Here's What You Can Do If You're Tired Of Waiting For The McRib To Come Back

Ah, the McRib. Who would've thought a fast-food sandwich would gain such a cult following? According to Business Insider, Chicken McNuggets were so popular in the early 1980s that McDonald's restaurants across the country were often sold out of the item. The chain needed a crave-worthy replacement — and fast. Leave it to Rene Arend, executive chef with McDonald's and inventor of the Chicken McNugget, to come up with a sandwich featuring a boneless pork patty shaped like a rack of ribs, smothered in tangy barbecue sauce and topped with onions and pickles (via Maxim). The sandwich was introduced nationwide in 1982 and was only on the menu for three years before McDonald's axed the McRib in 1985 due to poor sales.

Yet absence makes the stomach grow fonder: The McRib returned in 1994 to help promote "The Flintstones" movie and has been available for a limited time each year since 2006. But in October 2022, our beloved McRib went on a farewell tour ... maybe. McDonald's said in a press release for the event that "this isn't a 'goodbye' but a 'see you later.'"

Whether or not the McRib returns in 2023, you can feed your need by making the sandwich at home or with a similar sandwich offered at another restaurant. Either option is just as yummy as the real thing!

Use the McRib locator

There's nothing like the real thing, so bookmark the McRib Locator or add it to your phone's home screen because it's your golden ticket to barbecue goodness. Since 2008, McRib fans across the globe report McRib sightings the way the paparazzi keep up with the Kardashians. Users can confirm or dispute any sighting on the map, and they have the option to upload a receipt so that their sighting receives a green checkmark indicating that the McRib is indeed at that location. However, the site recommends calling ahead to double-check any confirmed sightings.

But what's the deal with those McRib sightings in Germany ... in February?

McDonald's locations in Germany serve the McRib year-round

Travel blogger Jessica Norah confirms the McRib is on the menu year-round at McDonald's across Germany after taking a trip to the country in 2021 (via Independent Travel Cats). It's the same McRib that Americans know and love, but in 2018, German McDonald's offered a chili-cheese bacon McRib for a limited time (via McRib Locator). Instead of onion and pickles, the sandwich was topped with bacon, jalapeños, and chili-cheese sauce.

Try Arby's Real Country Style Rib Sandwich

If an international flight isn't in your budget, head over to Arby's because they really do have the meats. Their Real Country Style Rib Sandwich features crispy onions, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese — and rib meat that's smoked for eight hours (via Brand Eating). The sandwich is available for a limited time every fall and pairs well with a side of Curly Fries.

How to make a McRib sandwich at home

Making a McRib at home is easier than you think with this homemade McRib recipe. To keep things simple with the barbecue sauce, use a store brand like Bull's Eye Sweet & Tangy. For the pork patty, use a frozen rib-shaped pork patty or make it from scratch by taking a pound of ground pork and forming it into a rib-like shape on a baking sheet. Freeze the homemade patties for two hours to keep their iconic shape while cooking. Cook the pork in a cast-iron skillet until golden brown on both sides and it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (via USDA).

Once it's done, slather the patty in barbecue sauce, and toss on some diced onions and pickles for that authentic McRib taste. Serve on a bun, and enjoy! This is the perfect way to fulfill your McRib cravings without leaving the house. Don't forget the extra sauce on the side for dipping!

How to make a sausage McRib

And now for something completely different: How about a sausage McRib?

Cookpad offers a delicious twist on the classic McDonald's sandwich with this sausage McRib recipe using smoked sausage instead of pork. Just boil the meat on medium-high for a minute, then simmer on low for 20 minutes. Cut the sausage into slices, slather it in barbecue sauce, grab a hot dog bun, and fill it with meat and all the pickles and onions you want.

How to make a vegan McRib

You don't have to be a carnivore to enjoy the McRib with this recipe for a vegan McRib, which uses homemade seitan jackfruit rib patties, Beyond Sausage Brats, or Impossible Sausage. Use a vegan-friendly barbecue sauce like Primal Kitchen or make your own using ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, vegan honey, vegan Worcestershire sauce, white vinegar, and spices. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve on a toasted hoagie roll with pickles and onions.

Make a McRib using a Banquet Boneless Pork Riblet Meal

We get it: Sometimes you don't want to putz around in the kitchen. You want a McRib, and you want it now.

Swing by the grocery store and pick up a Banquet Boneless Pork Riblet Meal or two — the barbecue sauce is included, and you get corn and mashed potatoes for sides — and some hoagie buns to make a quickie McRib sandwich in five minutes using the microwave.

Why not try something new and expand your culinary horizons? Who knows ... you may even find a new favorite! Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients. With a little bit of effort and a lot of imagination, you can create a McRib sandwich that may be even better than the real thing.