A Meat Eater Answers Your Burning Question — Does a Beyond Burger Taste Like Beef?
I haven't eaten meat for almost 30 years, and I've never actually even had a real hamburger before (I always chose hot dogs at barbecues when I was a kid). So I don't even know what a real hamburger is supposed to taste like! Beyond Meat just came out with these new "meatier" Beyond Burgers, which are completely plant-based with "marbled juiciness." As a non meat eater, that didn't really entice me, so I decided to do a taste test with someone who eats meat — my husband. He loves burgers, so I knew he'd give me an honest opinion. Keep reading to learn what these burgers are made of, their nutritional profile, and what a meat eater thought when he took his first bite.
Beyond Burger Nutritional Info and Ingredients
Beyond Burgers are made mostly with pea protein isolate, canola oil, coconut oil, rice protein, mung bean protein, and beet juice (for the reddish color).
The nutritional stats on these Beyond Burgers are impressive! For a 250-calorie patty, it offers 20 grams of protein and two grams of fiber. It has just three grams of carbs, six grams of saturated fat, and 390 grams of sodium. These patties also provide 300 milligrams of potassium and 25 percent of your daily iron. A bonus with this plant-based burger is that it has zero cholesterol.
For comparison, nutritionally speaking, a four-ounce grass-fed beef patty is 224 calories and offers 22 grams of protein and zero fiber. It has zero grams of carbs, six grams of saturated fat, and 77 milligrams of sodium. A grass-fed beef patty provides 327 grams of potassium and 12.8 percent of your daily iron. It also has 70 milligrams of cholesterol. That's pretty similar!
Frozen vs. Thawed
If you're looking to buy the Beyond Burger, you may have to look in two places. At my local grocery store, they're in the refrigerated meat section, near the real beef patties, to inspire people buying meat to check them out. At my local health food store, they're in the freezer section near the veggie burgers.
The top two burgers are frozen, and the bottom two were thawed in the fridge. If they come frozen, thaw them in the fridge before cooking and eat them within 10 days. If your package comes refrigerated, enjoy the burgers within three days of opening.
Beyond Burger Cooking Instructions
You can cook the Beyond Burger patties on a grill or a pan on the stove. Just cook them on medium-high to high heat, about four minutes per side.
What Does a Raw Beyond Burger Look Like?
At first glance, I was a little weirded out because the uncooked Beyond Burger patties look so much like raw beef. Here they are sprinkled with a little freshly cracked pepper and sea salt, just like my husband would do when preparing beef patties for cooking.
What Does a Beyond Burger Look Like When It's Cooking?
My husband lightly coated a cast-iron pan with some olive oil, then put these patties on medium heat. They immediately sizzled and got kind of greasy like a real hamburger would — that oil you see around the bottom burger is from the patty.
The meat-like aroma was so strong. Even our neighbors popped over while these burgers were cooking and commented that our house smelled good and asked what we were making.
What Does a Beyond Burger Look Like After It Is Cooked
Admittedly, these were probably a little overcooked, because I've made them before and they were more pink inside, like a medium-rare burger. The outer edge of the patty crisped up and the middle was still moist and tender.
What Does a Beyond Burger Look Taste Like?
OK, now for the moment we've all been waiting for! After his first bite, my husband commented that the chewy, chunky texture of the Beyond Burger "was the most like meat I've ever tasted, and I've tried a lot of veggie burgers." I was shocked! This was huge.
He eagerly went in for another bite — another good sign! He said the flavor tasted a lot like real beef, just a bit more mild, with the "meat saltiness" he likes. The burger was juicy, and he liked that it looked pink inside. "Honestly, it tastes a whole hell of a lot like meat," he said.
With all the toppings and bun, he said he might not even be able to tell the difference between this and a real beef burger. I was so happy to hear that he'd definitely eat it again. Although he usually has chicken with his lunchtime salad (and prefers it), about once or twice a week, he'll have one of these patties instead. He said "they're easy and crumble up nicely like ground beef and are good in salads."
So the next time I went to the store, I stocked up — you should see my freezer! The Beyond Burger patties were $5 for a two-pack. Aside from enjoying them on a traditional bun, these Beyond Burger patties taste great cut up in wraps, burritos, on pasta or rice, or with roasted veggies.