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What's the Biggest Fast Food Burger You Can Casually Order?

Stacking up the competition.

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Power Hour Small

Welcome to Burger Chains Power Hour, where all we talk about is fast food burgers for the next sixty minutes.

The fast food-loving internet abounds with mysterious tales of secret dishes and cross-menu mash ups, like this none-too-subtle dollar menu monstrosity from McDonald's. But in practice, the most you're likely to get when trying to order a 12x12 at In-N-Out or a quad-stacked Big Mac from the Golden Arches is a curious look from the cashier. So it begs the question: what's the largest burger you can reasonably order from a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles?

Above are five options to consider. Keep in mind: this is large by way of "most meat," rather than height or weight or (ugh) caloric intake. And thus, things get tricky: Many, but not all, fast food burger chains will ostensibly let you order as many patties as you want, ad infinitum, until they either run out in the back or decide they don't want their dining area to turn into a crime scene. So the real question becomes, what is the biggest reasonable fast food burger you can order, without someone having to get the regional manager on the phone.

Wendy's Quad Baconator: Though their light-up menu only goes up to the level of Triple Baconator, rest assured that the fine folks at this pigtail'd eatery will not bat an eyelash when you blast your way off into the Quad Baconator stratosphere. No secondary order menus and add-ons; the Quad Baconator is real, they just aren't advertising it on the signage overhead.

Burger King's Triple Whopper: The King dips into dangerous territory here, with the possible addition of endless flame-grilled patties. This here is the Triple, which even now seems less eye-bulgingly gigantic as a normal Whopper did when you were a child. You'll have to ask for the additional patty as an add-on, but there's no one calling the manager over to confirm. Sadly, this seems like a common request.

Jack in the Box's Triple Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger: The name is more intimidating than the sandwich here. little more than disparate cheese slices and some sad bacon, there's nothing very ultimate about what's happening here. Even adding the extra patty is sad; they just kind of slide it in the middle so that it makes that top half of the burger look heavy. No one is pleased if you ask for this, but it will come if you're willing to pay for it.

In-n-Out's 4x4: Online confirmation of In-n-Out being a good sport about the size of their burgers is well documented, but surprisingly the ordering system isn't really naturally meant to allow cheese and patty requests above a 4x4. Sometimes, depending on the store location and the time of day and how busy they are, staff may even politely decline your request to order more patties. And thus you're left with entirely too much meat and cheese under a single split bun, but not so much meat and cheese as to draw a crowd.

McDonald's Big Mac + Three Cheeseburgers: By far the lamest corporation of the bunch, McDonald's is not in the buy-more-patties market, which means any ideas of burger tinkering go right out the window. By default, the Big Mac becomes the largest single burger you can buy — unless you're willing to do the work yourself. In this case, forget peeling off burger buns and stuffing them inside of the Bic Mac. Just drop them all down together and let the magic happen.