Review: BBQ Ranch Burger from McDonald’s

I’m drawn to fast food burgers on value menus.  McDonald’s has one of the best fast food value menus around with their Dollar Menu.  Starting today the Dollar Menu becomes the Dollar Menu & More and with it there are a few changes (McDouble is no longer $1.00 and the Bacon McDouble is $2.00).  The change I’m most interested in is the increase in new menu items and the one that caught my eye first is the BBQ Ranch Burger.

BBQ Ranch Burger McDonald'sPriced at $1.00, the BBQ Ranch Burger takes a seat alongside the $1.00 Grilled Onion Cheddar which was introduced late last year.  The Grilled Onion Cheddar has become one of my go-to’s at McDonald’s and with the addition of the BBQ Ranch Burger for the same price, I’m in a bit of a fast food love triangle.

BBQ Ranch McDonald's BurgerThe BBQ Ranch Burger is a single beef patty burger with white cheddar, crispy tortilla strips and a barbecue ranch sauce.  The 100% beef patty is the small 1.8 ounce size and is prepared with the standard salt and black pepper.  You all know the familiar taste right?  It’s one of the saltier fast food burgers in my opinion and maybe that’s what gives it that addictive quality for me.  Atop the BBQ Ranch Burger is a slice of white cheddar cheese which is a processed slice that doesn’t melt as well as I’d like. This is a mild cheddar so it isn’t much of a taste standout, but it does the trick.

BBQ Ranch Burger McD'sThe crunchy tortilla strips aren’t a burger topping that I’m used to so I was looking forward to seeing how they’d do with the BBQ Ranch Burger.  I was a little wary considering that the recent Southwest Chicken McWrap had the same tortilla strips and some were stale, limp and weighed down by excess sauce.  Fortunately, the tortilla strips worked really well with the BBQ Ranch Burger as they were plentiful and packed just enough to have crunchy impact.  They aren’t anything more than salted corn tortilla strips, but that was just fine with me.  The barbecue ranch sauce did its job in the flavor department.  As is to be expected, the BBQ Ranch Burger’s flavor is mostly from the sauce.  Since ranch is involved, it’s slightly creamier than regular barbecue sauce.  What I took most from the barbecue ranch sauce is its sweetness.   I felt the sweetness needed to be cut back a tad, and that’s saying a lot since you’d figure it would be balanced with all the saltiness from the burger.  I was pleased that the barbecue ranch sauce had a slight kick of heat to it.  Barbecue sauces that figure out how to combine elements of tangy, sweet, bold and spicy are winners to me.  The barbecue ranch sauce leans on the side of just sweet and spicy.  This sauce should have been used with the Southwest Chicken McWrap and I think its appeal would’ve been a lot broader.McDonald's BBQ RanchThe major appeal with the BBQ Ranch Burger will first be the $1.00 price-tag and it’s hard to argue with a buck.  With the rising costs of some old favorites, the likes of the Grilled Onion Cheddar and BBQ Ranch Burger will have to stand out with less burger and a different taste.  The Grilled Onion Cheddar succeeded enough to become a regular buy for me.  I don’t think as highly of the BBQ Ranch Burger, but I feel it’s a worthy addition to the new Dollar Menu & More.  This burger has a good crunch and a little heat to its sauce so in the end, it was one dollar well spent.

Pros: Just a dollar. Slight kick from the barbecue ranch sauce. Plentiful crunchy tortilla strips.

Cons: Barbecue ranch sauce lacked any bold qualities. White cheddar does more in texture than in taste.

Taste: 7.00/10
Value: 7.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.00/10
Price: $1.00

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

More Info: http://www.mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
350 calories

29 comments on “Review: BBQ Ranch Burger from McDonald’s

  1. BigBelly says:

    a processed cheese that doesn’t melt well? that sounds kinda fishy to me, was it cold?
    wonder how it would taste if you bought one of these, and a GOC, and slapped them together

  2. Alex K. says:

    I’ll have to try this. Good review as usual. Haven’t had McDonald’s for awhile, so now I have an excuse to go.

  3. Grant says:

    Had one today. My cheese was melted and it was a very good burger for $1. Must say I was impressed that the tortilla strips were so crunchy.

    I agree, that if this sauce was used in a wrap it would jump to the top in taste.

    Also had the buffalo ranch mcchicken. It was exactly how it sounds. Squirt of buffalo, squirt of ranch and a mcchicken patty. It was probably a 6.5/10

  4. Jay Melo says:

    Instead of constantly introducing new burgers it would be nice if they offered a basic burger with your choice of sauce and toppings. Choices- bbq, sweet&sour, ranch, usual McD sauces. And also a choice of toppings- fries, tort strips, grilled onions, bacon, cheese etc. Sauces would be free and toppings would be extra for each. This way they could introduce new toppings and sauces any time.

  5. Scrape says:

    Mourning the passing of the $1 McDouble…BY FAR the best deal in the fast food market. Now the regular cheeseburger is $.99.

    • Ray says:

      The McDouble is $1.19 in my area… probably still the best deal in fast food. Although now that the price gap has closed a little for the Double Cheeseburger ($1.29), it becomes an option for me as well.

      • A-Gar says:

        Sorry to disagree, but the Big Hamburger from Carl’s Jr., at $1.29, is by far the best value in fast food. I’d rather have one big, flavorsome burger patty than two tasteless, grey, limp things.

        • Ray says:

          The closest Carls Jr to me is 1,200 miles away, so I’ll have to take your word for it. The McDouble is still the best fast food value in many areas.

          • A-Gar says:

            Ray, do you have a Hardee’s nearby? I understand that it is virtually the same as Carl’s Jr. Do they offer a similar burger?

    • Mike N. says:

      There was a time when the Big N’ Tasty was $1 — THAT was a deal!

  6. A-Gar says:

    NO ONE should be mourning the increase in price for the McDouble. In many parts of the country, it’s been well over $1 for years, even over $2 in some regions. The cheeseburger has cost $1 for that entire time, as well.

  7. busterbunny says:

    Well it is still a loss for those of us who could still buy it for $1.00. I just did this past Friday in Seattle. It was tastier w the dollar price tag. Now we will only get 1 sad little child size patty for that price:( Hopefully some of these new toppings will alleviate some of my pocket pain.

  8. smarmycharmy says:

    I’m quite sad over the loss of the $1 McDouble. That and a large unsweetened iced tea was my go-to afternoon snack while on the go. After trying the new BBQ Ranch Burger, I’m willing to shell out the $1.19 for the McDouble, since this new concoction is too funky and flavorless for my liking.

    The white cheese on my BBQ Ranch Burger was waxy and didn’t melt. While the crunch from the tortilla strips was a welcome texture change, the BBQ Ranch sauce was too sweet and kinda gloopy in my opinion, and reminded me of the BBQ Ranch dressing from Panera/Paradise (which I don’t care for either). All I could taste was the BBQ Ranch and bun, since the cheese was flavorless and the sauce overpowered the saltiness of the meat and tortilla strips.

    I give this one a 3/10, with the only points coming from the tortilla strips.

  9. Patrick T says:

    I heard this first on GrubGrade, and it sparked my interest when I was reminded back on this review when I saw this on the dollar menu at my local McDonald’s. To be honest, I was pretty psyched to give it a bite and ultimately, it lived up to the expectations.

    For a dollar, this burger is pure guilty pleasure. The chips were nice and crisp and surprisingly goes well with the burger itself. The BBQ Ranch sauce had a good amount of creaminess and the perfect amount of BBQ flavor. The only gripe there is for this burger is the cheese, which played almost no role. But when buying this burger, I expect the BBQ Ranch to be the star and the star has really shone tonight.

    Seriously, can’t go wrong with a dollar. Maybe you’ll hate it or love it, but it’s definitely worth a try.

  10. Beefonstick says:

    Just had one as well as the bufalo mcchicken. Both of mine came with bacon! Hooray new item confusion…cause the bacon really set them off the chain.
    Also, mcdouble still standing at $1 here in Richmond. This was a good day.

  11. Guamish says:

    Not bad. not my favorite though. New crew gave me an extra patty. It might be why i could not taste the sauce. Chips were crunchy but kinda meh.

  12. Steph says:

    didn’t know anything about this burger when I went through the drive through tonight. I like bbq, I like ranch, I thought this would be an obvious choice. didn’t know about the chips. imagine my surprise when I bit into the burger and their was crunching, in my dark car, where I couldn’t see anything. the sauce was meh, had a bit of a kick, but didn’t really taste like bbq or ranch and the combo of the sauce, cheese, and the chips tasted like chili cheese fritos. i was not impressed and likely won’t be repurchasing. still love the onion cheddar burger though.

  13. Roger says:

    FAIL. Tasted disgusting. I didn’t know it came with tortilla strips. I thought that they were poisoning me so I threw the burger out the window. It is still on the side of the road. Not even the rodents will touch it. Last straw. I’m going vegan before I die.

  14. Erika says:

    I found this burger to be good on flavor, but terribly dry. There is simply too much bun to go along with tasty, but relatively minimal toppings.

  15. FA says:

    Blah. I just had one with stale limp tortilla strips, which obviously killed the taste. Too much of a kick for me too. I’ll have to scoop out the bread on my next one.

  16. A says:

    Nasty, too salty. Ordered the grilled onion cheeseburger in a drive through not in my town and imagine my surprise expecting the veiled onion and getting this. Was even wrapped in the grilled onion wrapper. Didn’t have time to turn around a waste my time after it took them 5 min in the drive through to give me the wrong burger.

  17. FA says:

    @A- Yep, sounds like their standard customer service!
    I’ve been getting a free one with any purchase. And it’s still only tolerable. Great supplement to dog food, though!

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