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McDonald's Big Mac

Score: 4.82. Votes: 44
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Brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's drive-in restaurant in 1948, in San Bernardino, California. When the brothers began to order an increasing amount of restaurant equipment for their growing business, they aroused the curiosity of milk-machine salesman Ray Kroc. Kroc befriended the brothers and became a franchising agent for the company that same year, opening his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. Kroc later founded the hugely successful McDonald's Corporation and perfected the fast food system that came to be studied and duplicated by other chains over the years. The first day Kroc's cash register rang up $366.12. Today the company racks up about $50 million a day in sales in more than 12,000 outlets worldwide, and for the past ten years a new store has opened somewhere around the world an average of every fifteen hours.

The double-decker Big Mac was introduced in 1968, the brain-child of a local franchisee. It is now the world's most popular hamburger, and it is super easy to duplicate at home. You can use Kraft Thousand Island dressing for the special sauce, or follow this link to a recipe for cloning the special sauce from scratch.

When you're done, pair your Big Mac with the refreshing McDonald's sweet tea recipe for the full take-out experience.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

For a live demo of this classic hack, check out this video.

This recipe is available in

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  • 1 sesame seed hamburger bun
  • Half of an additional hamburger bun
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon thousand island dressing or Big Mac Special Sauce clone (see Tidbits)
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 2 to 3 dill pickle slices
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
    • Instructions

      1. With a serrated knife cut the top off the extra bun half, leaving about a 3/4-inch-thick slice. This will be the middle bun of your sandwich

      2. Place the three buns on a hot pan or griddle, face down, and toast them to a light brown. Set aside, but keep the pan hot.

      3. Divide the ground beef in half and press into two thin patties slightly larger than the bun.

      4. Cook the patties in the hot pan over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper lightly.

      5. Build the burger in the following stacking order from the bottom up:

      bottom bun
      half of special sauce
      half of onion
      half of lettuce
      American cheese
      beef patty
      middle bun
      remainder of special sauce
      remainder of onion
      remainder of lettuce
      pickle slices 
      beef patty
      top bun

      Makes 1 hamburger.

      Tidbits: Click here for my clone of the Big Mac Special Sauce.

Average rating:

Score: 4.82. Votes: 44
Rating of votes (44)
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Suzi H
May 29, 2016, 22:00

My pet peeve is restaurants that change or remove my favorite item from their menu. This has happened a lot, so I decided to find a clone for the Big Mac. We had this last night and it was perfection! We both loved the results, and I'm off to the store to buy more ground beef this morning! Todd, If you can clone those greasy Jack in the Box tacos, I'd be forever grateful!

Feb 2, 2016, 22:00

Better than a proper Big Mac

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

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.

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