But if you look at their menu closely, you'll realize it's almost designed with the phrase "double your pleasure, double your fun" in mind. From the Daily Double to the McDouble, you're sure to find a burger to suit those tastebuds. After all, we each have individual preferences, and luckily, McDonald's offers options to double up on your favorite burger parts.

Personally, I'm a meat-and-cheese woman, so I love that you can get twice as much of the good stuff on just about any McDonald's burger. The Double Quarter Pounder and the Double Cheeseburger are already packing a lot. However, if you want to double up on everything, in 2024, the chain is promising the return of the Double Big Mac to U.S. restaurants, which comes with extra bun and a total of four meat patties.

The Chopped Onions Are Extra Tasty

pile of diced onions
pile of diced onions - Alex Bayev/Shutterstock

Are you a fan of onions on your burger? If not, McDonald's might change your mind as it did mine. I find raw onions can often be pungent and spicy on a burger, but McDonald's onions are anything but. They're juicy and have a rich caramelized taste, and since they're finely chopped and well distributed, you can enjoy crispy, flavorful onions in every bite.

So how does McDonald's achieve such delicious onions? The secret is all in the preparation. McDonald's chopped white onions aren't cooked or carmelized, but dehydrated, then rehydrated to maintain flavor and moisture. Next, the onions are added on top of the patties as they're being cooked, so they stay warm and soak up some of the meat's flavor.

One Reddit user described these onions well, saying, "They add such a nice, sweet flavor to the burger and they give each bite a very satisfying little crunch. I would much rather have onions like that instead of pulling a 6-inch-long onion slice off my burger, ruining the construction of it." Turns out, it wasn't an unpopular opinion at all. Most commenters agreed, and I don't blame them.

The Big Mac Sauce Is Uniquely Delicious

ramekin of Big Mac sauce
ramekin of Big Mac sauce - McDonald's

There's nothing quite like the Big Mac sauce. This beloved condiment is creamy and tangy with a hint of sweetness, and although it's been compared to Thousand Island dressing, Big Mac sauce doesn't contain ketchup at all. It has a unique list of ingredients, including sweet relish, paprika, and turmeric. In the Big Mac burger, the sauce pairs perfectly with the juicy beef patties, melted cheese, crisp lettuce, chopped onions, and pickles. However, why limit yourself? You can add Big Mac sauce to other burgers. McDonald's has always obliged my requests so I wouldn't feel shy. If you're wondering where to start, it's incredible on the Filet-o-Fish or McChicken, and goes great with fries.

If you get lucky, you might also snag some Big Mac sauce dip cups. McDonald's has been known to offer this dipping sauce for a limited time. According to a McDonald's press release, the Big Mac sauce is free with an order of Chicken McNuggets but can also be ordered a-la-carte. At one point, the company also sold limited-edition bottles, which found their way to eBay. According to CNBC, the bottles were posted for as much as $100,000. It's unlikely any sold for that amount, but the news outlet reports that the majority of bottles sold for $100, which is still a hefty price for a fast-food condiment.

Burgers Are Served Piping Hot

person holding burger at McDonald's
person holding burger at McDonald's - New Africa/Shutterstock

Cold pizza tastes surprisingly good, but cold burgers? Not so much. Burgers are meant to be hot, and thank goodness McDonald's delivers on this. The restaurant's burgers are served piping hot because individual components, from the toasted bun to the perfectly melted cheese, are heated or cooked before coming together. What's more, a BNN Breaking news article reports that as part of the chain's Best Burger initiative, burgers are kept hotter before being served, to ensure customer satisfaction.

Mind you, the temperature and freshness still depend on the particular location and day. According to a former McDonald's employee on Reddit, burgers are cooked and kept on a warming tray for a maximum of 10 minutes. So if you don't see orders flying out quickly, there are some workarounds. Order a Quarter Pounder (which is always grilled on the spot), request an alteration to avoid pre-cooked items, or simply ask your cashier to make your burger fresh.

McDonald's Quality Is Consistent Worldwide

McDonald's arches and plane
McDonald's arches and plane - Mollynz/Getty Images

Having traveled the globe, I've tried McDonald's burgers in several countries. While the flavor varies ever so slightly, the quality remains strong. International locations also offer the same core menu items like Big Macs and Quarter Pounders, so you can rely on these staples no matter where you go.

While the classics remain the same, limited-edition burgers in different countries change to suit the locals' tastebuds. This isn't a bad thing since it allows you to sample some unique twists on the chain's menu items. For example, Sweden sells a Texas-inspired burger that you can't get anywhere else, with two beef patties, bacon, mayo, barbecue sauce, gouda cheese, salad, and pickled red onion. Or, if you prefer to start the day with a hearty meal, nothing beats Australia's Big Brekkie Burger, topped with hashbrowns, bacon, and an egg.

Traveling can be stressful enough, and sometimes you just want a little taste of home. Luckily, wherever you are, chances are you can bite into a McDonald's burger. So if you have a hankering for a Big Mac — or are feeling a little homesick for the USA — head towards those Golden Arches for the perfect cure.

The Chain Allows Menu Modifications

Denali burger on white backdrop
Denali burger on white backdrop - McDonald's

Is the customer always right? Probably not, but the staff at McDonald's might make you think so. In my experience, they don't blink an eye when you ask for menu modifications. This can come in handy if you have dietary restrictions. If you're watching your sodium levels, ask them not to salt your burger. If you're a vegetarian, order a cheeseburger without meat, and voila, you've got a grilled cheese sandwich! And while McDonald's doesn't offer gluten-free options, they can make that burger without a bun.

Requesting extra sauce or no onions is one thing, but some customers get to the point where they're inventing entirely new menu items altogether. One such item is the Denali Big Mac. While available in Alaska, the rest of the country uses a clever hack to create this colossal sandwich. Basically, order a classic Big Mac and substitute the standard beef patties for Quarter Pounder patties. The result is a half-pound beef burger with all the makings of a Big Mac, including that signature sauce.

Generally speaking, staff members are fairly flexible and don't make a big fuss. After all, the company's slogan was once "We Love To See You Smile." So if you're headed to McDonald's and you want to tweak your burger, this is a safe place to do so. Omit, sub, add, or modify as you please because ultimately, the restaurant chain wants you to leave smiling and singing, "I'm lovin' it."

Methodology

Bag Mac burger on a restaurant table
Bag Mac burger on a restaurant table - Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This list of reasons why McDonald's burgers are some of the best was based on my own experience and opinions. I've tasted a variety of McDonald's burgers, including each one listed on the standard menu. To understand why the burgers taste the way they do, I researched social media, news outlets, and the McDonald's website to uncover how the chain makes its burgers and how that contributes to their overall flavor and consistency.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.