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[Photographs: press photos, Wendy's; others, Erin Jackson]

Wendy's recently debuted a scaled down version of the Baconator, dubbed (appropriately enough) Son of Baconator ($4.29). The release of the smaller burger comes approximately five years after the birth of the original Baconator.

There are currently three Baconator-style burgers on the menu: the Baconator Double, with two 1/4-pound patties, six strips of bacon, and two slices of cheese; the Baconator Single, with one 1/4 pound patty, three strips of bacon, and two slices of cheese; and the new Son of Baconator, with two 2.25 ounce patties, four strips of bacon, and two slices of cheese. The Baconator Triple, which clocked in at 1,330 calories, is no longer available.

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Baconator Double (left), Son of Baconator (right)

Aside from the size of the patties, the new Baconator looks a lot like the original. The bun is nearly identical and while The Son of Baconator has less beef than the Baconator Double, it doesn't necessarily have less bacon. When I flipped my burgers' lids, it was clear that not all strips are created equal.

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The Double Baconator had four small pieces that were about the same size as the two larger strips on the Son of Baconator . It's supposed to have three strips on top of each patty, so I'm not sure what happened there.

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Not surprisingly, neither burger looks anything like their press shot, which shows two layers of undulating strips of bacon strong enough to support a layer of beef, cheese, and bun. In reality, the strips are so piddly that you can't see them at all.

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If your main attraction to the Baconator is the bacon, I'd go with the newest incarnation. This may seem illogical because it has two fewer strips, but the ratio of bacon to beef works better with the thinner patties. The Son of Baconator burger has 66 percent of the bacon of the original, and just over 50 percent of the beef, which skews the burger as a whole towards a more bacon-rich flavor. It's also a better option than the Baconator Single, which has almost the exact same amount of beef, and one less strip of bacon.

The newest Baconator may be marketed as the "Son" of the larger version, but it would be a mistake to think of it as pint-sized. Sure, they're related, but the Son of Baconator is more like a college graduate than a kid. At 700 calories and 43 grams of fat, it's no baby of the bunch.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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