Explain to me: McRib popularity?

Is this mediocre sandwich really craved and eagerly awaited by fast food fans? If so, what is it about this that excites? No one is arguing that ribs are not wonderful. An ersatz boneless patty is not that, though. If it was that good, why not put it on the menu for hood?

Yeah, I don’t get it, either. I have a friend whose foodie sensibilities I somewhat envy, and who cooks meals that I’d pay good money for in a fancy restaurant, but who also goes nuts whenever the McRib is available.

The limited availability is what drives up demand. If it was around all the time, it probably would be nearly as popular. I remember from my days working at McDonald’s, the first few days it was out we were making them non-stop. By the end of the promotion it was far less popular compared ot other burgers.

Also, they take up more space in the kitchen (you need a big tub of barbecue sauce), have a special bun, and take longer to cook than the burgers.

I’m a notorious foodie, roundly mocked by family and friends. I make my own butter and yogurt. I also eat fast food about 2-3 times a week.

I always go get the McRib when they re-introduce it. But after the second or third time, I lose interest and go back to Wendy’s for my junk food fix.

Taco bell is starting a pattern of pulling items just to bring them back with much fanfare.

I wish taco bell would bring back the Chillito. And chicken soft tacos. And the steak soft taco with lime sauce.

But their nacho fries commercials are pretty good. Never had the actual fries, though…

I loved the McRib back in 1982 or whenever they introduced it. I find it pretty bad today. Don’t known if it changed, or I did.

It meets the American palate quite well and checks-off a lot of boxes: sweet, savory, meaty, cheap, consistent, “limited time only”, and no annoying and gross bones.

I remember quite liking the McRib at one point, but the last time or two that I had one, I was unimpressed. I don’t know whether it’s the McRib or my tastes that have changed.

It’s popular enough that there’s at least one convenience store knockoff.

Also, I seem to recall from past articles and/or discussions about this that bringing back the McRib tends to coincide with lower pork prices.

Yeah, ditto. I gave up on them some time ago. I’ll still get a random Filet o’Fish from time to time, but no more McRib. But this, which I’ve posted before, looks glorious. I still haven’t tried it, because I’m little lazy about putting that much effort into a sandwich. But someday…

Honestly – and I do actually like McDonald’s in general, so much that given a choice between McD, Wendy’s, and BK, I’ll pick McD’s for a burger every time – I am just not a fan at all of the McRib. For a number of years running, I’d get a sandwich when McRib season would come around, and I would always be disappointed, especially by that awful sweet barbecue sauce. And every year, I would swear that would be the last time I would fall for McD’s “scarcity marketing,” yet it still took me about five years running before I finally threw in the towel for good. It’s been at least a decade since I’ve had my last McRib. There is just nothing fulfilling about it, and it doesn’t scratch any itch I have.

(One year, for fun, I made my own take on the McRib using actual spare rib meat cut from the bone, ground and formed into a patty, and smoked in a smoker, with my own BBQ sauce and I forget exactly what kind of pickles I used. That was pretty good, but a rather sad way to use up perfectly good spare ribs. I suppose I could have used shoulder/Boston butt, but I wanted to stick with the rib idea. And might as well just make a pulled pork sandwich at that point, no?)

Boneless rib chops are sometimes available from grocers. They are convenient, quick and easy to air fry, and taste wonderful with sauce and seasoning. The texture might be slightly too chewy for a sandwich though. I guess McDs grinds and reforms mystery meat into some semblance of a rib. But chops might work, or might be slicable to make something delicious but less processed.

I’ve been ordering the Chili-Cheese burrito at Taco Bell for decades in multiple states. They don’t always have it on the menu but they always have them.

Also, the limited availability increases publicity. People talk about it. How often do people talk about regular menu items? For example, this thread is basically free advertising.

I’m pretty sure it’s the McRib that changed. I too used to love it many years ago, but the last couple of times it just didn’t taste very good. I think they changed the sauce, and I believe the bun was too hard and chewy the last couple of times as well.

I do think its ongoing popularity is because of the old adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is also an element of the fear of missing out (FOMO) each time it comes out.

I will be avoiding it though. Unless they announce an improvement of some kind, it just sucks now.

I suspect a rib chop, as opposed to a center-cut loin chop, would have enough connective tissue and collagen to work in a low & slow type application where you’d cook it to an internal of 195+. I’d think you should be able to braise it in a sauce until it gets a soft, melt-in-the-mouth type of feeling after all the connective tissue and collagen breaks down. I’ve never personally tried it, so I can’t speak from experience, but my guess is that it would work.

I once discovered by accident that you could an approximation of the McRib sauce by mixing equal parts Stubbs Hickory Bourbon barbecue sauce and spicy brown mustard.

There are only so many combinations a fast food place can make from hamburger or chicken, chili powder, yellow cheese, and lettuce/tomato. Retiring an old familiar thing and resurrecting it years later as some new desirable thing is only to be expected.

I simply buy ground pork at the grocery store. Buy oblong rolls, dill pickles, BBQ sauce. Shape the ground pork into oblongs to fit the rolls, fry, and serve with the pickles and BBQ sauce. They are delicious! (You can ‘shape’ the pork patty into a McRib shape with ridges to simulate a rack of ribs, if you want.)