Why Are the Eggs in Egg McMuffins So Delicious?

McDonalds Egg McMuffin
Hungry yet?

Photo illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Answer by Garric Saito, likes food:

Here’s my theory on why they taste good: Your last meal was 12-plus hours ago, and your body is seriously ready for some food. That’s a big part of the equation. The Egg McMuffin being fast, cheap, and hot (the best of all worlds) is the remainder. You may not be able to make an exact replica of the Egg McMuffin, but I think you can come pretty darn close.

In all probability, McDonald’s makes its own English muffins at a factory somewhere, so that recipe is going to be proprietary. That’s probably the only variable. I think any store-bought one comes pretty close, and the taste difference will be nearly undetectable. Canadian bacon is pretty consistent no matter where it comes from. The thickness may differ from brand to brand, possibly affecting the overall texture of the sandwich, but there shouldn’t be too much variation there. There is no possible way McDonald’s is using real American cheese, as that would cost too much—something like Kraft Singles is what you need here. And an egg is an egg is an egg. Translation: There is no variation. Of course, fresh eggs are always more desirable than the ones that have been sitting in your fridge for four weeks, but use what you have. You’ll need an egg ring mold to achieve the round shape. There is no possible way to achieve the desired shape without one. Chose a ring mold that is the same size as your English muffin, which will result in producing an egg with the desired thickness. Choosing one that is too big will produce a thinner egg, which will “flop” outside of the muffin.

Heat a nonstick skillet using medium heat, place the ring mold in the center of the pan, and apply some vegetable oil inside the ring, using a pastry brush to spread the oil evenly. You could also use cooking spray.

Crack the egg into the mold (breaking the yolk and stir it a little, to disburse it evenly throughout the whites) and add a few tablespoons of water to the outside of the ring. Making the egg “the McDonald’s way” involves two simultaneous cooking techniques: frying and steaming. That is what gives the egg its soft, fluffy texture. Immediately cover the pan so the steam can build and help cook the egg. Conceptually, you’re creating something similar to a minioven, where the egg is cooking from the bottom up and the top down.

It should take a two to three minutes for the egg to completely set. Avoid constantly peeking at it before then, because you’ll be letting out all that steam you want and creating unwanted temperature fluctuations. When the egg is done, the majority of the water should be gone.

Assemble it in the following order: English muffin (bottom), cheese, egg, Canadian bacon, English muffin (top).

It will probably turn out looking like this rather than this, as the second picture has been shot by a professional food photographer. Life is too short to attempt to prepare this dish so meticulously. You’ve got to get your butt to work, so don’t be too concerned about the appearance (McDonald’s never is)!

You can find additional hints here. Good luck.

Why are the eggs in an Egg McMuffin so good? And why cant they be replicated at home? originally appeared on Quora. More questions on Quora: