updated 7/1/2009 5:29:51 PM ET 2009-07-01T21:29:51

McDonald’s Corp. will begin selling a new line of bigger burgers priced at about $4 each on Thursday to bring in customers looking for a beefy alternative to pricier burgers at sit-down restaurants.

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The new Angus burgers are made with one-third pound of Angus beef and come in three varieties — a deluxe burger with pickles and tomatoes, a mushroom swiss burger and a bacon and cheese burger.

The burgers will be sold in all U.S. locations for the next few months. The fast-food chain declined to specify when or if the burgers would become a part of the company’s core menu, which includes favorites like the Quarter Pounder with Cheese and the Big Mac.

McDonald’s has been testing the burger for several years in more than 1,000 restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; New York; Los Angeles; and Alberquerque, N.M., but it held back from introducing it to all U.S. consumers to focus on its core menu and lower-priced offerings.

The company said in April that it would finally launch the Angus burger in all of its U.S. locations this year.

Despite the continuing recession, spokeswoman Danya Proud said the time is right to launch the “bigger, premium” burger nationwide.

“Customers are looking for great tasting burgers at a value that only McDonald’s can offer,” she said. “These premium burgers are a tremendous value compared to similar fast-casual and midscale offers.”

Burgers at fast-casual competitors like Five Guys or at sit-down chains like Chili’s Grill & Bar can cost as much as $8 or more.

McDonald’s shares rose 73 cents to $58.22 in Wednesday trading.

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