What Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Fried In?

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There’s something undeniably satisfying about biting into a McDonald’s hash brown. The crunchy exterior and soft, fluffy interior make it a breakfast favorite worldwide. But have you ever wondered what gives McDonald’s hash browns their distinctive taste and texture? The answer lies in the oil they’re fried in.


McDonald’s hash browns are fried in a blend of canola, corn, and soybean oil. This blend was chosen to maintain the distinct taste and texture of the hash browns while addressing health concerns. The choice of oil not only gives the hash browns their signature crunch but also imparts a neutral flavor that allows the taste of the potatoes to come through.

Frying Oil: The Secret to McDonald’s Hash Browns

McDonald’s uses a blend of canola, corn, and soybean oil for frying their hash browns and other food items. This blend was chosen after McDonald’s transitioned from using beef tallow, peanut oil, and vegetable oil, in an effort to maintain the flavor while addressing health concerns.

The Role of Frying Oil in Taste and Texture

The choice of oil significantly affects the taste and texture of the hash browns. For instance, the blend of oils McDonald’s uses imparts a neutral flavor, allowing the taste of the potatoes to shine through. The amount of oil used also plays a crucial role in achieving that signature McDonald’s crispiness.

Health Concerns and Benefits

While the use of vegetable oil blends is a healthier choice compared to animal fats, it’s important to note that not all oils are created equal. For example, canola oil, one of the components of McDonald’s blend, is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. However, like any fried food, moderation is key.

Sustainability Efforts

McDonald’s commitment to sustainability extends to its choice of oil. The company recycles its used cooking oil into biodiesel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In some countries, this biodiesel is used to power McDonald’s delivery trucks, aligning with the company’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint.

Quality Control and Safety Measures

McDonald’s places a strong emphasis on quality control and consistency. The oil temperature is carefully controlled to ensure the perfect level of crispiness while cooking the potatoes thoroughly. The company also uses additives like dimethylpolysiloxane, which helps reduce oil foaming and extend the quality of the oil life.


The oil that McDonald’s hash browns are fried in plays a significant role in their taste, texture, and overall appeal. By understanding the choice of oil, we can appreciate the complexity that goes into creating these beloved breakfast items. Whether you’re a fan of McDonald’s hash browns or just curious about the behind-the-scenes of fast-food preparation, understanding the role of frying oil offers a fascinating insight into the world of food production.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canola, corn, and soybean oil are high in omega-6 fatty acids. While these are essential fats, consuming them in excess can lead to inflammation and other health problems. Also, the high heat used in frying can lead to the formation of harmful compounds.

How often does McDonald’s change the oil in their fryers?

McDonald’s changes the oil in their fryers daily. This ensures that the oil stays fresh and that the food cooked in it maintains a consistent quality and taste.

Are other McDonald’s food items also fried in the same blend of oils?

Yes, McDonald’s fries most of its food items, including fries and chicken nuggets, in the same blend of canola, corn, and soybean oil.

Is the oil McDonald’s uses for frying genetically modified?

Given that a significant portion of canola, corn, and soybeans grown in the United States is genetically modified, it is highly likely that the oil McDonald’s uses is made from genetically modified crops.

Are McDonald’s hash browns vegan or vegetarian?

McDonald’s hash browns are vegetarian as they do not contain any meat products. However, they are not vegan as they contain natural beef flavor, which is derived from milk.

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