Can You Really Order A McDonald's Burger Without Any Seasoning?

For those who practice a specialized diet but still want their fast food fix, the no-sodium route may be a middle ground. This is especially important for those with high blood pressure or who have a chronic disease that requires a lower sodium intake. Getting a fast food burger without that pesky salt sounds simple enough, but can you really order a burger without seasoning at McDonald's?

In theory, McDonald's should be able to accommodate the order without much hassle. According to the McDonald's website, employees season their burger patties after cooking them on the grill. The establishment doesn't get fancy with its seasonings either, using a mix of only salt and pepper — reportedly 86% pepper and 14% salt. Chef Bobby Flay would be proud. Since seasonings are added late in the cooking process, it should be simple to request no seasoning on your burger. 

Former McDonald's Chef Mike Haracz speculates on TikTok that being able to satisfy customer requests is one of the reasons that McDonald's doesn't season its beef patties before cooking. It's all a matter of the cook not adding that extra step when preparing your patty. However, there is still room for error so you may want to double-check that no seasoning was added to your burger.

The problem with seasoning

While in theory, it should be easy to order a burger without seasoning at McDonald's, that may not always work out in real life. Chef Mike Haracz pointed out a major flaw when it comes to McDonald's current assembly process. Seasoning is still added to burger patties, and to keep up with demand, Haracz says workers will often place the burgers in a warming station. He said, "Since it's seasoned after it's cooked and put in a UHC [warming station], it's going to have seasoning on it."


Replying to @putjer1 Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about seasoning their burgers. #mcdonaldshacks #McDonaldshack #McDonaldssecrets #McDonaldssecret #mcdonaldslife #McDonaldsTikTok #McDonaldsMenu #BigMac #QuarterPounder #doublequarterpounderwcheese #Cheeseburger #DoubleCheeseburger #McDouble #Hamburger #FYP

♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

However, that's not much of a problem if your meal is being cooked to order. McDonald's may have to cook your sandwich fresh, which could require a slightly longer wait. It takes longer to cook a burger from the grill than to grab a premade burger from the warming station. Impatient customers are one of the bigger pitfalls that McDonald's employees have reported when cooking items fresh. One Redditor, who claims to be a McDonald's employee, wrote, "It's not so much the cook-to-order process, but the expectations that the speed will remain the same when you're adding at least an extra four minutes or so of wait time." So don't be surprised if you are asked to pull forward and wait.

How to tell if seasoning was added

There's an easy way to quickly know if your burger isn't fixed to your liking. Salt and pepper have a distinctive and familiar taste. Ground beef is naturally low in sodium, so it isn't salty by nature. Since McDonald's uses a 100% beef patty, it theoretically shouldn't taste salty if no seasoning was added. 

Of course, if Chef Mike Haracz had his way, McDonald's would have started salting their patties before cooking them. In his TikTok, he said, "It will be such a better Quarter Pounder if you season it before you cook it." Technically, he's not wrong as most culinary advice instructs chefs to season their burger patties before plopping them on the grill. The salt and other seasonings interact with the protein fibers in the meat, making for a more tender burger. 

However, McDonald's refused to budge when it comes to their assembly process, which should be good news for those who prefer their burgers unseasoned. While seasoning prior to cooking may make for a more juicy burger, putting it on after the fact better allows the chain to accommodate dietary requests.