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McRib: will it ever return, now that McD's is revamping its 'healthy image?

I cannot precisely recall the last McRib I've eaten, but surely its been within the last 5 years. Much like a saucy ex-girlfriend fondly-yet-falsely recalled thru the distortions of time, I seem to get nostalgic for the McRib's sweet chemical funk every now and again, mainly because it is unobtainable on a regular basis. The first 3 or 4 bites provide a hit of familiarity and perhaps satisfaction, but with each successive chaw, the 'meat' texture begins to feel like what I imagine plane crash survivors on frozen andean mountaintops must resort to consuming. It even seems to expand in the mouth as one masticates. I don't think I've ever finished an entire McRib. But I think I want one. Question: is the McRib seasonal, and if so, what season? Or perhaps now with their 'healhty' salads and apple slices pushed to the front, McD's now relegates the messy McRib to the forgotten attic, where crazy uncles go to live out their days. Gone for good, or just locked away?

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  1. I can't answer that, but I too am attracted and repulsed by the McRib. It's that unique-textured spongy meat and the disgusting-ness of the sticky sauce.

    It screams I am not healthy. I am not organic. I may not even be food. You got a problem with that?

    Let's not forget the squishy, soft bread that makes the generic slices of balloon bread served at many BBQ's look artisan by comparison. A touch of genius.

    I want to meet the team that created the McRib. Certainly no one person thought it up. It defines the results of a team effort.

    After trying it for the first time, I thought that it was one of the worst products every created, I buy it every promotion.

    I though, have eaten a whole McRib. Once I ate two. I want one now.

    My name is rworange. I am a McRib eater.

    5 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Yes, to all you've confessed! Within moments of unwrapping the McRib from it's paper shroud, I think to myself: "Hey, it's kinda small. Maybe they've shortened it. But by bite # 5, I'm wondering as to just what point my esophagus will wisen up and rebel with a violent gag reflex. And that hauntingly hued sauce, visually so much like an unholy marriage of molasses and blood! The McRib is an urban legend brought to life, like zombie food. And like you, I want one...

      1. re: rworange

        Extremely funny, because you are so true. The McRib is the best pseudo-BBQ, pseudo-pork (I hope!), pseudo-food. It definitely gives Soylent Green a run for its money... wait, didn't the Soylent Corporation buy McDonalds a few years ago? McRib is People!

        1. re: Sacto_Damkier

          Haven't you noticed their employee handbooks at each location? "To Serve Man?" (sorry Mr. Serling, couldn't help myself)

        2. re: rworange

          you mean i'm not the only one? Thank god.

          1. re: rworange

            Love the McRib. I hear it's coming back again! Check out www.mcrib.com. Not sure what's going on, but it looks like something. Anybody know?

          2. Yes, the Simpsons captured it perfectly in the "Ribwich" episode. That rush of sensation when it hits the tongue.

            It is disgusting, but it's also inviting. I haven't eaten one for over ten years, but after reading this post I can remember the exact flavor. I want one- even though I KNOW that when I finish eating it I will be regretting the decision.

            I want one. But I don't want them to bring it back

            4 Replies
            1. re: jrsmoltz

              Yes ... McDonald's virtue ... they save us from ourselves by only offering it occassionally ... or perhaps they need to wait for a new generation after killing off the old McRib eaters.

              "visually so much like an unholy marriage of molasses and blood!

              Lovely. I'll have that in my mind if there is a next time for the McRib. It should be the advertising slogan.

              I don't suppose posting on home cooking about how to make one at home would produce results. I'm sure nothing natural goes into these. You never see McRib on those sites or in the books that duplicate restaurant recipes. It is impossible to re-create outside the laboratory.

              1. re: rworange

                Oh! Count me in as a McRib Lover - yes I will admit it! I myself have found a pretty close at home substitute - try the Garden Burger Riblets. They are shaped like the McRib, complete with the "bones" and with the same pseudo-meat texture. Put it on a bun with sliced white onions & pickles, and it's pretty darn close - and at least healthier.

                1. re: Angel Food

                  I was going to say the same thing :). The Gardenburger Riblets are pretty close. I usually grab one from the freezer section whenever I feel a whiff of McRib nostalgia coming on.

                  1. re: adventuresinbaking

                    Thanks for the tip on the Gardenburger riblets. I have tried the Boca Burger riblets and those are good too.

            2. Yes, it's like coming on the scene of a horrible accident yet you have to keep looking!

              2 Replies
              1. re: monkuboy

                I love you all, I also have a McRib fetish. It got to be combo of BBQ sauce made with old soda syrup, the astringent pickles and the pulverized sesame seed bun. If one disassembles the sandwich (not recommended, but either is eating it) you can see the outline of bones, but biting into it reveals no bones. Is this liquid bone? Space age polymer? I imagine it is a result of some kind of mold, but this means there is a McRib Gun that injects, some kind of McRib paste. This McRib gun could be considered a WMD. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

                Thanks.

                1. re: monkuboy

                  lol, I remember that thing. However, I also remember I took one bite and thought, EWWWWWWWW, then quickly tossed it out and forgot all about it til NOW!

                2. When my older brother worked at McDonalds in the late 70s and McRib was first launched I remember him telling me about the sandwich and the fake McRiblet bones that they molded the pork "meat" cutlet into. We laughed hysterically until we cried at why they made a pork meat patty with fake bones and then started thinking about the McRib molds that molds the meat into that shape at the McRib factory and that got us laughing even harder. I don't know maybe it's just our wacky sense of humor but still to this day I laugh when thinking about the McRib sandwich.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: davinagr

                    I wonder if the McRib machine is broken and that's why they're not offering it? Sign the petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/mcrib12...

                    How much fun would it be to have that mc rib mold and be able to make a mc rib out of ANYTHING!?

                    For your late afternoon enjoyment, it's mc rib time:
                    http://video.google.com/videoplay?doc...

                  2. I just googled MC Rib. Wow, who knew.

                    www.mcrib.com

                    Cheers

                    1 Reply
                    1. Probably not identitical to a McRib (been years since I tasted it too, so don't quite recall) - but Pierre Foods sells a hauntingly similar fake-pork-rib sandwich with Tony Roma BBQ sauce:

                      http://www.pierrefoods.com/warehouse/...

                      1. MAybe McD will start serving...McButt?

                        1. i consider myself to be a pretty open minded eater, willing to try most anything (well, maybe not a seal eyeball like tony bourdain) but i never worked up the gumption to try a mcrib...

                          1. To the OP, I'd suggest keeping your eyes peeled the next time any prehistoric-themed movie arrives in theaters. I think they had promotions for McRib with both The Flintstones movie(s?) and Jurassic Park movies. I guess it's the bones that they associate with raw, carnivorous eating patterns.

                            As a McRib lover myself, I do recall being a little scared when the last go-round used the line "have a McRib one last time" in a radio spot. I think that was just to build a sense of urgency, however. I'd bet it'll return sometime.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                              Maybe that "one last time" meant your last meal on earth, not the last appearance of the McRib...

                            2. No idea on when and if the McRib is coming back, but if you need a fix the Gardenburger Riblet is pretty close to the McRib.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Bad Sneakers

                                LOVE the GardenBurger version.. hubby is totally grossed out by the McRib (glad we got married before he found out I was a secret McRib lover)but he keeps me in my GardenBurger riblets.. and keeps promising he'll try one one day (although not the same without the onions and pickles and bun) but he never has. More for me! (and good on ramen)

                                One day.. McRib will return!!! =P

                              2. You can buy the real thing, it's made by Pierre Foods and is called a "Rib-B-Q". http://www.pierrefoods.com/

                                1. i remember from elementary school, that they served a mcrib sandwich, tasted exactly the same.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kare_raisu

                                    Yes! My high school cafeteria used to serve the "Rib-B-Q on a bun!" This was back in 1993. It was EXACTLY the same as a McRib...man that was always the best day of the week, but you'd be burpiing up the noxious taste for the rest of the day.

                                  2. Don't they still sell it in some areas of the country? Maybe the midwest or deep south? Someone in those areas can post?

                                    1. They still sell them in different areas. My mom has always been a fan of the McRib, and she asked about the spotty availablity. She was told they were seasonal based on hog "season". My uncle has been in the hog farming/processing industry for 30+ years and confirmed that there is a season - early fall.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: mamamia

                                        because mcdonald's only uses seasonal ingredients!

                                        1. re: fara

                                          Yeah, that made me laugh out loud too. The McRib site above has a petition to 'save the McRib' by the 'Boneless Pig Farmers of America".

                                          Nice observation above that the McRib promotions are tied to the release of caveman-themed movies like 'The Flintstones'.

                                      2. Look at this, or don't, if your squeamish. Pictures of what's under the sauce...

                                        http://www.foodfacts.info/mcrib/

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: wontonton

                                            Now THAT looks just like the things taste to me, hideous. Vomit wells at the thought of eating one of these fearsome things.

                                            Shudders ...

                                          2. I just called the McD's 1-800 number and the East Indian accented operator stated that the McRib was discontinued nationwide except that certain independant McD's stores still carry it. Asked if I was interested in having it return tho...I answered with a definate positive response.

                                            1. Oh you all made me laugh until I cried. That is one of the funniest strings of food commentary I have ever read. Thank you!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ClevelandRandy

                                                Ditto... this thread belongs in the chowhound hall of fame!

                                              2. Someone put annoying music on this one, but still...hilarious! The commercial is the best part "We use authentic, letter graded meat!"

                                                http://youtube.com/watch?v=8SKsYrKxJp...

                                                1. OMG, this is hilarious.

                                                  I guess out of sight, out of mind. I'd forgotten all about this, this, this, meat flavoured sandwich. I so want one right now.

                                                  We also had a Rib sub up here in Canada at Mr. Sub. It was the same type deal except that rather than molding ribs into the "Meat" they had fake grill marks. Nice!!

                                                  I'll sign the petition. You bet!!

                                                  DT

                                                  1. Has anyone tried the knockoff McRib sandwich that Subway is offering? It looks like the McRib meat press is very much still in action.

                                                    1. driving through ohio this weekend, we pulled off i-75 to gas up. i think we were in the city of troy and there was a mcdonald's that had a sign under the arches that simply said "mcrib." didn't stop but i wonder if they were selling them still.

                                                      1. Mc Rib sandwich is back in Lino Lakes MN. Just bought on a half hour ago. Yay team!

                                                        1. Man, I feel very strange about McDonalds.

                                                          Everything about it tastes somewhat good on the outset, but there's something strangely wrong. But at the same time...it's all scientifically designed to taste good.

                                                          Weird.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                            1. re: itsabouttime

                                                              I don't know, that site loses credibility with me as it lists pork as the ingrediant of the McRib patty ... I always imagined this is what blubber would taste like ... and can this be ALL that is in that patty?

                                                              McRib Patty: Boneless pork (Pork, water, salt, dextrose, citric acid, BHA, TBHQ).

                                                              I think not. Those humble ingrediants could not possibly produce that spongy texture ... surely there must be more chemicals in it than that. And only 490 for the whole shebang ... that's almost healthy.

                                                              1. re: itsabouttime

                                                                Wow...McRib and SPAM....separated at birth!

                                                            2. McRib is now back in the Los Angeles area as well, just noticed this past weekend. I don't think it's seasonal, because I haven't seen it back for several years, just one of those "every once in awhile" things I guess!

                                                              1. I just saw a commercial on TV for the McRib. So, it looks like it's coming back "for a limited time" here in Utah.

                                                                1. It's back in NM as well.

                                                                  RWOrange, I think you may be wroing about those ingredients not being able to produce a spongy McRib.

                                                                  As a young lad in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1979, I was proud to see a small article in the Continuum setion of Omni magazine that discussed how two scientists at Purdue University (where my dad taught at the time) had developed a process to form edible pork into various shapes, using salt as a binder. The McRib arrived a few years later, and the local paper (the Lafayette Journal & Courier) trumpeted that it was the result of those scientists at Purdue.

                                                                  I fear that I did not keep either of the articles, however.

                                                                  1. here in pdx..ive never ever tried one though

                                                                    1. I am a chef for a living. I cook good healthy food and even teach a class at the college here in south Texas on healthy eating. I don't eat at Mc Donalds except when the McRib is back. I eat half of one and am in heaven the other half I wonder what am I doing? Yet I call Mc Donalds now and again to see if it is back. Right now it is in IL (my sister called to let me know) and I called my local Mc D's and it will be here Monday. I will be in drive thou at 10:30 am to be the first one served! Boy do I wish I had one now.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: chefamy

                                                                        Still waiting for them to re-appear in Wichita. Hopefully, I can restrict myself to one or two of them during the return period.

                                                                        1. re: podunkboy

                                                                          I will eat one per day until the mc rib leaves. That is so bad I know.

                                                                          1. re: chefamy

                                                                            I heard a radio commercial saying the McRib is back. I used to love them, and in fact I live right across the street from a McDonald's.

                                                                            Say.

                                                                            I wonder if I can get a special order... the McRib, sauce and all...

                                                                            One the syrup-infused McGriddles greasy hotcake buns!

                                                                            McGriddleRibs. You heard it here first, fellow Chowhounds. I am going to make this happen. Taking one for the team, if you will.

                                                                            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                              McGriddleRibs, man only a true McD's fan could think of that. I never took much to the McGriddle but then I never thougt I would be a McRib addict either! Who knows the McGriddleRibs might be a whole new concept for the McD's Lover.

                                                                              1. re: chefamy

                                                                                Those bastards! I went to Mickey D's to order my annual McRib, got home from the drive-through, and it had NO SAUCE. Practically the whole point of the McRib is a sauce delivery system! I was so steamed, but I slathered it in my own Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce and ate it anyway. Now I'm not sure if I should return to McDonald's, complain, and order another McRib, or take it as a sign and swear off them forever.

                                                                                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                                  Take this as a sign and say, "no more!" You can do it!

                                                                      2. Oh man I really need a mcrib! Anyone know the closest place to seattle to get one?

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: mcrib

                                                                          Just saw a banner for the MCRib at the McDonald's in Universal City,TX.
                                                                          It said McRib Encore.So I assume they have it for a limited time.

                                                                        2. I have to pipe in here. I had never had a McRib, and indeed when I actually do go to one of the big national chain burger places such as when traveling on the interstates I try to avoid winding up at McD at all costs. But, after reading all the McRib love swoons in this thread I thought I should try one. Big disappointment. Personally, I thought the meat itself was bland bland (seems to be some chopped pork shaped into some sort of elongated thin patty) and the sauce was a poor version of really bad supermarket "Bar-B-Que" sauce, ie all vinegar, catsup, and sugar (probably HFCS at that).

                                                                          So I've reverted to avoiding McD.

                                                                          1. I was in Germany for 3 weeks in October. McRib is a regular menu item at McD's there.

                                                                            1. I've never been able to look at the McRib without thinking of the meat being forced into some kind of a mold to attain that shape.

                                                                              As someone said earlier, it was perfectly parodied on The Simpsons:

                                                                              Krusty: Look, about the Ribwich. There aren't going to be any more. The animal we made 'em from is now extinct.

                                                                              Homer: The pig?

                                                                              Otto: The cow?

                                                                              Krusty: You're way off. Think smaller. Think more legs.

                                                                              1. McRib is on tour in Toronto, ON as of March 17, 2008.

                                                                                1. I think the boneless pig farmers lobby is pretty strong.

                                                                                  http://www.bonelesspigs.org/bonelessp...

                                                                                  DT

                                                                                  1. Saw the McRib on the menu in Edmonton last week. My 8 year old wanted to know if he would choke on the bones. I didn't let him try because my decades old memory of the McRib is so awful.

                                                                                    1. locked away to be let out only occasionally, per the son of the egg mcmuffin creator (son has 6 mickey d's in santa barbara area). he was being interviewed about the egg mcmuffin, and how it came about -- originated with his dad's attempt to recreate fast-food eggs benedict. never got any compensation, as he was a franchisee.

                                                                                      obituary: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main....

                                                                                      RIP, Herb Petersen.

                                                                                      1. I just need to add my name to the list of people who enjoy a McRib and are not affraid to admit it. Sure, I'll take some fancy grub any day, but I am not such a foodie snob to ignore the brilliance that is the McRib. Hell...I'll even go on record and say that I often love a well executed Big Mac. Its not a burger, but its a hell of a sandwich when made 'just right' ;-)

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MadNachos

                                                                                          I went to two movies last night, by myself, and had about twenty minutes to kill between them. I was getting hungry and the closest restaurant was McDonald's, so I got two double cheeseburgers and wolfed them down, and they were delicious, with the cheese nice and melty. Sometimes it just hits the spot. Two movies and two double cheeseburgers came out to $6 and change... a perfect evening when my girl is out of town. I only wish they had the McRib!

                                                                                          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                                            goodness, you were a cheap date! $6 total is quite the deal.

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              The McRib is back in Texas, D/FW specifically. I headed up there this past weekend and saw the billboards. No sign of it in Austin, however...

                                                                                              Get em while they're hot!

                                                                                              1. re: nypb

                                                                                                ironic they have mcrib in texas, but not in other parts of the country (where it is hard to get real Q ribs).

                                                                                                (you do Q ribs in texas right, not just brisket?)

                                                                                        2. I prefer Krusty Burger's Ribwich. Krusty endorses it by saying .."I don't mind the taste".
                                                                                          Unfortunately it too is off the menu because the animal it was made from is now extinct.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rochfood

                                                                                            The McRib is here in Japan now as part of limited time special.

                                                                                            Not only is the McRib here, but the new DOUBLE McRib!
                                                                                            http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/menu/limit...

                                                                                            1. re: lost squirrel

                                                                                              Double your pleasure, double your fun eh??

                                                                                              DT

                                                                                          2. While I personally can't stand the McRib sandwich, I stopped at McDonald's today to get an iced tea while driving my six month old around so she would take a nap (I've developed a new appreciation for drive through service now that I have a baby) and noticed on the menu board that the McRib was being offered at my neighborhood McDonald's. I'm just outside Orlando, Florida. I don't know if it's regional, or what, but it was there.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: ErikaG

                                                                                              Yup, it's in Orlando too. I live near Universal Orlando and the McDonalds on the corner of Kirkman and Vineland has it back.

                                                                                              I indulged today. Better than I remember. The pork patty was extra long. Sauce everywhere. Lots of onions and pickles. Frankly, I wasn't totally disappointed.

                                                                                              The 99 cent double cheeseburgers and the occasional Big Mac are still better though.

                                                                                              1. The McRib is back, at least in the Phx area. I tried one for the first time today and I hated it. The sauce was more sour (vinegar?) than sweet. A big yuck, and a waste of $1.99.

                                                                                                1. In Hong Kong, McD has a "Mala pork sandwich" which is basically a McRib with a spicy sauce instead of BBQ sauce. Pretty tasty.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: dpan

                                                                                                    FYI everyone. A person in a lifespan will eat an average of 8 spiders in their sleep. Now which would you rather have? A). The spider slowly making its way up to your mouth and then gulp! midnight snack answered or B). Me in the corner of your room tearing off nibbles of McRib and putting them in your mouth. I rest my case...

                                                                                                  2. The McRib's back on the menu for a limited time in Wichita - haven't got one yet, but I saw the sign out front.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: podunkboy

                                                                                                      I don't care what anyone says about the McRib... I would honest to God give my left testicle to be able to have a McRib whenever I wanted. Anyone has a problem with that, fuck off.

                                                                                                    2. McRib back 11/02/20 for a "Limited Time' as noted per their twitter feed: https://twitter.com/McDonalds

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: HunterJay

                                                                                                        10 years in advance. Now that's a new meaning to "limited time". :)

                                                                                                        1. re: HunterJay

                                                                                                          You. follow. McDonald's. tweets. that's hilarious!

                                                                                                        2. There are McRibs available now, all over the continental U.S.

                                                                                                          http://kleincast.com/maps/mcrib

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                            Arrived in Leominster, MA this eveniung to visit sister, pulled off RT 2 and the McDs on Main Street has a BIG sign at Street.
                                                                                                            The McRib is back!
                                                                                                            The Drive Thru menu board has a McRib Joy Combo sign.

                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                              Ah ... "McRib Joy"

                                                                                                              Someone at McDonald's understands

                                                                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                RW, want one dry-ice-packed and Fed-exed to you down in old Guatamala way? ( :

                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                  Ah, you read my mind. I'm going to keep my eyes open and see if the McRib makes it to my neck of the jungle.

                                                                                                                2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                  Late October Update....................
                                                                                                                  5:30 this morning I stopped at McD on Washington Avenue, North Haven, CT to get coffee. They were putting the McRib Joy signs up on the drive thru menu board. It's working its way closer to home.

                                                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                    The McRib is a sandwich who's twisted geometric mysteries compel me to eat it.

                                                                                                                    It's almost as if the great Cthulu came from beyond the void and designed the sandwich itself; or not. I suppose it's all dependent upon your taste in hyperbole.

                                                                                                                    And Nov. 2nd is what I read...

                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                      This is as frightening as a Hitchcock movie - the sponge pigs will soon be flying, everywhere, like little geometric stealth bombers, with straight lines that defy laws of nature! Incoming!

                                                                                                              2. That elusive McRib.... it's such a great marketing ploy by McDonalds! Absolutely genius, bringing it in and out again, even going so far as creating McRib Farewell Tour sponsored by fake ‘Boneless Pig Farmers Association of America.

                                                                                                                I'm a fan of the McRib, though i certainly won't cry if I pass it up.

                                                                                                                1. For any fast food fans. This week the McRib has returned to McD's nationwide this year, until November 14th.

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: L C

                                                                                                                    Here's the discussion for 2011.

                                                                                                                    Most notable from that thread .... If you order a second, its only $1.

                                                                                                                    It not advertised but its true...just ask'em....2 for $3.99.

                                                                                                                    Also, it has changed slightly. No vague rib shape, just a sausage patty and not as spongy ... a minus for me ,.... I liked ther faux meat aspect to it. Photos in this link
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8129...

                                                                                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                      In our area (southern CT) you can get the second for a $ only if you buy the combo meal, Individual sandwiches are $3.99 ea. Combo is $5.99 +$1 for second McRib

                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                        I found out in my area there is NO discount for two ... sandwich or combo.

                                                                                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                          must be the San Francisco health police at work

                                                                                                                        2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                          Isn't this like a "second prize is two weeks in Cleveland" sort of thing?

                                                                                                                          i finally tried the McRib last year. One bite of that rubbery "meat" was enough to tell me I would not be getting a second one.