McDonalds' Big Mac and White Castle Hamburger Recipes

Let's have a little fun today. This is the first of a two, possibly three -- possibly more part series, of sandwiches.

In particular, hamburgers.

Almost every restaurant serves a signature burger and the "trick" that makes them unique is different with each. With some it's the cooking method, some its the sauce and with some it's the topping. Let's start off with the most famous of all -- McDonald's Big Mac.

With the Big Mac it’s all about the special sauce.

It's that special sauce that sets it apart from other burgers. Without the sauce it’s just any ol' double-decker burger.

Get the sauce right and pretty much any burger will taste like a Big Mac.

Below is a video recipe from McDonald's Canada that we feel comes very close to the taste of McDonald’s Secret Sauce.

As the chef in the video below says, the recipe is all over the web, and there are many, many recipes attempts for the secret sauce. Many people claim it is just Thousand Island. While in the broad sense of the term, this is true (The restaurant industry's definition of 1000 Island is – in a few words – tartar sauce with tomato sauce) there is no store bought 1000 Island that tastes quite right. There is something else in there.

That “something else” is what has been debated so heatedly on the web.

Many recipes on the web add a bit of French Dressing. Others call for Fresh Onions. Still others, a touch of Sugar. We found one that we like that comes pretty close -- "straight from the horse's mouth" so to speak.  

McDonald’s Special Sauce Recipe

Here is a list of the ingredients mentioned in the video.

You're going to have to play around with the amounts in the secret sauce a little. In our experiments we got different results with different brands of mayo, relish and mustard. If you get a good recipe with SPECIFIC brands please leave a comment and let us all know.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Sweet Pickle Relish
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika

McDonald's Big Mac Recipe

Here are your other ingredients to make a big Mac, straight from the 1970's!

“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun!”

If you remember that, you are as old as we are. :)

Here is a a more detailed order of assembly for you Big Mac. (Note that the video above does also contain a description of this assembly.)

From bottom to top:
  1. Bottom Bun
  2. Special Sauce
  3. Pinch of minced fresh Onions
  4. Shredded Lettuce
  5. 2 Dill Pickles
  6. Slice of American Cheese
  7. Burger Patty (Note - Watch the video for preparation of the burger -- though to be honest, it is just a thin burger patty.)
  8. Middle bun (Note - use the bottom bun from another bun in the pack if you can't find Triple-Layer buns at the store.)
  9. Special Sauce
  10. Pinch of minced fresh Onions
  11. Shredded Lettuce
  12. 2 Dill Pickles
  13. Burger Patty
  14. Top Bun

Unlike the Big Mac where the sauce is the key with White Castle Sliders the key is the cooking method.

The company itself describes the cooking as "steaming" rather than frying. The patties have 5 holes in each of them (have you ever noticed?) to allow the steam to rise through to the buns and allow the patties to cook without flipping.

They also coat the grill with water (along with the onions) before putting the meat on to create more steam.

All this makes it very easy for them to produce the 100's and 100's of burgers a day that they sell but very difficult for us to reproduce at home.

But let's try anyway, shall we?

White Castle Sliders


  • 1 pound of 85% lean Ground Beef 
  • 16 small Buns (Dinner Rolls work quite nicely or you can cut hot dog buns in half) 
  • 1 cup dehydrated Onion - rehydrated 
  • Sliced Dill Pickles 
  1. Divide the beef into 16 equal sized pieces. 
  2. Form each into a 2−1/2 inch square, very thin patties. Do this on waxed paper. 
  3. Then "cookie−cut" five holes in each patty.The pattern should resemble 5 on a dice. A CLEAN pen cap or small bottle cap works nicely. 
  4. Freeze these 16 patties. 
  5. On a pre−heated 375 degree electric griddle, lay about 1−1/2 Tablespoons of onion for each patty you want to cook along with a little of the water from the onion. The onions should be spread into a single layer. 
  6. Immediately place frozen patty directly on top of onions and press down.
  7. Cook for about 4 minutes right on top of the onions. The holes in the beef will allow the steam to cook the top side. (You don't flip)
  8. Place the buns on the patties at about the halfway mark.

If you want to do it like they do at White Castle:

  1. Place the top bun face-down on the patty. 
  2. Place the bottom bun face-down on the top bun 
  3. When the meat is done, using a spatula, remove the three layers and grab the bottom bun. 
  4. Flip it over and place it under the spatula. 
  5. Slide the burger off of the spatula.
If you have done it correctly, it should be perfectly completed. Add a dill pickle slice and you are done.

I will have a couple more favorites tomorrow.


Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes
After a long day spent in one of his restaurants or taping a television show, what Bobby Flay craves more than anything else is... a crusty-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside burger; a fistful of golden, crisp, salty fries; and a thick, icy milkshake.

Given the grilling guru’s affinity for bold flavors and signature twists on American favorites, it’s no surprise that he has crafted the tastiest recipes ever for this ultimate food trio.

Try the Cheyenne Burger, which gets slathered with homemade barbecue sauce and then piled high with bacon and shoestring onion rings, or the Santa Fe Burger, topped with a blistered poblano, queso sauce, and crumbled blue corn tortilla chips.

After you’ve mastered the burger, discover Bobby’s secrets to cooking up the best French fries, as well as homemade potato chips and onions rings.

Wash it all down with a creamy shake, from Fresh Mint-Chocolate Speckled Milkshake to Blackberry Cheesecake Milkshake (or a spiked adult variation).

 For outdoor summer bashes and casual weeknight meals that even the kids will get excited about, Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes will share that bliss and remind you just why the burger is such a beloved American original.


If you like this recipe, you should sign-up for our FREE Restaurant Recipes Emails. We'll send you a Cool Starbucks Recipe Book just for trying us out. You'll love it.  

Photo of Big Mac is by dzsimbo and is used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) License. 
Portions of this recipe were researched at Wiki-How -'s-Big-Mac
Photo of White Castle Double Slider is by Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist and is used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) License.


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Doreen's Kitchen said...

For the White Castle sliders, I add just a bit of beef broth (made from bouillion) and mix into the ground beef. Then I flatten it ALL out on waxed paper on a cookie sheet, freeze for about 20 min, use a knife dipped in warm water to cut into squares THEN use a straw to poke the holes, and freeze thoroughly before frying.
For the dehydrated onions I use 1 part dried onions to 3 parts water, stir and set aside until ready to fry the sliders. White Castle now sells Dueseldorf mustard too, altho I suppose one could just buy that at the grocery store.