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The Curious Case of the Off-Center Filet-O-Fish: Secrets Revealed

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is a beloved menu item, but have you ever noticed how it often seems to be a bit off-center? The tartar sauce or cheese may not be perfectly aligned, and the fish patty might be peeking out from the bun. What’s the reason behind this culinary quirk? In this article, we’ll dive into the secrets behind the off-center Filet-O-Fish, as revealed by McDonald’s employees. We’ll also provide tips on how to make your own perfectly centered Filet-O-Fish at home.

Why Is My Filet-O-Fish Always Off-Center?

The Tartar Sauce Gun Is Wonky

One reason why your Filet-O-Fish may be off-center is the tartar sauce gun. According to McDonald’s employees on Reddit, the gun used to squirt the tartar sauce onto the bun can be a bit wonky.

“I swear the tartar never comes out of the tartar gun perfectly from the center, I always put the thing directly over the bun and it shoots to the … top of the bun and gets in the box,” writes Reddit user u/TwoWeak9365.

Another employee writes, “The tartar sauce launches to the side half the time when you put it on.”

Filet-O-Fish Goes in a Box, Not a Wrapper

Unlike most of the burgers or chicken sandwiches on the McDonald’s menu, which are sealed in a wrapper to keep things together, the Filet-O-Fish is put in a box. This is because the sandwich is assembled in the box, which can lead to the ingredients shifting around and becoming off-center.

Sandwich Wrapper Box
Big Mac Yes No
Chicken McNuggets Yes No
Filet-O-Fish No Yes

According to former McDonald’s chef Mike Haracz, the sandwich is assembled as follows: the two halves of the steamed bun are placed in the box. The bottom half gets the slice of cheese, the top half gets the tartar sauce. Then the sandwich is slid to the next employee where the breaded fish is placed on top of the tartar sauce. The box is then closed and bagged up for the customer.

The Tartar Sauce Gun Is Wonky

One of the reasons why your Filet-O-Fish may be off-center is the tartar sauce gun. According to McDonald’s employees on Reddit, the gun used to squirt the tartar sauce onto the bun can be a bit wonky.

Employee Confessions

“I swear the tartar never comes out of the tartar gun perfectly from the center, I always put the thing directly over the bun and it shoots to the … top of the bun and gets in the box.”

– Reddit user u/TwoWeak9365

“The tartar sauce launches to the side half the time when you put it on.”

– Anonymous McDonald’s employee

As these employees attest, the tartar sauce gun can be unpredictable, leading to off-center tartar sauce placement and a less-than-perfect Filet-O-Fish presentation.

The Science of Tartar Sauce Dispensing

The tartar sauce gun is a precision instrument, but it’s not immune to the laws of physics. When the tartar sauce is dispensed, it follows a parabolic trajectory. The angle of the gun, the speed of the tartar sauce, and the distance to the bun all affect where the tartar sauce will land.If the gun is not held perfectly perpendicular to the bun, the tartar sauce will land off-center. If the tartar sauce is dispensed too quickly, it will have more momentum and travel further, again leading to an off-center placement. And if the gun is too far from the bun, the tartar sauce will have more time to spread out, resulting in a less concentrated and more uneven distribution.

  • Angle of the gun
  • Speed of the tartar sauce
  • Distance to the bun

All of these factors can contribute to the off-center tartar sauce placement on your Filet-O-Fish. So, next time you’re enjoying a Filet-O-Fish, take a moment to appreciate the complex science behind the tartar sauce gun and the skilled employees who wield it.

The Filet-O-Fish Goes in a Box, Not a Wrapper

The Box vs. the Wrapper

Unlike other McDonald’s sandwiches, which are wrapped to keep the ingredients together, the Filet-O-Fish is placed in a box. This is because the sandwich is assembled inside the box. The bottom bun is placed in the box and topped with cheese. The top bun is then added and topped with tartar sauce. The breaded fish patty is then placed on top of the tartar sauce. The box is then closed and the sandwich is ready to be served.

Sandwich Wrapper Box
Big Mac Yes No
Chicken McNuggets Yes No
Filet-O-Fish No Yes

The Consequences of the Box

The use of a box instead of a wrapper has several consequences. First, it makes the sandwich more difficult to eat. The ingredients can easily slide around inside the box, making it messy to eat. Second, the box can become soggy from the moisture of the sandwich. This can make the sandwich less appealing to eat. Third, the box takes up more space than a wrapper. This can be a problem if you are trying to pack a lunch or if you are eating in a small space.

The Bun Is Steamed

The type of bun used for the Filet-O-Fish also contributes to its off-center assembly. Unlike the hamburger buns used for other McDonald’s sandwiches, the Filet-O-Fish bun is steamed. This makes it softer and more pliable, but it also makes it more difficult to keep the ingredients in place.

The Steaming Process

The Filet-O-Fish bun is steamed in a special steamer. The steamer injects steam into the bun, which causes it to expand and become soft. The steaming process takes about 30 seconds.

Bun Type Cooking Method Texture
Hamburger bun Baked Crispy
Filet-O-Fish bun Steamed Soft and pliable

The Consequences of Steaming

The steaming process has several consequences for the Filet-O-Fish. First, it makes the bun more difficult to hold together. The soft and pliable texture of the bun can cause the ingredients to slide around, making the sandwich messy to eat. Second, the steaming process can make the bun soggy. This can make the sandwich less appealing to eat.

  • The bun is more difficult to hold together.
  • The bun can become soggy.
  • The ingredients can slide around, making the sandwich messy to eat.

Make Your Own Filet-O-Fish at Home

Ingredients

  • 1 pound white fish fillets, such as cod or tilapia
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 1 cup tartar sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cut fish fillets into 6 equal pieces.
  3. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dredge fish fillets in flour mixture.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Fry fish fillets for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Place fish fillets on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until heated through.
  8. To assemble sandwiches, place fish fillets on bottom halves of buns. Top with tartar sauce and cheese (if desired). Add top halves of buns.

Tips

  • For a more authentic Filet-O-Fish flavor, use McDonald’s tartar sauce.
  • If you don’t have tartar sauce, you can make your own by combining mayonnaise, chopped pickles, and chopped onions.
  • You can also add other toppings to your Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, such as lettuce, tomato, or onion.

Final Thought

So, there you have it! The reasons why your Filet-O-Fish may not always be perfectly centered. It’s a combination of factors, from the wonky tartar sauce gun to the use of a box instead of a wrapper. But hey, even if your sandwich is a little off-kilter, it’s still a delicious and iconic McDonald’s treat. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own Filet-O-Fish at home? With our easy-to-follow recipes, you can enjoy a perfectly centered Filet-O-Fish anytime you crave it.