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McDonald’s is Making Bigger Burgers: Third Pounders Back on the Menu

McDonald’s is Making Bigger Burgers: Third Pounders Back on the Menu

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McDonald’s third pounders are back on the menu after disappearing in 2013

How much McDonald’s could you eat?

McDonald’s is getting bigger. As the largest fast food company in the world, we didn’t think that was possible, but the golden arches have decided to bring back the third pounder, according to AP. The three varieties of sirloin third pounders include: the standard lettuce & tomato, bacon & cheese and The Steakhouse, which comes with grilled mushrooms and onions, white cheddar and peppercorn sauce.

Fans might recognize these new larger menu items. McDonald’s used to have an angus third pounder on the menu, but the big burger disappeared in 2013 after the company suggested that customers didn’t really want to pay more for more beef. This time around, you can get your third pounder for $4.99 per sandwich.

The new burgers are just one of a few recent changes made to the McDonald’s menu. Following in Subway’s footsteps, McDonald’s just announced a new and improved grilled chicken recipe (now with fewer antibiotics). The chain will also soon be rolling out its highly-anticipated customizable burger program nationwide where customers can build their own burgers by tapping a touchscreen.

McDonald's Recipe Changes You Might Have Missed

McDonald's will be the first to tell you about the "billions and billions served" at their restaurants, and chances are at some point in most of our lives we've settled in for a meal at the Golden Arches.

But what we feasted on during family road trips as a kid might actually look and taste a lot different from the food they're serving up today. That's because over time, the company has made a lot of changes to their most iconic menu items, altering recipes and cooking methods to keep up with consumers' tastes and the changing times.

Everything from the classic french fries to the Quarter Pounder have gotten significant makeovers, but we shouldn't be surprised. It's hard to serve up literally billions of burgers without finding some room for improvement, after all!

If you've been munching away happily all along, you may have missed some of these changes. Read on to find out just how different that value meal is from the one you enjoyed in your youth.

Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes

Courtesy of McDonald's

This oversized breakfast plate includes three hotcakes, scrambled eggs, a biscuit, hash browns, a sausage patty, hotcake syrup, and butter. The meal provides 67% of the daily recommended calories (based on a 2,000 calorie diet), 123% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat, 91% of the daily recommended amount of sodium, and over half your day's worth of carbs. There is just no need for so much food with so many unhealthy components in one meal.

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The Times reported that the Snack Wrap took off in Europe, which prompted McDonald's to develop a larger, more substantial version. Enter: the McWrap.

McDonald's tried to bring the newer, bigger wrap to the US, but it didn't go over well with the American audience.

It took roughly 60 seconds to assemble, whereas McDonald's hamburgers take closer to 10 seconds. Prep time slowed down the drive-through process.

Not only did people refrain from ordering the McWrap, but experts say the wait time contributed to McDonald's actually losing out on existing customers, who likely weren't there for the wrap at all.

15. The Triple-Double Burger

Also known as the Superhero Burger, this item was released in 1995 and was coordinated with the release of Batman Forever. It included three beef patties and two slices of cheese, and was extremely hyped up.

Though, we’re not exactly sure how it relates to Batman…

It just couldn’t live up to that, and was removed from the menu not long after.

McDonald's Menu Items From Around The World That Will Seriously Surprise You

We're starting to think this Cookies & Cream pie is better than the UK's McDonald's Apple Pie.

The McDonald's menu is a thing of beauty. The McChicken Sandwich, the Big Mac, the McFlurries and, of course, those McNuggets.

But if you've ever been to a McDonald's in another country you may have felt a twinge of jealousy while checking out what's on offer around the world. For example, tell me you're not tempted to buy a plane ticket to Malaysia in 2021 just to try that Cookies & Cream Pie. Or maybe you've spoken to your aunt in India and arranged a special delivery of 20 Veggie Maharaja Macs. Saying that, we could certainly live without the Philippines' McSpaghetti making an appearance in the UK any time soon.

So, we've rounded up the wildest McDonald's menu items from around the world to make you feel even more annoyed that you can't travel right now.

McDonald’s cuts its premium sandwiches line, Signature Crafted Recipes, after two years

Some of your favorite late night cravings may soon disappear from the menu at McDonald’s. The food giant reportedly plans to slash more than half a dozen menu items offered between midnight and 5am. Buzz60

McDonald’s is dropping its much-ballyhooed line of premium sandwiches.

The Signature Crafted Recipes launched in May 2017 and included Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon and Maple Bacon Dijon, all around or above the $5 mark.

"Based on (customer) feedback, we’ll move away from the Signature Crafted Recipes line on our national menu," McDonald's said on its website. "Our fresh new Quarter Pounder line-up brings customers more of the craveable, customizable and delicious tastes they love."

When the artisanal line was unveiled two years ago, Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald's USA, said the menu additions would include "more food-forward ingredients" and appeal to millennials.

The McDonald's Signature Crafted Recipes line are more upscale. (Photo: McDonald's)

At the time, experts theorized that Signature Crafted Recipes were the company's attempt to compete against fast-casual restaurants, companies that serve more upscale food but without table service, and so-called better-burger chains.

According to Robert Derrington, senior restaurant analyst at the Telsey Advisory Group, a brokerage firm in New York, Signature Crafted Recipes foods weren't selling well, plus in March 2018, McDonald's upped its game by introducing non-frozen meat in its Quarter Pounders.

"They've had success with fresh beef," he said. "It appears they don’t need to supplement the higher end of their menu. Instead, they can do that successfully with their core products with updated ingredients."

Peter Saleh, managing director at the New York brokerage BTIG, wasn't surprised that the upscale sandwiches line-up was getting the ax, likening it to the Angus Third Pounder, introduced in 2009 and cut in 2013.

"They have a pretty long history of premium items that haven't really worked on their menu," he said. The buzz "has kind of dwindled and what they’re left with was a platform that's not resonating with the guests in terms of driving sales."

Saleh added that Signature Crafted Recipes sandwiches took too much time to make, a problem, when so much of the business McDonald's does, is through the drive-thru.

According to USA Today, many diners in the 1980s were looking to reduce their fat intake and were shaking up their diets by introducing more lean protein and poultry and cutting out red meat. For McDonald's, adding chicken to their menu was a no-brainer.

The new menu item is thought to be in response to the flourishing market for fast-food chicken products, as well as the smash success of Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets.

However, Business Insider's resident fast-food taste-tester Irene Jiang found that while the idea for spicy chicken nuggets is interesting, the reality fell far short of her expectations.


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Reality Check: Is The Daily Double From McDonalds Worth The Upgrade?

If you're the kind of person who goes to McDonalds because you love the flavor of their 100 percent pure beef patties, well then the two of us might not see eye to eye on a lot of issues, culinarily speaking. For me, the beef has always been the worst part of the McDonald's burger, which is why I've been continuously baffled as they've introduced bigger and beefier burgers over the last decade and a half or so: Quarter Pounders, Big & Tasties, and the current fleet of third-pound pattied monstrosities. The reason the Big Mac is so successful? It's all because of the noble work the tangy sauce, the sweet crunchy lettuce, the pickles, the soft, squishy bun, and the melty cheese do in covering up all traces of bland beef pucks.

So when McDonald's first rolled out its Daily Double ($1.99, introduced in some markets in 2011, in New York in 2012), a new heavy-on-the-fresh-toppings cheeseburger, I was excited at the prospect that there might finally be something on the Burgers-Under-$2 section of the menu worth ordering.

Let's see what we're supposed to get, shall we?

From the bottom up we got toasted bottom bun, 1.6-ounce burger patty, a slice of American-ish cheese, a second 1.6-ounce patty, a "juicy" tomato, some crunchy shredded iceberg, slivered onions (the fresh kind like you'd get on a Quarter Pounder, not the reconstituted kind you get on a Big Mac), mayo, and top bun.

Really, what you get here condiment-wise is the antithesis of the $1 McDouble, which comes with the exact same two-patty-one-cheese-slice base, onto which is applied ketchup, reconstituted onions, pickles, and depending on the market, mustard. You take those toppings out of the McDonalds standard toppings roster, add what's leftover to a burger, and you've got yourself a Daily Double.

The question is, do those different toppings warrant the 99% price increase? It all depends on how you like your burger, and what degree of pseudo-human interaction you're willing to inflict upon yourself.

First off, the good news: Those slivered onions are far better than their reconstituted counterparts. While the recon onions give you the occasional whiff of that ineffable fast food aroma, the slivered onions get you some real sharpness and pungency, with a crisp crunch. Similarly, shredded iceberg is a good move on a McDonalds burger, its sweet mild crispness going a long way towards giving the sandwich a hint of freshness.

Mayo is my condiment of choice on a burger, so it suits me just fine to replace the ketchup, though truth be told, if I'm at McDonalds, I'd rather get a squirt of Big Mac sauce on there instead. The tomato, as expected, is wan, insipid, grainy, and all other sorts of terrible. But not as terrible as the beef, so it can stay.

Now the bad news: Without pickles, this burger loses its character, its essential McDonaldsness. Those dill chips are essential if you want to have a passably flavorful burger-eating experience at McDonald's. Luckily, pickles are free to add.

Which got me thinking: What's the cost of all the rest of those ingredients in a Daily Double in McDonald's Dollars? What makes it cost a buck more?

To figure it out, I went back to my McDonald's and placed the following order:

"One McDouble please, but hold the ketchup, pickles, and onions. Instead, can you add mayo, shredded lettuce, a tomato slice, and some slivered onions?"

I'm not sure the cashier or cook were keen to the fact that I'd basically just ordered a custom-built Daily Double, but it arrived a few moments later exactly as ordered: A Daily Double wrapped in a McDouble wrapper. Literally identical.

And the cost of this sandwich? The base: $1. Mayo: 15¢. Lettuce: 30¢. Tomato: 40¢. Slivered onions: free. For a grand total of $1.85. Prices of add-ons to burgers can vary by location, and I believe my McDonald's is pricier than most in the country, so there's a good chance your custom-built Daily Double will be even more inexpensive.

My god, think of all the things I could buy with the 14¢ I just saved myself!

So the fact of the matter is that if you're talking food costs alone, a Daily Double is not worth the extra 99¢, and McDonald's knows it. The question they're hoping you ask yourself is, "Is it worth saving 14¢ for me to not have to stand around, blocking the line, trying to explain a custom order to a cashier who is already annoyed at me?"

I remember when McDonald's started charging for extra Big Mac Sauce and shredded lettuce a few years ago (most likely due to the number of people gaming the system and ordering the $1 Poor Man's Big Mac), reading comments from folks on message boards and Facebook, and being shocked at how incensed they felt. Actually profanities being thrown around because McDonald's started charging for real food that it had once given away absolutely free.

Personally, I have no pity for those folks. You gamed the system, you got caught, but fuck it, in the end you're still getting 400 calories for under a couple bucks, so let's not get too entitled here, shall we?

All this is to say that while the $1.99 Daily Double might not be a deal of 99¢ McDouble proportions, it's still one of the best bets on the McDonald's menu if you feel the way I do about their beef. I'd gladly take the extra 14¢ hit for the convenience of being able to simply order "One Daily Double, add pickles, please." Perhaps next time I'll see if they can hold the patties.

What do you guys think? Would you customize your McDouble in order to save that dime and four pennies? Do you want your 11th burger on the house?

Don't miss the Chick-fil-A sauce.

"I've searched a long time and now I have my favorite sauce. I had ribs in the Crock Pot and I simmered my sauce for 40 minutes. I then poured some of it on my ribs and let it keep simmering with the ribs. Thirty minutes later the ribs were done and the sauce's ingredients had married nicely."