Settling the debate: The best of fast-food signature burgers

Josh Pohl

I was surprised by the taste of the burger. I quickly went back for another bite. The second bite turned into a third, and a fourth, and so on until I consumed the entire burger. I knew it was the best burger.

   Society has made what was once a simple idea into one of the largest industries in the world. Across the globe, people have turned to fast food for convenience. There is a large diversity of fast-food chains in America making the question of “Who has the best burger?”  difficult to answer. So, to settle the debate, I decided to try the signature burger from 5 different food chains. Each burger was graded on value, presentation, and taste on a 1-5. I also ordered each burger by itself to get the exact price.


McDonald’s Big Mac

Value: 5/5

   The Big Mac is $5.19, tied for the cheapest burger on the list. 


Presentation: 4/5

   Out of the box, the first feature I noticed about the Big Mac was the sauce. There was plenty of “special sauce” that was dripping down the side of the burger. The separate layers of the patty and shredded lettuce, along with the third bun in the middle were very noticeable. The Big Mac is not a small burger. Having a third bun in the middle made the burger look much taller. However, there was so much lettuce that when I picked up the burger, most of the lettuce fell back into the box. I could tell there wasn’t much care put into the assembly of the burger. Finally, the sesame seed bun looked dry and even had small cracks on the top.


Taste: 5/5

   I had never had a Big Mac so I didn’t know what to expect. As I took my first bite, I was instantly hit with the flavorful “special sauce”. The sauce was seasoned very well and helped the other ingredients come together. The bun that I thought was dry was very soft. The two beef patties were warm and cooked to perfection. The lettuce wasn’t overpowering at all. 


Overall: 5/5

   To conclude, the Big Mac was enjoyable and is now one of my favorite fast-food burgers. McDonald’s signature burger tastes great and is a great value too.


Wendy’s Baconator

Value: 2/5

   The Baconator is $7.89 making it the most expensive burger out of the four.


Presentation: 5/5

   The quality look of the Baconator may make up for the high price. The burger comes wrapped neatly in the Wendy’s branded foil. Opening the wrapping, the first detail I noticed was the soft, golden brown bun. The buttery bread looked almost perfect. The Baconator consists of two square beef patties, two slices of cheese on each patty, and plenty of bacon slices. The bacon was sticking out the sides of the burger, which added to the appeal. 


Taste: 2/5

   I was overwhelmed by the amount of beef on the burger. The beef was cooked nicely and very juicy, however, there was so much that I could barely taste the other ingredients. I hardly noticed the bacon or the sauce. As for the cheese, I didn’t taste any. Two thin slices are not enough for the burger. Thankfully, there was no issue with the flavor. The beef, sauce, bacon, and even the bun all tasted good. 


Overall: 3/5

   The perfect presentation unfortunately did not make up for the taste or value of Wendy’s Baconator. The uneven proportions of ingredients and high price did not impress me. I’m sure my dog would’ve enjoyed the burger much more than I did.


Burger King Whopper

Value: 5/5

   The Whopper is tied for the cheapest burger on the list at $5.19.



   First impressions: gross. The burger looked very dry and unappealing. The bun looked dry and had very few sesame seeds. The beef looked dry and overcooked. The lettuce, tomato, and pickle did not look fresh either. However, the size of the Whopper is much larger compared to other fast food burgers.


Taste: 5/5

   I was shocked by how good the burger tasted. Every ingredient came together nicely. The beef and bun were not dry at all. The Beef was juicy and flavorful. The tomatoes were juicy and very sweet. The other vegetables were juicy and flavorful as well. I was very impressed with the Whopper. 


Overall: 4/5

   There is not a lot to complain about the Whopper. Unfortunately, I could not give a perfect score because of the presentation; however, the burger made up for it in price and flavor. The flavorful and affordable burger is now one of my favorites.


Culver’s Deluxe Butter Burger

Value: 4/5

   The Deluxe Butter Burger is $6.39 for the double and $4.29 for the single.


Presentation: 2/5

   I was disappointed when I opened the box. The beef was barely on the bun. Most of it was hanging off the side. There was a lot of cheese on the burger as well. One slice was hanging off the side just like the beef, and the other was fused underneath the beef. There was so much cheese that I couldn’t see the rest of the ingredients. However, the bun looked very fresh.


Taste: 4/5

   I wouldn’t say the burger tasted bad at all. There were a lot of flavors throughout the burger. There wasn’t too much cheese like I thought there was. The condiments were flavorful as well. However, there was an overwhelming amount of meat. It wasn’t as bad as the Baconator, but I would just get the single patty next time.


Overall: 3/5

   The Culver’s Deluxe Butter Burger is not bad. I would consider it when ordering from Culver’s. However, I would likely choose something else due to the noticeable flaws.



   I have concluded that my favorite fast-food burger is the Big Mac from McDonald’s. I liked everything about the Big Mac. Although there are other good options, The Big Mac would be my first choice every time.