Takeaway Truth: McDonald’s McRib

Takeaway Truth: McDonald’s McRib
Image; Lifehacker

The McRib is back. I actually have no idea what a McRib is, but it’s back, and it’s apparently one of the fast food chain’s most commonly requested limited menu items. So we’ve picked one up, tasted it and, more importantly, seen how it stacks up to its glossy (and saucy) promotional imaging. Here’s our verdict.

The McRib is a true product of the 80’s, a BBQ pork style burger that was released for a few years in the US then withdrawn from sale due to poor numbers. It was later brought back after gaining a strange cult following, and since then has been on and off the market at restaurants all over the world.

Australia, however, hasn’t seen the McRib since 2012, when it was marketed as the “Atlanta McRib” as an Olyhmpic tie-in. But from today, it’s back.

The McRib is described on Macca’s website as:

Your favourite McRib is back– but only for a limited time. Delicious pork dripping in smokey BBQ McRib sauce, topped with onions and our famous pickles, all on a soft bun.

In terms of elements it’s pretty simple: pork ‘rib’ patty, sauce, onions, pickles and bun. And the damage, nutrition-wise?

The McRib has 1990kJ, 475 calories, 23.6g of protein, 24.6g of fat, 38.2g of carbs and a whopping 786mg sodium (almost all of your daily recommended intake). It’s not the worst as far as fast food goes, but you don’t want to be indulging in one of these all too often.

Here’s what the McRib looks like in McDonald’s official imaging:

Image: McDonald’s

You can see all the elements in there pretty clearly. The meat is front and centre, generously sauced, and the pickles and onions have a good little showing up the top. The bun looks nice and soft but plump. Curiously, even though the McRib is an oval-shaped burger and looks like it in other images, this picture looks more regular burger shaped. It may just be the angle, however.

Here’s the burger we were served from a McDonald’s in the Sydney CBD:

Image: Lifehacker

The bun shape is noticeably different, though again that might just be an angle thing, but more importantly the whole thing is dominated by the sauce more than anything else. Like most taste tests, the whole burger is a little more deflated looking than the promo version, with flatter buns and skinnier meat. The biggest difference between the promo version and our version is that you can’t see the pickles or the onions at all from the outside.

Thankfully they were still there, and I’m impressed that they didn’t skimp on the sauce, one of the worst Takeaway Truth offences for burgers like these.

Taste-wise the McRib is actually pretty tasty if you’re a fan of oodles of tangy BBQ sauce. The onions and pickles balance out the sweetness of the sauce nicely, and the pork definitely isn’t like any pork (or ribs) I’ve ever tasted, but it’s still pretty tasty somehow. It’s quite rich so I wouldn’t choose it often, but I would probably go another McRib in future.

Truth Verdict: 6/10

Taste Verdict: 7/10


  • never had one before and didn’t know it was “back”. but saw it on the menu when ordering lunch today so gave it a try. mine was “upside down” with the meat on top, which matters not a single bit. I cant really say its anything other than “not bad”. id order it again for variety, but it wont be changing my go to big mac / triple cheese burger.

  • tried one of these last night when i was hungry and saw it pop up on Uber Eats. its not terrible but its not amazing either. it was just a bit meh. i personally dont think pork works well as a burger meat to be honest.

  • Just got a Mc Rib, never tried it before but I went in with high expectations, unfortunately not impressed at all, the meat is pretty flavourless, would compare it to a regular hamburger (the non cheese- cheese burger).

  • Drool. The McRib was a joy and anyone over 40 will remember it fondly. The last time I tried it, it was still pretty good, but not as good as that original ’80s version. I suspect that what with the nanny-state focus on health rather taste, it might be another level of flavoursomeness lower than before. Even so, I’m going to grab one now!

  • I had one today, it was exactly as I remembered it, not the best burger ever sold by Ronald but far from the worst. I probably won’t have another one but I don’t regret having one today

    I saw a review on news.com.au of the McRib but cannot take advice from someone who refers to McDonalds as “Maccy D’s”, I mean seriously, what kind of psychopath would butcher together the accepted Australian abbreviation of “Maccas” and the American abbreviation “Micky D’s” into that freakish mashup?

  • I wouldn’t have one every day but they’re not too bad. Also, they have a lot more sauce than i remember the Atlanta Pork Burger back in ’12 did; and the meat was a lot less drier too…

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