Saturday, Nov. 16 was “National Fast Food Day,” which might have been confusing if you live in America, where every day seems to be fast food day. Nevertheless, we thought it was important to mark the occasion of this day — and every day, really — not with cards, gifts, or an awkward phone call, but with an exploration of eleven McDonald's “hacks” that will change the way you order from the most popular fast food chain on Earth, while making you appear more attractive and sexually capable to the opposite sex.
Ready to step up your drive-thru game? Here are some of our favorite tips for maximizing your McDonald's experience:
11. Order Any Burger with a “Steamed Bun”
McDonald's has just one sandwich in its entire lineup with a bun that's a little different than the others. Unlike the fake brown griddle-marks on every other burger, the Filet o' Fish comes on a steamed bun, all hot and fluffy and soft. It's almost enough to trick your brain into thinking that what you're eating is fresh, real food — so go ahead and ask for a “steamed bun” as a substitution on your favorite burger. And if the dead-eyed teenager at McDonald's tells you they “can't do that,” you tell them that we said that they're lying.
10. Make “The McGangbang”
Listen, we didn't come up with the name. This abomination can trace its Internet history all the way back to the very early McDonald's hacking days of Vasco da Gama. But you have to admit that the name aptly describes the somewhat violent and perhaps not altogether consensual insertion of an entire McChicken sandwich into the middle of a double cheeseburger. Eaten whole, it's Dollar Menu hacking at its best, where two ridiculously inexpensive items are used to create something entirely new, more satisfying, and more likely to kill you than anything else on the full-price menu.
9. Ask for a “Round Egg” on Your Breakfast Sandwich
McDonald's eggs come in four forms. There's the pseudo-scrambled folded egg packet that gets made from a bright yellow powdered mix. The scrambled eggs in the burrito and the “Big Breakfast” share the same origins. There are the irregular shards of egg white from the “Egg White Delight.” Finally, there's the real deal: The so-called “Round Egg,” as seen on your standard-issue McMuffin, which is an honest-to-goodness real egg, cracked into a round mold and cooked on a flattop. But did you know that you can ask for a “round egg” to be used on ANY breakfast sandwich you'd like? Try one on a “Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit,” then feel free to leave a note expressing your gratitude in the comments.
8. Make “The McLand, Air, and Sea” Burger
To concoct this monstrosity, you'll need a double cheeseburger, a McChicken and a Filet o' Fish sandwich. Pull the chicken (with lettuce) and the fish out of their respective sandwiches, and stack them in between the two hamburger patties on the double cheeseburger. Bonus points if you can get your fried fish cake transferred without losing too much tartar sauce. You can also start with a Big Mac as your base, and add the chicken and fish to the two separate layers of that sandwich, but if you're the kind of magnificently wealthy bastard who can afford that level of indulgence, this guide probably isn't for you. Oh, and if you are feeling some sort of discomforting cognitive dissonance toward the title of this burger due to the technical flightlessness of a chicken, that's just something you're going to have to work out between you and your god.
7. Order Chicken McNuggets in Multiples of Four
There's absolutely no shame in ordering multiple boxes of 4-piece McNuggets — and then eating them all yourself. At only $1.19 (or less in some locations) for a four-piece, yet $3.60 (or more) for a ten-piece box, you don't get much of a price break by ordering in larger quantities. Better to order multiple smaller sizes, because that means more packets of dipping sauce. And seriously, isn't that what you're ordering McNuggets for in the first place? It certainly can't be your body's natural craving for kid-friendly ammonia-treated chicken slurry. Oh, and there are more kinds of dipping sauce these days. In addition to classic BBQ, Hot Mustard, and Sweet 'n' Sour, McDonald's now additionally offers the following options for the more sophisticated palate: Chipotle BBQ, Spicy Buffalo, Sweet Chili, and Creamy Ranch.
See also: Can McDonald's Become a New Fad Diet?
6. Make Poor Man's McChicken & Waffles
Okay, so maybe not “waffles” in the strictest* sense. But if you are fortunate enough to live in the kind of utopian paradise where McDonald's serves their “Southern Style Chicken Biscuit” for breakfast, you're in luck. Order a “Sausage McGriddle,” but ask them to substitute a chicken filet for your sausage patty. Boom: Poor man's chicken and waffles. Dip each bite in maple syrup and a packet of “Spicy Buffalo” McNugget sauce, if you're feeling particularly feisty. If you don't see the chicken biscuit on the breakfast menu, don't bother: McDonald's doesn't possess the technology to serve lunchtime items at breakfast, and frankly, they're tired of you asking.
5. Guarantee Hot, Fresh Food Every Time
Few can argue that when you manage to catch a batch of McDonald's french fries straight out of the Frymaster-5000, they are a nearly perfect food. The trouble is, this happy accident occurs only once for every ten orders of fries you make in your lifetime. What's the trick to ensuring hot, tasty, fresh fries every time? Ask for your fries with “no salt.” Since McDonald's salts the pants off of everything by default*, asking for salt-free fries means a fresh batch will get dropped, just for you. The same trick works on a Filet o' Fish: Request “No Cheese,” and you virtually guarantee a freshly fried filet, with the additional side benefit of then not having to eat fried fish with a half a slice of unmelted American cheese on it.
*”Salting” is not a consistently reliable method for removing pants.
4. Make “McCrepes”
Fact: McDonald's hasn't sold a single hotcake since 1985. That's only because no one thought to fill them with the super-sweet fruit and yogurt from a McDonald's Parfait, then smother them in maple syrup and granola. The resulting “McCrepe” may taste more like a boxed cake mix made with Pixy Stix instead of granulated sugar, and you're certainly not going to think you've been magically transported to a Parisian creperie (though someone around you will likely be smoking and being rude). But they're still crazy tasty and fun for your mouth.
3. Score Free Food
Getting free sandwiches from McDonald's is easy. Simply march into a restaurant wearing just the slightest amount of impatient huff, walk straight up to the cashier, look him square in the eye (because teenagers hate that) and explain that you just drove through, and were shorted a cheeseburger. You will be given a “replacement” every time. It should be noted, however, that this is actually stealing.
2. Make “The Mc10:35” Burger
Everyone knows that McDonald's famously stops serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m., or in some areas, 11:00 a.m. on weekends. Thanks to the mysterious vagaries of supply chain management, you flat-out can't get a McMuffin after 10:30 in the morning, and heaven help you if you try and order a Quarter Pounder with Cheese before the arbitrary start of the lunch menu. However, there exists a magical window, sometimes lasting only a couple of minutes, where the menu changes over, and items from BOTH menus are very briefly available. This makes truly offensive burger combinations possible, such as this Cheeseburger, topped with the egg and Canadian bacon pilfered from a nearby McMuffin.
1. Make a “Budget Big Mac” Burger
Two all beef patties. Special sauce. Lettuce, cheese. Pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun. It's a jingle that got burned into our still forming brains, right along with things like “Shapes” and “Empathy.” Forcing our young minds to commit the ingredients of McDonald's once-flagship sandwich to memory may have been a fatal error, however. Now, anyone can make a Big Mac out of anything, including much less expensive sandwiches. It's a little-known fact that ANY sandwich on the McDonald's menu can be ordered “Like a Mac,” as in, “Let me get a McDouble, but make it like a Mac.” There's even a button on the register devoted to this task in some locations. What does it mean? It means you can order a lower-priced McDouble, hold the ketchup and mustard, and add lettuce and Big Mac sauce. Total price, with substitutions? $1.49, or $2.40 LESS than the price of a Big Mac — and all you'll be missing is that weird interstitial third slice of bun, some sesame seeds and most of your dignity.
That's it! Our favorite tricks to change the way you order at McDonald's every single time. Got a favorite trick that we missed? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.