What Part of the Pig is the McRib Sandwich Made From?

McDonald's McRib sandwich has been a cult favorite since it was first introduced in 1981. But what part of the pig is it actually made from? According to McDonald's, the sandwich is primarily composed of ground boneless pork shoulder, emulsified with water, spices, sugar, dextrose and preservatives. However, Chicago Magazine reported that the ingredients actually consist of restructured meat products such as heart, calluses and scalded stomach. The McRib is made from restructured meat, even though it's shaped like a real rib. The pie used in the McRib sandwich is made from composite ground pork shoulder.

A Twitter user who goes by the name of “Strange and Amazing Facts” shared that McRib is made from meat products including heart, calluses and more. The hamburger contains pork, water, salt, dextrose and preservatives, and is sprayed with water to prevent dehydration during the freezing process. The sandwich is made of a restructured pork burger, formed into a small rack shaped like ribs, barbecue sauce, white onions and pickles. The portion of restructured meat product consists of salt (980 mg, more than half of the recommended daily intake) and pork viscera, such as calluses, heart and scalded stomach. When the McRib is in the restaurant and ready to be prepared, it is cooked in a Panini press type machine.

McDonald's has always known about its customers' strange sandwich obsession, and its marketing takes full advantage of McRib's shortage. The entire McRib sandwich contains approximately 70 ingredients, including a flour whitening agent used in yoga mats. So it could be from any part of the animal. It would be incredibly difficult for McDonald's to create more McRib-style products because that cult following is very difficult to replicate. It's so random because individual restaurants can offer the McRib whenever they feel like it. I think it's probably obvious, but just in case: the McRib is made with pork without ribs.

Rene Arend came up with the idea and design of the McRib, but it's a professor at the University of Nebraska named Richard Mandigo who developed the restructured meat product that McRib is actually made of. While Imahara's only comment on his first taste of McRib is that it's much messier than many of the other things, Bellamy sings the praises of the sandwich. You can also make sure that this grade F meat contains lots of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides residual from genetically modified grains fed to pigs. It was his inspiration to shape the McRib pie like a slab of ribs, despite the fact that a round burger would have been cheaper to make and serve on standard hamburger buns. What differentiates McRib from this everyday horror is that a) McDonald's is huge to the point that it's more useful to think of it as a company that markets commodities than to think of it as a chain of restaurants b) it's made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and c) it's just available sometimes, but refuses to disappear altogether. So now you know what part of the pig is used to make McDonald's famous McRib sandwich: restructured boneless pork shoulder! While some may find this information unappetizing, others may find it fascinating. Either way, you can rest assured knowing exactly what you're eating when you bite into this cult classic.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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