The Fast Food Ordering Hack For Consistently Fresh Meals

McDonald's filet-o-fish package
McDonald's filet-o-fish package - Smith Collection/gado/Getty Images

Whether you're making dinner at home or need to grab something on the go, food that's been cooked right before being consumed is always preferable. While it's realistic to expect that most fast food items spend at least a little time under the heat lamps, it's just better when your meal is fresh. You can implement some strategies to ensure you receive freshly made fast food: First, ask that your meal be cooked to order. There is some evidence that McDonald's will honor this request, with the caveat that it will take a few more minutes. Second, ask that your order be modified -- ordering a Filet-O-Fish sandwich with no cheese or extra cheese, for example, ensures that the staff will have to prepare it on the spot. Several McDonald's menu items aren't made fresh, so it's worth asking your items to be made to order. Another freshly made tactic is to request that your order be modified -- a fact about the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich is that variations appear on the restaurant's secret menu.

Customizing does more than guarantee a fresh sandwich from McDonald's; asking for a modified Chick-fil-A sandwich will virtually ensure it's made to order. Use your imagination to decide whether you want more or less sauce, onions, lettuce, and the like to really seal the deal. Let's look at other popular fast-food chains and see what they claim.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

Burger King And Wendy's Fresh Food Offerings

Hands holding a burger
Hands holding a burger - Banana Productions/Shutterstock

Burger King claims its whoppers are expressly made to order. Some Reddit denizens also claim that if you order a burger "off the broiler," you'll get a freshly cooked patty (which, as proven by a viral TikTok video, is actually flame-grilled). You might not need to use the secret handshake language at all and can simply order a fresh chicken or fish sandwich.

Wendy's also insists that it makes food fresh to order because all items are customizable. You can ensure it walks the fast-food walk by asking for a slight ingredient addition or subtraction, giving you a freshly made product. Somewhat contradicting its claim (and according to more Reddit insiders), asking for fresh meat at Wendy's will cause the employees to make your food to order with a couple of caveats: As with a McDonald's special order, it will take a few more minutes, and attempting this trick during lunch and dinner rushes will either fail or earn you bad karma. (You can also let an employee know that your burger is dry, and they should offer to replace it with a freshly made product.)

In-N-Out, Sonic And Shake Shack Have Made-To-Order Menus

in-n-out burger's secret menu items
in-n-out burger's secret menu items - Tom_young67/Getty Images

While it's not (yet) a national chain, fans of the high-quality fast food served by Southern California's In-N-Out Burger can rest assured that all their stuff is made to order. What you may not know is that the chain has a not-so-secret menu that's pretty easy to find, allowing for additional modifications. Sonic also has a secret menu, which it's happy to talk about, including a specifically named Made-To-Order burger. We have to assume that this name describes an item that is cooked fresh -- Sonic is already known for its openness to order customization.

When Shake Shack rolled out its Shack App in 2016, the company expressly touted that users could schedule a pick-up time and have their food cooked to order and timed for their arrival. Since the app allows customers to customize their order, taking this added step will also probably ensure Shake Shack walks the walk instead of just talking the talk. The bottom line is this: When ordering fast food from any restaurant chain, ask that it be cooked to order. If you think there's a chance that won't happen, customizing your order will likely get the job done.

Read the original article on Daily Meal