Former McDonald's chef names what food item you should and shouldn't order

Pictured: Mike Haracz working as a McDonald’s chef.
-Credit: (Image: Jam Press/Culinary Fight Club)

A former McDonald’s chef has disclosed what he says you should and shouldn't order from the menu. Mike Haracz, who held the title of Manager of Culinary Innovation for the US menu for four years, has lifted the lid on the fast food chain's 'secrets'.

Sharing his favourite meal and the best customer swaps, 40-year-old Mike has some very useful tips. He says he wouldn't order the iconic bagel breakfast sandwich as it is and would switch the standard folded egg to either a round egg or the scrambled option.

And timing, according to Mike, is everything. “I feel like the folded egg used on their breakfast sandwiches tends to be dry and lack flavour,” Mike, who spent years developing new items and limited-time offers, told NeedToKnow.

“The new bun is not as good as it used to be. I would recommend asking for it steamed for a better burger experience."

Mike said his advice is based on "personal taste preferences" as there is nothing to avoid from a food safety perspective. But with over 20 years of professional experience, as well as degrees in culinary arts and culinary nutrition, he knows the tricks of the trade.

Mike’s personal favourite order is a classic. He said: “The best option is the quarter pounder with cheese, but you need to eat it within a few minutes of being served to know the difference.

"The US has switched to cooking fresh beef to order for quarter pounders. If you wait too long to eat it, all of the quality improvements are lost and it tastes the way that it used to.”

In the United Kingdom, McDonald's uses patties made from 100% British and Irish beef, ensuring a delicious taste when eaten immediately - especially when paired with a side of fries.

During his time working at McDonald’s, Mike would conduct sensory and quality testing on products and ingredients. He claims that due to the volume of food McDonald’s sells every day, the restaurant could be somewhat limited in what they launch nationally.

He said: “There might not be enough of an ingredient in the world to support it on the menu. McDonald’s corporate would provide guidelines on many aspects of the restaurants including the cooking process and hold times for food ingredients.

“Working in the corporate kitchens is a very different experience than working in the restaurants. We were not cooking for guests, however, the kitchens were designed to replicate the footprint of these restaurants.

“Just like every restaurant, the busier it was the harder it is to maintain some standards. Being properly or understaffed has a dramatic effect on the quality of food being served.”