How Much is Inside a Quarter Pounder?

What is the weight of a quarter pound beef patty, after cooking?

I'm working on a study of fast food dollar menus. In the course of that study, I remembered an old gag from Mad Magazine, which named the fraction 1/32nd as the fraction of a pound of beef in a quarter pounder, (weight after cooking).

I really liked this gag as a kid, and now that I have a precise scale, I have what it takes to find the real answer. How much does a quarter pounder weigh after it is cooked?

The Weight of a Quarter Pounder

Before we get started, lets review how much a quarter pounder weighs. The uncooked patty weighs a quarter pound or four ounces. We've gotta kinda take McDonald's word for that, because they don't sell the uncooked patties. Yeah, they said it was a health issue, and that all patties have to be fully cooked before they leave the building. But they didn't reckon that I would get a job at a different McDonalds, did they? DID THEY?!

I found the complete sandwich to weigh 6.4 ounces. If they ever reduce the size of the meat patty, they will probably start calling this sandwich the "Half-Pounder".

The Weight of a Quarter Pounder

Next, I stripped away the non-beef elements of the burger.

The Weight of a Quarter Pounder

I took off the buns, the ketchup, the onions, the pickles, the mustard and the cheese.

The Weight of a Quarter Pounder

This poor, burger, stripped clean, looks completely unappetizing. Can you believe this is the namesake of this burger?

But, that's not fair. They didn't sell it like this. I had to pull it out of there.

The cooked burger weighed 2.6 ounces! That's quite a drop from the 4 ounce weight before cooking. A 35% drop, in fact.

The Weight of a Quarter Pounder

I was shocked that so much weight was missing in the final patty! What happened? I know the fat melts away into liquid oil, but did they start with super fatty beef? Have you ever seen ground beef for sale which was 35% fat? That's crazy right? How much weight is lost when I cook a regular burger at home?

Further investigation was needed.

Until then, I insist we call these Sixth Pounders.

Update! I cooked some 4 oz. patties myself and discovered the weight loss truth!