The McDonald's Dipping Sauce We Seriously Can't Get Enough Of

McDonald's sauce packet
McDonald's sauce packet - Robcartorres/Shutterstock

If you're a McDonald's devotee, you've probably already figured out some of the chain's most popular "secret menu" items. A strategic bun substitution or an extra egg can really elevate your sandwich experience, but if you really want to play around with flavors, it helps to have a working knowledge of the chain's roster of dipping sauces (which, by the way, are almost never listed on the menu, either). In addition to plain BBQ sauce, which is most often offered with a nugget order, there's also sweet and sour, honey mustard, chipotle BBQ, tangy BBQ, spicy buffalo, sweet chili, and creamy ranch. But if you only have space in your brain to remember one dipping sauce, we ask that you let it be hot mustard.

In a 2023 ranking at Daily Meal, hot mustard came out on top when compared to the rest of McDonald's dipping sauces, and it all came down to a complexity of flavor that the other sauces could not match. "McDonald's hot mustard sauce pulls off exactly what it promises by delivering a mustard that is both hot and sweet...and a little tangy too," the author reported.

If you do a quick search of the internet for opinions on McDonald's hot mustard, you'll see that this cult fave is beloved by more than just Daily Meal writers. There's just one catch, however: You can't find hot mustard sauce at a lot of McDonald's locations, you've gotta search it out.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

Hot Mustard Is Available Only In Some Regions - Instagram/Michaelnagrant

McDonald's hot mustard sauce is the MVP of sauces for lots of reasons. It's obviously a perfect match with McNuggets, especially if you're a fan of the hot chicken trend. The sauce also packs a ton of flavor everywhere else it goes, too, like topping a Filet-O-Fish, spread on a cheeseburger, or even as an add-on at breakfast. "Literally McDonald's hash browns dipped in the hot mustard is the greatest," said a Redditor.

The trouble is, despite its cult classic status among Micky D's fans, hot mustard sauce was discontinued in 2014, which left a lot of fans in the lurch. "Devastating. Why am I even alive?" said one fan on that same Reddit thread upon hearing the news.

But that's not the whole story. It turns out that McDonald's may have discontinued the sauce nationwide, but it's still available in different regions of the country, depending on supply and demand. In a 2022 article for The Takeout, McDonald's former corporate chef Mike Haracz said, "I believe it is available in certain regions, but the owner operators in these regions vote on if they want it on their menu." In fact, McDonald's confirmed that it's available at over half of its US locations.

Basically what that means is that, much like the secret menu, you have to ask around to get what you want. If your local McDonald's doesn't stock it, chances are you'll be able to find it on your next road trip.

Hot Mustard Dupes

McDonald's storefront
McDonald's storefront - J. Michael Jones/Getty Images

If you're unlucky enough to live in a region where hot mustard isn't an option, you can do two things. First, stock up the next time you come across a McDonald's that serves the stuff. Most locations will throw you a few extra packets for free if you ask nicely, and worst case scenario you might get charged a few extra cents for multiple packets — a small price to pay to have a stash at home.

The second option is to make your own hot mustard, and there are plenty of dupe recipes on the internet if you really can't locate a franchise with the sauce in stock. Chef Mike Haracz even spilled the beans on his TikTok on how to make the secret recipe using just two easy-to-find ingredients: Heinz Mayomust and Tabasco sauce.

Some people also say that Walmart's Great Value Southwest Hot Mustard is a very close facsimile if you're not into making your own (per Reddit). But none of these copycats can quite take the place of the OG hot mustard sauce at McD's, so be sure to ask for it every time you make a stop at the Golden Arches.

Read the original article on Daily Meal