McDonald’s Hamburger

The McDonald’s Hamburger is one of the most-loved burgers you can enjoy. Make one at home with your own wholesome ingredients, quickly and easily in no time at all.

copycat McDonald's hamburger on parchment paper.

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McDonald’s Burger

With billions of McDonald’s burgers served worldwide every single year, it is hard to imagine anyone on the planet who hasn’t had the opportunity to try one. While it is easy to pick up a Happy Meal at your local Mickey D’s, recreating the signature taste of a McDonald’s burger at home is not as easy as you might think.

Luckily this burger recipe has finally cracked the code when it comes to cooking one of the most iconic burgers in your kitchen!

What Makes This the Iconic Hamburger You Should Make at Home? 

There is nothing better than the classics. Sure, today, you can find a joint selling gourmet hamburger loaded with exotic toppings in just about any town. But do you need to spend $20 on a burger? Absolutely not!

After all, there’s a reason why the McDonald’s hamburger is one of the most popular menu items ever; it just tastes good. Try this McDonald’s burger recipe, and you can make burgers at home just the way you remember them when you were a kid.

What Makes This the Perfect Copycat Recipe – We Went for the Version When They Were Tasty Pre 1980s. 

Simplicity is the name of the game. This recipe recreates McDonald’s burgers as they were before the company started messing with the ingredients.

This version has no preservatives, artificial colors, or additives, so you can feel better about serving them to your family. Although McDonald’s has changed to a primarily all-natural and preservative-free menu, cooking your food at home guarantees you know exactly what you are eating.

closeup of copycat McDonald's hamburger.

Ingredients For the Classic McDonald’s Hamburger

To make McDonald’s beef patties, you’ll need:

  • Ground beef
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Accent seasoning 

So, is McDonald’s meat the real deal? Yes, it is. Although many internet rumors are swirling around about what is in McDonald’s meat, according to the company’s website, the chain uses 100 percent beef with no fillers or fillers. Mashed.com says McDonald’s uses a combination of sirloin, chuck, and round cuts in their hamburgers.

But there is no need to worry about buying three different cuts for your copycat burger. Just go with 80/20 ground chuck from your local store. If you use lean ground beef you won’t have the same great taste.

As for the grind of the meat, finely ground beef will be closer to the texture of a McDonald’s hamburger, but you may have a hard time finding it prepackaged. If where you buy your meat has a butcher, ask for it; otherwise, a slightly coarser ground is acceptable.

Accent is an all-natural flavor enhancer. Although MSG has somewhat of a bad reputation in the US, it probably does not deserve it. Accent adds a deep umami flavor to the burger, but if using this ingredient makes you a little nervous, go ahead and leave it out. 

Ingredients to assemble the burger:

  • Hamburger buns
  • Dehydrated / dried minced onions
  • Dill pickle chips
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard

Choose a bun without sesame seeds for the authentic taste of the classic Micky D’s burger. Of course, use a sesame seed bun if you prefer it.

McDonald’s onions on the real-deal burgers are tiny and have a unique flavor. That’s because they come into the restaurant dehydrated, and the employees rehydrate them overnight. You can rehydrate yours in warm water for about 15 or 20 minutes before using.

You can find dehydrated onions in the spice aisle at supermarkets.

Stick to simple yellow mustard and basic ketchup for the most authentic flavor. 

McDonald's hamburger ingredients on a tray.

How To Make an Old Fashioned McDonald’s Hamburger 

Make McDonald’s hamburger seasoning:

  1. Combine the salt, black pepper, and Accent, if using. Transfer the seasoning blend to a shaker. 
  2. You’ll use only a small amount of the seasoning for this recipe and can save the rest for later. 

To form the beef patties:

  1. Divide the meat into eight equal portions. Form them into loose balls.
seasoned ground beef divided into portions for hamburgers.
  1. Lay a sheet of wax paper on your work surface with the shiny side facing up. Place a ball of ground beef on the wax paper and another sheet with the shiny side facing down on top. Gently press down to form a thin patty.
  2. A good trick for helping the patties to stay together while cooking is to partially freeze them on a baking tray before cooking.

To cook McDonald’s beef patties:

  1. Heat a griddle or a large heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat.
  2. While the griddle is hot, place the buns cut-side down on the cooking surface. Toast for about 45 seconds to warm the buns. Set aside. 
  3. Place the patties onto the griddle. If you are using a pan, you should cook in batches to prevent the burgers from steaming.
  4. Add a few shakes of the burger seasoning on top.
  5. After about twenty seconds, press lightly on the patties to sear the surface evenly. 
  6. When the first drops of juice appear on the surface of the patties, flip the burgers. 
  7. Repeat the same steps for the other side. The burgers should cook for about two to three minutes in total, depending on your stove. 
cooked hamburger patties on a griddle.

To finish the McDonald’s burger recipe:

  1. Add a few squirts of ketchup (less than 1 tablespoon ketchup) and a little yellow mustard to the toasted bottom bun. 
  2. Add some minced onion and two dill pickle slices. Make sure they don’t overlap.
  3. Top with the patty.
  4. Cover with the toasted top bun. 

Nutritional information for this copycat recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

copycat McDonald's hamburger on white parchment paper.

How To Make a McDonald’s Cheeseburger

Love McDonalds cheeseburgers and want to make one? Add a slice of American cheese to the patty after flipping, and finish cooking as usual. For something different, use a slice of cheddar cheese.

Tips For Making and Serving a McDonald’s Burger or Cheeseburger

  • Cook on a griddle or large, shallow cast iron pan. To get the best sear, you need to allow your cooking surface to heat up thoroughly before starting to cook. Make sure to space your burgers far enough apart to let any liquids evaporate immediately instead of collecting and winding up stewing your burgers.
  • Yes, use dehydrated onion pieces. Whatever you do, don’t try to improve on the classic by substituting fresh white onion for the dehydrated ones from the spice jar. Rehydrating the onions in warm water helps to remove the familiar onion bite while bringing out a milder flavor.
  • Griddle the buns. Please don’t skip this step, you will regret it. A nicely browned interior of the buns adds a satisfying crunch and helps to keep the bun from getting soggy.
  • Don’t go overboard on the condiments. It is best to stick a few squirts of ketchup and mustard and a couple of dill pickle slices — that is it! There’s no need for mayo or iceberg lettuce.

What To Serve With a McDonald’s Hamburger

You can’t go wrong with French fries, but they’re not your only option. Try Loaded Baked Potato Tots or Air Fryer Carrots for something different.

How To Store the Leftovers 

Wrap formed uncooked patties in plastic and refrigerate them for up to three days. You can keep cooked patties the same way but try to reheat them the next day.

Since a lot of ground beef has been frozen somewhere along the way, it is not a good idea to refreeze the meat once it has thawed. 

How To Best Reheat a McDonald’s Hamburger

The best way to reheat a thin burger patty is with steam. You can easily do this on the stove. 

  1. Heat a pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, pour a few tablespoons of water around the edge of the pan. 
  3. Quickly place the patty in the middle of the pan, not touching the water, and cover. 
  4. Heat for about two minutes, and carefully open the lid 
  5. Drain the patty before assembling your burger. 

You can also reheat it in the microwave using the reheat setting or 30% power. Place the patty on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 20-second intervals until heated.

copycat McDonald's hamburgers on parchment paper.

Did you love McDonald’s? Why not try out more Mickey D’s recipes:

Be sure to check out more of my copycat McDonald’s recipes and easy beef recipes.

Do you want to stay up-to-date with all of our new recipes? You can follow us on Instagram or friend us on Facebook to make sure you stay in the loop!

copycat McDonald's hamburger on parchment paper.

McDonald’s Hamburger

Recreate the McDonald's Hamburger at home in no time at all.
4.67 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hamburger, How to Make McDonalds Hamburger
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 280kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Accent seasoning (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated onions
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 16 dill pickle slices

Instructions

  • Combine the salt, pepper, and Accent seasoning in a small bowl. You will use this spice mixture to season the ground chuck in Step 4. You will not use all of it, and you can store the remainder for later use.
  • Place the dehydrated onions into a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of warm water. The onions will hydrate and be ready by the time you finish cooking the burgers.
  • Preheat the griddle to 375°F. For this recipe I like to use a griddle because it allows the juices to drain away from the burger while cooking. If you do not have a griddle, you can use a very large skillet.
  • Form 8 small round patties with the ground chuck. Place the patties onto the hot griddle. Use a spatula to press the patties into the griddle for 4 to 5 seconds. You know you have pressed the patties down hard enough when you have to scrape them from the griddle. Season the patties liberally. Then flip, season the other side, and cook for another minute or so until the burgers have cooked through. Remove them from the griddle.
  • Place the buns on the griddle, cut side down, and toast them until they begin to brown. Remove them from the griddle.
  • To assemble the burgers, place 5 small squirts (like dots) of mustard on the top bun. Follow the mustard with 5 larger squirts of ketchup. Place a patty on the bottom bun along with some onions and one or two dill pickle slices. Place the top bun on top.

Cheeseburger

  • If you would like to make a McDonald's Cheeseburger, simply add a slice of American cheese to the burger patty once you have flipped it over, and proceed with the recipe as written.

Video

Equipment

Griddle

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1380mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jeanette

    5 stars
    I wish you would do a copycat recipe for McDonalds homestyle burger mustard sauce. Its very unique and peppery and makes the burger. I’d put that sauce on everything if I could make it.

  2. Baltisraul

    3 stars
    I must agree, McDonalds were good back in the day but today they hardly resemble edible food. When I do need a fast food fix, I only stop at Whataburger. The burgers are so large, my wife and I need to split one. And why are the once great French Fries at McDonalds so horrible now?.

    • Donna

      Baltisraul, I believe that back in the day the French fries were fried in beef tallow. Then, in the hate-fat craze that swept the nation, tallow was replaced with vegetable oil. The fries really were a hundred percent better the old way!

    • Dewey whatley

      Mcdoanlds Burgers are very small thin patties they cook them for 30 seconds. Then after they are done cooking they put a season on top (Salt/Pepper mix) then on top bun it’s mustard ketchup dehydrated onions pickles Bottom bun is meat / chesse then put together. but very nasty burgers

  3. George V.

    What’s missing is celery salt. I have yet to see any imitation recipe include it, but it is definitely an essential ingredient in a McDonald’s hamburger.

    • Kim R

      As a Mcdonald’s Manager I can assure you that this recipe is incorrect for 10/1 patties Hamburger /Cheese burgers.
      10 patties = 1 lb
      Celery Salt is NOT in anything but the McNuggets Batter
      A bun is Carmelized not toasted.
      The condiments go in order Mustard, Ketchup, onions and 2 pickles not touching.
      You dress the “Crown” Top bun not the “heel” bottom bun

  4. Al

    McDonald’s is great..never had a bad experience there I recommend everyone should try at least the basic hamburger.ithink you will love it.

  5. Joe

    I have noticed my sense of taste and smell has diminished over the years. I’m a senior now and miss the pleasant taste of many things including McDonald’s hamburgers. So when I cook for myself I keep several spices and even MSG (Accent) within reach.

  6. Kathy

    I really like the mcChicken you add tomato and mayo.
    And it is really good. If they are not Luke warm
    When you get them.. If you add your own tomato its cheaper.. Hardee’s big roast beef adding tomato lettuce and mayo.. really good to. Hardee’s also has a hot ham and cheese that’s pretty good.. I like the quarter pounder with 1 piece of cheese instead of 2 and lots of slitherd onions .
    Mmm so good. 2 pieces of cheese makes it taste bad..

  7. Joyce Evans

    McDonalds nugget use to be the greatest thing ever now they r nasty don’t have no taste to them they just flat the burger taste like soybean no good need to get better some change are not good

  8. Jay

    I remember getting these hamburgers back in the day. Now McDonald’s is absolutely disgusting. I don’t see how they are still in business. I think if more people voiced their opinion to MCD’s and asked for them to go back to these traditional style burgers, sales would go back up. Thanks

    • Stu's

      A McDonalds manager told me why the flavour has all gone. I believe him.
      The taste has gone because McDonalds reacted to the population saying their food had too much fat, too much sugar, too much salt. Etc etc.
      They even changed the oil for the fries and cook them for a shorter time. That’s why the fries are insipid, and get cold before you reach your table.
      Now it is all tasteless.
      Blame the fat f*****s who cannot regulate how much they eat, and blame the do gooders who couldn’t help but keep picking on the biggest fast food company on the planet.
      Thankfully the Filet O Fish still tastes the same.
      I want the old McDonalds flavours back.
      Give me more fat, sugar and salt.
      I know when to stop eating before it makes me overweight.
      Fat b******s and do gooders f**k off.
      And you can stop your latest crusade against sugar, too.
      If you don’t want it – don’t eat it.
      If the greedy want to eat themselves into an early grave – let them.
      It’s my life.
      And i want my McDonalds back.

    • Stephanie

      Oh goodness no. You are just going to shake some of the salt on there, not the whole thing. If you watch the video I just shake some of the salt blend on the hamburger. Not all of it!

  9. Steve Thomas

    We have five flavor receptors on our tongue – bitter, sweet, salty, sour ands umami. Everything else is a scent. They only knew the first four when I was in school. Umani is the “richness” flavor.

    Glutamates are in most meats, and it’s unlikely that they cause cancer. If they did, we wouldn’t have evolved that taste receptor as tasting good.

    Many “soup base” products are high in glutamate. If you reduce the broth down, it gets even stronger – ant will make me vomit. Be careful not to use too much glutamate. They used to call it “Chinese restaurant disease” because people went to the ER after eating Chinese food that was high in MSG. In addition to vomiting, it can cause wheezing and headaches.

    The 73% lean hamburger is probably easier to find than the ground chuck labeling. Not only is 73% far tastier than 80%, and far more juIcy, it’s enough cheaper that despite higher shrinkage, it costs about the same as 80%. Save your pan drippings! I have a grease pot with a strainer, but a coffee cup will do. Hamburger grease is second only to bacon drippings for frying eggs, potatoes, etc.

    McDonald’s used to toast their burger buns, and used a high-sugar recipe so they browned nicely. They were really a nice place to eat in the JFK years, when they had fresh-cut fries and those wonderful burgers. Today, not so much.

    • i hate you

      no. you don’t have 5 separate areas on your tongue. all taste buds taste sour, sweet , etc.
      and no study shows separate areas on your tongue taste different things. learn you 6 year old before you go on the internet.

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