Everyone wanted a piece of that tasty muffin, and most were willing to pay $3.69 for the pocket-sized munch of brunch.
Me? I came for the coffee. But with the McDonald’s breakfast bunch lineup snaking outside and around the corner, I couldn’t help but notice the number of people ordering that McMuffin thing.
What’s in that muffin, anyways? As I inched closer to the cashier, the truth behind the mystery muffin was revealed — mostly ’cause I was wearing my glasses and could read the ingredients off the menu:
McDonald’s McMuffin Menu: “Our signature sandwich is made with a freshly cracked Grade A egg with extra lean Canadian bacon and a slice of melty American cheese, held together by a freshly toasted English muffin. And all that for 300 calories.”
Order it with a side of French fries and this Canadian, American, and English muffin mashup becomes an international incident. Frack, COUNT ME IN!
So with my Squawky senses tingling, I skipped my cheapo coffee and ordered a classic McDonald’s Egg McMuffin for $3.69 (including tax). I then drove my Smart Car home to replicate this “signature sandwich” — essentially the world’s most popular muffin — for dimes on the dollar. In true Squawkfox style, my goal was to make this greasy muffin less expensive and healthier too. Could I do it?
What I didn’t bank on was the smell in the back of my car. That’s one stinky muffin.
The McMuffin Math
Did I do it? Could I make the muffin math work in our favour, err flavour? Of course I made my McMuffin healthier, less costlier, and more frugalicious. Sure, my muffin post is a little more salacious, and therefore a lot more delicious than those average muffins gallivanting across the interwebs. But that’s Ok!
Here’s the McMuffin mathy math:
Bottom Line: By opting for healthy ingredients low in sodium and high in nutrition, I managed to make a McMuffin with fewer calories, half the fat, and 65% less cost than the classic McDonald’s Egg McMuffin. Too easy.
Bonus Points: There was no stinky smell.
How to make a homemade Egg McMuffin
Making a homemade Egg McMuffin isn’t like rocket science, computer science, or mathy science either. It’s like cooking. Actually, it’s like cooking with really basic ingredients you can get like, anywhere.
Because a copycat Egg McMuffin contains just five ingredients, I have complete confidence that anyone can master their muffin — fully buttered or not.
- 1 English muffin
- 1 slice Canadian bacon
- 1 slice American cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 dab of butter (optional)
- 1 cup water
Like the ingredients, McMuffin cooking tools are pretty basic kitchen essentials too. But perfectionists who want a round, perfectly-sized egg perched on top may need to invest in something called a Ring Mold or Egg Ring, or you can use a tuna can with the top and bottom removed.
- Nonstick pan with lid
- Ring Mold, English muffin size
Here’s how to get the frugal muffin fun done.
Skip the Lunchables and other packaged lunch box products. This homemade kid's snack is healthier, and costs at least 32% less.
STEP ONE: Toast your muffin. Toast your muffin until a nice golden brown. Butter both sides if you prefer a moist muffin. Done.
STEP TWO: Prep your mold. Dab a bit of butter or spritz a little olive oil onto your egg ring to keep your perfectly unstuck round egg from becoming an awkward omelet.
STEP THREE: Get crackin’. Place your egg mold in the centre of a lightly greased pan set to medium-high heat — yeah, we like it hot. Crack your egg into the ring. Use a fork to break the yolk and drizzle it down the inside of the egg ring.
Note: A drizzled yolk makes the presentation pretty — I missed this step in my photos. So sad, too bad.
STEP FOUR: Add water, cover, and cook. Adding a cup of water to the pan outside the egg ring will turn a flat egg into something fluffy. You want to fluff your egg, yes?
Get everything hot and steamy by covering your soon-to-be fluffed egg with a lid. Any lid will do.
But don’t pop your lid too often — simmer the egg until the texture suits your preference. Just be sure the egg has set nicely in the ring.
STEP FIVE: Bacon. The internet is fueled by bacon, mostly because bacon is delicious. So make your Canadian bacon the most delicious ever by adding a little pan heat. Flip. Instagram that bacon for all to see. The internet is jealous.
STEP SIX: Layer. To keep your muffin tight, you’ll need to layer it right. Start with the melty American cheese. Make it too melty and your muffin will turn into a mess. No one wants a messy muffin.
Add the perfectly round fluffy egg.
Canadian bacon on top. A million Canucks just cheered ’cause I used the words Canadian and on top. There’s a back bacon joke in there somewhere.
Complete the stack by topping with the English muffin.
Eat your muffin. Or share it with a friend.
So where am I going with this?
This post is a mouthful of muffin. But there’s actually a serious message, maybe.
Fast food may be convenient, but it ain’t cheap. Making your own breakfast or brunch can save you 65% over buying McMuffins at McDonanld’s. Not only will you bank some serious nutrition points by staying home, but you’ll avoid the crazy morning lineups under the Golden Arches as well. Seriously.
Here’s a final muffin shot.