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How to Make 10 Iconic McDonald’s Menu Items at Home

How to Make 10 Iconic McDonald’s Menu Items at Home


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When it comes to replicating a McDonald’s meal, some would say that it's absolutely impossible to do, because every last detail that goes into making their menu items is so significant. We were hard-pressed to hear it couldn't be done, so we decided to test this theory in our own kitchen, replicating some of McDonald's favorite menu items. We found that in some cases, the recipes were healthier, and in others, they were just fun to make. Making these recipes is really about paying attention to the details — from the blend of ground beef you use to how you choose to put ketchup on the bun — and each step is more important than the last when creating the ultimate McDonald’s experience.

Click here to see How to Make 10 Iconic McDonald’s Menu Items at Home slideshow

While replicating some of McDonald's most iconic menu items at home, we learned a lot about why McDonald's food is as unique as it is. As hard as people try, they'll never get their Big Mac replications to taste the same as the one that comes out of the drive-thru window, and we found that this is because McDonald's has managed to keep some of even their most basic ingredients secret in one way or another. Things like how they cook their eggs, what blend of ground beef they use, and exactly how much special sauce goes on the Big Mac are all predetermined and precise — and secret — so it’s no wonder that this company continues to thrive over time. In honor of the timelessness of these items, we’ve recreated them in our own kitchen, so that you can do the same in your own.

When McDonald’s started (after the short lived McDonalds Bar-B-Q take on the restaurant) the menu consisted of $0.15 hamburgers, french fries, and triple-thick milkshakes. Milestones like Ray Kroc visiting the restaurant to sell mixers, then opening a branch in Des Plaines, Ill., and eventually buying the company from the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million ($1 million for each McDonald brother, and then the leftover $700,000 for Uncle Sam) shaped the company over a period of time. While the history of the company might be as fascinating as the menu, there is one thing that sets McDonald's apart from its competition, always, and that one thing is the simple method in which they create their hamburgers. In 1988, Fortune labeled McDonald’s hamburgers as one of the 100 things that America makes best, we'd have to say that we agree.

McDonald’s assembly strategies are extremely important to the process of how the food tastes. OSI, McDonald's sole ground beef producer, has farms located throughout the United States. The burger plants at OSI freeze the ground beef almost immediately after it’s shaped, blended, and packaged to be shipped domestically, ensuring consistency of taste and quality. The produce used is also very important to McDonald’s, as they source all of the vegetables and fruit locally, so that they’re as fresh as possible upon arrival to the restaurants. McDonald’s is known for a lot more than their burgers these days, as they come out with sugar-free smoothie, wraps, and new salad options every day, and we’re seeing their menu transform with the help of nutritionists, like Julia Braun, to create healthy and weight-conscious meals.

McDonald’s has developed cooking methods, real estate ventures, patented "green" machinery, charities, and even a University with an accredited business degree in just five days — but despite all of their major accomplishments over the years, we still just want to know: What’s in the sauce?

In case you’re wondering, too, we’ve created 10 at-home recipes for some of our favorite McDonald’s menu items. To recreate everything from the classics like the cheeseburger to the more recent McGriddle, we researched multiple recipes, including an online file that is constructed by the McDonald’s Company themselves. But to find the exact taste of the recipes, we sat with each McDonald's item and tasted them against our own to find out how they were assembled, how they tasted, and how to make them almost identical. When The Daily Meal visited Hamburger University in June, we were given the inside scoop on just how McDonald's assembles its products, which is surprisingly one of the most important factors to the taste of the overall meal.

Though we may have strayed a little bit by making our McRib "pimped out," the McDonald’s corporation recipes have influenced our versions, in an effort to make them as authentic as possible. The best part about these recipes is that they might just be easier than getting in your car and driving to your nearest McDonald's.

  • McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese Recipe
  • McDonald's Classic Cheeseburger Recipe
  • McDonald's McNuggets Recipe
  • McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Recipe
  • McDonald's McGriddle Recipe
  • McDonald's Apple Pie Recipe
  • McDonald's Filet-o-Fish Recipe
  • McDonald's Egg McMuffin Recipe
  • McDonald's Big Mac Recipe
  • McDonald's Pimped-Out McRib Recipe

How To Make Mcdonald's Fries In Air Fryer

Can I use my air fryer to. Place 14 of the potato strips into the air fryer basket and cook them for 4 minutes.


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The taste comes.

How to make mcdonald's fries in air fryer. Place your fries in a single layer in your air fryer. Preheat your oven to 330 degrees. How to Make McDonalds Fries in an Air Fryer – YouTube.

Transfer fries to a bowl sprinkle with salt or your favorite seasoning and toss. How McDonalds Makes Their French Fries The potatoes are washed and peeled by machines. Make Perfect McDonalds French Fries at Home.

Do not place the baking sheet back in the freezer. Mcdonalds french fries in air fryer. Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees F.

How to Reheat McDonalds Fries. Cook for 3 minutes at 400F. The fries shoot through a tube at about 75 MPH through cutting machines.

This recipe is based of using the COSORI Air Fryer affiliate link we get a fee if you buy. Cook these for 10 minutes at 400 degrees if preferred after 10 minutes carefully open the air fryer mix or shake up the french fries coat with more spray and garlic salt. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer.

Place the frozen fries in the Air Fryer basket and give them a shake so they are distributed evenly. May 2 2019 – Enjoy that unmistakable McDonalds French fry flavor without the guilt. While the air fryer is preheating place the baking sheet of fries in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Air Fryer Copycat McDonalds Fries Recipe Mcdonalds fries Air fryer french fries Air fryer. Detailed and perfected directions on how to make McDonalds World Famous French Fry at HOME. Cook fries for 10-15 minutes shaking the basket or tossing the fries every 5 minutes.

You can add one tablespoon of oil to the fryer or fry them on their own. Theyre not 100 as perfect as fresh from the fryer fries but theyre pretty close. Air Fryer Cookbook.

Today we are going to show you how to make McDonalds fries in an air fryer. If playback doesnt begin shortly try restarting your device. The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook With Top 100 Healthy Quick Easy Air Frying Recipes For Your Family Everyday Meals Easy Cooking Volume 5 FREE PDF yang-shayaan 036.

May 2 2019 – Enjoy that unmistakable McDonalds French fry flavor without the guilt. Set your air fryer to 350 and air fry your fries for 3 to 6 minutes to your desired crispiness. Videos you watch may be added to.

Preheat air fryer to 400F. This is a new twist on a fast food favorite. Workers hand-cut any imperfections off the potatoes.

I can honestly say that after a week and a half. I was surprised by just how well McDonalds French Fries reheat in an air fryer.


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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.

In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken bigwigs decided to improve the image of America's third-largest fast-food chain. As a more health-conscious society began to affect sales of fried chicken, the company changed its name to KFC and introduced a lighter fare of skinless chicken.

In the last forty years KFC has experienced extraordinary growth. Five years after first franchising the business, Colonel Harland Sanders had 400 outlets in the United States and Canada. Four years later there were more than 600 franchises, including one in England, the first overseas outlet. In 1964 John Y. Brown, Jr., a young Louisville lawyer, and Jack Massey, a Nashville financier, bought the Colonel's business for $2 million. Only seven years later, in 1971 Heublein, Inc., bought the KFC Corporation for $275 million. Then in 1986, for a whopping $840 million, PepsiCo added KFC to its conglomerate, which now includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That means PepsiCo owns more fast food outlets than any other company including McDonald's.

At each KFC restaurant, workers blend real buttermilk with a dry blend to create the well-known KFC buttermilk biscuits recipe that have made a popular menu item since their introduction in 1982. Pair these buttermilk biscuits with KFC's mac and cheese recipe and the famous KFC Original Recipe Chicken, and skip the drive-thru tonight!

Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.

Once a regular menu item, these sweet, saucy wings are now added to the KFC menu on a "limited-time-only" basis in many markets. So how are we to get that sticky sauce all over our faces and hands during those many months when we are cruelly denied our Honey BBQ Wings? Now it's as easy as whipping up this KFC honey BBQ wings recipe that re-creates the crispy breading on the chicken wings, and the sweet-and-smoky honey BBQ sauce. "Limited-time-only" signs—we laugh at you.

How about some famous coleslaw or wedge potatoes? Check out my collection of KFC clone recipes here.

Menu Description: "Nearly world-famous. Often imitated, hardly ever duplicated."

"Hooters is to chicken wings what McDonald's is to hamburgers," claims promotional material from the company. True, the six fun-loving Midwestern businessmen who started Hooters in Clearwater, Florida, on April Fool's Day in 1983 chose a classic recipe for chicken wings as their signature item. But while some might say it's the buffalo wings that are their favorite feature of the restaurant, others say it's the restaurant chain's trademark Hooters girls—waitresses casually attired in bright orange short-shorts and skin tight T-shirts.

Today there are over 375 Hooters across the United States serving more than 200 tons of chicken wings every week. The original dish can be ordered in 10-, 20-, or 50-piece servings or if you want to splurge, there's the "Gourmet Chicken Wing Dinner" featuring 20 wings and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, for only $125. To further enhance the Hooters experience when you serve these messy wings, throw a whole roll of paper towels on the table, rather than napkins, as they do in the restaurants.

Menu Description: "Here they are in all their lip-smacking, award-winning glory: Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in your favorite signature sauce."

Since Buffalo, New York was too far away, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery satisfied their overwhelming craving in 1981 by opening a spicy chicken wing restaurant close to home in Kent, Ohio. With signature sauces and a festive atmosphere, the chain has now evolved from a college campus sports bar with wings to a family restaurant with over 300 units. While frying chicken wings is no real secret—simply drop them in hot shortening for about 10 minutes—the delicious spicy sauces make the wings special. There are 12 varieties of sauce available to coat your crispy chicken parts at the chain, and I'm presenting clones for the more traditional flavors. These sauces are very thick, almost like dressing or dip, so we'll use an emulsifying technique that will ensure a creamy final product where the oil won't separate from the other ingredients. Here is the chicken wing cooking and coating technique, followed by clones for the most popular sauces: Spicy Garlic, Medium and Hot. The sauce recipes might look the same at first, but each has slight variations make your sauce hotter or milder by adjusting the level of cayenne pepper. You can find Frank's pepper sauce by the other hot sauces in your market. If you can't find that brand, you can also use Crystal Louisiana hot sauce.

In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.

The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country—a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Over 500 stores later, Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes around, especially on the internet. Many of the copycat Auntie Anne's soft pretzel recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But by studying the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory, I've discovered a better solution for re-creating the delicious mall treats than any clone recipe out there. For the best quality dough, you just need all-purpose flour. And powdered sugar works great to perfectly sweeten the dough. Now you just have to decide if you want to make the more traditional salted pretzels, or the sweet cinnamon sugar-coated kind. Decisions, decisions.

Order an entree from America's largest seafood restaurant chain and you'll get a basket of some of the planet's tastiest garlic-cheese biscuits served up on the side. For many years this recipe has been the most-searched-for clone recipe on the Internet, according to Red Lobster. As a result, several versions are floating around, including one that was at one time printed right on the box of Bisquick baking mix.

The problem with making biscuits using Bisquick is that if you follow the directions from the box you don't end up with a very fluffy or flakey finished product, since most of the fat in the recipe comes from the shortening that's included in the mix. On its own, room temperature shortening does a poor job creating the light, airy texture you want from good biscuits, and it contributes little in the way of flavor. So, we'll invite some cold butter along on the trip -- with grated Cheddar cheese and a little garlic powder. Now you'll be well on your way to delicious Cheddar Bay. Wherever that is.

Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits has become the third-largest quick-service chicken chain in the world in the twenty-two years since its first store opened in New Orleans in 1972. (KFC has the number-one slot, followed by Church's Chicken). Since then, the chain has grown to 813 units, with many of them overseas in Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Honduras, Guam, and Korea.

Cayenne pepper and white pepper bring the heat to this crispy fried chicken hack.

Did you like this recipe? Get your hands on my secret recipe for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and other Popeyes dishes here.

Menu Description: "Breaded chicken breast tossed in spicy wing sauce. Served with cool bleu cheese dressing."

This clone re-creates the piquant flavor of traditional Buffalo chicken wings, but the bones and skin are left back in Buffalo. That's because these "wings" are actually nuggets sliced from chicken breast fillets, then breaded and fried, and smothered with the same type of spicy wing sauce used on traditional wings. If you like the flavor of Buffalo wings, but wish you could use a fork, your spicy dreams have come true. Serve these up with some celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing on the side for dipping.

Try more of my Chili's copycat recipes here.

El Pollo Loco, or "The Crazy Chicken," has been growing like mad since it crossed over the border into the United States from Mexico. Francisco Ochoa unknowingly started a food phenomenon internacional in 1975 when he took a family recipe for chicken marinade and opened a small roadside restaurante in Gusave, Mexico. He soon had 90 stores in 20 cities throughout Mexico. The first El Pollo Loco in the United States opened in Los Angeles in December 1980 and was an immediate success. It was only three years later that Ochoa got the attention of bigwigs at Dennys, Inc., who offered him $11.3 million for his U.S. operations. Ochoa took the deal, and El Pollo Loco grew from 17 to more than 200 outlets over the following decade.

Re-create the whole El Pollo Loco experience at home with my copycat recipes for avocado salsa, pinto beans, Spanish rice, and bbq black beans.

To copy Taco Bell's most famous burrito at home you first must assemble the meaty foundation of many of the chain's top-selling products: the spiced ground beef. Toss it and seven other tasty ingredients into a large flour tortilla and fold using the same technique as taught to new recruits to the chain. Add your favorite hot sauce for a bit of heat, or clone a Taco Bell hot sauce, such as the Taco Bell Fire Border Sauce with the clone recipe here.

Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.

Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."

Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.

I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.

The easy-melting, individually-wrapped Kraft Cheddar Singles are a perfect secret ingredient for this Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup recipe that's served at this top soup stop. In this clone, fresh broccoli is first steamed, then diced into little bits before you combine it with chicken broth, half-and-half, shredded carrot, and onion. Now you're just 30 minutes away from soup spoon go-time.

Click here for more of my copycat Panera Bread recipes.

Since McDonald's doesn't sell onion rings, these crunchy, golden hoops from the world's number two restaurant chain are the most popular onion rings in the world. There are more than 12,000 Burger Kings in 61 countries these days, and after French fries, onion rings are the second-most popular companion to the chain's signature Whopper sandwich. Check out how simple it is to clone a whopping four dozen onion rings from one onion, using this triple-breading process. When frying, trans fat-free vegetable shortening makes for the best Burger King Onion Rings recipe, but you can get by fine using vegetable oil if that's the way you want to go.. (For a great dipping sauce—similar to Outback's Bloomin' Onion sauce—check out my clone recipe for Burger King's Zesty Onion Ring Dipping Sauce.)

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Menu Description: "Our appetizing cheese dip with seasoned beef. Served with warm tostada chips."

Take your chips for a dip in this top-secret Chili's skillet queso copycat recipe that comes to your table in a small cast iron skillet along with a big bowl of tortilla chips. A popular recipe that's been circulating calls for combining Velveeta with Hormel no-bean chili. Sure, it's a good start, but there's more to Chili's spicy cheese dip than that. Toss a few other ingredients into the saucepan and after about 20 minutes you'll have a great dip for picnic, party, or game time.

Now, what's for dinner? Check out my other Chili's copycat recipes here.

Every brand of hummus I've tried over the years has been just so-so in taste and texture, until I discovered Sabra. Now this ultra-smooth hummus—which has been rated number one in a blind taste test—is the only hummus in my fridge, unless I've made this clone. Hummus is an awesome snack as a dip for vegetables or pita chips, since it's rich in protein, soluble fiber, potassium, and Vitamin E. The secret to duplicating Sabra's smooth and creamy quality is to let your food processor work the stuff over for a solid 10 minutes. Also, when getting your Sabra hummus ingredients ready, don't use all of the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans or the hummus will end up too runny. Strain off the liquid first, then measure only 1/2 cup back into the food processor. Sabra uses canola and/or soybean oil, but you may think olive oil tastes better. Look for a jar of sesame tahini in the aisle where all the international foods are parked, and while you're there find the citric acid, which may also go by the name "sour salt." The clone below will not have the proper acidic bite without this secret ingredient, and citric acid also works as a preservative to help the leftover hummus stay fresh and tasty.

Menu Description: "Our award-winning Baby Back Ribs are slow-roasted, then basted with Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ Sauce and finished on our Mesquite grill."

When your crew bites into these baby backs they'll savor meat so tender and juicy that it slides right off the bone. The slow braising cooks the ribs to perfection, while the quick grilling adds the finishing char and smoky flavor. But the most important component to any decent rack of ribs is a sauce that's filled with flavor, and this version of Roadhouse Grill's award-wining sauce is good stuff. I ordered the ribs naked (without sauce) so that I could see if there was any detectable rub added before cooking and I didn't find anything other than salt and a lot of coarse black pepper. So that's the way I designed the recipe, and it works.

Now, how about a copycat Roadhouse Grill Roadhouse Rita to wash down those ribs.

This super simple Chili's salsa recipe can be made in a pinch with a can of diced tomatoes, some canned jalapeños, fresh lime juice, onion, spices, and a food processor or blender. Plus you can easily double the recipe by sending in a larger 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, and simply doubling up on all the other ingredients. Use this versatile salsa as a dip for tortilla chips or plop it down onto any dish that needs flavor assistance—from eggs to taco salads to wraps to fish. You can adjust the Chili's salsa recipe heat level to suit your taste by tweaking the amount of canned jalapeños in the mix.

Now, what's for dinner? Check out some copycat entrees from your favorite restaurants here.

The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightning speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.

One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entree, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.

This Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.

With over 100 million dollars given to charity since 1982, Newman's Own products have become an American favorite. One variety of the brand's dressings that really stands out is this exceptional Caesar salad dressing, probably the best commercial Caesar dressing on the market. Part of the secret for this special recipe is the inclusion of Worcestershire sauce. Not only does Worcestershire give your dressing the perfect flavor and color of the original, but the sauce is made with a fishy ingredient that's crucial for a good Caesar dressing: anchovies.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

In 2007 America's number one Cajun-style restaurant celebrated its 35th birthday with 1,583 stores worldwide. But Popeyes didn't start out with the name that most people associate with a certain spinach-eating cartoon character. When Al Copeland opened his first Southern-fried chicken stand in New Orleans in 1972, it was called Chicken On The Run. The name was later changed to Popeyes after Gene Hackman's character in the movie The French Connection. In addition to great spicy fried chicken, Popeyes serves up wonderful Southern-style buttermilk biscuits that we can now easily duplicate to serve with a variety of home cooked meals. The secret is to cut cold butter into the mix with a pastry knife so that the biscuits turn out flaky and tender just like the originals.

Before he became America's sausage king, Jimmy Dean was known for crooning the country hit "Big Bad John." That song came out in 1962 and sold more than 8 million copies. His singing success launched a television career on ABC with The Jimmy Dean Show, where Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, and Roger Miller got their big breaks. The TV exposure led to acting roles for Jimmy, as a regular on Daniel Boone, and in feature films, including his debut in the James Bond flick Diamonds are Forever. Realizing that steady income from an acting and singing career can be undependable, Jimmy invested his show-biz money in a hog farm. In 1968 the Jimmy Dean Meat Company developed the special recipe for sausage that has now become a household name. Today the company is part of the Sara Lee Corporation, and Jimmy retired as company spokesman in 2004.

This clone recipe re-creates three varieties of the famous roll sausage that you form into patties and cook in a skillet. Use ground pork found at the supermarket—make it lean pork if you like—or grind some up yourself if you have a meat grinder.

Check out more of my famous breakfast food clone recipes here.

In the late 1800s Henry John Heinz established the slogan "57 Varieties," which you can still find printed on Heinz products even though the company now boasts over 5700 varieties in 200 countries. Today Heinz is the world's largest tomato producer, but interestingly the first product for the company that was launched in 1869 had nothing to do with tomatoes—it was grated horseradish. It wasn't until 1876 that ketchup was added to the growing company's product line.

Tomato is also an important ingredient in this Heinz 57 steak sauce recipe. But you'll find some interesting ingredients in there as well, such as raisin puree, malt vinegar, apple juice concentrate, and mustard. And don't worry if your version doesn't come out as brown as the original. Heinz uses a little caramel coloring in its product to give it that distinctive tint. It's just for looks though, so I've left that ingredient out of this clone recipe. The turmeric and yellow mustard will help tint this version a little bit like the color of the real deal.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Here's a dish from a rapidly growing Chinese food chain that should satisfy anyone who loves the famous marinated bourbon chicken found in food courts across America. The sauce is the whole thing here, and it's quick to make right on your own stove-top. Just fire up the barbecue or indoor grill for the chicken and whip up a little white rice to serve on the side. Panda Express - now 370 restaurants strong - is the fastest-growing Asian food chain in the world. You'll find these tasty little quick-service food outlets in supermarkets, casinos, sports arenas, college campuses, and malls across the country passing out free samples for the asking.

Sliced chicken breast, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and cotija cheese make up El Pollo Loco's Caesar Salad, but it is the fantastic creamy cilantro dressing recipe that gets the raves. Simply combine these basic ingredients in a blender and you'll soon have more than one cup of the delicious dressing cloned and ready to pour over any of your home salad creations.

You can also make El Pollo Loco Flame Broiled Chicken, pinto beans, Spanish rice and more. Find my copycat recipes here.

The automated process for creating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, developed in the 1950's, took the company many years to perfect. When you drive by your local Krispy Kreme store between 5:00 and 11:00 each day (both a.m. and p.m.) and see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign lit up, inside the store custom-made stainless steel machines are rolling. Doughnut batter is extruded into little doughnut shapes that ride up and down through a temperature and humidity controlled booth to activate the yeast. This creates the perfect amount of air in the dough that will yield a tender and fluffy finished product. When the doughnuts are perfectly puffed up, they're gently dumped into a moat of hot vegetable shortening where they float on one side until golden brown, and then the machine flips them over to cook the other side. When the doughnuts finish frying, they ride up a mesh conveyor belt and through a ribbon of white sugar glaze. If you're lucky enough to taste one of these doughnuts just as it comes around the corner from the glazing, you're in for a real treat—the warm circle of sweet doughy goodness practically melts in your mouth. It's this secret process that helped Krispy Kreme become the fastest-growing doughnut chain in the country.

As you can guess, the main ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut is wheat flour, but there is also some added gluten, soy flour, malted barley flour, and modified food starch plus egg yolk, non-fat milk, flavoring, and yeast. I suspect a low-gluten flour, like cake flour, is probably used in the original mix to make the doughnuts tender, and then the manufacturer adds the additional gluten to give the doughnuts the perfect framework for rising. I tested many combinations of cake flour and wheat gluten, but found that the best texture resulted from cake flour combined with all-purpose flour. I also tried adding a little soy flour to the mix, but the soy gave the dough a strange taste and it didn't benefit the texture of the dough in any way. I excluded the malted barley flour and modified food starch from the Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe since these are difficult ingredients to find. These exclusions didn't seem to matter because the real secret in making these doughnuts look and taste like the original lies primarily in careful handling of the dough.

The Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe dough will be very sticky when first mixed together, and you should be careful not to over mix it or you will build up some tough gluten strands, and that will result in chewy doughnuts. You don't even need to touch the dough until it is finished with the first rising stage. After the dough rises for 30 to 45 minutes it will become easier to handle, but you will still need to flour your hands. Also, be sure to generously flour the surface you are working on when you gently roll out the dough for cutting. When each doughnut shape is cut from the dough, place it onto a small square of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Using wax paper will allow you to easily transport the doughnuts (after they rise) from the baking sheet to the hot shortening without deflating the dough. As long as you don't fry them too long—1 minute per side should be enough—you will have tender homemade doughnuts that will satisfy even the biggest Krispy Kreme fanatics.


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits has become the third-largest quick-service chicken chain in the world in the twenty-two years since its first store opened in New Orleans in 1972. (KFC has the number-one slot, followed by Church's Chicken). Since then, the chain has grown to 813 units, with many of them overseas in Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Honduras, Guam, and Korea.

Cayenne pepper and white pepper bring the heat to this crispy fried chicken hack.

Did you like this recipe? Get your hands on my secret recipe for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and other Popeyes dishes here.

Exclusive signed copy. After 10 years of research in the Top Secret Lab, America's Clone Ranger emerges with his highly anticipated follow-up to the best-selling Top Secret Restaurant Recipes cookbook.

Author Todd Wilbur reveals 150 new secret formulas for duplicating the taste of your favorite dishes from America's biggest restaurant chains including Applebee's, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse and many others.

Todd's simple recipes and detailed blueprints will have you creating culinary copycats that will fool even the most critical connoisseurs at a fraction of the cost of eating out. But beware, everyone will be so amazed, you may have to start taking reservations!

Discover the secrets to making your own versions of Original Pancake House Apple Pancake, Olive Garden Sicilian Scampi, The Cheesecake Factory White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake, Chili's Grilled Baby Back Ribs, Romano's Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica, Applebee's White Chocolate & Walnut Blondie, Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Tony Roma's Baked Potato Soup, Houston's Chicago-Style Spinach Dip, Benihana Ginger Salad Dressing, IHOP Country Griddle Cakes, Carrabba's Chicken Marsala, T.G.I. Friday's Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad, Chili's Southwestern Eggrolls, Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake, Bennigan's The Monte Cristo, P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken, Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Wings and many more.

Contents
Applebee's Mud Slide
Applebee's Perfect Apple Margarita
Applebee's Perfect Sunrise
Applebee's Onion Peels
Applebee's Baked French Onion Soup
Applebee's Santa Fe Chicken Salad
Applebee's Almond Rice Pilaf
Applebee's Bourbon Street Steak
Applebee's Chicken Fajita Rollup
Applebee's Crispy Orange Chicken Bowl
Applebee's Honey Grilled Salmon
Applebee's Tequila Lime Chicken
Applebee's White Chocolate & Walnut Blondie
Benihana Ginger Salad Dressing
Benihana Japanese Onion Soup
Benihana Mandarin Orange Cheesecake
Bennigan's The Monte Cristo
Buffalo Wild Wings and Sauces
--Spicy Garlic Sauce
--Medium Wing Sauce
--Hot Wing Sauce
--Caribbean Jerk Sauce
California Pizza Kitchen California Cosmo
California Pizza Kitchen Thai Crunch Salad
California Pizza Kitchen California Club Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza
Carrabba's Bread Dipping Blend
Carrabba's House Salad Dressing (Creamy Parmesan)
Carrabba's Chicken Marsala
The Cheesecake Factory Mini Crabcakes
The Cheesecake Factory Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
The Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira
The Cheesecake Factory Bang-Bang Chicken & Shrimp
The Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake
The Cheesecake Factory White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
Chevys Fresh Salsa
Chevys Mango Salsa
Chevys Chile Con Queso
Chevys Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Chevys Sweet Corn Tomalito
Chevys Flan
Chili's Salsa
Chili's Boneless Buffalo Wings
Chili's Boneless Shanghai Wings
Chili's Chicken Crispers
Chili's Chili Queso
Chili's Lettuce Wraps
Chili's Southwestern Eggrolls
Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup
Chili's Southwestern Vegetable Soup
Chili's Honey Mustard Dressing
Chili's Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie
Chili's Molten Chocolate Cake
Claim Jumper Garlic Cheese Bread
Claim Jumper Fire-Roasted Artichoke
Claim Jumper Cheese Potatocakes
Claim Jumper Spicy Thai Slaw
Claim Jumper Meatloaf
Denny's Fabulous French Toast
Denny's BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Denny's Club Sandwich
Hard Rock Cafe Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Hard Rock Cafe Bar-B-Que Beans
Hard Rock Cafe Pig Sandwich
Houston's Chicago-Style Spinach Dip
Houston's Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Houston's Cole Slaw
IHOP Cinn-A Stacks
IHOP Country Griddle Cakes
IHOP Country Omelette
IHOP Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes
IHOP Pumpkin Pancakes
Islands China Coast Salad Dressing
Islands Island Fries
Islands Tortilla Soup
Islands Yaki Soft Tacos
Joe's Crab Shack Blue Crap Dip
Joe's Crab Shack Garlic King Crab Legs
Lone Star Steakhouse Lettuce Wedge Salad
Lone Star Steakhouse Baked Sweet Potato
Lone Star Steakhouse Lone Star Chili
Margaritaville Crab, Shrimp and Mushroom Dip
Margaritaville Jamaica Mistaica Wings
Margaritaville Key Lime Pie
Marie Callender's Lemon Cream Cheese Pie
Marie Callender's Pumpkin Pie
Mimi's Cafe Carrot Raisin Bread
Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder
Mimi's Cafe French Market Onion Soup
Olive Garden Limoncello Lemonade
Olive Garden Bruschetta
Olive Garden Sicilian Scampi
Olive Garden Stuffed Mushrooms
Olive Garden Toasted Ravioli
Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli
Olive Garden Minestrone Soup
Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
Olive Garden Chocolate Lasagna
Olive Garden Frozen Tiramisu
Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
Olive Garden Tiramisu
Original Pancake House Apple Pancake
Original Pancake House German Pancake
Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Bushman Bread
Outback Steakhouse Grilled Shrimp On The Barbie
Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Wings
Outback Steakhouse Bleu Cheese Dressing
Outback Steakhouse Caesar Salad Dressing
Outback Steakhouse Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
Outback Steakhouse Ranch Salad Dressing
Outback Steakhouse Tangy Tomato Dressing
Outback Steakhouse Cinnamon Apple Oblivion
Outback Steakhouse Sydney's Sinful Sundae
P.F. Chang's Mai Tai
P.F. Chang's Chang's Spare Ribs
P.F. Chang's Chicken in Soothing Lettuce Wraps
P.F. Chang's Shrimp Dumplings
P.F. Chang's Garlic Snap Peas
P.F. Chang's Chang's Spicy Chicken
P.F. Chang's Dan-Dan Noodles
P.F. Chang's Lemon Pepper Shrimp
P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef
P.F. Chang's Oolong Marinated Sea Bass
P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken
P.F. Chang's Chocolate Torte
Red Lobster Tartar Sauce
Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Red Lobster Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Crab Bake
Red Lobster Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp
Red Lobster Red Lobster New England Clam Chowder
Red Lobster Teriyaki Glazed Fresh Fish
Red Robin Seasoning
Red Robin 5 Alarm Burger
Red Robin Banzai Burger
Red Robin Teriyaki Chicken Burger
Roadhouse Grill Roadhouse Rita
Roadhouse Grill Roadhouse Cheese Wraps
Roadhouse Grill Baby Back Ribs
Romano's Macaroni Grill Chicken Portobello
Romano's Macaroni Grill Chicken Scaloppine
Romano's Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica
Ruby Tuesday Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
T.G.I. Friday's Black Bean Soup
T.G.I. Friday's Broccoli Cheese Soup
T.G.I. Friday's Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad
T.G.I. Friday's Sizzling Shrimp
Tony Roma's Blue Ridge Smokies Sauce
Tony Roma's Baked Potato Soup
Tony Roma's Maple Sweet Potatoes
Tony Roma's Carolina Honeys BBQ Salmon
Waffle House Waffles

Exclusive signed copy. The book that started the copycat food craze! This irresistible collection of cloned recipes is the product of years of obsessive research by self-confessed convenience-food addict Todd Wilbur.

Big food manufacturers guard their recipes like the gold in Fort Knox, but Wilbur's dogged pursuit of taste-alike versions of his—and our—all-time favorites has paid off in this unique cookbook of scrumptious treats.

Whether you're a kid or just a kid at heart, you'll have a great time making the incredible clones of a McDonald's Big Mac, a Burger King Whopper, a Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet, Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Hostess Twinkie, Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie, and many other famous American foods. Helpful illustrations let you recreate them to perfection. And both taste and guilty pleasures are just like the real thing.

Contents
Aunt Jemima Maple Syrup
Ben & Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream
Borden Cracker Jack
Brown & Haley Almond Roca
Burger King Whopper
Carl's Jr. Famous Star
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Dairy Queen Blizzard
Hardee's French Fries
Hardee's 1/4-pound Hamburger
Hostess Twinkie
IHOP Pancakes
In-N-Out Double Double
Jack in the Box Jumbo Jack
Jack in the Box Taco
Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
KFC Buttermilk Biscuits
KFC Cole Slaw
KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken
Long John Silver's Batter-Dipped Fish
M&M/Mars Caramel Twix Bars
M&M/Mars Snickers Bar
McDonald's Big Mac
McDonald's Egg McMuffin
McDonald's McD.L.T.
Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Dream Bars
Orange Julius
Peter Paul Mounds and Almond Joy
Pogen's Gingersnaps
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Sara Lee Original Cream Cheesecake
See's Butterscotch Lollipop
Taco Bell Enchirito
TastyKake Butterscotch Krimpets
TastyKake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes
Twin Dragon Almond Cookies
Wendy's Chili
Wendy's Frosty
Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink

On his Food Network TV show Emeril Lagasse mentions "Essence" almost as much as "Bam!" and "Kick it up a notch!" He claims to put his special spice blend on "everything but ice cream." He suggests using it all your meats, veggies and pasta, and combining it with oil to use as a marinade. If you can't get your hands on the version that's sold in the bottle here's how to whip up a quick clone at home. (This recipe I created to clone the taste of the bottled product found in stores is different from the recipe in Emeril's cookbooks.)

This is the spicy sauce that comes on your Gordita or Chalupa at Taco Bell. But the only way to get a significant amount of the delicious creamy sauce to use at home on tacos, fajitas, and burritos is by making some yourself. With this original TSR clone you will make enough to hold you over for a while. You need a food processor to puree the vegetables, but don't expect to use all the puree. I've made the measurements for the puree larger than required so that your food processor will have something to grab on to. This is a mayo-based sauce, so if you want to eliminate some fat, use light mayonnaise in the recipe and make low-fat homemade Baja Sauce. You can't get that at Taco Bell.

Menu Description: "Our appetizing cheese dip with seasoned beef. Served with warm tostada chips."

Take your chips for a dip in this top-secret Chili's skillet queso copycat recipe that comes to your table in a small cast iron skillet along with a big bowl of tortilla chips. A popular recipe that's been circulating calls for combining Velveeta with Hormel no-bean chili. Sure, it's a good start, but there's more to Chili's spicy cheese dip than that. Toss a few other ingredients into the saucepan and after about 20 minutes you'll have a great dip for picnic, party, or game time.

Now, what's for dinner? Check out my other Chili's copycat recipes here.

Menu Description: "Come back to Jamaica! Our wings tossed in habanero-honey wing sauce with cucumber sticks and house-made mango ranch dipping sauce."

Chicken wings. Everyone loves the flavorful non-functioning chicken parts. When they're good, they're real good. And these little guys from Jimmy Buffet's chain of island-themed restaurants are some of the best. The preparation is no big secret: Fry the wings, add the sauce. It's that habanero honey sauce recipe that makes these so good. Add to that an easy-to-make mango ranch dipping sauce and you're off on a non-stop cruise to chicken wing paradise. The restaurant serving size is for 10 wings, but these top secret sauces will be enough for 30 wings.

Try out more copycat dishes from Margaritaville like their Key Lime Pie and Volcano Nachos.

Every brand of hummus I've tried over the years has been just so-so in taste and texture, until I discovered Sabra. Now this ultra-smooth hummus—which has been rated number one in a blind taste test—is the only hummus in my fridge, unless I've made this clone. Hummus is an awesome snack as a dip for vegetables or pita chips, since it's rich in protein, soluble fiber, potassium, and Vitamin E. The secret to duplicating Sabra's smooth and creamy quality is to let your food processor work the stuff over for a solid 10 minutes. Also, when getting your Sabra hummus ingredients ready, don't use all of the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans or the hummus will end up too runny. Strain off the liquid first, then measure only 1/2 cup back into the food processor. Sabra uses canola and/or soybean oil, but you may think olive oil tastes better. Look for a jar of sesame tahini in the aisle where all the international foods are parked, and while you're there find the citric acid, which may also go by the name "sour salt." The clone below will not have the proper acidic bite without this secret ingredient, and citric acid also works as a preservative to help the leftover hummus stay fresh and tasty.

Menu Description: "Fajita-marinated chicken, corn relish, mixed cheese, cilantro, diced tomato and crispy tortilla strips. Garnished with a chipotle-ranch drizzle and cheese quesadilla wedges. Served with our citrus-balsamic dressing."

I'm a happy camper on a Saturday afternoon when diving into one of these big salads, served up with a Presidente Margarita to help relieve my hangover from a Friday night hoo-ha. For the last several years, this has been the go-to salad when you're dining at Chili's. The chicken marinade is delicious, the corn relish is a great touch, and the citrus-balsamic vinaigrette totally rocks. And where else can you get a salad that includes slices of cheese quesadilla on the side? I love it. If you're a fan of the original, this 4-serving clone will bring it home.

Craving more of your favorite dishes from Chili's? See if I hacked your favorites here.

In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.

This CPK creation is a top pick at the 209-unit chain, most likely because chefs slather on a delicious sweet-and-spicy Caribbean sauce where tomato sauce usually sits on traditional Italian-style pies. Making the sauce from scratch is the way to go for true clone rangers, but if you'd like a shortcut, find Tiger Sauce in your local market where the bottled hot sauces are sold, and use that. If you want another shortcut, rather than mixing your own jerk seasoning from scratch, use any jerk blend or seasoning. I do recommend making the pizza dough from scratch, rather than buying prepared dough, however. You'll need to plan ahead on this part of the recipe so that the dough has a chance to slowly rise in your fridge overnight. This is the technique the pros use to recreate professional-style, chewy pizza dough. To bake the pizzas—this recipes makes two—I suggest cooking them on a preheated pizza stone in your oven. This is the best way to reproduce the taste and texture of the great pizzas at CPK.

Menu Description: "Our original recipe of Tuscan white beans pureed with sesame, garlic, lemon, and spices. Garnished with fresh Roma tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Served with warm pizza-pita bread."

The traditional dish of Tuscan white beans is usually made from dried cannellini beans or great Northern beans that are soaked overnight in water and then cooked until tender with olive oil, garlic and sage. But there's no need to wait through such a time-consuming process if we can simply use already tender canned beans found in any market. Look for white beans or the slightly larger great Northern beans and strain off the liquid, but don't throw that liquid away! you'll need a little of it to add to the food processor along with the other ingredients, including sesame tahini which can be found in most markets where the international foods are stocked or in specialty stores such as Whole Foods.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–2 tablespoons
Total servings–14
Calories per serving–60
Fat per serving–4.3g

By sneaking around to the back of a HoneyBaked Ham store I witnessed the glazing process through an open door. The hams are delivered to each of the 300 HoneyBaked outlets already smoked, but without the glaze. It is only when the ham gets to your local HoneyBaked store that a special machine thin-slices the tender meat in a spiral fashion around the bone. Then, one at a time, each ham is then coated with the glaze—a blend that is similar to what might be used to make pumpkin pie. This sweet coating is then caramelized with a blowtorch by hand until the glaze bubbles and melts, turning golden brown. If needed, more of the coating is added, and the blowtorch is fired up until the glaze is just right. It's this careful process that turns the same size ham that costs 20 dollars in a supermarket into one that customers gladly shell out 3 to 4 times as much to share during the holiday season.

For this HoneyBaked Ham glaze copycat recipe, we will re-create the glaze that you can apply to a smoked/cooked bone-in ham of your choice. Look for a ham that is pre-sliced. Otherwise you'll have to slice it yourself with a sharp knife, then the glaze will be applied. To get the coating just right you must use a blowtorch. Get the kind that is used for creme brulee from almost any kitchen supply store. They're usually pretty cheap. And don't worry—I didn't leave out an ingredient. No honey is necessary to re-create this flavorful glaze.

It was in 1995 that Starbucks stores started selling this frozen drink, one of the company's most successful new products. The Frappuccino is blended with strong coffee, sugar, a dairy base, and ice. Each one is made to order and each one is guaranteed to give you a throbbing brain freeze if you sip too hard. The drinks come in several different varieties, the most popular of which Ive cloned here for your frontal lobe-pounding, caffeine-buzzing pleasure.

Make double-strength coffee by measuring 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup serving in your coffee maker. The clone will be even more authentic if you use Starbucks beans and grind them yourself just before brewing.

Check out my Starbucks copycat recipes for more coffee drinks and baked goods here.

To copy Taco Bell's most famous burrito at home you first must assemble the meaty foundation of many of the chain's top-selling products: the spiced ground beef. Toss it and seven other tasty ingredients into a large flour tortilla and fold using the same technique as taught to new recruits to the chain. Add your favorite hot sauce for a bit of heat, or clone a Taco Bell hot sauce, such as the Taco Bell Fire Border Sauce with the clone recipe here.

With its goofy-yet-memorable name, Moons Over My Hammy is a delicious scrambled egg sandwich that can be eaten for breakfast with hash browns on the side, or for lunch with a side of French fries. When you get the sourdough bread for this recipe, try to find a good-quality loaf with large slices.

Click here for more amazing copycat sandwich recipes.

Nicknamed "Sliders" and "Gut Bombers," these famous tiny burgers were one of the earliest fast-food creations. It all started in 1921 when E.W. Ingram borrowed $700 to open a hamburger stand in Wichita, Kansas. Ingram chose the name White Castle because "white" signified purity and cleanliness, while "castle" represented strength. permanence, and stability. White Castle lived up to its name, maintaining that permanence and stability by growing steadily over the years to a total of 380 restaurants.

Ingram's inspiration was the development of steam-grilling, a unique process that helped the burgers retain moisture. The secret is grilling the meat over a small pile of onions that give off steam as they cook. Five holes in each mini-burger help to ensure that the meat is completely cooked without having to flip the patties. Today customers can buy these burgers "by the sack" at the outlets, or pick them up in the freezer section of most grocery stores, but hey, making them at home is fun!

Now, how about some fries and a milkshake to complete the meal.

If you're like me, that "limited-time" the McRib Sandwich is on sale is much too limited. But that's okay. If you've got a food processor you'll never have to go without the taste of the saucy sparerib sandwich that's dressed with pickles and onions and served on a soft, warm sandwich roll. The food processor is essential for grinding up meat that's been cut away from the bones of a large rack of uncooked pork spareribs. Once you shape the meat into patties and freeze it, you'll be able to make cloned McRibs any time you want in your own kitchen in less than 10 minutes. Follow these steps exactly and you will be shocked at how similar your home version tastes to the real McRib McCoy.

Check out Todd's video demo: How to clone a McRib.

The automated process for creating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, developed in the 1950's, took the company many years to perfect. When you drive by your local Krispy Kreme store between 5:00 and 11:00 each day (both a.m. and p.m.) and see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign lit up, inside the store custom-made stainless steel machines are rolling. Doughnut batter is extruded into little doughnut shapes that ride up and down through a temperature and humidity controlled booth to activate the yeast. This creates the perfect amount of air in the dough that will yield a tender and fluffy finished product. When the doughnuts are perfectly puffed up, they're gently dumped into a moat of hot vegetable shortening where they float on one side until golden brown, and then the machine flips them over to cook the other side. When the doughnuts finish frying, they ride up a mesh conveyor belt and through a ribbon of white sugar glaze. If you're lucky enough to taste one of these doughnuts just as it comes around the corner from the glazing, you're in for a real treat—the warm circle of sweet doughy goodness practically melts in your mouth. It's this secret process that helped Krispy Kreme become the fastest-growing doughnut chain in the country.

As you can guess, the main ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut is wheat flour, but there is also some added gluten, soy flour, malted barley flour, and modified food starch plus egg yolk, non-fat milk, flavoring, and yeast. I suspect a low-gluten flour, like cake flour, is probably used in the original mix to make the doughnuts tender, and then the manufacturer adds the additional gluten to give the doughnuts the perfect framework for rising. I tested many combinations of cake flour and wheat gluten, but found that the best texture resulted from cake flour combined with all-purpose flour. I also tried adding a little soy flour to the mix, but the soy gave the dough a strange taste and it didn't benefit the texture of the dough in any way. I excluded the malted barley flour and modified food starch from the Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe since these are difficult ingredients to find. These exclusions didn't seem to matter because the real secret in making these doughnuts look and taste like the original lies primarily in careful handling of the dough.

The Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe dough will be very sticky when first mixed together, and you should be careful not to over mix it or you will build up some tough gluten strands, and that will result in chewy doughnuts. You don't even need to touch the dough until it is finished with the first rising stage. After the dough rises for 30 to 45 minutes it will become easier to handle, but you will still need to flour your hands. Also, be sure to generously flour the surface you are working on when you gently roll out the dough for cutting. When each doughnut shape is cut from the dough, place it onto a small square of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Using wax paper will allow you to easily transport the doughnuts (after they rise) from the baking sheet to the hot shortening without deflating the dough. As long as you don't fry them too long—1 minute per side should be enough—you will have tender homemade doughnuts that will satisfy even the biggest Krispy Kreme fanatics.


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

It took chefs several years to develop what would eventually become KFC's most clucked about new product launch in the chain's 57-year history. With between 70 to 180 calories and four to nine grams of fat, depending on the piece, the new un-fried chicken is being called "KFC's second secret recipe," and "a defining moment in our brand's storied history" in a company press release. The secret recipe for the new grilled chicken is now stored on an encrypted computer flash drive next to the Colonel's handwritten original fried chicken recipe in an electronic safe at KFC company headquarters. Oprah Winfrey featured the chicken on her talk show and gave away so many coupons for free grilled chicken meals that some customers waited in lines for over an hour and half, and several stores ran out and had to offer rain checks. Company spokesperson Laurie Schalow told the Associated Press that KFC has never seen such a huge response to any promotion. "It's unprecedented in our more than 50 years," she said. "It beats anything we've ever done."

When I heard about all the commotion over this new secret recipe I immediately locked myself up in the underground lab with a 12-piece bucket of the new grilled chicken, plus a sample I obtained of the proprietary seasoning blend, and got right to work. After days of nibbling through what amounts to a small flock of hens, I'm happy to bring you this amazing cloned version of this fast food phenomenon so that you can now reproduce it in your own kitchen. Find the smallest chicken you can for this KFC grilled chicken copycat recipe, since KFC uses young hens. Or better yet save some dough by finding a small whole chicken and cut it up yourself. The secret preparation process requires that you marinate (brine) your chicken for a couple hours in a salt and MSG solution. This will make the chicken moist all of the way through and give it great flavor. After the chicken has brined, it's brushed with liquid smoke-flavored oil that will not only make the seasoning stick to the chicken, but will also ensure that the chicken doesn't stick to the pan. The liquid smoke in the oil gives the chicken a smoky flavor as if it had been cooked on an open flame barbecue grill.

The grilled chicken at KFC is probably cooked on ribbed metal plates in specially designed convection ovens to get those grill marks. I duplicated that process using an oven-safe grill pan, searing the chicken first on the stovetop to add the grill marks, then cooking the chicken through in the oven. If you don't have a grill pan or a grill plate, you can just sear the chicken in any large oven safe saute pan. If you have a convection function on your oven you should definitely use it, but the recipe will still work in a standard oven with the temperature set just a little bit higher. After baking the chicken for 20 minutes on each side, you're ready to dive into your own 8-piece bucket of delicious indoor grilled chicken that's as tasty as the fried stuff, but without all the fat.


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

What is the McDonald's sign referring to when it says "Over 100 billion served?" That's not the number of customers served, but the number of beef patties sold since McDonald's first opened its doors in the forties. A hamburger counts as one patty. A Big Mac counts as two.

McDonald's sold its 11 billionth hamburger in 1972, the same year that this sandwich, the Quarter Pounder, was added to the growing menu. That was also the year large fries were added and founder Ray Kroc was honored with the Horatio Alger Award (the two events are not related). In 1972, the 2,000th McDonald's opened its doors, and by the end of that year McDonald's had finally become a billion-dollar corporation.

Find more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.


Nothing says “good morning!” like a plate full of light, fluffy flapjacks, and the International House of Pancakes has their pancakes down to an art form. But, you can easily steal their recipe and make them at home. Pancakes in your PJs? Perfect! Get the recipe here from Life in the Lofthouse.

I love me some Chipotle, as do my kids, but I sometimes cringe at paying $7 for what is essentially a bowl of beans and rice. Luckily, this copycat recipe for burrito bowls from Brown-Eyed Baker makes it easy to prepare delicious fresh Mexican food at home.


McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Just like the Big Mac, their fries and the Happy Meal are some of the most iconic McDonald’s menu items, so too does the Chicken McNugget fall into this hall of fame. We’re so happy to bring you this McDonald’s chicken nuggets recipe.

They have been around since the late 70s and the recipe has been tried, tested and changed over the years. No matter what changes they made, their nuggets always stayed delicious. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They have the perfect amount of salt and are fried for the perfect amount of time.

Add your chicken, salt and one egg in a food processor. Blend until the mixture looks like a paste.

Place the corn starch in a bowl. With wet hands, shape a handful of the mixture into a nugget. Dip the nuggets into the corn starch and place it on a lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the water, one egg, mustard, spices and flour. Place the nuggets in the batter and place back onto the baking sheet.

Place the sheet in the freezer and allow them to freeze for 1 hour.

Heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep fry the first batch for 5 minutes. Allow the nuggets to drain on paper towel and deep fry again for 5 minutes. This helps the chicken cook through without burning it.


Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The yogurt parfaits at McDonald's are easy for a quick grab in the morning, so why not prep your own versions of it at home? This indulgent parfait is decadent enough to be a dessert, but with exactly what you need to start your day or snack: a mix of protein and fiber.

Get our recipe for Yogurt Parfaits.


5. Always ask for a receipt


Apparently requesting a receipt might get be the difference between getting a juicy fresh burger or one that’s been sitting around for hours.

McDonald’s worker Kamran Adam revealed the interesting trick on internet forum Quora, and explained that staff are more likely to give you a fresh burger if you request a receipt because they might think you’re a mystery shopper – someone who goes to different establishments to rate the service and food.

Mystery shoppers have to request receipts for reimbursement purposes, so Kamran says requesting one might make staff work harder to make sure you have a pleasant experience.