As the biggest fast food chain in the world, McDonald's seems to have perfected its menu and ways of cooking since it first opened in 1948. However, the chain isn't beyond making tweaks to its processes from time to time, with one change being criticized by both customers and former employees. It would appear that McDonald's has changed the way it incorporates onions into its burgers and may be misrepresenting them in the process.
In early 2023, McDonald's announced that it would be adding onions to its burger patties while the patties were still on the grill. This is a change from how it was previously added to the burgers. Prior to the change, employees would add onions to the burger after cooking -- when they were assembling the sandwich. McDonald's marketed the change as a way of adding a caramelized flavor to one's sandwich (per McDonald's). However, this appears to be blatantly false. Taking to TikTok, former McDonald's corporate chef Mike Haracz pointed out that the onions on McDonald's burgers are actually uncooked. He said, "These onions are not cooked at all whatsoever."
Haracz criticized the company for not correcting its marketing when it comes to its onions. Caramelized onions are typically cooked in butter or oil as a way to soften the vegetable and bring out a natural sweetness.
Why McDonald's Made The Change
As a former chef for the corporation, Mike Haracz has some theories on why McDonald's may have made the change to its procedures, but this shouldn't be taken as fact. He believes that McDonald's may have also made changes to its patties as well. He said, "What I think is happening is they're trying to sop up some of the grease because they've reduced the size of the burger patty or have added more fat into the mix." The dehydrated onions mix with the fats and juices of the burgers, giving them an onion flavor that McDonald's is marketing as caramelized.
It's worth noting that, in most cases, McDonald's uses rehydrated onions on its burgers. The exception to the rule is that it will use freshly sliced onions for its Quarter Pounders. Dehydrated onions come to McDonald's locations in a package. Employees then add water and allow the onions to sit for several hours before straining the excess water. These onions are then ready to place on one's burger. Rehydrated onions have a similar taste in some aspects to caramelized onions. They lose that bite and tanginess that a fresh onion has, having the same subtle sweetness that caramelized onions have. For that reason, many customers might not notice the difference.
Fans Aren't A Fan Of McDonald's Changes
While some may not notice the difference, others have been dissatisfied with the change that McDonald's made to its burgers. It seems that many take issue with the fact that onions are coming in contact with burgers at the grill, rather than the onions being uncooked entirely. On X (formerly Twitter), one person wrote, "I guess McDonald's really doesn't want my business. In their grand wisdom, they are going to make burgers with onions already in the patties; it's not bad enough they are already [putting] a million onions on there. Now we don't get a choice." Another user also tweeted, expressing a similar sentiment, "As someone who hates onions, I'm worried about McDonald's new policy of cooking onions directly on the grill. I won't eat White Castle burgers for this very reason."
For what it is worth, customers can still make changes to their orders and request no onions, but in responding to Mike Haracz's TikTok, some commenters revealed that their requests for no onions aren't always granted. One person wrote, "My issue is the little onions get everywhere, so when I order no onions, I always still get some." Other commenters criticized the texture of the onions as being halfway between raw and caramelized.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.