Burger King/McDonald's McWhopper
To honor the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2015, Burger King published an open letter to McDonald's in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune proposing that the two burger giants call a cease fire on their "burger wars," and honor the day by joining forces to sell a one-day mash-up of their two famous hamburgers at a pop-up shop located in Atlanta—the halfway point between the two cities where the chains' headquarters are located (Chicago and Miami). The letter stated that the "McWhopper" would include "All the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger." Burger King spent some significant time and money on the campaign, building a beautiful website and super slick YouTube video, but unfortunately the proposal fell flat. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook responded with his own open letter stating, "We love the intention, but think our brands could do something bigger to make a difference." In other words, "Thanks, but no thanks." He ends his letter with a biting p.s. that reads, "A simple phone call will do next time." Ouch.
It looks like there won't be a real McWhopper in our near fast food future, but that doesn't mean you can't still taste one for yourself. Or, at least a clone of one using this Top Secret Recipe which I assembled from information found on the McWhopper website and the hack recipes I created years ago for the Big Mac and Whopper. If you like both of those sandwiches I promise you that your efforts will be rewarded here. This is a really good burger.
Included in the recipe below is my new, improved hack of McDonald's secret sauce from the new book, Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step, plus the full assembly instructions for the burger. The Whopper is built with a flame-broiled patty, so you'll need a grill for that, and the Big Mac patty can be cooked in a pan on your stovetop. The bun sizes are different for each of these burgers, so if you want it to be authentic, you'll need to buy a package of small sesame seed buns and a package of large ones. Slap together the six components from each of the two burgers and even though the two halves taste great on their own, when combined these ingredients make a delicious and unique hamburger that unlike any you've had before.
- 6 ounces ground beef (20% fat)
- Ground balck pepper
- 1 sesame seed hamburger bun
- 1 bottom (heel) of large sesame seed hamburger bun
- 4 dill pickle slices
- 3 onion rings (from a slice of white onion)
- 2 tomato slices
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1 slice American cheese
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1. First make your special sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover this and let it sit for about an hour in the refrigerator. Stir it again before you use it.
2. Form the beef into two round patties on a wax paper-lined baking sheet: make one patty that is 2 ounces and the approximate diameter of the small hamburger bun, and another one that is 4 ounces and approximately the diameter of the large bottom bun. Place these into your freezer for 1 hour.
3. When you are ready to build the burger preheat your grill to high heat (or a grill pan to medium heat on your stovetop) and set a sauté pan over medium heat. Slice the crust side off of the bottom of the small sesame seed bun so that you have a bun with two faces. This is your middle bun (or club bun). Brown each side of this bun, plus the face of the small top bun and large bottom bun in the sauté pan until golden brown. Keep the pan warm.
4. Now cook the beef patties. The large patty gets cooked on the grill or in a grill pan. Lightly salt and pepper it as it cooks. And the smaller patty gets cooked in the sauté pan. Also lightly salt and pepper this patty. When both are done, it is time to build your burger.
5. Place the larger (grilled) patty on the face of the large bottom bun.
6. Arrange 4 pickle slices on the beef patty, followed by some ketchup.
7. Place 2 or 3 loops of onion on top of the pickles, followed by two tomato slices.
8. Place the middle bun on next and top it with a generous portion of the sauce.
9. Add the chopped lettuce on the sauce, followed by the slice of cheese.
10. Finish up the burger with the smaller beef patty and top it off with the top sesame seed bun.
Makes 1 burger.
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.