The Simple Big Mac Hack You Didn't Know Existed

There's no question that McDonald's hacks and secret menu items have been taking the internet by storm in recent years. The iconic McDonald's Big Mac has a lot of fans, but it turns out, there are still ways to improve the classic sandwich. Instagram user Jonathan Massaad suggested a relatively effortless Big Mac hack to improve the ratio of bun to meat. His trick? He suggests taking off the top bun, then flipping the middle bun and top patty over, thereby making the middle bun the top bun of the sandwich.

Many people agree with the general idea that there's just too much bun in a Big Mac. As Thrillist stated, the middle bun is "useless" and throws off the balance of the burger. As one Instagram commenter noted, it's basically "extra bread for no reason."

However, there's another hack that's simpler — and a lot less messy. You can simply order a Big Mac and ask them to leave out the middle bun! (Occasionally, some employees will get the order wrong and serve it without a bun entirely, as one Reddit user found out.) But another Redditor noted that when done correctly, the employee taking the order will add a "special request" and note that you have asked for no center bun. Then you don't run the risk of the kind of sloppiness that comes from disassembling and reassembling your burger on your own.

The hack still costs the same price as a regular Big Mac

Considering that some people believe the size of the Big Mac patties have been shrinking over the years, some people might not want to pay the same price for the sandwich without the middle bun. As one user on Jonathan Massaad's Instagram post stated, "I paid for that bun bra! Never waste," while another noted, "So you're teaching the public to waste food."

One Quora user, though, wondered whether a Big Mac would still be a Big Mac if it didn't have the middle bun, and commenters were split. While some felt it would be because it still had the Mac sauce, which another agreed, stating, " What's not a Big Mac is a Big Mac with no Mac Sauce!" However, another felt that the middle bun is a key part of its identity, stating, "I think not, to be signature sandwich, such as the Big Mac it would have to have the middle piece other wise it just a double burger." 

Still, another commenter pointed out that the well-known Big Mac jingle doesn't say anything about the middle bun at all, pointing out, "The Big Mac consists of Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun."

Fans have been come up with ingenious Big Mac hacks

One hack, which Serious Eats called the Poor Man's Big Mac, involves just ordering a Double Cheeseburger or McDouble — whose patties are the same size as the Big Mac — and then asking for no ketchup or mustard but adding lettuce and Mac sauce.

However, as the McDouble has a regular bun without sesame seeds, some might feel it wouldn't taste like a true Big Mac (though Serious Eats found they could taste little difference). That's another issue with Massaad's hack — he suggests removing the top bun, but that's the bun that has all the sesame seeds. So if you'd prefer to keep those toasty little gems around, just ask for the middle bun to be removed.

And while some of the new "mash up" menu hacks may sound ingenious, others leave a lot to be desired. As The Washington Post reported, the "Land, Air & Sea" Big Mac — where McChicken and Filet-O-Fish patties are inserted into a full Big Mac — is, to most people, a huge, strange, mostly inedible concoction. (The Post's reporter stated after a taste test that it was "truly execrable.") The Dallas Observer similarly called it "McNasty," with reporters at both papers noting that when one tries to take a bite, the bun can't support all the protein slabs, cheese, and sauces and proceeds to fall apart quickly and messily.

Ordering no middle bun can lead to confusion

It turns out that while a lot of people do order Big Macs without middle buns, it's not something all employees know how to do. On a r/McDonaldsEmployees subreddit, one employee described a scenario where someone asked for no middle Big Mac bun. They rang it up as a "sub Sesame Bun" and their manager overrode them and said it wasn't correct, that they should instead ring it as a special request. And the rest of the employees on the board seemed to agree with the original poster.

On the other hand, a poster on the r/McDonalds board asked what they did with the top half of the middle bun in general, thinking that the middle bun was itself the bottom part of a full hamburger bun that they'd thrown away the top. Others helped set that user straight, noting that the Big Mac has as "three-part bun (heel, club, and crown)," with another explaining, "The Big Mac Buns come packaged as three part buns. It's a top middle and bottom. We don't take the bottom of another bun."

Given the misunderstandings around all these hacks and special requests, if you're sitting in a McDonald's drive through lane that's going very slowly, there's a good chance one of these are to blame.