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The McRib is back at McDonald's — here's how to get it for free

McDonald's is giving away 10,000 of the beloved barbecue sandwiches.
/ Source: TODAY

As the world continues to endure the effects of the pandemic, people are turning to comfort food and nostalgic fare — and McDonald's is hoping that includes the McRib. The fast-food chain is bringing back the beloved barbecue sandwich in time for the holidays — and for the first time since 2012, it'll be available nationwide.

The McRib is set to return to all 14,400 of McDonald's U.S. restaurants on Wednesday, the company announced on Oct. 30, instantly exciting social media.

And the sandwich will return with an exciting promotion: In honor of No Shave November, McDonald's is giving away a free McRib to the first 10,000 fans who share evidence of a clean-shaven face.

"Our bearded fans know... facial hair and the McRib just don't mix—believe me, I've tried," Vice President of U.S. Communications David Tovar said in a media statement. "With the nationwide return of the McRib, we're helping fans enjoy every delectable moment by encouraging them to shave for a chance to win a free McRib. And we're excited this year to partner with No-Shave November, a charity that knows a thing or two about facial hair."

And yes, the promotion is open to those who don't have a beard to shave: Just take a selfie of your facial-hair-less face, and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the tag #Shave4McRibSweepstakes and @mcdonalds. The first 10,000 entries will receive a code for a free McRib, either via McDelivery with Uber Eats. All McRib purchases on Dec. 2 will help support McDonald's donation to No Shave November's cancer initiatives.

McDonald's teased the news on Oct. 23 when a McDonald's social media manager tweeted their complaint about being inundated with inquiries about the sandwich, which, of course, piqued even more interest in the dish's return.

The seasoned, boneless pork slathered in smoky, tangy barbecue sauce, topped with slivered onions and tart pickles, has long had something of a cult following, but has only been available as a limited-time regional menu item since 2012 — except for customers in Germany, who have the item it year-round. But now that the return is nationwide, fans won't have to go on a long road trip to get their McRib fix.

“The McRib has been a beloved menu item at McDonald’s since its inception nearly 40 years ago,” said Vice President of Menu Innovation, Linda VanGosen, in a media statement. “There’s nothing quite like the taste of the McRib. To our customers, it’s become more than a delicious, saucy moment… it’s a season, and it’s taking the internet by storm. That’s why this year, we’re proud to serve the McRib nationwide for everyone to enjoy.”

The price of the McRib varies by location and is only around for a limited time, until supplies last, a McDonald's spokesperson told TODAY Food.

Of course, if you don't feel like leaving the house to get your hands on a McRib, you could always make one at home, thanks to Al Roker's surprisingly similar copycat recipe.

Copycat McRib Sandwich

EDITOR'S NOTE (Dec. 2, 2020, 1:03 p.m. EST): This article has been updated with new information about McDonald's McRib giveaway with No Shave November.