McDonald's breakfast hacks that will change your life

The first inkling of McDonald's breakfast started in the early 1970s, when Pittsburgh McDonald's owner Jim Delligatti started selling doughnuts at breakfast, according to CNN. A couple of years later, a California franchise owner named Herb Peterson created the Egg McMuffin, which McDonald's likens to "eggs benedict on the go." It proved incredibly popular and launched the fast food chain into breakfast history. McDonald's hasn't looked back since.

Today, McDonald's is famous for its breakfast menu options, so much so that breakfast is served all day at locations in the United States. While McDonald's fans have their favorites from the standard breakfast menu (with some clearly better than others), there is also a whole world of McDonald's breakfast hacks that turn the standard into something special.

Many of the best McDonald's breakfast hacks simply take two standard orders and combine them into one sandwich. Others are from the dark days before McDonald's offered all-day breakfast, meaning that these items used to only be available at a select time of day. That led to some interesting secret menu items like the "Mc10:35", NPR reports. Regardless, these are all worth a try. And while you can take a leap and try asking for some of these breakfast hacks by name, your safest bet is to order the components yourself and get to creating.

These are the best McDonald's breakfast hacks that you need to start your day, no matter what time your exact day begins.

Add an egg to any burger with this McDonald's breakfast hack

In 2015, McDonald's started to roll out all-day breakfast, according to Restaurant Business. It took time, but the menu change eventually made nationwide. While the obvious takeaway is that fans can now order breakfast items whenever they want, there's another benefit. All-day breakfast means that eggs are cooked, well, all day. This means that eggs are available as an add-on to your favorite meal. Enter the era of the brunch burger.

In 2018, FoodBeast writer Isai Rocha put eggs to the test at a couple of California McDonald's locations. Pretty much any order is fair game for eggs, from Big Macs to Quarter Pounders. That goes for both the round eggs (which are the fresher ones) or the yellow square folded eggs, which are made with a liquid egg mixture. Both turn your everyday McDonald's burger into the McDonald's version of a brunch burger special.

Of course, just because you can order something doesn't mean the person taking your order will know what you mean. When Rocha asked for a Big Mac with a round egg, the manager told him, "Yeah sure. Let me know how that tastes." Spoiler alert: it tasted "glorious". One of the best ways to use the egg addition is to make Dollar Menu items more filling. Prices will vary by location, but Rocha found the eggs were $1.80 to add on.

McDonald's breakfast hacks can revive the Triple Stack

McDonald's debuted the Triple Breakfast Stack in the United States in 2018 (via McDonald's). The sandwich had two sausage patties, two slices of American cheese, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, and egg. It came with the option of one of three different kinds of bread – the McMuffin, McGriddle, or biscuits – as your bun.

"People have been hacking our menu for years — so much so that it's inspired our new Triple Breakfast Stacks," McDonald's Manager of Culinary Innovation Chef Mike Haracz said via Thrillist. "We love seeing the fun ways our customers and McDonald's crew have been creating their own takes on our classics. We can't wait to see what they come up with next — you never know what might end up on our menu."

While you can find the Triple Breakfast Stack on the McDonald's website, it comes with the disclaimer that it's available only "at participating McDonald's for a limited time." Neither is it on McDonald's breakfast menu. This means that it's once again up to fans to hack their way to a beloved Triple Breakfast Stack. To make one, order your sandwich of choice — either a Sausage McMuffin with Egg; Sausage, Egg, and Cheese McGriddle; or Sausage Biscuit with Egg — and then ask to add extra sausage and bacon. If you went with the biscuit option, remember to add cheese, too. It's not as easy as ordering a Triple Stack, but it gets the job done.

Create the venerated Mc10:35 with this McDonald's breakfast hack

In the dark days before McDonald's offered breakfast 24/7, people had to resort to carefully timed orders if they wanted something that used both breakfast and regular menu items. The most famous of these is arguably the Mc10:35.

The Mc10:35 is essentially a McDouble with an Egg McMuffin on top, HacktheMenu reports. The burger buns are typically the ones used for this secret menu item, though McMuffin buns can be swapped in as well. The sandwich received its name because this was the only time fans could purchase the two orders necessary for this quasi-legendary sandwich. 10:35 a.m. was the in-between time period when McDonald's locations were switching from the breakfast menu to the lunch menu, meaning that items from both menus were technically available. According to a McDonald's fan page, it's "sometimes known as the McBrunch."

Perhaps the greatest claim to fame for the Mc10:35 came with the 1999 Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy, as Menuism explains.

Thanks to the switch to all-day breakfast, the name is no longer as vital to the order as it once was. To try one for yourself, order an Egg McMuffin and a McDouble, then simply place the insides of the McMuffin in the burger. If you'd rather have McMuffins as your carbs, simply remove the burger buns and place the McDouble inside the McMuffin.

McDonald's breakfast hacks lead you to chicken and waffles

Few breakfast meals perfectly toe the line of sweet and savory like chicken and waffles. Something about rich maple syrup and sweet, fluffy bread just makes it the perfect match for salty fried chicken. While McDonald's doesn't have the real thing (waffles aren't even available at the chain), it is possible to get a close McDonald's version of chicken and waffles by modifying a regular breakfast order.

It all starts with the McGriddle. The maple-flavored griddle pancakes are sweet without being sticky, thanks to some cunning engineering, as Wired reports. Sausage is the meat of choice if you go off of the menu, but you can order a Hot 'N Spicy McChicken Biscuit and swap the protein for a spicy chicken and waffles version. McDonald's briefly served a Chicken McGriddle, which made the whole process easier. However, the chain no longer features it on the standard menu.

It's possible to take this chicken and waffles approach to a bigger meal as well. On Reddit, a former employee said that the best breakfast order was a Big Breakfast With Hotcakes, which has hotcakes, sausage, a biscuit, eggs, and hash browns. Then, replace the sausage with chicken and the biscuit with a McGriddle. The result is a whole meal reminiscent of classic chicken and waffles that will keep you full for more hours than you'd probably like to admit.

Create a McCrepe with this McDonald's breakfast hack

There's a good chance that anyone who is a fan of French food or the foodie lifestyle is familiar with crepes. These are essentially thin pancakes without raising agents that can be sweet or savory. Crepes can come with any number of fillings, including fruit, whipped cream, spices, and cheese. Honestly, if you can fit an ingredient in a thin pancake, then there's a chance someone in the world is making a crepe with just that.

The off-menu McDonald's version of a crepe (or the McCrepe, if you follow the classic McDonald's naming formula) is slightly different. The most obvious difference is that McDonald's doesn't serve the thin pancakes necessary for a fully authentic experience. But that hasn't stopped the McCrepe from becoming one of the most popular "secret" breakfast menu items, according to HacktheMenu. To make one yourself, order a hotcake and a yogurt parfait. Then, put the yogurt parfait onto the hotcake and fold it just like you would with a crepe. From there, granola, bacon, syrup, ice cream, or any other ingredient available on the McDonald's menu is fair game to add.

It should be noted, however, that the McCrepe doesn't inspire the same amount of love that traditional crepes do. Schuyler Velasco, a staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor, described the McCrepe as a food that's "here to sully the good name of crepes."

This McDonald's breakfast hack is all about the eggs

Not all eggs are equal at McDonald's. In fact, there are a number of different types of eggs that you could get, depending on your order, McDonald's says. For scrambled eggs, a pre-made liquid egg mixture is used. The folded eggs of Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit fame "are made with liquid eggs that are pre-cooked and folded before being flash frozen by our suppliers" and then cooked on the grill at the McDonald's location. The Sausage Burritos use a similar pre-cooked liquid egg mixture with the sausage, tomatoes, green chiles, onions, and seasoning. It's also flash-frozen by McDonald's suppliers.

Then, there's the round egg, which is a USDA Grade A egg that's cracked into an egg ring to cook. McDonald's calls the egg ring "an ingenious tool" that makes sure the egg "effortlessly fits the English muffin and is easy to hold when eating." It's also, notably, the only fresh cracked egg in the lineup. So, if you prefer your eggs to come straight out of the shell rather than a pre-mixed container, ask to substitute a round egg.

For McDonald's dedicated egg lovers, you can feel better about the sourcing of said eggs in the future. By 2025, McDonald's says that it will source only cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada. That's a pretty big deal, considering the fast food giant uses about 2 billion eggs in the U.S. every year.

Order your McDonald's hash browns well done

McDonald's describes its hash browns as "perfectly crispy." According to the company, the little oblong rounds are "fluffy on the inside and crispy and toasty on the outside" and fans agree that McDonald's puts out some of the best fast food hash browns available. Yet, they're not quite crispy enough for some McDonald's fans out there. However, there's a simple solution: order them well done.

For FoodBeast, Peter Pham writes that the best type of McDonald's hash browns are well-done hash browns. Extra crispy hash browns were some of his favorite things to make for his break during his years as a teenage McDonald's employee. All he had to do is let the hash brown patties cook for a couple of extra minutes. 

The result is a hash brown that's slightly darker in color but texturally "miles crispier" with "a satisfying crunch to your bite." As an added bonus, the modified hash browns don't get super soggy if you order your meal to go. This breakfast hack will take a little longer and may annoy McDonald's employees who are rushing to get everything out for a line of impatient customers. Be conscientious and order this McDonald's menu hack at the appropriate time, when there's not too much pressure on the staff.

A hash brown McMuffin is a delicious McDonald's menu hack

Getting your McDonald's hash browns extra crispy isn't the only thing you should be doing with potato products in order to make the most of your McDonald's breakfast. One of the most popular McDonald's breakfast orders, the McMuffin, is made all the better with the addition of a hash brown inside of the sandwich.

McDonald's calls this modification the "Menu Remix #82." The construction is surprisingly easy, in fact being more simple than making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home. To get the "Menu Remix #82", first order a McMuffin and a hash brown patty. Then, take the top off the McMuffin, place the hash brown inside, and then put the English muffin top back on. That's all there is to it. While the whole construction sounds simple, the flavor really delivers. McDonald's doesn't make 15-second how-to videos for just any of their customer favorite breakfast hacks, after all.

If this hack is something you enjoy, then don't limit yourself to just reworking McMuffins. Throw hash browns on burgers or bagels, too. The sky's the limit.

Menu hacks can produce a Chicken Cordon Bleu McMuffin

Chicken cordon bleu is a heavy yet irresistible meal with plenty of meat wrapped around plenty of cheese. It was first created in the 1940s in Brigg, Switzerland using thinly pounded and fried veal, according to The Courier, which also notes the name (which translates to "blue ribbon") is the French symbol of a great chef. Chicken has replaced veal in some recipes over time, though the dish remains a classic favorite either way.

This Chicken Cordon Bleu McMuffin McDonald's version is decidedly not fine dining. It is, however, a delicious meal in a pinch, and it has the added bonus of a McDonald's round egg. YouTuber OurCommunityNowDMV makes one by simply ordering a chicken biscuit and an Egg McMuffin with Canadian bacon. Open the top of the Egg McMuffin, take out the chicken from the chicken biscuit, and put the chicken on top of the Canadian bacon. Et Voila: a McDonald's chicken cordon bleu. 

According to Fast Food Menu Prices, there is an off chance that your local McDonald's employees already know about the order and can make one without you having to assemble the sandwich for yourself. If not, well, it doesn't exactly take a degree from Le Cordon Bleu to make one of these sandwiches.

McDonald's breakfast hacks can switch burger buns with hash browns

If you really enjoy the McDonald's hash browns, then there's more you can do with them than ask for extra crispy hash browns and adding the patties into breakfast sandwiches and burgers. This one is for the ultimate McDonald's hash brown lover, who will rejoice at the prospect of using hash brown patties themselves as the bun. If you want to try this McDonald's menu hack, order the extra-crispy hash browns if you can. This will ensure that the hash browns are sturdy enough to carry the weight of a sandwich.

According to the Twitter account of the radio station Jewel 92.5, in 2016, "some McDonald's restaurants in Canada are selling a hash brown burger and waffle fries combo." It apparently was not enough of a hit for the fast food chain to bring the sandwich south to the United States, but that shouldn't stop anyone from making their own version. All it really takes is adding two hash browns to your order and doing some light assembly. Just be prepared to eat quickly. Hash browns lack the structural integrity of English muffins, buns, or biscuits, so you may be racing against a slightly unstable sandwich.

Start your morning with a McAffogato breakfast hack

If you are the type of breakfast fan who lands squarely on the sweet side of the menu, this recipe is for you. The "McAffogato", as The Takeout and many fans call it, is an ice cream and espresso drink that is the sweetest way to get your caffeine fix at McDonald's.

Sometimes also known as a vanilla espresso shake, an affogato is traditionally an Italian dessert drink that includes a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over it (via Chicago Tribune). The McAffogato takes just two orders to make on your own. All you'll need to ask for are an espresso shot and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The main hiccup you might encounter is if the ice cream machine is down, though you can always lean on the very handy McBroken app if you want to know if your local McDonald's has a working ice cream machine. 

You can play around with the strength of your drink depending on how you like it. On TikTok, which is full of McDonald's hacks, user maveena set the standard of one-shot for one small ice cream. Yet TikTok user morganhumble opts for a double espresso in a medium milkshake. Really, any size and ratio is fair game for this McDonald's breakfast hack. Just make sure you have a large enough cup so the mixture doesn't spill.