Aug 12, 2012

Comeback Burger

Come Back Burger

It was time for me to come back! Had a wonderful and relaxing vacation, got to spend fun time with J-man, but am ready to rock again.

What have I been doing? Well, for starters, I managed to copy the McDonald’s burgers. I sure did and get this, I even bought MSG for it; they use lots of it and I really wanted to duplicate their burgers. So far I nailed the Big Mac. And the cheeseburger.

I like the concept of those thin, griddle-cooked burgers but I ditched the MSG. It’s just not for me. Then I started messing with the basic recipe and replaced the ketchup and yellow mustard twirl for a simplified but oh-so good Southern comeback sauce.

I also added lettuce and real onions instead of the dehydrated onions McDonald’s uses. I used my non-stick griddle mainly because I found the trick is not to use any oil or butter when cooking the patties. Less fat = less guilt.

These are my kinda burgers. Simple, fast and very tasty.




1 pound ground beef (ground chuck works best)
4 hamburger buns
1 small onion
4 slices cheddar
iceberg lettuce


2 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
(add 1 tbsp MSG if you want to duplicate McDonald’s)

Comeback Sauce:

5 tbsp mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s)
5 tbsp ketchup (I use Heinz)
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder


Here’s the foundation for my new best sauce: mayonnaise and ketchup. They get along just fine.
Come Back Burger

The pepper doesn’t make it really hot, no worries, it just adds a tremendous amount of flavour and some zing.
Come Back Burger

Stir in the remaining seasonings and set the sauce aside. The longer you give it, the better it will be.
Come Back Burger

Mix everything listed under ‘seasoning’ and put it in a shaker.
Come Back Burger

Just for the record; you put the salt mix in a shaker and you season the burgers to taste! I understood that several Europeans thought you had to use all the salt on the burgers. Maybe because we’re used to seasoning the ground beef before grilling the burgers.

Chop the onion as fine as you can without turning it into mush. For me this slap ‘n chop works best.
Come Back Burger

Slice the cheddar. I buy it in bulk and freeze it. Flavour is perfect but it gets a little crumbly after thawing but we’ll melt it anyway.
Come Back Burger

McDonald’s burgers are 2 oz per burger, so form 8 small meatballs.
Come Back Burger

Basic hamburger buns. I like the ones with sesame seeds on top. Slice them in half.
Come Back Burger

My dirty little secret: I use my tortilla press for making burgers after I line it with a cut-up ziplock bag.
Come Back Burger

You can use a rolling-pin and ziplock bag as well, though! Place a meatball in there…
Come Back Burger

And flatten the heck out of it.
Come Back Burger

Heat a griddle, mine was non stick. Use no butter or oil and bake the patties for roughly 2,5 to 3 minutes on each side.
Come Back Burger

They will instantly shrink and become the perfect bun size.
Come Back Burger

Flip them over and season them on both sides after they’re done.
Come Back Burger

Top one burger with cheddar and put another one on top. Lay the buns on the griddle and toast them slightly.
Come Back Burger

Top the buns with lettuce, the double cheeseburger, a dollop of comeback sauce and onions to taste.
Come Back Burger

You have to try them! No really, I won’t rest until you will.
Come Back Burger


Comeback Burger

    1 pound ground beef (ground chuck works best)
    4 hamburger buns
    1 small onion
    4 slices cheddar
    iceberg lettuce


    2 tbsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    (add 1 tbsp MSG if you want to duplicate McDonald’s)

    Comeback Sauce:

    5 tbsp mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s)
    5 tbsp ketchup (I use Heinz)
    1 tbsp ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/4 tsp mustard powder

    Combine all ingredients listed under ‘Comeback Sauce’ and refrigerate for as long as you can. Combine all ingredients listed under ‘Seasoning’ and put it in a shaker. Mince the onions as fine as you can, slice the cheddar and slice the burger buns in half.

    Form 8 thin patties using a tortilla press lines with a ziplock bag or a rolling pin and ziplock bag. Heat a preferably non-stick griddle and cook the patties without butter or oil for 2 and a half to 3 minutes on each side. Season after cooking.

    Place a slice of cheddar one a patty and place another one on top. Lay the buns on the griddle and toast them slightly. Top the buns with lettuce, the double cheeseburger, a dollop of come back sauce and onions to taste.

Meal type: Lunch, Main Course
Servings: 4
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    1. 1

      Oh this looks scrumptious Kay! I try to stay away from Mc Donalds and the like but I never say no to homemade burgers like yours. Welcome back!

      Magda on Aug 12, 2012 @ 9:37 pm Reply
    2. 2

      That’s a great looking burger, Kay! Love the Comeback Sauce :-)

      Lana @ Never Enough Thyme on Aug 12, 2012 @ 10:08 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I’m not a big McDonalds fan but this looks fabulous! Sans MSG of course ;-)

      Carol on Aug 12, 2012 @ 11:51 pm Reply
    4. 4

      WELCOME BACK!!  Thanks for not including that wicked stuff MSG.  I am so allergic to it.  Love me a greasy gooey burger.  Now if we could duplicate In~N~Out fries.

      doodles on Aug 13, 2012 @ 1:10 am Reply
      1. What on earth are ‘In~N~Out fries’? Never heard of them!

        Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 2:14 am Reply
          1. Ohhhh that looks really good. It’s 9:25am here now and it’s getting me hungry :)

            I can totally see this working with the come back sauce as well. Gonna try it soon.

            Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 9:26 am
    5. 5


      In~N~Out burgers and fries are the best fast food burgers in the world.  They started out in Southern Calif, and have spread East.  The burgers are made fresh to order, they have condiments you can ask for or ask not to have, their fries are fresh cut while you watch, and the kids who work there are friendly and helpful.  Doodles was correct in wishing for them to make at home.

      Lu on Aug 13, 2012 @ 2:29 am Reply
    6. 6

      We know a guy here in Phnom Penh who fled Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge time when he was only 14 (walked for days to the border along with thousands of others who escaped). He ended up settling in Long Beach, CA where he worked as a mail carrier for the US Postal Service for 30 years. He moved back to Cambodia about 4 years ago and has opened his own place called “Mike’s Burgers” in the same building as a gas station. He modeled his products on the In-N-Out chain, and will even make you an “Animal Style” if you are savvy enough to ask for it. As you can imagine, he’s VERY popular with the American crowd over here. Kay, your burger above looks a bit like his, other than the great looking cheddar, which is pretty hard to come by in these parts.

      Cindy on Aug 13, 2012 @ 3:27 am Reply
    7. 7

      What a brilliant idea to use your tortilla press for the patties! I can never get them as thin as I’d like.

      nadine on Aug 13, 2012 @ 6:04 am Reply
      1. It works perfectly! You can make them as thick or thin as you like and they are always evenly flattened.

        Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 11:12 am Reply
    8. 8

      Looking good, Kay! It makes my stomach long for lunchtime.

      Just one question though: 2 tbsp of salt for one pound of beef seems kind of excessive. You sure it’s not 2 tsp? 

      Ilse on Aug 13, 2012 @ 11:40 am Reply
      1. You put it in a shaker, silly… and you sprinkle some of the seasoning over the patty after its cooked :)

        Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 12:00 pm Reply
        1. Woah duh… I guess I suffered a small stroke just reading about those 2 tbsp. I should have scrolled through your post a little more carefully haha. My bad!

          Ilse on Aug 13, 2012 @ 3:42 pm Reply
          1. You had me laughing out loud, girly… that would have been one seriously salty burger :)

            Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 3:49 pm
    9. 9

      Being a vegetarian does not prevent me from speculating about the taste, so here goes: Looks absolutely delicious!! :)))

      Bingo Haley on Aug 13, 2012 @ 1:48 pm Reply
      1. Hmmm you gave me an idea. Have to see if I can come up with a vegetarian version.

        Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 2:04 pm Reply
      2. If I look at the onion pieces they lappear a model of geometry – cube shaped.. Can I assume then that the slap ‘n chop is good? Thx, Bingo

        Bingo Haley on Aug 14, 2012 @ 11:03 pm Reply
        1. I have no idea how the thing does it, but you can chop onions really, really fine without them turning into a pile of mush, they keep their shape and structure. I only use this thing for onions and other things I want really finely chopped without being mushy, oh, and for garlic and hot peppers.

          Kay on Aug 15, 2012 @ 8:32 am Reply
    10. 10

      Looks like an awesome summertime burger!

      Bree on Aug 13, 2012 @ 3:26 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I do have a weakness for Big Macs, though I haven’t had one in years.
      Here’s a true southern recipe for comeback sauce! 

      Allyn on Aug 13, 2012 @ 4:37 pm Reply
      1. That’s the one I found on several sites after a friend of mine gave me this recipe a few weeks ago! Love it.

        Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 4:51 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Waar haal jij je Cheddarkaas, bij een kaasboer? Ziet er erg goed uit

      Jaime de Vos on Aug 13, 2012 @ 7:23 pm Reply
      1. Ik koop meestal een kilo tegelijk bij de Hanos en vries het dan in stukken van 150gr in.

        Kay on Aug 13, 2012 @ 7:27 pm Reply
      2. Lidl and Aldi sells processed Cheddar cheese, and it melts perfectly. The slices are individually wrapped in plastic.

        Erwin on Aug 14, 2012 @ 7:31 pm Reply
        1. Yeah, but that’s only 40% real cheese and the rest is palm oil or something and it barely has any flavor compared to real cheddar. 

          Kay on Aug 14, 2012 @ 8:14 pm Reply
    13. 13

      To copy McDonalds burgers is no easy task. There are some important cooking tips. 

      1. McDonalds uses ground chucks, so it’s 80 % lean. Freeze the patties for at least an hour. This keeps them falling apart when you grill them.

      2. Searing the beef patties is very important. So you applying 20 seconds pressure to the frozen patties as they cook on the griddle, with a spatula. 

      3. The “McFlavor” comes from seasoning one pound ground chuck with 4 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp MSG, 1 tsp ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp onion powder. Mix well in a spice shaker and use it on all the burgers.

      4. Use dried onions that you have to re-hydrate with some water. And they are always chopped and never minced.

      5. McDonalds ketchup is basically Hunt’s ketchup or Heinz ketchup with garlic powder.

      6. The mustard is classic yellow mustard, but the pickles are difficult. Heinz Original Sour Dills is close, but you have to slice them very thin. A Mandolin is very handy. 

      . “Q-ing” the McDonalds  term for helping the flavor to melt via mechanical means, like a heat lamp or microwave. Wrapping the burgers in waxed paper for the important “Q-ing” and placing them in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes. You use the oven as a heat lamp substitute. You can also microwave these burgers, still wrapped, no more than 15 seconds each.

      How do I know this? I worked as one of the managers at McDonalds (Zuid Plein, Rotterdam) once. Not the happiest moments in my life.


      Erwin on Aug 14, 2012 @ 8:33 pm Reply
      1. It’s as easy as 1-2-3, really. I even duplicated the Big Mac sauce.
        The seasoning you mention is exactly the same as mine, only I cut it in half since the recipe you can find online makes for way too much seasoning.

        Kay on Aug 14, 2012 @ 8:43 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Couple burgers to go please…  :)

      Sam on Aug 15, 2012 @ 7:23 pm Reply
      1. I just knew you were gonna say that :)

        Kay on Aug 15, 2012 @ 11:22 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Kay what is msg? Looks absolutely fabulous….

      Simone on Aug 21, 2012 @ 1:21 am Reply
    16. 16

      Brilliant idea to use your tortilla press for the burgers–I would never have thought of it.  One of those burgers would hit the spot right about now…yum!

      Jean | Lemons and Anchovies on Aug 22, 2012 @ 3:22 am Reply
    17. 17

      Hi Kay,

      Made it, ate it, loved it! Made is without the MSG. Really am not a fan of McDonalds.. Definitely my least fav restaurant. Went there a while back, since there we’re no others available long side the highway for miles, and I had the Big Tasty wich has no taste whats so ever. This burger of yours has lots of it and I love the fresh ingrediënts.

      Thijs on Oct 3, 2012 @ 1:41 pm Reply
    18. 18

      made these tonight and they are so good, thanks Kay, will do these again

      Madeline St Onge on Nov 11, 2012 @ 1:53 am Reply
    19. 19

      personally, i think there is too much salt in it, tried it like it said in the recipe, but it was too much, i lowered it. and i’m a salt lover :) but that’s to a person’s taste :) else it was fab! that sauce, awesome!

      Stefanie DM on May 21, 2013 @ 12:05 pm Reply
      1. Not sure what you mean? You control the salt content yourself. In my recipe you put the salt, pepper and onion powder mix in a shaker and then you put a little on the burgers. 

        You mean you actually sprinkled all the salt, 2 tbsp, over the burgers? :)

        Kay on May 21, 2013 @ 12:14 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Yum! – My mom has always made a similar sauce for us when we were kids.  It is ketchup, mayo, prepared mustard (just a bit), minced onion and green sweet relish.  Always a big hit with people that want everything on their burgers….you get a little taste of everything in each bite.

      Dawn on Jun 10, 2013 @ 6:11 pm Reply
      1. That sounds great! Gonna try it!

        Kay on Jun 10, 2013 @ 6:12 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Hi Kay, I’ve found that a recipes portal is stealing images from different webs. Maybe you’ll recognize your pics in this post:

      I’ve contacted the authors to stop using my work. Maybe you’ll be interested in doing the same.

      Sorry for the bad news. :(

      Best regards,


      deliciosidades on Nov 11, 2013 @ 1:09 pm Reply
      1. We should be getting used to people stealing recipes and photos, but still it’s seriously annoying.
        Thanks for letting me know!

        Kay on Nov 11, 2013 @ 1:28 pm Reply
        1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I figured you’d rather know.

          And by the way, I’ll never get used to these scoundrels. ;)

          deliciosidades on Nov 11, 2013 @ 2:13 pm Reply
          1. I left her a comment. The one on the website didn’t make it past moderation, the comments on her facebook she removed and she blocked me from making more comments there.

            She removed the intro and endshot but left the other ones up. I contacted the abuse department of her hosting company to let them know she’s running a website using stolen material.

            Kay on Nov 11, 2013 @ 2:54 pm
    22. 22

      Albeit, your burger looks excellent, your Big Mac sauce is way off. The big mac sauce contains NO tomato product. It gets it’s orange color from liquid extracts of paprika and turmeric(aka oleoresin paprika and oleoresin turmeric). Also, big mac sauce contains no ground pepper. Hint – it is based on Miracle Whip. Miracle whip contains garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder.
      Also, Big Macs use processed American cheese, not cheddar. Aged lettuce seems to be a key component to the Big Mac flavor, as well.

      Hector Boyardee on Nov 24, 2013 @ 7:54 pm Reply
      1. You misunderstood the recipe: this recipe is based on the McDonalds burgers but isn’t supposed to be a knockoff recipe (hence the real cheddar) and this isn’t the Big Mac sauce recipe: this is a Southern sauce called Comeback Sauce.

        Kay on Nov 24, 2013 @ 9:14 pm Reply
    23. 23

      In-n-out burger…had a friend who worked there…to duplicate burger…put yellow frenchs mustard on the side you put on the grill first…and only on one side. YUM!

      Mandy on May 9, 2014 @ 10:03 pm Reply
    24. 24

      Heya, I came across your blog and I made your comeback sauce, used fresh onions cuz i didnt have powder and then i put the sauce in the fridge for a while while i prepared the other ingredients, ended up making a chicken leg sandwich with kale, orange peppers, cucumbers and the sauce, it was delicious, I personally really liked the fresh onions and the way the chilled sauce tasted, thanks a bunch!

      I like your other recipes too, definitely going to try the egg in pastry recipe.

      Helen on Jun 3, 2014 @ 11:56 pm Reply
    25. 25

      I’d be very curious to try these-I’ll be totally honest with you, anytime I see a recepie that’s supposed to be a dupe of McDonald’s burgers, I’m very skeptical that it’s possible to duplicate them at home. I’m not really a Big Mac fan, however I LOVE McDonald’s cheeseburgers! The regular single ones, not the doubles. But it seems like a McDonald’s patty not only tastes totally different than any ground meat from the store, or meat you grind yourself, but it has a totally different texture as well. Also, their cheese & condiments taste different somehow than any I’ve had from the store-like I hate mustard & onions normally, but on a McDonald’s cheeseburger? I’d be mad if they weren’t included! Even their pickles taste different. So I’d love if my skepticism was proven wrong with this recepie, & I’m sure hoping it will be!

      chris on Dec 21, 2014 @ 2:52 am Reply
      1. That’s probably because their ingredients are often made especially for them, even their ketchup, so it’s always just a bit different. The onions they use are dehydrated and then rehydrated. I keep a big jar of dehydrated onions just for that purpose and nuke 1 tbsp dried onions with 2 tbsp water for a few seconds. I use a good-quality cheddar, melt it, top it with a dime-size amount of Heinz ketchup, squirt a ballpark mustard C on top of the ketchup and you’re as close to a McDonalds cheeseburger as you can get.

        Kay on Dec 21, 2014 @ 10:51 am Reply

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