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I tried to recreate the taste of a McDonald Egg McMuffin at home.

I cut an English muffin in half and cooked it in the oven. I fried an egg in a pan. I added mayonnaise to the English muffin halves, then added the egg and a slice of American cheese.

The result tasted nothing like a real Egg McMuffin, and did not taste good at all. What can I do to make this more closely taste like a real Egg McMuffin?

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For starters, you left off the slice of Canadian bacon. McDonald's cooks their egg more by steaming it in a round mold; they do not fry them in a pan You might try going to the Serious Eats site and looking at Kenji's recipe for Egg McMuffin:

Pan toast muffin in butter, fry Canadian bacon in butter, crack egg in lid of wide-mouth mason jar to use as a mold, break yolk, pour water in the pan with egg in mold and put a cover on pan so the water turns to steam to cook egg, drain egg on paper towel, assemble {muffin half, bacon, egg, cheese other muffin half}. No mayo, other condiments or seasoning.

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An Egg McMuffin is an incredibly simple dish composed of:

  • A plain English muffin (may be lightly toasted)
  • A plain, fried egg with a broken yolk (cooked in a ring)
  • A plain piece of Canadian bacon, straight from the package
  • A plain piece of American cheese, straight from the package

There are no dressings, sauces, butters, or anything else added to it. The bare minimum of work is done, as it is a fast food item that must be able to be prepared quickly in larger batches (an auto-toaster and a mass egg form are used).

It tasted wrong because you didn't use the right ingredients.

Source: Several years working at McDonald's in high school.

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I don't think egg McMuffin contains mayonnaise at all. Try just English Muffin (not a high-quality sourdough-y fancy Thomas, etc. or other name-brand one either - no whole wheat or raisin either, obviously; use the most inexpensive you can find, maybe a supermarket store brand that might tend to be a teensy bit sweeter than the others), a little butter (or marg.); thoroughly fried egg (broken yolk); couple strips bacon, or a very thin Canadian bacon or ham slice; and yes, American cheese slice (that part you are spot-on). Don't know 100% McDonalds, but that's how Jack-in-the-Box made them (well, they used hamburger bun, I guess...) --- yum. My favorite thing from fast-food.

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