How to Bring Down McDonalds While Eating Healthy and Cheaper at Home

About: Lithium Rain is absolutely not to be trifled with when it comes to building insane and useless things. She prides herself on being able to eat more churros than your average horse. She is not a toaster. She...
How to make a delicious meal of burgers and fries at home that:

  • Tastes better
  • Costs less
  • Is better for you (if you use home-grown ingredients)
  • Doesn't give all your hard earned money to McDonalds

Let's get started.

Step 1: A Word on Ingredients

Before we discuss the actual preparation of this meal, I'd like to start by saying that most of the ingredients used can be grown at home. I used as many home-made things as possible, and you can too.

This recipe took:

  • Oil

To fry the food in. This will most likely have to be purchased at the store, as while you can grow crops (such as corn and soybeans) that are used to make vegetable oil, you cannot actually grow the oil.

Having said that, if you discover a way of growing oil, do let me know.

  • Hamburger meat

You could use store-bought patties or meat.

I used two pounds of beef from our cows (slaughtered last fall) and shaped them into patties. We gave them no chemicals or medicines, and used diatomaceous earth to worm them, so the meat is very healthy. Friends of ours who normally cannot eat beef (because they are allergic to all the chemicals cattle yards pump into their cows, such as penicillin) can eat it because of this.

  • Onion

Mixed into the hamburger. We do grow our own onions, but they didn't do so well this year, so I used a store-bought one (shhh!).

  • Pepper

Also mixed into the hamburger. IIRC, the pepper I used was a smallish bell pepper.

  • Garlic

Goes into hamburger mix too. It can be grown at home, I just used some out of a jar though.

  • Worcestershire sauce

Yep, this goes into the hamburger mix also. This is rather difficult to grow, so I cheated and bought mine. Perhaps it is the climate. However, it might be worth it to plant an empty bottle and see what comes up.

  • Potatoes

I used Yukon gold potatoes. Here's a tip to save you a loooooot of disgusting grossness-if you're going to store potatoes you have grown, for goodness sakes store them in the refridgerator or another cool place, or else they will rot and spawn maggots.

Step 2: Mix Hamburger, Et Al

First, chop up the onion, pepper and garlic and sautee.

Take the hamburger (thaw it first if it's frozen) and mix all of that together, along with about a tablespoon of worcestershire, and a pinch of salt and pepper. I like to use my hands for this step, although the real Adrian Monk (and perhaps some people who will be joining you for dinner!) would die. So we won't tell them.

Step 3: Cook the Patties

Shape the hamburger into patties (or whatever other shape you want-see and cook in a skillet over medium heat.

Place on paper towels to drain.

Step 4: Preparing the Fries

First, throughly wash the potatoes-especially if you won't be peeling them, but even if you are, this will keep dirt and bugs and nasties out of your food.

Then cut them up into the shapes you want your fries to be. I went for the traditional fries shape, kind of a long, thing rectangle with slanty edges, but you can use wedges, triangles, chunks-whatever floats your boat.

You may want to cut up more fries than you think will possibly be consumed-these are very popular, and their popularity will likely exceed your expectations.

Step 5: Frying the Fries

First off, I'd like to say that contrary to popular notion, we do NOT fry everything in the south. Having said that, I will now show you how to fry things.

This step isn't that complicated. Pour a few tablespoons of oil into your dish-I used a skillet, but a large pot would have been much better. Carefully put in your chopped up 'taters in and fry. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Salt to taste. Mine turned brown, but I probably left them in too long-it's hard to get them all done without browning them. They were still delicious.

Hot grease spits. Thus the saying, "faster than a pan of hot grease can spit". I learned this fast, and got wise quickly. You may want to wrap your arm in a towel like I did. I was also glad I was wearing glasses, I've heard horror stories from people who fry fries at McDonalds who have gotten hot grease in their eyes...

Step 6: Eat!

Yes, eat! Eat your home cooked, healthy, cheap(ish) meal and revel in the knowledge that you are sticking it to the man!

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    138 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Here is a tip for good crispy potato fries :
    fry them twice.
    Here how it goes :
    1) fry your potato chips as said in this instructable as it is pretty a straightforward process, but do NOT fry them all the way. When they catch a pale yellow and are not cooked yet take them off the frying pot, frain them of excess oil put them aside.
    Cook and prepare the rest of your meal as you've planned. No fuss, no trouble.
    2) When you're ready to serve (or simply 5 minutes before serving) dip your fries in the hot frying oil again, this time letting them get a rich golden color.
    Drain them again, cooking them in an iron frying basket is best because you can really shake the excess grease off pretty fast and efficiently. Serve them immediately, let each salt his / her dish according to individual taste.
    You'll never get better potato fries : crispy in the outside and tender but not mushy or overcrispy inside.
    My grandmother did them very well (actually this was about the only thing she cooked well…) !
    However I found out the same trick was used in many households in my country but I never heard of it as the "official" recipe for fries. But then again how could I miss : after all France is supposed to be the country of "french fries", although the first "french fries" I ate in my life was in my 1st days in USA a long, long time ago (something like 1969 or so…)
    Anyway, try this trick : french fries or other potato fries, or whatever they're called , you'll never miss them and supply will never meet the demand !!!!…

    2 replies

    good tip on the cooking method, but I am sorry to say chips or French fries have nothing to do with France! It is simply the method of cutting the vegetable, 'French cut'. From my understanding, deep-fried French-cut potatoes originated in Belgium, but who knows....

    I know ! I thought I was quite clear about that !
    I'm not patriotic at all ! And would I be this would be for serious matters ;))
    Who cares about the nationality of "french fries" as long as they're yummy.
    By the way, for all I know the first "french fries" (deep fried potatoes) could have been made in England. At least this seems a reasonable hypothesis. Then again, potatoes spread so fast in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century that the recipe could as well have been invented at the same time in different places, Belgium, France, Germany, England … who knows. This would explain why the recipe has different names, unless of a name with variations from the same origins (as "couscous" of arabic origins) : "french fries", "fried potatoes", "chips", "pommes de terre frites" (or "frites"), etc … 
    Have a nice day.


    4 years ago

    I cut, sprinkle salt on, leave for 10 minutes, rinse in cold water and then thoroughly dry my fries with kitchen towels or paper towel before frying. Makes them cook golden.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Wrapping your arm in a towel is overkill. Just make sure the potatoes are DRY. Hot oil goes crazy when you get water in it. But feel free to use a towel if the oil makes you nervous.

    5 replies
    Lithium RainOrtzinator

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm...I didn't think of that! But how am I to make the potatoes dry? Maybe just patting them with a towel would do it.

    WolfbirdLithium Rain

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    For what it's worth now (there are probably still other people looking at this 'ible by now):

    For my home fries, I'll always wash 'em in cold water after cutting them up. The internet told me to do this. It also told me to soak them in cold water. I don't usually soak them, but it's true, washing the cut 'taters appears to remove excess starch and makes them less gooey in the pan. I dry them well afterwards with a lint-free towel. They go in the pan (or the oven, depending) when they're dry. Then I eat half of my hash browns/french fries as they cook before sharing them with my man. He never notices he gets less :3

    Lithium RainWolfbird

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    Thanks for the tip! Next time I make these I will definitely try that.

    roulopaLithium Rain

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    there is also the solution of dipping your fries in... milk! before frying them.
    It gives such a unique texture and taste ;()

    Neato. We usually use ground turkey with a few spices instead of hamburger meat. it is a fraction of the cost of beef. We either use home made buns, homemade biscuits, or just toast some bread. We also will make popcorn or mashed potatoes on the side. You can add so many more flavors to mashed potatoes than fries.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    That's good! Because McDonals fries is so unatural beause the McDonals fries last soo long that is very very unatural because of the amount of salt they put in.

    yokozunaLithium Rain

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    She lives! Just happened to notice something funny, on your image tags it still says Adrian Monk. :)

    The plate is from a shop, too... I _could_ make everything involved in the meal DIY, but one must stop somewhere. ;)