Between pumpkinundation and trick-or-treating, there’s a lot of sugar to consume at this time of year. So it’s refreshing when companies bring something spooky to savory foods for a change. Burger King gave us Halloween Whoppers in 2015, 2018, 2019, and this year it brought the concept back.
Burger King’s website describes the 2022 version, the Ghost Pepper Whopper, as “1/4 lb. flame-grilled beef patty, melty Ghost Pepper cheese, bacon, crispy jalapeños, and queso sauce all on a toasted orange and black sesame seed bun.” Apparently, spicy things are for Halloween now just because one pepper has “ghost” in its name.
When I unwrapped my sandwich, it struck me how beautiful the bun was! A perfectly festive orange with black sesame seeds. It’s stunning, and that alone is worth the purchase. Much better than the greenish bun of the 2018 sandwich. Visuals aside, it’s soft and slightly sweet. It’s just a bun, but it gets the job done!
Let’s go through the toppings from top to bottom:
The queso sauce has a standard nacho flavor but with a kick. I don’t always love queso, but I like this one.
The crispy jalapeños have the texture of potato chips, and I like them better than fresh or canned jalapeños. They provide a welcome textural contrast, and the crisps bring the heat without the hiccups. BK made a solid choice here.
The bacon is as good as any, and it’s neither too chewy nor too crispy.
The ghost pepper cheese is the only element that’s lacking for me. It just tastes like regular American cheese. If it has a pepper flavor, it’s drowned out by the queso and the jalapeños.
The beef patty was everything I hoped from a BK burger: substantive and with the perfect amount of chew.
Altogether, these elements made for a tasty sandwich. Sometimes I didn’t enjoy having both the cheese and the queso; I might have liked it better without the Ghost Pepper cheese. But that’s just me.
Now, as for the spiciness: I didn’t find the burger that spicy. My nose ran a little, but I ate the whole sandwich without needing to drink anything. People hoping it will be as spicy as an actual ghost pepper will be disappointed. But the mildness means that a larger segment of the population will get to enjoy this fantastically festive burger.
The previous iterations of spooky Whoppers didn’t rise from the dead on subsequent Halloweens. But I wouldn’t mind if this one did.
UPDATE: Thanks to our readers’ helpful comments, I realized that I originally got plain American cheese instead of the ghost pepper cheese it was supposed to be. So I went to a different location on a different day and got the real cheese.
It has a discernible kick, and it’s much better than the American cheese. This burger also came with a more generous helping of jalapeño crisps, so overall it was noticeably spicier. I definitely got the hiccups this time. But still, most people should be able to handle it.
Purchased Price: $6.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 750 calories, 44 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 115 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,510 milligrams of sodium, 51.2 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9.1 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.