The one-time-only event is happening this month.
McDonald’s is the most successful fast food chain in the world, so if you’re going to question the brand’s judgments, you’re best to tread lightly. And yet, so far, 2019 has been the year of “What took you so long?” In the first week of January, news broke that the burger giant would be rolling out their Cheesy Bacon Fries nationwide, leading many to wonder why they hadn’t attempted to unlock the power of cheese and bacon earlier. Then, when the official announcement dropped on January 9, McDonald’s promised to take this bacon push even further: For a limited time starting January 30, MickeyD’s would also be offering a Big Mac Bacon and a Quarter Pounder Bacon — porking up two more of the company’s most iconic menu item.
But it turns out McDonald’s was far from done with its bacon bonanza: Apparently realizing that the brand had a lot of catching up to do on America’s long-standing bacon obsession, McDonald’s has announced that for one hour only, on one day only, all participating locations will let customers add “thick cut, Applewood smoked bacon” to literally any item on the menu completely free of charge. McDonald’s has dubbed this extremely limited-time deal “Bacon Hour.”
Bacon Hour will take place on January 29, 2019, from 4 to 5 p.m. local time — whatever that may be in your time zone. (Heck, if you live right on a time zone boundary, you could potentially even get two bacon hours!) During those 60 minutes, McDonald’s promises customers will “get free bacon with anything: Filet-O-Fish, apple pie, hash browns, McFlurry, and anything else your bacon heart desires.”
“When we said there’s no such thing as too much bacon, we weren’t kidding. January 29, we’ll be upping the bacon ante—the bac-ante, if you will—and celebrating this glorious food favorite like never before,” Chef Michael Haracz, McDonald’s Manager of Culinary Innovation, said in a statement. “I love bacon. America loves bacon. I really can’t wait to see the crazy and daring combinations our customers put together.”
Now, not to make anyone salty, but as is often the case, the fine print does take a tiny bit of the fun out of this promotion. McDonald’s clarifies that customers will actually receive “free bacon on the side with purchase.” To translate, that means you’ll likely be responsible for shoving thick cut, Applewood smoked bacon into your own Oreo McFlurry — though at the same time, it’s not like doing so requires any sort of experience in a Michelin-starred kitchen. Also, the chain specifies, “Limit one side of bacon per person with any order.” So you can add bacon to any menu item, but only one menu item, and, yes, technically, you’ll be adding it yourself.
Still, there’s a reason “bringing home the bacon” has a positive connotation — and if the idea of free bacon appeals to you, why quibble about the details.