McDonalds bids farewell to its recipes for the Big Mac and other burgers

Photo (c) Fordeno - Getty Images

The West Coast gets to try out the new burgers first

You’re not supposed to mess with success, but McDonald’s thinks it’s got a better way of making its burgers.

There’ll still be “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun” on its Big Mac, but the company is shaking that formula up a bit for a reset of that sandwich -- in fact, its entire classic four-burger lineup.

The company said in announcing the change that its chefs have been quietly tweaking the sandwiches to make them “tastier” – at least in its mind. The improvements to the Big Mac sandwich, McDouble burger and McD’s classic Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger and Hamburger are, in the company’s own words…

  • “Softer, pillowy buns that are freshly toasted to a golden brown 

  • Perfectly melted cheese that will make you want to savor every last bit off the wrapper  

  • Juicier, caramelized flavor from adding white onions to the patties while they’re still on the grill  

  • Even more of everyone’s favorite Big Mac sauce, bringing more tangy sweetness in every Big Mac bite”

“I’ll always remember my first burger from McDonald’s. And now my culinary team and I have the best job in the world: thinking about ways to bring even more of that iconic McDonald’s taste to fans,” said chef Chad Schafer, senior director of Culinary Innovation, McDonald’s USA. 

“We found that small changes, like tweaking our process to get hotter, meltier cheese and adjusting our grill settings for a better sear, added up to a big difference in making our burgers more flavorful than ever.”

McDonald’s has modified things over the years like changing out the oils it uses and taking antibiotics out of its chicken, but this is the first time it’s made a major change to its burgers since 2018 when it moved from frozen to fresh beef.

The West Coast gets to try them first

The fast food chain did all of its burger experimenting out of the U.S., perhaps to save face in case fans on its home turf didn’t take a liking to the changes. The company said it tested the new recipes in Australia, Canada, and Belgium and got “rave reviews.” 

Americans will be introduced to the new recipes in waves. McDonald’s has already started rolling them out in several cities on the West Coast – Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boise, Tucson, and surrounding cities – and by the time 2024 gets here, everyone in the U.S. will have had a chance to try the new versions of the burgers out.    

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