Most Of Your McDonald's Breakfast Isn't Made At McDonald's

A recent TikTok video shows that many McDonald's breakfast items come to locations pre-cooked.

One of the best things that ever happened to me was when McDonald's introduced all-day breakfast in 2015. I don't really care for the chain's burgers or McNuggets unless I'm intoxicated and have claimed a deal on the mobile app, but I could down a sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle regardless of my sobriety (again, only if there's a deal on the mobile app). So, one of the worst things that ever happened to me was when McDonald's abruptly ended all-day breakfast in the midst of the pandemic. And a recent viral TikTok about the chain's breakfast menu hasn't made McDonald's any less appealing to me.

There's one thing about McGriddles that's tough to get past: the bright yellow "folded" egg. While I appreciate its fluffiness, I prefer an egg prepared on the premises—McDonald's refers to this as the "round" or "fresh cracked" egg, and it's the default on an Egg McMuffin. Apparently, a lot of items on the McDonald's breakfast menu are like the folded egg, in that they aren't cooked on site, but rather shipped to McDonald's locations fully made.

McDonald’s breakfast, cooked vs. prepped

In a now viral TikTok, an alleged McDonald's employee (who now appears to have defected to Wendy's) revealed the state in which many of the breakfast items arrive at McDonald's: pre-cooked and flash frozen. The aforementioned folded eggs, for example, arrive packaged in a grid, looking not unlike a package of Toll House cookie dough. The pancakes arrive premade, looking as picturesque as the short stack on the Pearl Milling Company box. The mixture of egg, sausage, and vegetables that forms the filling of a McDonald's breakfast burrito also comes in a sealed pouch; it's then heated inside the tortilla before serving.


Now, I don't find any of this particularly surprising, and neither should you. McDonald's isn't exactly known for its from-scratch meals—it's known for its speed and consistency, which requires a lot of the prep work to be removed from the equation. There's no way employees could deliver the exact same product at every location for a broadly affordable price if everything was being made fresh on site. Other fast food chains do this too, of course. A TikTok from a few years ago revealed a box of Dunkin's pre-cooked egg patties for its breakfast sandwiches. The egg looks like something you'd find in a child's play kitchen.

Although the McDonald's employee on TikTok treated the breakfast food video as a provocative exposé, the restaurant is already quite forthcoming about its breakfast, especially the eggs it uses. Per the McDonald's website, only Egg McMuffins get a real hand-cracked egg. Scrambled eggs are made with liquid eggs on the grill, while the McGriddles' folded egg and the burrito's egg mixture are both pre-cooked and flash frozen. McDonald's seems to understand that some level of transparency is best. If you're still preoccupied about eggs, you can always make them yourself.