Review: Mac Jr, Big Mac, and Grand Mac from McDonald’s

The Big Mac from McDonald’s is one of those classic fast food items that hasn’t been tinkered with for decades.  Now all of a sudden we’re seeing a test run of a sriracha version and two new sizes of the original.  Even though we have a review of the McDonald’s Big Mac already posted here on GrubGrade (and even the wrap version), I figured since I didn’t personally write it and there’s two new sizes to check out, it’s worth another taste.  So here’s another look at the Big Mac alongside the new Mac Jr and Grand Mac.McDonalds Big Mac SizesBig Grand Mac JrHere’s how all three sizes of Big Mac are described by McDonald’s:

  • Mac Jr – The legend, but smaller.  That iconic taste in a smaller size with a sear-sizzled 100% real beef patty, salt & pepper and special sauce sandwiched between a sesame seed bun.  American cheese, crisp lettuce, onions and pickles top it off.
  • Big Mac – The one and only.  Mouthwatering perfection starts with two sear-sizzled 100% pure beef patties and Big Mac sauce, sandwiched between a sesame seed bun.  American cheese, crisp lettuce, onions and pickles top it off.
  • Grand Mac – The legend, but bigger.  When that Big Mac craving calls for something more… sink in 1/3 lb of 100% real beef seasoned with salt & pepper sandwiched between a sesame seed bun.  All dressed with special sauce, crisp lettuce, onions, pickles and two slices of American cheese.

While admittedly I’m not a regular buyer of the McDonald’s Big Mac, I respect its place as an iconic fast food burger.  If you’ve ever wanted the Big Mac taste, but in a smaller burger, the Mac Jr is for you.  If you’ve ever wanted a beefed up version of the Big Mac, the Grand Mac should satisfy quite nicely.Big MacsLet’s be honest, Big Mac sauce is the key to the Big Mac’s success.  I’ve never heard of anyone craving an extra piece of bread to separate ingredients so yeah, the sauce is pretty crucial.  With all three versions of Big Mac, the sweet/sour/tangy creamy sauce dominates.  The sauce dominates from a flavor perspective and also because all three Mac’s were a messy chore to eat.  Combine the over application of Big Mac sauce with too much shredded lettuce and you can see how this won’t win many grubbing on the go points.  The difference between the Mac Jr and the Big Mac is one less burger patty and no center bread or “club” layer.  I found the traditional Big Mac to be in better proportion in its ingredients over the Mac Jr which seemed to drown in sauce and lettuce more than the others.  The one slice of cheese works to the advantage of the Mac Jr over the Big Mac where it doesn’t stand out as much.  Big MacsBoth the Mac Jr and Big Mac share the same burger patty sizes and sesame seed bun sizes.  The Grand Mac seems to match the Big Mac’s balance of ingredients quite well by upping the bread size, the burger patty size (1/3lb total), and an extra slice of American cheese which turned out to be a plus.  I also felt the Grand Mac gets the advantage over the Big Mac because the beefier burger patties hold up a lot better in a sea of sauce. At my local McDonald’s in Maryland, the Mac Jr was priced at $2.49, the Big Mac was $4.39, and the Grand Mac was $5.19.  The Grand Mac is worth a buy since it’s just 80-cents away from the Big Mac and is a much heftier, protein-packed burger that will fill you up a lot easier.  The Mac Jr is there if you want a taste of nostalgia and want to keep things under 3 bucks.  Another alternative, ruin the fun of new product promotion by just adding Big Mac sauce to whatever you want.Big MacIn the end, the Mac Jr and the Grand Mac are here to give us extra options in a familiar flavor that has stood the test of time.  The way the sour pickles intermingle with the sweet and tangy sauce and the salty beef patties just works.  Adding newcomers is really more about comparing the sizes and prices against the traditional Big Mac than anything else.

Pros: Tasty Big Mac Sauce. The Grand Mac. Options.

Cons: Too much tasty Big Mac Sauce. Mess to eat. The Grand Mac makes the Big Mac seem insignificant.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 5.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.00/10
Price: $2.49 for the Mac Jr, $4.39 for the Big Mac, $5.19 for the Grand Mac

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

More Info: mcdonalds.com
Nutrition Facts:
Big Mac: 540 calories, 28g fat, 46g carbs, 25g protein
Mac Jr - 450 calories
Grand Mac - 860 calories

44 comments on “Review: Mac Jr, Big Mac, and Grand Mac from McDonald’s

  1. Runciter says:

    I read elsewhere that the size of the Mac Jr patty was 1/6 lb, the size of each patty of the Big Mac was 1/10 lb, and of course the Grand Mac was 1/3 lb.

  2. Runciter says:

    Gah, can’t edit. Mod can you delete this and combine with above?
    The 1/3 lb for Grand Mac is aggregate weight for both. 1/5 lb for Big Mac

  3. brandon says:

    I just had the Jr. It was fine. I do like getting rid of the 3rd bread (like a 3rd wheel: unwanted and awkward!) I would have loved to do the Grand, but I can’t justify those calories.

  4. James says:

    The Mac jr I was served was a one patty version of the grand Mac, not the classic Big Mac. I am not sure if this is the norm, or if mine was prepared incorrectly by the store I went to.

  5. Always hungry says:

    I always get the mcdouble w extra onions, pickles and mac sauce…or a cheeseburger…so its a great deal! And much better…i dont realize how many ppl dont get u cant jiat do that?

    The mac grande just uses the quarter pounder patties so u can get a quartee pounder w mac sauce also!

    • Susie Q says:

      How much do they charge to add Mac Sauce?

      • Caitlin J says:

        I work at a McDonald’s in Maryland and in my store we don’t charge to add mac sauce to a sandwich! 🙂 It’s also $1.99 for the Mac Jr at the store I work at, go figure!

        • Bubbsy says:

          I have the feeling that with the arrival of these new sandwiches, the days of being able to add mac sauce to a cheeseburger or mcdouble at no charge are numbered. Considering the big mac is triple the price of a mcdouble, the only added value on a big mac aside from the sauce is the addition of a bun heel and lettuce (the cost of which is marginal)… the entire reason people are willing to pay triple is the mac sauce. It makes no sense for McDos to permit the workaround at 1/3 the price for the mcdouble. They should charge at least 75 cents for adding mac sauce to anything considering this. The sauce is worth as much as the market dictates, doesn’t matter that it’s just a condiment.

          • T says:

            If they ever started charging me for Mac sauce I would just bring my own. There are recipes out there.

          • Always hungry says:

            I have NEVER been charged for adding mac sauce to my buger..i worked at mcd ar 15 and have been doing this for YEARS!

            Latel, i have been getting a mcdouble value burgee and adding sriacha mac sauce (which the workers get so confused think its just sriacha) and it is BOMB!!! I also as for a side to dip my friea in and i usually dont get charged

            (Sometimes they charge .30c)

            Trt that – its life changing!!! U can also ask for the real onions instead of dehydrated and i ALWAYS ask for a side of pickles:))

            The only thing they always charge for is tomatoes – so screw that i put my owk on.

      • Dingleberries says:

        The most I’ve been charged for it was 50 cents.

    • Sascha says:

      The Grand Mac is a third pound burger. Please tell me how 2 quarter pound patties make a third pound.

      • ThatOneGuy says:

        Obviously 2 1/4 pound patties do not sum to a third of a pound. Therefore it should be obvious to you that the Grand Mac uses 1/6 pound patties and not 1/4 pound patties. It should also be obvious to you that they have introduced a new weight of patty given that all previous beef sandwiches were made using 1/10 and 1/4 pound patties. Why is this not obvious to you?

  6. Johnnyboy says:

    I had the Grand Mac twice this weekend, Saturday brunch and Sunday brunch, but man was it good. It has 890 calories but I skipped breakfast and had a lighter dinner to justify the calories. I did a lot of work too to burn the calories off too, but the good thing about McDonalds is it keeps you full longer, the burger was like a Whopper but a little taller and much more satisfying, I usually can eat 2 pretty fast. I used to be able to eat like 4 in one sitting in my college days when I was pretty lean and healthy and active; they were only like 99 cents at the location back in the day near the University of Maryland College Park everyday and all year long. I miss the good ole’ days!

    • ConesOfDunshire says:

      The most bizarre thing about that McDonald’s at UMD on Route 1 was the drive through was on the wrong side and you pulled up to the window on the passenger side of the car. Or am I just misremembering that?

      • Johnnyboy says:

        Well the original McDonald’s was on the side of the road on route 1 college park. It was next to a liquor store which is still there or it is that abandoned building with high rises on both sides.

        I don’t remember the drive though, we always went inside I think. I know the one in Laurel route 1 at one time had a conveyor belt or some sort of old school technology for that kind of building. This was in 1997. There was an Alario’s (pizza place) there on the same street which moved up the street and then became Sardis catering. I miss both the old Mickey Ds and Alario’s.

  7. Ryan D says:

    I decided to try the Grand Mac again, this time ordering it with light sauce and the burger was still overwhelmed with Mac sauce. So I think the over application of the sauce is intended. My score would have been lower then yours due to my ruined shirt. Haha

  8. Caitlin J says:

    I just received the $10 Dairy Queen gift card in the mail, thank you so much for that giveaway!!! 🙂
    Also, tomorrow McDonald’s will be announcing where you can buy special bottles of big mac sauce! I have no clue if the McDonald’s I work at is participating or not yet, but I do know we have something VERY exciting coming our way soon 😉 It’s not burger related (thank goodness). But it’s going to be delicious!

    • Jonathan Wayne says:

      So Bruce 😀you basically let the cat out the bag, it has to be the Big Mac sauce being available in bottles, right? Hopefully they will be getting Chick-fil-a type nuggets like Sonic is getting, that would be great.

    • Susie Q says:

      I’m officially intrigued.

  9. Rdub says:

    I get Mcdoubles with Mac Sauce for no extra charge upon request.

  10. bobo says:

    Is the grand mac just a double quarter pounder with an extra piece of bread?

  11. MP the original says:

    I just tried the Jr & Grand Mac. The Jr had much better balance of bread & meat. The Grand was just more of the exact same old, but in general both finally had enough meat until the end. I read these are only going to last until like mid-March, anyway.
    I think I’ll stick to getting a McDouble with Special Sauce & lettuce, despite the 30 to 60 cent upcharge.

  12. Ryan D says:

    So I ordered the Mac Jr, and guess what? They forgot the lettuce, pickles, and onions. I seem to be having the worst luck with these new burgers, haha.

  13. Joe K. says:

    Tried the Grand Mac today. Way too much bread; entirely too sloppy to eat – fell apart after the first bite. No onions anywhere on sandwich, and to top it off the cashier didn’t know what a Grand Mac was – even with signs posted everywhere. That’s the 1st and last time for me for this one.

  14. Dave H says:

    My friend and I both tried the Grand Mac today. Both of them fell apart. The bottom roll on mine broke in half so I ate it with a fork. My friend’s slid apart. We still ate them and the taste did not disappoint if you like Big Macs. We decided to stick with the original from now on. There was way too much mac sauce on the Grand Mac.

  15. PumaGirl says:

    I just had McDonald’s Grand Mac and it was really “BREADY” it felt like I just stuffed about half a loaf of bread in my mouth. It wasn’t some soft fresh bread either it was more like dry sitting on the shelf for a couple of days bread.
    I mean come on at least give me a good bun but “NOPE!!” Very Disappointed!
    I think we all know this bread trick it’s like the ice trick when you get something to drink at a restaurant.

    Sorry moderator I had posted without reading it over this is the final one 🙂

  16. Meghan Collins says:

    I was so let down. I was expecting a Mac Jr. Not a sad quarter pounder with cheese special sauce on a sesame seed bun….

  17. Mark says:

    The grand mac is really good. Big mac always had good flavor but not enough meat and too much bread. I realize the grand mac has a larger bun but for some reason the ratio of meat to bun tastes more right on. It’s a good burger.

  18. Paul says:

    Tried the “grand” big mac; and I was disappointed. It didn’t seem grand at all except for the price, $5.59. The 2 patties seemed like the same size as the big mac; none of us could tell the difference. The bun(s) fell apart quickly, but it tastes the same, which is at least some good news.

    • Desi says:

      How does a customer know that, when buying a Grand Mac, that they do not give you the meat that comes wih a Big Mac? There’s NO way to tell, unless the Mac is weighed. Would have been better if McDs would have put a third burger on the Grand

  19. Todd says:

    Special order a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese, with no ketchup and mustard, and add lettuce and mac sauce. It’s bigger (1/2 vs 1/3 pound) and better with real onion, and without the excess bread.

  20. ToysforTaterTots says:

    I guess “special sauce” is a much sexier name than just Thousand Island Dressing, and even though McDonalds isn’t fooling anyone I don’t think they really care to. You gotta love the consistency of their food, even though their hamburger meat obviously contains fillers.
    Either that or their beef comes from cows that only they have access too. With that said,the Big Mac is an American classic. And those McNuggets with some Sweet ‘n’ Sour sauce are also a thing of true beauty and fast food culinary perfection most of the time. Also, ALWAYS get the value fries whenever possible as they put more fries in those small bags than they do in the bigger red fry containers. I’ve bought both sizes and on every occasion there were more fries in the value size.They were always hotter, crispier, and more salty as well.

    • Todd says:

      Big Mac sauce is not Thousand Island dressing. It looks the same, but does not have the same consistency or flavor. I have spent years traveling the world with the military, trying every brand dressing I can find. They are all too thin (runny), and far too sweet. Making my own with recipes found on-line, I can get close, but it’s still not the same.

      I have to agree the meat probably has more than just beef, and I do like McNuggets. Chick-fil-a nuggets and tenders taste like they have been dipped in Saccharin or maybe Aspartame. Why is the breading so sweet? I don’t care for honey or sweet ‘n’ sour. I dip my McNuggets in Kikkoman soy sauce (something I picked up in Japan) or Real Mayo (something I picked up in Germany). Nothing sweet. Maybe I’m just too picky…

      Sounds like a good tip on the fry size. I’ll have to try that. With Real Mayo for the fries of course. Never miracle whip or ketchup.

  21. Randy says:

    My Grand Mac seemed to me to have the same size patties as the regular Big Mac and a bun that was 20% larger, more lettuce, etc… Very disappointed in what i paid for, but then i should have known better… it is after all McDonalds!

  22. Fritz says:

    Grand Mac is a waste. Same size patties all bun and lettuce. I definitely won’t be wasting my money on any more of these.

  23. Jeausagechrist says:

    Dosent matter it sucked !

  24. Gappman says:

    Grand Mac a huge dissapointment. Patties were paper thin, nothing like advertised and it amounted to a lettuce burger with way too much bun. Just way too much bread and lettuce with little beef.

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