There are many popular fast food debates, perhaps none bigger than who has the best signature burger — McDonald's and their Big Mac or Burger King and their Whopper.
We're Chris and Krista, and today we've acquired a Big Mac and Whopper, and taken them to our laboratory (a random table in an unoccupied corner of the office) to analyze each item's taste, presentation, and value to decide who has the superior signature burger, McDonald's or Burger King.
First and foremost, let's just take a second to look at the gorgeous items going head-to-head today.
Now, let's dive into the ~scientific specifics~.
Here is what our Whopper looked like IRL vs. BK's promo shot:
Here is what a Big Mac looks like IRL vs. their promo shot of the burger:
In terms of presentation, here are our ratings:
CHRIS: They were both aesthetically pleasing. The Big Mac was neatly stacked, and the lettuce/sauce spillage was just from being picked up and held. As for the Whopper, from the side, it honestly looked like a cartoon burger with all of the color and that melty cheese. That's something I'd see animated and wish it were an IRL burger. Again, both killed it.
BURGER KING: 4.8/5 MCDONALD'S's: 4.6/5
KRISTA: Look, both of these in my opinion were too sauce heavy. That makes for a soggy burger, and it makes me think you need a lot of sauce to cover up the actual taste of the food...just sayin'. When it comes to size, bigger isn't always better — especially when it's fast food. The Whopper looked less appealing to me because it was SO MUCH. In a way, it was too big and too overdone. Even the tomatoes felt too big, lol. Comparing it to the Big Mac, I liked that it had layers and seemed more like a simple burger to eat. ALSO, the Big Mac comes in a nice cardboard box that keeps it in-tact, and the Whopper just comes wrapped like a plain ol' burger.
BURGER KING: 3.9/5 MCDONALD'S: 4.5/5
Right off, it's evident that Burger King's Whopper has a distinct size advantage, but it also costs a little bit more. Let's break down the findings below...
Burger King's Whopper weighed in at a whopping 11.5 ounces. And at our local Los Angeles BK, it costs you a whopping $7.39 with today's inflation. (Plus, 50 cents* for the added cheese in our case.) That's 69 cents per ounce.
Meanwhile, McDonald's Big Mac weighed in at 7.1 ounces. According to our calculator, that's a 4.1-ounce advantage for the Whopper. But it should be noted that the Big Mac costs a bit less, to be fair — $6.69 in Los Angeles.
SLIDE TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE:
We also measured Burger King's Whopper, which is truly a short king at just 2.5 inches tall, with a 4.5-inch diameter.
Meanwhile, a McDonald's Big Mac has the height advantage, at 3 inches tall, but is an inch smaller in diameter at 3.5.
In terms of value, here are our thoughts:
CHRIS: I have a rule that if two food items I'm deciding between are within $5 of each other, I'll just buy the one I prefer. In this case, Burger King's Whopper would be the slightly superior deal, but you have to pay for cheese, so I'm docking a few fractions of a point. However, they're a significantly better deal per-ounce, so for that, they outscore McDonald's here.
BURGER KING: 4.5/5 MCDONALD'S: 3.8/5
KRISTA: I'm not going to lie, I don't love the fact that Burger King makes you pay for cheese on a sandwich. It feels like it should already come with it for the full experience. That being said, yes you are getting a LITTLE more bang for your buck with the Whopper. The BK patty doesn't even come close to adding up to the size of the two patties on the McDonald's Big Mac. So, for those reasons, the Whopper wins on value.
BURGER KING: 4.6/5 MCDONALD'S: 4.3/5