McDonald’s Menu Hacks – read before you buy

McDonald's Menu Hacks - read before you buy

The first big menu marketing campaign of the year from McDonald’s is here – and wow – its certainly unique. Some will love this one, some will loathe it. McDonald’s have taken a number of ‘secret menu hacks’ that have floated around the Internet for years – and made them reality. Just roll up to your closest restaurant (or app) and you can ask for this new quartet by name. The full line up of new hacks are as follows:

  • Hash Brown McMuffin
  • Crunchy Double
  • Surf + Turf
  • Air, Land & Sea

The biggest let down here is that it’s down to you to make these. McDonald’s haven’t actually done anything particularly special here than update their menu. If you order any of the above, you’ll receive the individually wrapped components. You’ll need to unwrap, disassemble and rebuild in order to enjoy them.

McDonald's Menu Hacks
McDonald’s Menu Hacks

Let’s start right there then – how do you actually make these menu hacks. Trust me, you’ll want to study these instructions before you build your McHack masterpiece and post to social media – only to realize you got your layers all wrong. Also, a word to the wise, have plenty of napkins to hand…

P.s. you’ll note I skipped the Hash Brown McMuffin entirely here. I mean, everyone is already surely loading up their breakfast sandwich with a hash brown as standard right?

Crunchy Double instructions

McDonald's Crunchy Double
McDonald’s Crunchy Double

You will need a six piece McNuggets, BBQ sauce and Double Cheeseburger to make the Crunchy Double menu hack. Start by arranging your McNuggets on the bottom layer of bread. Top the McNuggets with BBQ Sauce. Finish the Crunchy Double by resting the Double Cheese burger on top of the BBQ sauced nuggets and crowing with the remaining bun. You should have the following layers:

  • Bread
    • Double cheeseburger duo
    • BBQ Sauce
    • Six Chicken McNuggets
  • Bread

Surf + Turf instructions

McDonald's Surf and Turf
McDonald’s Surf and Turf

You will need a Double Cheeseburger and Filet-O-Fish to make the Surf + Turf menu hack. Start by separating your Double Cheeseburger into two portions of burger and cheese. Build the hack by placing one of the burger+cheese layers on the bottom bread. Take the bottom bun from the Filet-o-Fish and layer on next. From there add the Filet-O-Fish patty and cheese. Finish by adding the remaining burger+cheese layer and top bun. You should have the following layers:

  • Bread
    • Cheese
    • Burger
    • Filet-o-Fish
  • Bread
    • Cheese
    • burger
  • Bread

Air, Land & Sea instructions

McDonald's Spicy Air Land and Sea
McDonald’s Spicy Air Land and Sea

You will need a Big Mac, Filet-o-Fish and McChicken to make the Air, Land & Sea menu hack. To build this hack, remove the buns from the Filet-o-Fish. Take the Filet-o-Fish patty and insert in the lower layer of the Big Mac, above the bottom burger patty. Next, remove the buns from the McChicken and insert into the top layer of the Big Mac, above the top burger patty. You should have the following layers:

  • Bread
    • McChicken
    • Burger
  • Bread
    • Filet-o-Fish
    • Burger
    • Cheese
  • Bread

Bonus hack: you can also order a Spicy Air, Land & Sea – which I did. This switches out the regular old McChicken for a Hot N Spicy McChicken which is far superior and much more fun. I also ordered my Big Mac without cheese (by accident) and found this to be a happy mistake. The lack of the cheese fusing everything together made separating the various layers, and rebuilding – MUCH easier. If you have toothpicks to hand and want to take pictures for your social media accounts and #McDonaldsHacks

So, with all that in mind…

Are the McDonald’s Menu Hacks any good?

There’s no denying these caused a great deal of curiosity in my greedy little heart. Sure, we’ve always been able to order these individually, but seeing the glossy adverting makes them all that more intriguing. I have to confess though, while a fun distraction, they’re little more. I can’t imagine anyone seriously finding their new favorite fast food treat here.

One item to note is the waste involved. In creating these hacks you’ll find yourself discarding buns left, right and center. In today’s sustainably-minded world, this feels like a real miss from the golden arches. I wonder how much more effort would have been involved in having restaurants craft these sandwiches for guests – and as a result, reducing a huge amount of waste. This one seems like a real head scratcher.

Additionally, having to deconstruct and rebuild the sandwiches is a messy affair. You’ll end up with your hands covered in grease, lettuce, cheese, mayo and myriad sauce. And if you’re an eat on the go type – your car too. These really need some time and care to build. Also be aware as the clock ticks, those American cheese slices on your Double Cheeseburger can perma-weld the patties together, making separating them an absolute chore. I built these in the comfort of my home with a well stocked kitchen and found myself prying patties with knives.

Of course – if you really want to get menu hacking – try this one on for size. I dub this there-hack combo the McHack, knife and fork not optional…

McDonald's McHack
McDonald’s McHack
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Hi, I'm Stuart, nice to meet you!  I'm the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I'm also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune.  I've worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows. I'm a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years.   I'm largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don't understand.   I've also got a secret obsession with fast food too - and that's where Menu And Price comes in...