Sonic's Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger Review: A Surprisingly Delicious Experiment

Peanut butter can always be the star of the show, but it shines even brighter when it's cast as one half of an iconic duo. Peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut butter and ... meat? Yes, it seems as though peanut sauce isn't just for satay anymore, because Sonic just unveiled a Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger as part of a limited-time menu alongside the chain's similarly-themed Peanut Butter Bacon Shake. Since I've never seen a weird fast food item I wasn't willing to risk my body to try, I naturally traipsed over to my neighborhood Sonic at the nearest opportunity and bought both goober experiments. I meant to determine whether they were stunts for stunt's sake or if they held any real culinary merit.

Long story short: both of the peanut butter bacon items from Sonic delighted me, but I was particularly impressed by the burger. Let me break down why you should give this burger a try, even if you're looking at its ingredients list with suspicion.

What's in Sonic's Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger?

The Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger's two main toppings don't need much explanation. The burger is smeared with a healthy dollop of peanut butter and comes with several strips of crispy bacon. There's also a third topping that plays a big role in its flavor but isn't mentioned in the dish's name: grilled onions. You can either order this burger with one beef patty and a slice of American cheese or as a Supersonic Double, which comes with two of each. By default, the sandwich is served with no other condiments or garnishes, but you can add things like lettuce, pickles, ketchup, or even chili as your heart desires.

While the combination of peanut butter and hamburger may seem strange, it has historical precedent. For instance, the guberburger is a regional burger style from Sedalia, Missouri that uses a patty smothered in peanut butter. However, classic guberburgers differ from Sonic's offering by including fresh vegetables and adding mayonnaise to the formula.

How much does it cost, and for how long is it available?

Fast food prices can vary regionally, but at my local Sonic, a single Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger costs $6.99. That's the same price as another fancy Sonic burger, the Garlic Butter Bacon Cheeseburger. If you want to go the Supersonic Double route with twice the meat and cheese, that will cost you $8.89, which is the same as a regular Supersonic Bacon Cheeseburger sans peanut butter. Although Sonic's website doesn't show an option to order the peanut butter burger as part of a combo when ordering online, I suspect that you can do so in person. In that case, if the combo prices match the prices for burgers by themselves, a single should cost $11.29 with a side and a drink, while you can expect a double combo to be $12.79.

Sonic started selling its peanut butter bacon menu on January 8, per a press release issued by the chain. The peanut butter burgers and shakes should be available at Sonic locations across the U.S. until February 4.

How the Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger compares to other Sonic burgers

Sonic seems to be in love with bacon. The chain sells four different kinds of bacon burgers including the ones with peanut butter, so in that respect, this limited-time offering fits right in. However, the guberburgers are definitely outliers on Sonic's national burger menu, which is fairly conservative — besides the peanut butter, the most adventurous toppings on display are hickory barbecue sauce and garlic butter. In my region (the Southwest), I also have the option to choose one local burger: the Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger. This is certainly a tad more adventurous than anything on the national menu, but it's still an old classic; most burger places where I live serve a version of this sandwich.

If you want to customize your burgers, you can make them a little more interesting. Most fast food places don't offer you the chance to smother your burger with chili, so it's exciting that Sonic does that. I like that you can add pickled jalapeños as well. Still, all in all, the Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger is in a league of its own creatively compared to Sonic's permanent offerings.

What's the nutritional value of the burger?

Sonic doesn't list a detailed nutrition breakdown of these peanut butter bacon burgers on its website, but it does give you the calorie counts: 870 for the single and 1,220 for the double. You don't need me to tell you that either of these burgers would make for a rich meal — add fries and a sugary soda or milkshake and you could easily surpass 2,000 calories just for lunch. You're taking beef, which already tends to be kind of fatty, and topping it with fatty cheese, fatty peanut butter, and fatty bacon, so it's no surprise that this dish is a calorie bomb.

I looked for burgers that had more in-depth nutritional information available on Sonic's website and found that the two closest price comparisons also appeared to be the closest nutritional comparisons. The Garlic Butter Bacon Cheeseburger has 50 more calories than its peanut butter cousin, along with 60 grams of fat (17 saturated), 2,060 milligrams of sodium, and 53 grams of carbs. I expect that the Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger has similar stats. The Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger with mayo has 50 fewer calories than the double with peanut butter and contains 70 grams of fat (21 saturated), 1,940 milligrams of sodium, and 52 grams of carbs. Both of these burgers have most of a day's worth of fat and sodium in them, per nutritional guidelines issued by the FDA.

Sonic's Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger is a unique treat

Of course, fast food burgers aren't supposed to help me out with my diet — they're designed to taste good, and the Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger certainly succeeded on that front. I already knew I liked peanut butter and bacon together, but I thought peanut butter and beef would be a weird pairing. I was proven wrong. The peanut butter enhanced the savory flavor of the beef patty, which was perfectly seared and had a satisfying charred taste. At the same time, the sugary notes of the peanut butter combined with the burger's mildly sweet bun to give me hints of PB&J.

I don't always love bacon on burgers, as it can be kind of redundant (a burger is already salty, savory, and fatty, so adding more of those flavors doesn't always do much), but in this case, it was very necessary. The smokiness helped make the peanut butter make sense, and the bacon's crispiness gave the sandwich some much-needed texture. The grilled onions tied everything together, reinforcing the sweet and savory aspects of the burger. The only ingredient that wasn't carrying its weight was the American cheese. It's not that this ingredient was bad, it's just that it didn't even register on my palate because it couldn't compete with all the strong flavors going on. This was one of the most interesting fast food burgers I've tried in a while, and it's definitely worth a visit to your nearest Sonic.