Food & Drink

10 McDonald’s hacks masterminded by London’s burger heroes

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Chris Sayer
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10 McDonald's hacks masterminded by London's burger heroes

Dare to dream with this life-changing fast food intel from some masters of the burger industry. 

If the internet were a book, we’d urge you, with every fibre of our being, to tear this page out and keep it in your breast pocket until your dying day. But it’s not, so unless you’re up for dragging a computer monitor behind you by its cord until the sun sets for the final time, we suggest you take a really really hard look at the incredibly important messages below, and memorise them, word for word, letter for letter instead. 

Why? So that the next time you find yourself under two towering golden arches, illuminated by glowing tableaus that decree such divine offerings as “Chicken Legend”, “Happy Meal”, and “Big Mac” you will know that man does not have to simply settle for the same as everyone else.

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Ahead lay ten ridiculously good, sometimes gross, but totally life-changing McDonald’s hacks, as invented and road-tested by the upper echelons of the London burger scene. Fast food will never be the same.

1. The McSurf’n’Turf

9 McDonald's hacks masterminded by London's burger heroes

“Many years ago, McDonald’s had a Triple Cheeseburger on the menu. One night, heading home after a very late night out in Australia, the Surf’n’Turf Burger was born. I removed the patty from a Fillet-O-Fish and placed it inside a Triple Cheeseburger. I remember it being so good at the time, so much so that I was adamant that McDonald’s should put it on the menu. I don’t think they received any of my letters.” - Ben Denner, founder of Lucky Chip 

2. The McChicken Cheeseburger 

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“If you find me in a McDonald’s when it’s not breakfast time, I’ll have a Double Cheeseburger in my hands, which, in itself and for the money, is pretty faultless. But I’ll have a Chicken Sandwich too, which is then slid right down the middle of the cheeseburger, bun and all. College kids in the US have christened it ‘The McGangBang’.” - Liam O’Keefe, brand director at Bleecker Burger 

3. The McLeftovers 

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“Next time you visit McDonald’s, make sure you walk out of there with a doggy bag. If that means doubling up your order and saving half, so be it. Because whatever makes it home needs to go straight in the toastie machine. It’s honestly the most incredible thing. You can’t go wrong with a Big Tasty with extra bacon slammed into a Breville. The golden rule is ‘the cheesier, the better’, so throw in a few extra slices of whatever you’ve got in the fridge too.” - Scott Collins, co-founder of MEATliquor

4. The McFilet-O-’Tato

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“If you find yourself ordering a McDonald’s at 10.30am (for whatever reason) add a portion of hash brown to your Filet-O-Fish. It turns it into this beautiful breaded potato cake sandwich thing. Follow it with a broken apple pie stuffed with a few fries, then dipped into a McFlurry, and that’s your hangover breakfast sorted.” - Nick Caton, director at Dirty Burger 

5. The McPurist

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“My love of McDonald’s knows no bounds. It’s not big, it’s not clever, it just is. Unflinching and eternal. It’s home to my go-to hangover cure: a double Sausage and Egg McMuffin with a hash brown popped in the middle to create a sort of tower of filth. It’s a grease delivery system, but a damn good one. Aside from that, I’m quite a purist when it comes my orders. For all those who doubt the genius of the ‘Donald, take five minutes from your day, and order a double cheeseburger…plain. That’s bun, patty, cheese, nothing else. It’s guaranteed to be fresh and is the embodiment of everything that has made the company so successful. It’s a stone-cold classic.” - Chris Whitney, co-founder of Pocho (and Breddos)

6. The McChippy Butty

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“My go-to order always used to be Filet-O-Fish with fries stuffed inside to make the ultimate chip butty - perfect to enjoy by the Essex seaside. I’d always drop some fries into a chocolate milkshake too - it’s like tasting the inception of salted caramel, so I’ve always thought it’s acceptable. But most recently, I’ve switched things up. They don’t do this everywhere but order a Double Cheeseburger and ask for Big Mac sauce in it - it’s like a puritanical Big Mac, without all the excess lettuce and bread.” - Craig Povoas, founder of Burger and Beyond

7. The McQuarter Pounder Selector 

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“Like most chefs, we’ve always been partial to a cheeky McDonald’s after a long shift. Being huge fans of fried chicken, obviously, we’d always squeeze some chicken into our order. More often that not, that would mean a portion Chicken Selects, that we’d then stuff inside a Quarter Pounder to make the ultimate stacked burger. It’s such an insanely good eating experience that we used it as inspiration for our creation with the guys at Burger & Beyond last year - we made a monster called ‘Beyond the Other Side’, which was a beef burger topped with deep-fried chicken skin.” - Tommy Kempton and Matt Harris, founders of Other Side Fried

8. The McBeast 

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“We once bought $700 of McDonald’s for a staff party. A few of us took a couple of Big Macs into the kitchen, buttered them on both sides and fried them up in a skillet, to make Bic Mac Cheese Toasties. Were they good? Well, I ate about four of them. Failing that, there’s always the DIY half-pound Big Mac. Buy two quarter pounders dressed with lettuce, onions, pickles and Big Mac sauce instead of the normal toppings. Then ditch one of the top buns and stack, and you’ve got an absolute monster.” - Aarik Persaud, executive chef at Blue’s Kitchen 

9. The McPsycho Sauce 

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“Take three Chicken Selects. Cover one entirely in BBQ sauce, one in sweet chilli and one in sweet curry. Then, take a Big Mac and replace the patty from the top layer, with the Selects. Now you’ve got 4 different sauces (if you include the Big Mac sauce), and chicken and beef in the one burger.” - Garrett Fitzgerald, founder of Butchies 

10. The McNuggestfest 

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“I guess my hack is disregarding any number of nuggets apart from 20 nuggets. It has to be 20. Twenty nuggets with a minimum of two pots of barbecue sauce, a large chocolate shake and large fries. The fries are negotiable, but the rest is a disaster if not met. Nine nuggets is never going to cut it. Nine nuggets is disappointment. As is anything less than two pots of barbecue sauce. Not tomato sauce and not sweet & sour - you need that vinegary sweetish barbecue taste.” - Ben Walton, founder of Ben’s Canteen

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(Illustrations: Phil Hackett/other image: Getty)