How To Make Your Own Big Mac Sauce

The recipe for McDonald's Big Mac sauce has allegedly been leaked online and it is -- as most mass-produced sauces are -- a long list of oil, corn syrup, stabilisers, emulsifiers, flavourings and preservatives. It's (kind of) interesting, but not exactly helpful for those who want to replicate the sweet and tangy special sauce for their burgers at home.

Photo by rob_rob2001.

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Personally, I've never been super curious about McDonald's "special" sauce, because I had always assumed it was Thousand Island dressing. I'm also not sure exactly why one would need to make this sauce at home, because -- unlike a certain Disney movie-inspired Szechuan sauce -- this Mac (sauce) never went away.

But, because this is the internet, an enterprising blogger named Kelly Brinker created a recipe that that apparently comes pretty darn close to the real thing. (It isn't exactly Thousand Island, but it's very similar.) In order to verify the veracity of this claim, I made a batch and took a taste. To make the sauce, Kelly uses:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons French dressing
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

I dumped all of those fine ingredients into a bowl, stirred, and set in the fridge overnight to let all of the flavours meld.

Cover with plastic first.

After the required stint in the fridge I removed the sauce for visual inspection, and I must admit that it looked the part.

I didn't have two all-beef patties on hand, so I grabbed some fries and took a dip.

The sauce did taste very special, with the only real difference being that there are no actual onion pieces in the McDonald's version, but I don't know that this would be a deal breaker for anyone. So yeah, this is an A+ clone of McDonald's Big Mac sauce. This is great news for anyone who wishes to make their own Big Macs, or for those people who want to incorporate a little bit of that I-Can't-Believe-It's-Technically-Food McDonald's magic into their home cooking. In all seriousness though, it's pretty good, and I will be putting mine on many burgers.

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    Didn't some maccas CEO/big shot gives us the recipe a few years back on their YouTube channel?
    Could've sworn they did a Today show piece for it and Karl Stefanovic made it

    Thousand Island dressing??? Thank God you're not a food

    Yeah.... that's wrong. It's mayo, pickle relish, white wine vinegar, American mustard, paprika, garlic powder & onion powder. And that's from a Maccas exec... the video is still on YouTube

    Just go to coles.
    "special burger sauce"
    very very good :)

    There is a guy on, whose channel is called 'Ballistic BBQ'. He has a recipe that he supposedly got out of some McDonalds manual, or possibly from the video you guys mentioned. He does say he has to add sugar, which I don't think was part of his original recipe. It's spot on, though. If you put it on a regular homemade burger, it's good, but if you put it on a regular fast food style burger it makes them all taste like big macs. I bought a cheeseburger from Sonics and slapped this on there and it tasted just like a big mac. A lot of the flavors I associated with the big mac, that I thought were other toppings, comes from this sauce. Give this guys version a try. It's simple and I've gotten spot on results with multiple attempts to make it.

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