Review: Lettuce & Tomato Sirloin Third Pound Burger from McDonald’s

As we reported early last month, McDonald’s is set to release new Sirloin Third Pound Burgers on Monday, May 11th.  My local McDonald’s is offering them already and I figured I should start with the oddly named Lettuce & Tomato Sirloin Third Pound Burger for a GrubGrade review.

McDonalds Sirloin Burger 1I say it’s an odd name for a burger because it seems that traditional veggie toppings don’t really feel like they’re deserving of having a title.  Was the name “Classic” not accurate enough?  I’ll just call it the LT Sirloin Burger for the rest of this post.

McDonalds Sirloin Burger 2This new trio of premium Sirloin Third Pound burgers also includes the Bacon & Cheese and the Steakhouse.  McDonald’s wants you to forget about the Angus Third Pounder experiment, but it’s hard not to feel like this is all too familiar… and that’s not a bad thing.  The LT Sirloin Burger features leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, mayo, mustard, white Cheddar and beef seasoning. I paid $4.99 for my burger and it’s a hefty burger that felt like a fair value for a premium fast food menu item.

McDonalds Sirloin Burger 3McDonald’s is making some recent moves towards better quality with products like the new Artisan Grilled Sandwich and this new LT Sirloin Burger is no exception.  Putting aside the gripe of getting the title treatment, the leaf lettuce and tomato are exceptional in the new burger.  Bright, clean, crisp and fresh…. there’s one thick slice of tomato and a good amount of leaf lettuce pieces in the mix that makes for a refreshing crunch.  There’s plenty of red onion rings in the burger too, as well as four decent-sized pickles.  The pickles add a nice flavor element to the burger as they are not as sour and vinegary as the standard pickles found in other McDonald’s burgers.  It’s a little disappointing that the thick, crinkle-cut pickles from the Angus lineup didn’t make the cut, but these pickle still add a nice flavor.

McDonalds Sirloin Burger 4There isn’t a big presence from the mayo, just enough creaminess to help with the overly dry burger patty.  I’m usually not a fan of mustard in my burgers and luckily there’s not enough of it in the LT Sirloin Burger to bother me at all.  There are two slices of white cheddar that have minimal impact.  I’m a fan of white Cheddar when it’s got some sharp pop to it and with such a hefty burger, even two slices isn’t enough to be a highlight.  You would think that with all the premium ingredients in this burger, the white Cheddar would’ve been updated too.  About that dry burger patty I mentioned… yeah it’s noticeably lacking moisture.  I felt like I could remove the sirloin burger patty from this sandwich and eat it straight-up and not get any of its juices all over my hands.  There’s plenty of flavor and it’s definitely a big, beefy hunk of protein, there’s just not enough moisture and that really stood out to me.  The beef seasoning worked OK in about 80% of the burger, but I found some spots that were so salty that I was convinced it was a shoddy application of the stuff.  The ingredients list shows the standard salt, onion powder, garlic powder… but also notable is dried beef broth and Worcestershire sauce powder. The “premium” sesame seed bun was excellent and right up there with the best fast food sandwich breads I’ve had.

McDonalds Sirloin CollageI think all fast food burger places need to have a spot reserved for big burgers and for McDonald’s, it’s the new Sirloin Third Pound Burgers. The dry and unbalanced seasoning of the burger patty carries more weight than all the positives found in some of the other premium ingredients so the LT Sirloin Burger suffers a bit in the end.  That said, there’s still just  enough good to balance with the not so good to make want to try the other two options.

Pros: Big, filling burger. Fresh produce. Awesome bun.

Cons: Dry sirloin burger patty. White Cheddar deserves an update in a burger this big.

Taste: 5.75/10
Value: 6.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 5.75/10

More Info: mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size 10.9 oz (310 g)
Calories - 750
Total Fat - 39 grams
Saturated Fat - 16 grams
Carbs - 62 grams
Sodium - 1590 milligrams
Fiber - 4 grams
Sugars - 10 grams
Protein - 39 grams

50 comments on “Review: Lettuce & Tomato Sirloin Third Pound Burger from McDonald’s

  1. Snackeroo says:

    Funny how the box says “Big and juicy taste” but a dry patty was the biggest con in this review.

    • Ryan says:

      yeah I thought the same thing

    • Jonathan Wayne says:

      That is literally the core problem that McDonald’s just does not get and can’t seem to or want to fix, the goddamn dry patties. It would literally solve a huge number of their problems but they just won’t do it. For $4 I can go to Five Guys, get a fresh juicy burger and load it to the gills with everything I want, why would I spend $5 for this?

      • Boyerwulf says:

        You guys are spot on. All the great condiments cant make up for the dry flavorless patty.

      • Sascha says:

        No you can’t. Not sure what Five Guys you go to, but I’ve never been to one where the single patty hamburger wasn’t at least $5.29. Well worth it, of course, but certainly not $4

        • Jonathan Wayne says:

          Hmm, looks at my receipt where I paid $4.09 for my Five Guys burger on 5/2/2015, nope, you are right, can’t get the burger for $4, much less under $5.29 at all, you sir/madam are a know it all genius.

          • Sascha says:

            Well, I usually get the double hb with bacon. But I get the single for my boy, and have always paid between $5.29 and $5.49. So ….. lucky you.

          • Christopher Jamison says:

            Yes, it seems Jonathan Wayne lives in a small town or something to pay that price. Where I’m from (NYC) we pay 8 bucks for a double and 6.54 for a single. Must be nice to live in a small town for certain things Jonnny boy.

      • MP says:

        You realize McDonald’s has spent millions on product research so that it tastes exactly the same everywhere in mass quantities. They’re not going to change the food until profits are way down & they finally admit failure like Domino’s. It’s going to continue to be the same dry, mushy bland crap.
        I don’t know where you get this $4 Five Guys burger – checking online right now it’s $6.19 for a hamburger & $6.89 for a cheeseburger. Throw in fries & it’s $2.79 to $4.99 – way too much. I can go to local burger/gyro/Italian Beef diner spots & get a juicy loaded 1/3lb burger for $3.55 – $4.49. Five Guys costs way too much.

        • Jonathan Wayne says:

          If you have never been somewhere or don’t know anything about it, you should refrain from commenting. The single patty burger at Five Guys is referred to as the little hamburger and the double patty as just a hamburger. Once again I will refer to my comment where I stated I just paid $4 for a burger from there a few days ago. Your research skills are poor. I’ll be more than happy to scan my receipt and email it to the site administrator for those can’t can’t do proper research.

          • aaron says:

            Yeah we get it you Jon you are a pretentious [email protected]##$##$. Any expletive works there. Maybe you should just keep your comments to yourself since you clearly have nothing nice to say. Prices vary by location. Geez.

          • MP says:

            Or you could, you know, provide a link to Five Guys website. I actually knew about the little burger – just wanted to see how you would react. It’s $4.39 here & $5.09 for the little cheeseburger.
            You need to work on your manners, son. You come off as a troll.

        • AlexG says:

          You must be from Chicago!! Please send me a delicious Italian Beef Sandwich, dipped with Hot Peppers from Johnny’s Beef. If you can’t.. I’ll settle for Portillos.. 😉

        • Ian says:

          yeah, that’s the problem with the sirloin. McDonalds isn’t a “made to order” restaurant, it’s fast food. I work there, and the #1 problem with the sirloin is that we don’t sell enough some days… and the patties (1 to 3) in the warming cabinet can only stay in there for 15 minutes before we have to waste them because they become too old/dry. Here’s a tip… If you go to a fast food place, specifically ask for your meat to be cooked fresh. As long as your not in the lunch rush they will usually make it fresh off the grill. (as long as the management doesn’t suck.)

    • chris says:

      it was actually a delicious sandwich and very filling worth the money

    • Albert Day says:

      The one I tried was mostly cheap mayonnaise. The blob was so big it oozed out everywhere upon first bite. I thought I’d died and gone to hell after eating this thing. If awful were a bad enough word I’d use it but awful doesn’t adequately describe this monster. Tasteless other than the oily cheap mayonnaise. Nasty burger is what they should be calling it. Stick with re-eating your barf if you want better taste.

  2. mjb says:

    Unless they are going to cook these medium to medium rare (which they obviously won’t) then it is going to be next to impossible to make ground sirloin juicy. It’s leaner than regular ground beef and will dry out quickly. To me it’s an odd choice for a fast food burger.

  3. Matt says:

    If it truly is 100% sirloin…sirloin is pretty lean. I understand it’s fast food so everything is going to be cooked well done, but still. I made a burger mix at home a few weeks ago that was chuck, sirloin and short rib and even with the short rib it still needed more fat, the patty ended up being a bit too crumbly and dry

  4. Joe K says:

    Hmm… I wonder if this was just a case of a lazy cook at your McD’s leaving it on too long & being sloppy with the seasoning. Visually it looks like one of the best offerings they’ve had in a while, but I’m really not a fan of the giant-burger thing – Value menu sandwiches tend to be just enough for me without feeling sick, so I’ll stick to that.

    I’ll be the only one to say this ever, but God I miss the Mac Snack Wrap. It was that perfect bit of big mac flavor without feeling terrible for four hours afterwards.

    • CB says:

      I bet that is the case. It depends on the location/cook. I had breakfast from Mc D’s this morning and they burnt both sausage patties on the sandwiches I got. The sausage biscuit was inedible because of this. There is a first for everything I guess.

  5. Gr8pimpin says:

    I had the bacon-cheese version of this burger the other day. Mine was fresh and hot but the burger was a tad dry. There aren’t enough saucy condiments to moisten it up. I like it well enough though that I’d give McD another shot to get it right.

  6. Dan says:

    And as part of the marketing ploy for these new burgers, The Hamburglar is being reintroduced, but not as the lovable one-toothed “rabble rabbler” we all know and love.

    http://www.theverge.com/tldr/2015/5/6/8561361/mcdonalds-hamburglar-dad

  7. scram says:

    I have two different experiences.
    The Bacon and Cheese was very tasty, pickles and onions great, but the patty was a little dry.
    The Steakhouse was extremely juicy and melt-in-your-mouth, but either the peppercorn sauce or mushrooms left a taste in my mouth I didn’t care for.
    I could definitely see getting the Bacon/Cheese again, and think the dry patty is not a consistent thing with every Sirloin burger.

  8. Technosquid says:

    Am I misremembering this, or were the Angus third pound burgers pulled from the menu and replaced with a line of deluxe quarter pounders because of rising beef prices? Now they’re scrapping that line and going right back to third pound burgers? Did beef prices fall dramatically, or are these sirloin patties just lower quality / lower cost.

    I’m not seeing the $4.99 value… I’d go cheaper with some value menu stuff, or pay $2-3 more for some Chipotle.

    • Sascha says:

      Instead of raising the price of the Angus burgers, which is what they should have done, they pulled them.

  9. JJ says:

    Yeah, they even called it “big and juicy” in the drive through. It is pretty decent, but it certainly wasn’t juicy. Most fast food burgers are dry nowadays, probably as a result of them cooking at a higher temp. than they used to. This reminded me alot of the angus burger, just not as chewy (which is a good thing).

  10. Steven says:

    I work at a McD the problem with these as you guys said is it’s too dry. The reason is that it’s cooked way too long. They’re about the same thickness as a 1/4 meat but larger in diameter. And for some reason that meant they had to be cook longer. What that does creates is what you have there, a very dry piece of meat even when it’s freshly cooked let alone left in the warming tray for 20 minutes or more before somebody actually orders one.

    • James S says:

      Does McDonalds even have the capability to cook their burger meat the old-school way (burger placed on a griddle, pressed using a sear tool and cooked until 1st side is done, flipped and then cooked on the other side) or is everything cooked both sides at once (clamshell thingy).

      Just thought I’d ask an actual McD crew member.

      • Steven says:

        They probably actually could do it that way. It would just require them not pressing the button to lower the top of the clamshell. But it would also require somebody watching over the burgers while they cook. Even in their Ask us Anything videos you can see they use the clamshell grills in those test kitchens. They’re trying to make it as “idiot-proof” as possible but all it does is result in a lower quality product along with that is their constant emphasis on speed which results in those lukewarm burgers and fries.

      • JJ says:

        They could do it that way, but then you’d have to wait 10 minutes for your burger like at 5 guys. Burgers are juicier off a flat top grill because you can spray them with water if they start getting dry, plus they don’t sit in a warmer. Almost all fast food burgers are dry (as opposed to fast casual). That’s the price you pay for speed and convenience. The dryness doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that they go out of their way to tell you how juicy it is, then it’s not. Oh well, looking forward to trying that steakhouse version anyway.

    • AlexG says:

      I think all fast food places (McD’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc.) over cook them now because what happened twenty years ago when Jack in the Box had a E. Coli outbreak because of undercooking their beef. Over 700 people were affected and it had lasting consequences on the fast food industry. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Jack_in_the_Box_E._coli_outbreak

  11. CulinaryZerg says:

    I’m really confused. Given how McDonald’s prior premium burgers bombed (most recently the Angus Third Pounders), why would they think this is any different?

    All I see is a dryer version of the burger that I didn’t like before.

  12. Mike S says:

    The steakhouse version is excellent. I have had a couple already, causing me to be in the gym extra time this week.

  13. PeterinSantaRosa says:

    I had one last night. I thought it was pretty good, but I agree with the comments about the dryness of the burger patty. The lettuce was MUCH better than usual, and had a nice thick slice of tomato.
    Seemed very similar to the Angus burgers, but the bun is better.

    I’d give it 7.5 out of 10, which for McD’s is a decent score.

    • alan rodriguez says:

      md isnt so good.. go to in an out and stop ating at hat place. its crap and ovrated

      • Sascha says:

        Followed your advice, thanks. It was delicious, but cost me $540 and 27 hours. Which was slightly less time than deciphering that post.

  14. Eric says:

    I’m not gonna eat almost a days worth of saturated fat at 16 grams! on a dried out overcooked burger.

  15. M86 says:

    Your review is spot-on. I saw them and decided to try it. I hadn’t been to McD’s in over a year. I agree with everything. The produce and bun were good, but the patty itself was dry. And McDonald’s burger patties have always been that way. I definitely wouldn’t get this again… at least not for that price.

  16. scram says:

    I tried the Bacon/Cheese again today, and the patty was much juicier. It’s a tasty burger, but if you have a local burger joint that’s better for the same price, I’d go there.
    Also, I don’t know why everyone goes gaga over Five Guys. I tried them once, and they were just ok–and their fries sucked.

  17. shhhh says:

    lemme tell you: i work at mcdonalds and the reason the patty on this was so dry is because not enough people are buying them so the meat is sitting in the warmers FOREVER. they’re picking up a little speed now but if they don’t start selling well it’s not gonna get better, which is… quite a catch-22.

  18. alan rodriguez says:

    sighs. mds will nevr compare to bk and the other big guy.. in an out smikes this crap… and plp r still eatng lousy foood. no pun there,.. its to easy to make a decent size for cheap.. md die

  19. John says:

    my go to combo at MCD is the triple cheeseburger. Its always juicy and hot, and the price comes to $5.26 here…. Fries and drink included….. wont bother with the new burgers……

    • scram says:

      @John. I get a Triple Cheese once a week at McDs. You are exactly right; always juicy, always flavorful!

  20. John G. says:

    Just had the steakhouse. Wasn’t super dry and had some good flavor. Friend who brought them home neglected to check the food before he left and the two lettuce and tomato sirloins had no lettuce and tom. :'(. Can’t win sometimes. Id buy it again since it was leaner and filling. They really skimped on the mushrooms and onions though…. I think this particular location is just lackluster. The bun was a good tho!

  21. Josh says:

    McDonalds spends millions on advertising, research, etc… pump out new burger after new burger . . . and yet they still can’t beat the basic 1/3 burger from another fast food restaurant: Braums.

  22. BigBelly says:

    We had the steakhouse and the bacon/cheese last night, she enjoyed the steakhouse, but thought it was to big. I had the bacon/cheese and had them leave off the mustard and ketchup, and add peppercorn sauce to it. Unfortunately, they were very skimpy with the sauce (it only covered have the bun)so it was on the dry side. The bacon was also pretty hard and flavorless. Doubt I’d buy either again

  23. Mark says:

    mcdonalds can’t just change their calling card from instantly fast food to good food, that’s not who they are. The reason five guys is so good is because it’s cooked to order. But if you’ve ever been there during lunch rush it can take 20 mins or more to get served. Can you imagine a McDonald’s drive through backing up like that? It isn’t going to happen. I thought the bacon clubhouse was pretty good so I’ll give this a shot next time my kid wants a happy meal. But McDonald’s has always been about speed and value over quality. My favorite thing will always be $1 mc chicken!

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