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Fast food breakfast at home

mcmuffinMy personal affection for fast food breakfast is well documented. I typically avoid the drive-thru, except in the mornings. Like many, the Chik-fil-a chicken biscuit is a favorite of mine, but coming in a close second is the McDonald’s McMuffin…specifically, the bacon or sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin. I can inhale those things.

Of course, this isn’t the healthiest way to start a day, something that my wife enjoys reminding me of on a regular basis. So, we have fallen into a tradition as of late that keeps me out of the drive-thru, at least on weekends, and in the kitchen making her breakfast.

As we wake for a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning – a fringe benefit of being childless that we are milking as long as we can – rather than hoof it down the street for my McMuffin fix, I’ve gone back to cooking breakfast at home. But do I make an egg white and spinach frittata and a cup of seasonal fresh fruit?

Hell no. I make my own McMuffin.

Among the benefits of making your own fast food breakfast at home, eating healthy isn’t one of them, at least not the way I do it. At the end of the day, whether it comes from your own kitchen or an assembly line, eggs, bacon, cheese, and carbs aren’t going to help your waistline.

But, aside from the uptick in the quality of ingredients, you get other fringe benefits in taste, like being able to leave the eggs runny (always recommended) and the flexibility to throw some salsa and avocado on there for a twist.

There is no recipe here – I’d frankly feel a little foolish typing a recipe for what amounts to a simple sandwich with bacon, eggs, and cheese – but there is one piece of advice I’d give: Fry the eggs in bacon grease. So much better in your mouth and only marginally worse for your heart.

Anyone else tried replicating some of your favorite fast food dishes at home? How do you do it?

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

15 comments Add your comment


August 22nd, 2012
9:04 am

My son is a big fan of waffle house which is nothing more than a big southern breakfast of 2 sunny side up eggs, bacon, grits (heavy on the butter and cheese – a balance of monterey jack and parmasean for added ‘punch’), but the game changer is the hashbrowns. I shredd potatoes (Russets usually) and onions (finer shread here). I squeeze out the excess water from the potatoes and mix the onions and potatotes and place in cast iron skillet or non-stick pan. Pam and/or canola and voila….a waffle house breakfast. Now my son is 6, so I often take the grits, bacon (I crumble it), eggs and hashbrowns and put it in a bowl which I call his ‘breakfast bowl’……….Gone in 60 seconds flat, very often :)


August 22nd, 2012
9:10 am

One more….A belgian waffle on the weekend is decadent. Yes, I have done the fruit thing on top and in the waffles and the chocolate chip or nuttella thing, but I experimented with putting crumbled bacon (maple bacon is good here too) in the waffle and top it with a cheddar cheese sauce. A savory version of a normally sweet treat.


August 22nd, 2012
9:51 am

I make McMuffins at home all the time. I use egg whites, a low-fat whole grain muffin and either some lighter bacon or a slice of the Canadian stuff. I can control the portion a bit better and end up with a healthier version of McDs. That goes out the window, though when McDs has the two for 3 bucks sale on McMuffins.

As an alternative when I must eat on the go, Subway has a muffin thing that isn’t bad either. You can get egg white, choice of deli meat & cheese and what ever veg you want. Not a huge fan of microwaved, pre-cooked egg, but this will do in a pinch when rushed and needing something semi-healthy for breakfast. I never start a day without breakfast.


August 22nd, 2012
11:26 am

Here’s one for you, Jon. Fry guanciale on low heat until crisp and fat rendered. Fry egg over easy in guanciale grease. Assemble egg and guanciale on toasted english muffin and top with fontina cheese. Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and put in 300 degree oven to let the cheese melt but not so long that the egg yolk firms up. Add chopped hot italian cherry peppers. Life Changing.


August 22nd, 2012
12:52 pm

I like making my own McMuffins at home, too. I’m more traditional, typically going for the Canadian bacon and cheddar, but sometimes I will vary the cheeses used. I also toast and butter (real butter) the muffin. I was recently in Xiamen, China and found myself hungry in the morning, so I wandered up the block to the McDonalds. I ordered an Egg McMuffin off the “point to” menu (they have those for us laowai who don’t speak Mandarin). I was shocked to discover (after biting into it) that here the Egg McMuffin is simply an egg and cheese on a muffin, no Canadian bacon. BUT! They slather the top muffin with gobs of mayo and ketchup, and toss on a couple of pickles. YUK!!!! I had to just discard the top part of the muffin, wipe as much of the mayo and ketchup as I could from the melted cheese. So disappointing. From what I gather, that is a local concession McDonald’s made, it isn’t done anywhere else. Thank god!


August 22nd, 2012
12:57 pm

Microwave egg whites in a ramekin and put it on a toasted english muffin with a piece of turkey sausage or bacon on top. Add cheese if you want or cook it with the egg whites. Everything is perfectly proportioned to the shape of the english muffin and it takes like 5 minutes to assemble from start to finish.

My Two Cents

August 22nd, 2012
6:30 pm

I agree with you that eggs should be fried in bacon or sausage grease. I buy Goolsby’s frozen sausage patties from Costco and take one out as I am making my morning coffee. I check the internet and then take my shower. Before starting the application of makeup I begin cooking the patty on low and put a slice of rye toast in the toaster. I toast the bread. When I have finished the makeup and creams I turn the sausage patty over and then apply my eye makeup. When finished the sausage patty is done and I place it on a paper plate. I finish dressing and allow the toast to toast one more session. When the toast is done I cut it in half and place the sausage patty on the toast. I pour my coffee into a to go cup and I am ready to go to my golf game or water aerobics. When I have more time to eat at home I cook two eggs over light and have them with my sausage and toast. Great simple breakfast that is delicious and fix.

Pootie Tang

August 22nd, 2012
9:27 pm

Does the stuff you make at home taste as good as the bigot chicken you get at Hick-Fil-A or does the fact that you’re not supporting suppressing a minority ruin the taste for you?

IHOP, anyone?

August 22nd, 2012
9:48 pm

Pootie, get a life.


August 22nd, 2012
10:02 pm

Hey Jon – Please tell me that I’m not the only person under 60 that gets a Hardee’s sausage biscuit or Gravy & Biscuit in the mornings. I hate to admit how much I love fast food breakfast – especially a place like Hardees – but I’m a fan. Guilty as charged. And don’t even get me started on Bojangles or Martin’s….gud.

Tang, the Space Age Drink!!

August 22nd, 2012
11:22 pm

Keep on hating like that, Pootie, you’ll end up shortening your lifespan. Thank you.


August 23rd, 2012
7:17 am

I don’t think it’s a good idea to celebrate food that leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetis and obesity, all of which are putting the cost of health care insurance out of reach of nearly 15% of the U.S. population.


August 23rd, 2012
8:16 am

RestaurantsATL – it is a fact that Hardees has the best fast food sausage biscuit IMHO. However, it is truly a treat for me anymore, very rarely indulge.
I have taken to making ahead breakfast. I work from home so I could actually get up and cook every morning, but who wants to do that. I make these mini egg and hashbrown muffin things…..hard to give it a name. I put a little hasbrown in the bottom of a well greased muffin tin (you can use tater tots), 1Tbsp of cooked sausage crumbles, chopped onion, little grated cheese and then an egg/milk mixture poured over top and baked…..yummmy


August 23rd, 2012
6:32 pm

There’s possibly a better egg involved if you fry it; but, Google making the egg in the microwave – quick and good. If you’ve got a Forman or panini press, butter the english muffin, throw it on with the egg, cheese and Canadian bacon till it looks and smells right and you have exactly what you would buy at McDonald’s.


August 27th, 2012
8:16 pm

Pootie, you definitely need to get a life. I’m afraid you are vastly outnumbered in your views about Chick-Fil-A. No one thinks politics when he/she is eating the most delicious fast food in the nation. Would that all fast food places had the staff courtesy, cleanliness, and tasty food of Chick-Fil-A. Not to mention the vast charity endeavors of the Cathey family….