1. Classic McRib
The distinguishing feature of the McRib has to be its pork patty, which, miraculously (or creepily, depending on who you talk to) is boneless, yet shaped like a traditional rack of ribs. These culinary conundrums are manufactured by food wholesaler JTM Food Group, and called the 6’’ Boneless Pork Grillin’ Ribs.
According to the JTMwebsite, their products are available at most grocery retailers within a 300-mile radius of Cincinnati. If you don’t live within 300 miles of Cincinnati, Morningstar’s vegetarian “Hickory BBQ riblets” are an acceptable substitute.
You can also use your unfortunate distance from the Cincinnati area as an excuse to make an upgrade in the meat department: a 2010 McRib recipe cooked up by Ryan Adams in Saveur magazine uses pork belly instead of grillin’ ribs.
Whatever your meat selection, here’s the McRib recipe that will get you closest to the real thing:
1 JTM brand “Grillin’ Ribs” pork patty (or pork belly, etc.)
1 6-inch long white sandwich bun (the cheaper the better)
2 tablespoons Kraft Kansas City style Bull’s-Eye barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon chopped white onion
3 sour dill pickle slices
Preheat your griddle or frying pan to 400 degrees F., or medium high heat. Cook the pork element according to package directions. Toast the faces of both halves of the bun. On the toasted top half, apply the barbecue sauce and follow that with the dill pickle slices, spread out evenly. Put the cooked “rib” patty on next, then add the onions, followed by the bottom half of the bun.
2. Teriyaki McRib
Switch out the barbecue sauce for Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce, or a homemade teriyaki sauce. Nix the pickles and raw onion; replace with red and green bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, satuéed until tender with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or soy sauce in a small saucepan. Not bad, said our testers.
3. Luau McRib
Follow the original recipe, but caramelize the onions and substitute pineapple slices for pickles. Grill or sauté the pineapple slices in a bit of butter for about 10 minutes or until slightly softened and golden brown You can also swap out the Bull’s-Eye for a Hawaiian-style barbecue sauce, like NOH. This was our testers’ favorite!
4. California McRib
Just like the original, but add bacon and replace the pickles with avocados. Depending on your taste preferences, the McRib can be markedly improved by adding a strongly flavored topper (i.e: pineapple or avocado) that will better balance out the taste of the McRib itself. Definitely edible.
5. McRib Double Down
A cross-promotional feast! Like the KFC Double Down, which uses fried chicken patties to hold everything together, this is a bread-less sandwich. Cook two Grillin’ ribs patties according to package directions. Add pickles, onions, two slices of Kraft American cheese, and two slices of bacon (cooked according to package directions), between the rib patties. Wrap generously with wax paper and tinfoil, or eat using a knife and fork.
This is one of those recipes that tastes even worse than it looks, according to our testers.