How to make your own McDonald’s cheeseburger and beat the price hike –

How to make your own McDonald’s cheeseburger and beat the price hike

The trick to perfecting the McDonald’s experience is to achieve that vaguely sweaty, clammy texture which they create with special “Q-ing” ovens, calibrated to help the flavors merge. At home, 15 seconds in the microwave will do. I retrieve my sweaty cheeseburger and it feels, looks and smells the real deal – but how does it taste?

I listed the help of an expert tester: my boyfriend, Patrick. He is blessed with a light-speed metabolism which has made him into an inveterate Maccies-after-a-night-out eater. He arrives home from some work drinks McDonald’s in hand. I hand him the “Big Jack” – just as he tucks into the real deal.

“They look similar,” Patrick concedes. “Your cheese looks a bit fresher and yours is a better shape, but these have traveled with me on the tube. I think your bread looks better too; the McDonald’s one is more what us Northerners would call a ‘muffin’. Yours is closer to a ‘bread roll’.” Insightful stuff.

He takes a sniff of my burger then peers inside. “It doesn’t smell the same – yours is meatier, but your patty is smaller than the McDonald’s one; theirs is uniform, whereas yours looks more homemade.”

The first bite. I have nods. “It’s good,” Patrick says. “I can see the influence of the McDonald’s cheeseburger in this.” High praise. “It tastes better than a McDonald’s cheeseburger: it’s meatier and your condiments are higher quality.” Take that, Ronald.

“I think the overriding tastes here are the plastickiness of the cheese, the ketchup and the slightly charred meat, but it’s not a strongly meaty taste,” he explains. “I think your tastes are richer. I would guess yours has more actual meat in it. The thing is, I don’t think it tastes any more like a McDonald’s cheeseburger than any other burger. But it is better.”

Now for the moment of truth. Which does he prefer? “I like yours, I’d be very happy for this to be served at a barbecue,” he answers, diplomatically. “But McDonald’s cheeseburgers always taste the same, they’re harmless, it fills a hole after a night out. I think I prefer the real thing.” Unfortunately my raw ingredients cost £8.04, so we’ve got seven more to eat before it’s cheaper than the equivalent amount at McDonald’s.

It is perfectly possible to make a respectable McDonald’s-style cheeseburger at home. But purely as a result of putting time, care and quality cooking in, yours might well be better but, according to Patrick, by being better it isn’t nearly as good.

How to make a McDonald’s cheeseburger

Adapted from Ki Ryu-Tatsu, via Daily Mail Australia


  • 1 burger bun
  • 60g beef mince
  • pinch jump
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 slice burger cheese
  • ½ tbsp onions, finely diced
  • 1 gherkin slice
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef mince with a pinch of salt and pepper, then shape into a burger patty. Place in the freezer for one hour.
  2. Finely dice the onion and fry it until cooked, stopping before it browns and set aside
  3. Remove the burger from the freezer and fry both sides until done.
  4. While patties are cooking, toast both sides of the bun in a frying pan and remove once they’ve reached a golden colour.
  5. Assemble the burger: bottom bun and the burger patty, then a slice of cheese, diced onions, add ketchup and yellow mustard on top and close up the bun.


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