Fans Are Debating Whether The Big Mac Has Been 'Shrinking' Over The Years

Many people know the slogan for McDonald's Big Mac by heart — "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun." But recalling Wendy's eternal question, "Where's the Beef?", some eagle-eyed internet fans have noticed that, lately, the size of the Big Mac patties are leaving much to be desired.

McDonald's states the burger is 100% pure beef, without specifying the weight of each patty. But as former employee Zachary Brewer noted on Quora, "When the Big Mac was first introduced, it was made with two pieces of 'quarter meat,' as in each piece is a quarter-pound before cooking. Now, it is made with two pieces of '10-1 meat,' meaning each is 1.6 ounces before cooking," which is roughly the same size as a regular hamburger (via Today).

Many people on the platform argued it was always that way, with one who noted, "'Quarter meat' didn't come along until the Quarter Pounder did, five or six years after the Big Mac." But another countered, "I could tell by looking at them the Big Macs are definitely very small compared to what they used to be in the meat department. I don't need a scale, I got two eyeballs and I can see. You can't even see the meat in the bun barely." And another noted, "[The] Big Mac is definitely not as big. The patties on the ones I've gotten recently ... were like eating a Big Mac bun with the works!" And another Quora user stated, " I like to call it the Bread Mac. Two tiny patties of meat with way too much bread."

The burger size may leave a lot to be desired, but there are hacks to try

Because the Big Mac patties are exactly the same size as a hamburger, but at twice the price, many Reddit posters have started ordering a "Big Mac Hack" — that is ordering "a McDouble with no ketchup, no mustard, add lettuce, add mac sauce, and it's pretty much the same thing," for half the cost, though you don't get the sesame seeds or the middle bun. Serious Eats calls it a "Poor Man's Big Mac," noting the assembly methods are completely opposite, and the difference in layering results in better melted cheese in the original. The outlet reports, however, that without the middle bun, the hack and the original weigh exactly the same. And while lamenting the lack of sesame seeds, they otherwise found very little difference between the two versions. 

One Quora user suggested a different hack to get a properly proportioned Big Mac. "You will pay more, but you can ask for them to be made with the 1/4-pound patties if you want." They're not wrong — that was actually a variation McDonald's played with a few years ago when they released the "Grand Mac," which contained two quarter-pound patties (via Fast Food Menu Prices). While it's not officially on the menu these days, with all the other McDonald's hacks and secret menu items getting a lot of publicity recently, and actually being embraced by the restaurant chain, there's a good possibility it could make a comeback.