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Big Mac vs Quarter Pounder

Big Mac vs Quarter Pounder: Which is Better? (Updated)

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

Should you find yourself extremely hungry after an exhaustive day, the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder are both outstanding choices from the menu. These burgers feature robust and succulent patties, ensuring large servings that provide excellent value for your money.

But which one is ultimately better for you, and how do you tell them apart? We drove off to the nearest McDonald’s and bought both burgers to finally find the real winner.

Here’s our take on Big Mac vs Quarter Pounder so you know exactly which one to go for the next time you stop by McDonald’s.

Big Mac Or Quarter Pounder?

Big Mac Burger on a Wooden Board

According to our taste, quality, and ingredients preference, Quarter Pounder is the better burger because we prefer a classic cheeseburger taste.

One quick way to tell the two apart is if the burger has two beef patties, it’s probably a Big Mac. Big Mac is known for its signature patty, bun, and patty layers.

On the other hand, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is, as the name suggests, a burger built with a quarter-pound of pure beef patty.

Quick Summary Guide

DifferencesBig MacQuarter Pounder
IngredientsSesame buns, 2 beef patties, Big Mac sauce, lettuce, onionsRegular buns, ¼ pound beef patty, ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions
Beef PattyLessMore
Calorie Count550 cal520 cal
Total Fat30g20g
Dietary Fiber3g2g
Total Carbs45g42g
Protein25g30g
Calcium120mg190mg
PriceCheaper (around $5)More expensive (over $5)

Notable Differences

Ingredients

McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is made with similar ingredients as a regular cheeseburger from McDonald’s menu. It has ketchup, mustard, pickles, shredded lettuce, American cheese, and chopped onions.

“Big Mac: the iconic blend of indulgence. Quarter Pounder: bold simplicity.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

On the other hand, a Big Mac uses ingredients unique only to it. Aside from the quintessential ingredients, it has a special sauce.

The middle bun in between two juicy burger patties is also unique.

Size

At first glance, the Big Mac burger is undoubtedly bigger than the Quarter Pounder. It gets its height from the two patties and the middle bun.

However, it’s important to note that McDonald’s Quarter Pounder should not be underestimated.

Big Mac doesn’t have as much meat as the Quarter Pounder, despite having more patties (3.2 oz. and 4 oz., respectively).

Taste & Texture

The Big Mac’s taste stands out because of the special sauce, which perfectly balances sweet, tangy, and smoky. The two beef patties are thin and adequately seasoned with salt and pepper, and the buns are lightly toasted to retain their chewy texture.

On the other hand, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is better suited for someone who wants a meatier bite of food. The beef on this burger is thick and juicy, and the pickles and onions add a nice crunch.

Bun & Sauce

Big Mac uses the signature Big Mac sauce, which is just the right blend of sweet, tangy, and smoky.

This big burger uses a sesame seed bun, which adds a nice nuttiness to each bite. [1]

On the other hand, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder uses regular hamburger buns, ketchup, and mustard.

Beef Patties

One of the biggest differences between the two burgers is how much beef goes into them. Big Mac has two thinner patties weighing 1.6 oz each.

On the other hand, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder has more beef. The single patty weighs a whopping 4 oz.

Nutritional Values

homemade quarter pounder

Calorie Count

If you happen to like counting how many calories you eat, please note that Big Mac has more calories (550) than the Quarter Pounder (520 calories).

Most of the calories in Big Mac come from carbohydrates, and Quarter Pounder gets its calories from protein.

Total Fat

McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is the healthier choice if you compare the two burgers’ total fat. This burger has only 26 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fats, and 1.5 grams of trans fats.

On the other hand, Big Mac has 30 grams of fat, 11 grams of it being saturated fat. We assume that most of its fat content comes from the mayonnaise-based sauce. [2]

Dietary Fiber

Big Mac contains 3 grams of fiber per burger (10 percent of the recommended daily value of fiber), as opposed to Quarter Pounder’s 2 grams (9 percent).

Dietary fiber is good for our digestive system.

“It [fiber] is not essential, but it is helpful for an optimal diet.”

– Dr. Dom D’Agostino, Keto Expert and Levels Advisor

Total Carbs

Big Mac has more carbs than McDonald’s quarter pounder. It has 45 grams of carbs, while the latter has just 42 grams.

Protein

If you want to have enough protein because you want to build your muscle, we recommend the Quarter Pounder burger.

McDonald’s Quarter Pounder has more protein compared to the Big Mac because it has more beef. It contains 30 grams of protein, while the Big Mac has 25 grams.

Calcium

Quarter Pounder’s 190 mg calcium content fulfills 15 percent of your body’s recommended daily calcium intake.

On the other hand, a Big Mac has just 120 mg of calcium.

Popularity

Hands down, the Big Mac is more popular than a Quarter Pounder. There’s a reason it’s called Big Mac — it’s the namesake of the popular fast-food chain.

You can argue that McDonald’s is synonymous with Big Mac.

Conversely, the Quarter Pounder is not that “big” with the masses (pun intended), but those advocating for this burger can give average Big Mac fans a run for their money.

Price Point

Judging by size, many people assume that a Big Mac is more expensive than a Quarter Pounder.

However, the Quarter Pounder is more expensive at around $5.19. A Big Mac costs around $4.79.

Read: Jimmy John’s Slims vs Regular Sandwich

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eWhy is a Quarter Pounder more expensive than a Big Mac?u003c/strongu003e

A Quarter Pounder is more expensive than a Big Mac because it has more meat. A Quarter Pounder has a whopping 4 oz. of meat, as opposed to the Big Mac’s 3.2 oz.

u003cstrongu003eIs a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder more unhealthy?u003c/strongu003e

Quarter Pounder has 12 grams of saturated fat compared to the Big Mac’s 11 grams, which makes the latter the healthier version (technically).u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, it’s important to know that eating this type of food daily (especially when paired with French fries) will still contribute to poor heart health.

Final Verdict

After finishing Big Mac and Quarter Pounder, our team unanimously voted Quarter Pounder as the ultimate winner.

Visually, Big Mac stands out because of its double-patty build. Conversely, Quarter Pounder is built with just one quarter-pound of beef.

Both burgers use onions, lettuce, and cheese for extra flavor and texture.

A Quarter Pounder uses the quintessential seasonings and more calcium and protein, while the Big Mac uses the special Big Mac sauce, which contains more calories and fat.

References:

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hamburger-bun-history_n_7029310
  2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/440204-how-unhealthy-is-mayonnaise/
Shari Mason

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