Review: Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald’s

The quintessential fast food burger might be the Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald’s. Introduced in the early 1970’s the Quarter Pounder used to be considered a bigger burger for bigger appetites.  As the box reads, it’s “Mighty Simple” indeed.  Nothing too wild about this burger and it’s good for lovers of the regular cheeseburger.

I can’t even remember the last time I had a Quarter Pounder with Cheese until I bought one for this review.  What inspired me?  Well… watching Pulp Fiction for the 17th time maybe.

Vincent: And you know what they call a… a… a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?
Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the *&^% a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a Royale with cheese.
Jules: A Royale with cheese. What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Well, a Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it le Big-Mac.
Jules: Le Big-Mac. Ha ha ha ha. What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn’t go into Burger King.

The Quarter Pounder with Cheese is described like this:

It’s 100% pure beefy cheesiness. It tastes great, and it knows it. Two slices of melting cheese, a quarter pound of 100% pure beef and a toasted sesame seed bun. Really, what’s not to love?

Let’s get something out of the way right now, the “Quarter Pounder” moniker is deceiving.  Well, if you want to eat the patty raw, it’s 4oz, but at the cooked weight, you’re looking at around 3oz.  The Three-Ouncer with Cheese doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well.  The Quarter Pounder with Cheese is made up of beef patty, pickle slices, slivered raw onions, ketchup, mustard and two slices of American cheese.

I’ve found that cheeseburgers from McDonald’s are among the saltiest in the fast food world.  This isn’t really the worst thing in the world as the burger is packed with a lot of flavor, albeit nothing really fresh and crisp to be found outside of the raw onions.  Love’em or hate’em, I’m on the pro-onion side with McD’s.  Their onions pack a punch and add to the flavor I like without being too overwhelming for me.  What I’ve always found to be overwhelming and just flat out unnecessary in my opinion are the sour pickles.  I much prefer the fresh, less brine-y pickles found in the Angus line of cheeseburgers.  The American cheese doesn’t add a lot to the flavor, but would surely be missed if absent.  The orange sheets of processed goo… mmm, this is truly what fast food is all about.

The beefier big brother to the simple cheeseburger, the $3.39 McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese seems to remain a classic favorite on the McDonald’s menu board alongside the Big Mac.  Although I feel the Quarter Pounder to be oddly priced since the McDouble is just $1.00.  Oh well, at least the Quarter Pounder has a fancy box.

Pros: Tasty simplicity. Slivered raw onions. Packaging. Reciting lines from Pulp Fiction.

Cons: Sour McDonald's pickles. Not truly a quarter pound beef patty. 3 McDoubles for $3.00 vs. 1 Quarter Pounder with Cheese for $3.39.

Taste: 6.75/10
Value: 5.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.75/10
Price: $3.39

Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Quarter Pounder with Cheese
Calories - 510
Total Fat - 26 grams
Saturated Fat - 12 grams
Cholesterol - 90 milligrams
Carbs - 40 grams
Sodium - 1190 milligrams
Sugars - 9 grams
Dietary Fiber - 3 grams
Protein - 29 grams

23 comments on “Review: Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald’s

  1. Lylat says:

    i only got it once and never got it again since they never cooked mines right the beef had pink in it still

    • med says:

      mcdonald’s burgers are pre-cooked dude. they just throw everything in the microwave nowadays and heat it up

  2. Adam says:

    My friend used to get this everytime we went to Micky D’s when we were kids. I never understood it (I always went with McNuggets). When it comes to 1/4 burgers I prefer Carl’s Jr.’s Big Hamburger or the Whopper, although if I’m in Utah I go to Arctic Circle to get one of their Angus beef burgers. McDonald’s burgers just don’t develop a crust and seem to lack a beefy, sweet flavor. You said it with the salty comment. I can’t stand the seasoning blend they use. Good review though!

  3. SkippyMom says:

    When did they start adding two pieces of cheese? I have eaten these for years, but stop last year when I had to lower my sodium and the last one I had only had one piece of cheese.

    The cheese and the condiments [ketchup, mustard and pickles] are what makes this so high in sodium. And I have found through our research it isn’t any worse than so many things out there when it comes to sodium content in fast food. They are all pretty much equal.

    If you want to eat fast food [with lower sodium] you just need to know what and how to order it.

    And for all the years I have ever had one of these I have never seen one pink in the middle like Lylat – that amazes me. They have timers to cook them and they are kept on until the timer sounds, no question, even when it is busy. I wonder how that happened. I can imagine that they are pretty cold inside [when pink] since they are frozen to begin with.

    • jen says:

      I worked there in high school and they have always had 2 slices of cheese, youv’e been getting riped off! I loved people who order a double Quarter Pounder with Cheese as a meal and would get a shake to go with it. Um I am full off a small shake never mind fries and a burger with that.

    • Tracy says:

      Just doing away with the condiments won’t do much to the sodium level. Much of the sodium in fast food comes from the shake of mostly salt seasoning they shake on when the burger is cooking and the cheese. Also, if you check fast food buns and all bread for that matter is generally high in sodium.

  4. Chefprotoss says:

    Maybe its nostalgia, but I love the royal w/cheese. I only get one every few years though.
    Only 6.5/10 and dissing the sour pickles? For shame Ryan. This is easily an eight. =P

  5. somesteve says:

    good burger. one burger mcdonalds does well.

  6. J.B. says:

    I don’t know, I will always have a place in my heart for the QP w/cheese, but my heart belongs to the Big Mac.

  7. Justin ST says:

    McDonald’s may have fancy interiors and a billion items, but they need to change the quality of their food. Everything tastes fake there, almost like it was microwaved. They need to get back to basics. The public’s love affair with them is going to end soon.

  8. larry says:

    You know, the Hardees 1/3 lb cheeseburger is my Mcdonalds 1/4 lb’er.

    It’s flavorful, meaty, and always tastes fresh. That’s what the 1/4 lb’er was back in the day but for my palate it has lost all it’s flavor, the “just cooked” freshness, and now it tastes stale and dumb’ed down like most of the food at McDonalds.

    I don’t know. The 1/4 lb’er just hasn’t been the same for many years to me.

    (Love that scene in PF!)

  9. Mike N says:

    I much prefer the Big-n-Tasty, which I think was a Quarter Pounder but with lettuce and tomato, but inexplicably priced cheaper than the QP. I’ve heard they don’t have the Big-n-Tasty anymore, though (I almost never get to McDs).

    • jen says:

      I liked the big-n-tasty too, and yes its gone even though they still have listed on there website so maybe some stores still do it.

  10. Seeker says:

    McDonald’s is all about consistency in terms of simple flavor. Yeah they cut corners and over the years prices went up while quality went down, but the flavors are still consistent and memorable, as mentioned with the seasonings their burgers use. For the majority of casual fast food goers having the familiar flavor is likely enough.

    The Quarter-Pounder and Big Mac are BOGO for a limited time here so I might look to get one after reading this. Since their current pricing system is messed up and they no longer advertise(but still have) the buck-double, or double-something for $1(while the double cheeseburger is around $1.50), their “better” options are more welcome on promotion.

  11. rob says:

    I always ordered this because it is the least objectionable among the traditional McDonald’s sandwiches (haven’t tried the fancy new angus ones).

    It’s not really good but it doesn’t make me gag or give me horrible flatulence.

  12. kikurage says:

    Simple is best.
    Sometimes, i want to eat a plain burger.

  13. Robert says:

    What Mcdonalds does well is keeping a core of classic items that never change so generation after generartion continue to go for that nostalgic taste. At the same time they also lead the way in adding new items or picking and choosing what works from its competition.

  14. Obbop says:

    “Calories – 510”

    Gosh, no wonder I am a massive bloated facsimile of a human with bouncing belly and multiple lard layers.

    I eat ten of these burgers along with 3 extra-large fries before heading off to grab a take-home pizza.

    I do read the news paper while sitting in my car in the McD parking lot gnawing on my burgers so at least I am exercising my brain and the brain uses more calories per unit of work than any other muscle or organ.

    It takes a lotta’ power to make that little light bulb atop one’s head to light up and stay lit.

  15. Charlotte says:

    McDonald’s pickles are the best hamburger pickles in the world!

  16. Todd says:

    love the pickles on all McD’s hamburgers…and chicken samwich!

  17. Bob says:


    Where the hell is it $2.79?

  18. Peter says:

    Just had one of these bad boys. I believe the onions make this burger; they give it that nice crunch without taking over. The pickles could have been better; I agree that they’re a bit briny. But it’s not a terrible burger, this. It’s one of the few fast food burgers I don’t feel like crap after eating.

    One question, where do you live?! At my neighborhood McD’s one must fork over $3.89 for a QP. Life in the upper-middle class ‘burbs.

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