Review: Thickburger El Diablo from Hardee’s

For lunch today, I decided to try a new Hardee’s which is closer to my house, but in a high-traffic area. I was really impressed with the friendliness of the staff. Waiting for my order, not one but two employees asked if I had tried the new burger yet. Once when I paid and then another time when I received the bag. Hmmm. Am I being set up?  I was told that it was, in fact, very spicy and that I would love it. It was and I did. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new Thickburger El Diablo from Hardee’s.

Thickburger El Diablo 1Hardee’s describes the new Thickburger El Diablo like this:

Jalapenos Poppers, Pepper-Jack Cheese, Habanero Sauce, Sliced Jalapenos, Bacon, and 100% Black Angus Beef on a Fresh Baked Bun.  The caption on their website states “with four times the heat.” That turned out to be just perfect for me.

With the dual endorsements of the employees backing the intimidating list of spice-laden components, I took my first bite with trepidation and was disappointed for about five seconds. There was no heat. But, as I took my second bite, my tongue started to tingle and my eyes swam out of focus with pleasure.

El Diablo BurgerThe heat kept building with every bite but at no point was it uncomfortable. It was warm and decadent, just as a burger such as this should be. The Black Angus beef was juicy and very enjoyable. The soft, buttery bun was lightly toasted, the edges crispy. I felt the habanero sauce delivered a nice kick of heat with a smooth, smoky finish. Normally, I find burgers a little dry and lacking on sauce, but the portion was perfect.  The jalapeno poppers were a very interesting addition and really my only complaint. The cheese inside the jalapeno poppers had a synthetic, ‘gubment cheese’ flavor that did not improve the taste of the sandwich. Other than that, they were crispy, fried to perfection, incorporating just the right amount of crunchy texture. The bacon also added another element of crunch. It crumbled with every bite, giving a rich flavor to the mix. The jalapenos were fresh and had plenty of seeds (which everyone knows is where the heat comes from) but surprisingly got lost in the mix as well as the pepper-jack cheese. The other flavors were a bit too intense, but the jalapenos and cheese still lent their texture and a bit of moisture to the burger as a whole.

Thickburger El Diablo 3It’s no secret that I love Thickburgers, which seem to continue improving over time with the additions of premium buns and new ingredients. With the addition of El Diablo, Hardee’s demonstrates they are an innovative burger chain. There’s always some new component to their Thickburgers and they never fail to catch my attention. This burger was no different. It was incredibly flavorful without being overly spicy and ate well. They delivered on the promise of heat which did clear my sinuses, but didn’t linger after I was done eating.  I will definitely be ordering this burger again and if you like spicy foods, you should too.

Pros: Classic Thickburger quality, innovative ingredients and taste. Heat.

Cons: Nutrition details. Fake cheese flavor in the jalapeno poppers. Expensive.

Taste: 8.25/10
Value: 5.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Price: $6.05

Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 1170
Total Fat - 75 grams
Saturated Fat - 23 grams
Sodium - 3190 milligrams
Carbs - 83 grams
Dietary Fiber - 11 grams
Sugars - 11 grams
Protein - 44 grams

40 comments on “Review: Thickburger El Diablo from Hardee’s

  1. Snackeroo says:

    I really want to try this cause I love spicy foods, but the sodium content here is a bit excessive.

  2. Long says:

    People love spicy food not because they like it super spicy but because the fat and spiciness should pair well together. It seems Hardees got the right idea and blast just enough flavor to offset a lot of that spice.

  3. BigBelly says:

    “I felt the habanero sauce delivered a nice kick of heat with a smooth, smoky finish.”

    “smoky finish” sounds like there’s chipotles in the mix. How did the heat level compare to the habanero sauce that McD’s used on their southwest wrap?

  4. Booze says:

    Holy sodium and fat! People can’t eat like this…………or maybe it’s the American way! U.S.A!!!!

  5. TJ says:

    I think I’d go with the cross-section pic and eat half to offset the nutrition facts a little, and maybe share the other half.. doubt that wouldn’t fill me up, I am a pretty light eater though.

  6. Jonathan Wayne says:

    No. I like Carl’s Jr. burgers, but no, this is too much. I would much rather have an egg on top that jalapeño poppers.

  7. Joan says:

    I love novelty. Not sure I would order one.. But take a few bites outta my man’s sandwich (though he wouldn’t order this, he’s non-negotiable about spicy stuff. He won’t have it), that I would happily do!

  8. scram says:

    Well, this was a huge misfire for me. I love spicy foods, I love jalapenos, but the heat was so intense on this thing, it overpowered any flavor and made for an unenjoyable burger. Next time, I’ll just have Hardees pump gasoline down my throat and toss a match in my mouth. If there was a burger patty or bacon in this sandwich, I didn’t taste it. They could’ve substituted tofu topped with Beggin’Strips and I wouldn’t have known. If you want a burger that is hot as hell, then this is for you. If you want a burger that is spicy hot without sacrificing flavor, then this IS NOT IT, imo.

    El Diablo Thickburger, you can go to hell!

  9. Joan says:

    Haha. Wow, that hot?

  10. scram says:

    @Joan. Yes, so hot it killed the flavor for me. I only ate half of it. I fed the other half to my dog, who immediately burst into flames. He’ll be missed.

  11. Dave says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the El Diablo. For me, the heat never got too intense and flavors paired well with each other. I do, however, wish they would have used jalapeno cream cheese poppers instead of nacho cheese. The smoky finish BigBelly questioned is from the sauce, while not stated here, is a habanero bacon sauce. The reviewer stated his jalapeños were fresh, whereas my local Hardee’s used the pickled variety which is where most of the heat originated from on my burger. All in all I liked it, and may give it another shot before they discontinue it (and after my body recovers a bit).

  12. Wes says:

    Urban legend that the seeds is where the heat comes from in a pepper. The main heat comes from the membrane that the seeds attach to.

  13. The sauce was nasty to me. Tasted quite a bit like ranch and chipotle mixed together! I don’t like creamy on a sandwich! I like blazing hot. Otherwise it was good. The bacon was awesome, a little on the small side and the poppers were very good. The jalapenos tasted like 3 day old mush.

  14. CeeCee says:

    Just had one today for the first time – won’t be the last, either. Of course it’s high in sodium and fat, it’s not billed as health food. As long as I’m not eating it every day (more like once a month, if that)I don’t think it will upset my diet overly much.

    LOVED the spicy level – sinus-clearing while eating it, but dissipated pretty quickly. At no time was it numbing or too hot nor did I think any of the flavors suffered for the spiciness. But that’s all very subjective. One person’s “yummy spice” is another person’s “five alarm fire, bring the hoses STAT!” I thought the combo of habanero, jalapeno slices, pepper cheese, and poppers was genius! With a BOGO coupon husband and I each had our half-pound El Diablo and split an order of criss-cut fries for just about $10.

    Next time I’d get the 1/3 pounder for myself. The half-pound was a bit too much for me to finish.

  15. SpiceLover says:

    I had this burger yesterday and I have to say I loved it! The bun was fresh and had a light buttery finish. The patty was thick and juicy. This burger had the right amount of spicy but for me personally I wish it had a bit more. A good enough kick for most people and the jalapeno poppers were cheesy and crisp. The bacon was nice and crunchy but I felt that the amount they added was on the lesser side. I honestly did not taste any Habanero sauce. I didnt know this burger had that before I got it but even then I dont remember tasting much of it or the sauce even having a habanero kick. Overall the burger is a 9/10 for me and is tied for my favorite burger at Carls Jr with the Double Western Cheeseburger.

  16. Let Down says:

    I tried this “Spicy” burger last night and was extremely let down by the lack of spice. I’m not saying the burger wasn’t delicious because it was. The spicy part of the burger never came into account. I don’t understand the reviews I’ve read stating the opposite. Maybe it’s my Latin expectations of what HOT/SPICY is that didn’t allow this burger to measure up. Again, great burger. And I will be eating it again, but not for what it claims to be.

  17. Ron K says:

    Looking forward to trying this baby 🙂

  18. Ricky L says:

    I so want to try this, but that calorie count makes me so weary…maybe split it with my fiancee?

  19. Will says:

    This sounds great, I wonder if they could make this as one of their “protein style” or their equivalent (forget the exact name,) burgers.

  20. Johnny says:

    But why would an angel eat an el diablo burger…

  21. snaggle says:

    Haven’t tried it yet my husband would love to but can’t afford it due to high medical bills but it sure looks delicious

  22. Freddie Boz says:

    overall I like Hardees when I decide on a FF burger – the main problem is the sodium count –

  23. Howard says:

    I’ve been wanting to give this thing a try since the review…haven’t been to Hardee’s for a long time but this is a thickburger that looks like it was made for me.


    I love spicy!

  25. Courtney says:

    Wow that sounds so amazing. What an idea 🙂

  26. Mieke says:

    Had the El Diablo yesterday…it was great!

  27. David says:

    I’ve not tried but would really like to. It must taste especially good if it’s free.

  28. Thom says:

    The world needs more heat.

  29. Mark Larson says:

    Oh man…I wanna try this one! Wisconsin has lots of Hardees…the phillycheesesteak thick burger was the best ever!!!

  30. Josh C says:

    this is a major nosh for me!

  31. Adam says:

    I tried this burger for the first time I love spice I love jalapenos but this this “burger” is waaaaaaaay to hot for me today burning ring of fire my stomach is still hurting the only thing not spicy was the patty will never order it again EVER

  32. Carl says:

    Love spicy things but, to put it as a friend commented…”Spicy is one thing, too hot is another…”. Maybe the Hardee’s that I went to had someone that wasn’t in a good mood and put on double ( or triple? ) the habanero sauce the day I picked up two “Diablos” but they were so hot we couldn’t taste the meat. I ate 1/12 of mine, scraped off some of that hot sauce and put on a TOUCH of Ranch Dressing…Tasted GREAT!! I’ll buy more but will only eat them with my modifications.

  33. BigBelly says:

    ^ they could call it a “Not So Hot Carl”

    I kid, I kid LOL 😡

  34. brandi says:

    Very disappointed not hot at all I was able to scarf it down

    • BigBelly says:

      I would agree that it’s not very hot, but there is a little bit there. It seemed to mainly come from the sliced jalapeno’s. I had the chicken version last week, and it didn’t seem very hot, and looked like they might have forgot the sauce. In all honesty, I didn’t want to like it, but it was tasty, so I returned tonight and ordered another, this time, with extra habanero sauce.. it was definitely on there this time, but didn’t add much to the heat level. Perhaps I’ll stop by Taco Bell, and pick up some of their Diablo sauce to squirt on this thing, and spawn a unholy devil turd 3:)

  35. Bobby says:

    El Diablo burger. They call it that because the next morning the devil is trying to crawl out of your butt. Unless you like you anus to be on fire and you like to sit on the toliet several times the next day I would avoid this sandwich.

  36. Peter says:

    I had one yesterday, i woke up this morning and took a spicy dump. My anus is still burning. I regret eating this burger…

  37. Herbivore 710 says:

    Just finished eating this, very disappointed. The sauce had a nauseating smell and tasted the same, but I forced myself to eat it because I hadn’t eaten today and the meal cost $9.25. Now I’m regretting it, never ordering again.

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