Mc Donald's has no grill?

When I went to Mc D’s I saw them assemble the food from these long drawers in what looks like heating ovens. I don’t hear a grill. Do they actually cook anything there? The one I was at is a large, full service Mc Donald’s. Not one of those in a gas station.

BK review

MCDs vs BK

IIRC the burgers and stuff come pre-prepared with “grill” marks. Then they’re just heated up.

McDonald’s (at least the one I worked at last year) has something that they call a grill. It has a large flat surface at waist level that is heated to cooking temperatures. There is also a heated overhead part that comes down to heat the tops of burger patties. It sort of looks like a big weird metal clam. This part stays up when cooking things like grilled chicken. So yes, not everything is deep fried, but no, they don’t use an actual grill in the sense of a gridwork of metal bars with a heating element underneath. It’s more like a big flat frying pan.

What you saw were the food cabinets. When meat is finished cooking, it is placed in long yellow trays and put into a specific spot in the food cabinet. There are about three spots across and four down, if I remember correctly. When the tray is put in, a button is pushed to start a timer which will sound when the meat reaches a certain “age,” usually about twenty minutes or half an hour. This is to prevent gruesomely old meat being sold, although between you and me, the timer is sometimes ignored once or twice.

The food cabinets serve the dual purpose of keeping the meat fresh and moist, while also making sure that all the types of meat are in the same specific and nearby location for the food assembly worker.

As to whether they actually cook anything there… again, yes and no. The hamburger patties are pink and frozen, but pre-shaped. The chicken items are also frozen, but take several minutes of deep-frying or “grilling” to be ready to eat. It’s about as close to fresh-cooked as you can get at a fast-food franchise.

If you see any “grill marks” on food you receive at McDonald’s, they certainly didn’t come from any in-store process.

Most commercially prepared meat isn’t actually grilled-- it’s baked in an oven. But they do have a handy dandy conveyor at the end that gets red hot and pushes into your patty or steak or whatever to give it those charred lines.

A friend of mine used to work Quality Control at a meat processing plant, and found their ‘looked-like-grilled’ chicken was showing abnormally high bacteria counts after it was cooked. Turned out the ‘branding’ belt goes through a water bath which wasn’t draining properly-- so had become a nice bacterial incubator. Yummy!

At the McDonald’s I worked in (in around 1988 or so, in Lowestoft), they called it a “griddle,” and it was a big slab of iron that got hot. The grill marks were made by a kind of a metal paddle that you had to push down onto the meat when a beeper sounded. (Not the most intellectually taxing job in the world, but at least the pay’s crap.)

The only thing that ressembled what I think of as a grill was a sort of glorified toaster for heating the buns.

I’ve always thought of the McD’s grills as grills. What do they call the hot iron things that you cook on in other restaurants? Anyone? Sure they’re not grills in the gridiron sense, but they’re grills, right? Like the George Forman grill? Well, it’s ribbed, but still not gridiron. I have a big cast-iron thing to put atop the stove burners – I call it a grill, and couldn’t imagine what else to call it (aside from plancha). Our electric thing says griddle but has grilling instructions.

Note: I LOVE the George Forman grill because it works just the McDonald’s clamshell grills (what they’re called, incidently), and you get near instant results.

Back in the day, when I was a waitress at various scuzzy chain restaurants (anyone remember Sambo’s?), we called that a grill.

Didn’t Sambo’s become Denny’s? They did change their name. With good reason, IMO. I’ll check.

Guess not. They just went out of business, it seems.
Anyway, I’m growing weary of corporate shortcuts. I’m done with Mc D’s

From Merriam-Webster OnLine:

Griddle = a flat metal surface or pan on which food is cooked by dry heat

Grill = a cooking utensil of parallel bars on which food is exposed to heat (as from charcoal or electricity)

However, that same dictionary notes that the verb grill includes the process of cooking food on a griddle.

So, to be precise, burgers at McDonald’s are grilled on a griddle. Burgers at Burger King are broiled on a grill.

And in response to the almost hijack about Sambo’s, I provide you with the following thread link: Hellman’s Mayonaise and the Rockies
wherein among other things the following post is found:

Modesty prevents me from mentioning who posted that; and I should note the date of the post was 2/7/00, so it might need to be updated. :wink: