Mythbusters' Grant Imahara reverse engineers McDonald's fries and learns they have 19 ingredients

Try some cayenne powder with a little sugar or honey mixed into that olive oil & salt.


The fried potatoes I made for myself last night were cooked in bacon fat.


My new favorite potato recipe:

Preheat cast iron skillet in oven at 375.
Chunk enough potatoes to comfortable fill out a single layer in the pan.
Toss with a tablespoon of oil, a table spoon of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of chinkiang vinegar. Add salt to taste (I go with a teaspoon, but I like salt).
Add to hot skillet and cook in oven till CBR (Crispy, golden brown). I don’t even touch them during this time, except to test for doneness in twenty minutes or so.

Sooooooo gooooood.


I’m not trying to claim that their food is spectacular, but In-n-Out has figured that out. They only build restaurants where they can ensure sufficient supply from regional farms. That doesn’t pass the “McDonalds scale” test but they are a pretty good sized chain. So I think solutions are out there, if it’s a problem people think needs solving.

But we’d have to convince our farmers to grow something other than corn to pull it off.


Isn’t this just a paid advertisement from McDonalds? Corporate shill.


They don’t anymore. I think they stopped that a while back. Even before offending Hindus. But they do add “natural beef flavor” to what I assume is the coating on the fries. Being vegetarian, that is the only ingredient in McD’s fries I need to know about.

1 Like

Aye, there’s the rub.

Also, don’t let Monsanto™ hear you think that kind of thing; Sharia blasphemy laws will seem lenient by comparison.


It’s a “train wreck” and you can’t look away…

That and padding the first minute or so out of break with a recap of the last minute or so before the break…


I believe the network wanted to cut costs or cancel the show. It seems firing the team was the only way to keep it going.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I made a ham sandwich for lunch today and it tasted fine, so why would anyone go out to restaurant and buy prepared food. Bunch of chumps.

Years ago, every McDs was built with a basement, so they could store raw potatoes. They had a system for storing at certain temperatures to develop the natural sugars in one variety. Anyway, yes, they also were frying in beef tallow, but, at least everything was cooked fresh.

1 Like

“Grant Imahara reverse engineers McDonald’s fries”

If he visited the factory and was told what the ingredients and how they were used it wasn’t reverse engineering.


Strangely, they cut down the actual content for length for the American market. The production company is Australian. The Australian version of the show is longer and has more content. So I’m really not getting why they feel the need to use the recaps and filler to extend the length of the US segments.


Last night (in the U.S.) they ran an ad for the Big Mac. They doubled-down on the unhealthiness, going on about no quinoa etc. “it is what it is” or something to that effect.

1 Like

The weird thing with natural flavors is that a “natural beef flavor” additive wouldn’t actually need to be derived from beef. Since your still often talking about refined flavor containing molecules, if you can extract the same chemical compounds from a different natural source you’d be all good. A lot of “beef flavored” things are largely flavored with yeast extract (including most packaged beef broths). But anyway, McDonald’s has been pretty explicit for a long time about the fries not being veg friendly.

Its one of those things I’m often confused to find vocal vegetarians don’t seem to know. I once had to explain to some one that instant chicken ramen wasn’t made with some magical fake chicken flavor. She didn’t believe me so I told her to check the ingredients. Then I got hit with a package of ramen.


Horse fat is the only way I like my fries. Everything else is so pedestrian.


I think food science is interesting in its own right, and not in an ‘OMG CHEMICALS!!1!’ kinda way. I’m a big fan of Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Food Lab series over at Serious Eats for that reason: he scientifically ‘dissembles’ already tasty recipes and puts them back together to make something amazing.

At the end though, when Grant says “they’re not a frankenfood made of chemicals…they’re made of potatoes!” triggered in my mind that bit where Tim Minchin screeches “EVERYTHING IS CHEMICALS”. Because, y’know. Everything is chemicals. Including potatoes.


This has been done already and is called Streamlined Mythbusters and it appears to be organized on reddit.

For instance, S04E17 Earthquake Machine/Exploding Lavalamp gets trimmed down to 32:07. And that includes a 30s fake-open.

1 Like