Memorial Day Weekend is here, which means it is officially time to kick off summer vacation! The kids have one week of school left and we are all ready to whoo-sah after a very long year of remote learning. Memorial Day is a time to pile the grill with hot dogs, steak, chicken, burgers and all the fixins. I’m sure this year will be no different. However, we decided to mix things up and add some plant-based options to the meat lover’s menu. And, since National Hamburger Day is May 28, we decided to have a Plant-Based Burger Taste Off! I mean we can’t just add any ole burger to our perfectly planned Memorial Day menu! We decided to try out 4 burgers from the top plant-based brands and decide who’s getting an invite to the BBQ. We will provide details over the following categories:
We live in the Houston, TX area, so our go-to grocery stores are Kroger, HEB, Aldi and Walmart. All four of these burgers were purchased at Kroger (I’m a sucker for racking up fuel points). The brands that we decided to try out are:
- dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger
- Hilary’s World’s Best Veggie Burger
- Beyond Burger
- Simple Truth Emerge Chick’n Burger
dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger (Soy free, Gluten free, Non-GMO)
Cost: $5.19 for 2 – 4oz burgers
Ingredients: Hydrated Pea Protein Blend (water, Pea Protein), Sunflower Oil, Beets, Natural Flavors, Sweet Potato Puree, Butternut Squash Puree, Carrot Puree, Methyl Cellulose, Oat Fiber, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (for Color), Sea Salt, Onion Powder
Hilary’s World’s Best Veggie Burger (Gluten free, Soy free, Corn free, Nut free, Gluten free)
Cost: $5.99 for 4 – 2.5oz burgers
Ingredients: Cooked Whole Grain Millet* (Water, Millet*), Kale* and/or Spinach*, Expeller pressed Oil* (Canola* and/or Sunflower* and/or Safflower*), Sweet Potato*, Potato Starch*, Ground Flaxseed*, Sea Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar*, Dried Onion*, Granulated Garlic*. *Organic.
Beyond Burger (Soy free, Gluten free, Non-GMO)
Cost: $6.99 for 2 – 4oz burgers
Ingredients: Water, Pea Protein*, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Dried Yeast, Cocoa Butter, Methylcellulose, Contains 1% or Less: Potato Starch, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beet Juice Color, Apple Extract, Pomegranate Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Vitamins and Minerals (zinc sulfate, niacinamide [vitamin B3], pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], cyanocobalamin [vitamin B12], calcium pantothenate)
Simple Truth Emerge Chick’n Patties (Soy free, Dairy free, Non-GMO)
Cost: $5.99 for 2 – 4.4oz patties
Ingredients: Water, Wheat Protein, Wheat Flour, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Wheat Starch, Methylcellulose, White Rice Flour, Natural Flavor (Maltodextrin, Salt, Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavorings), Salt, Sugar, Tetrapotassium Diphosphate, Sodium Carbonate, Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Dehydrated Onion, Black Pepper
Kept it simple and seasoned each burger with a little sea salt, black pepper and spicy garlic blend. These burger’s tend to be high in sodium, so use salt sparingly.
Cooked each burger in a cast iron grill pan since it has literally rained everyday this week, so outdoor grilling was out of the question. Sprayed pan with olive oil prior to cooking patties.
Raw Burger Patties
Top Left: Beyond Burger; Top Right: Hilary’s Veggie Burger; Bottom Left: Simple Truth Chick’n Burger; Bottom Right: dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger
Each burger was dressed with mayonnaise, mustard, green leaf lettuce, tomato, pickles and served on Dave’s Killer Bread burger buns.
Beyond Burger Review
Before cooking: The smell and appearance of the raw patty is similar to wet cat food. Once thawed the patty is wet to the touch, so oil is needed to keep from sticking to the grill pan.
During the cooking process: Cooked the patty 5 minutes per side. The patty sizzled like a meat burger as coconut oil and beet juice ran from the patty resembling a real beef burger. The smell is hard to describe, kind of earthy, but definitely did not smell like real meat.
Taste test: The outside of the patty was crisp with nice grill marks. The first bite has a crisp outer texture with a spongy inside. The burger has an oily mouth feel similar to a beef burger.
Bottom line: Not a fan of the overall smell, but if seasoned and dressed properly this burger can be a good substitute for real beef. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
dr.Praeger’s Burger Review
Before cooking: In its raw form this burger patty could pass for a beef burger. The “earthy” aroma is not as strong as the Beyond Burger. Texture not as wet, but pan still needs oil to keep from sticking.
During the cooking process: Cooked the patty 5 minutes per side. This burger did not “bleed” like the Beyond Burger, but remained semi-moist throughout the cooking process.
Taste test: After cooking, the burger still can pass for a beef burger. Firm and crumbly texture, similar to ground beef. The first bite has a slight grill flavor, a hint of sweetness, moist, but not oily as Beyond Burger.
Bottom line: The flavors of this burger are amazing! Won’t cook as long next time to maintain the juiciness.
Simple Truth Emerge Chick’n Burger Review
Before cooking: No off-putting smell from the chick’n patty. It has a wet texture similar to raw chicken and needs a little oil prior to cooking.
During the cooking process: Cooked the patty 5 minutes per side. The patty sizzles in the pan like real meat and produces “juices” like the Beyond Burger.
Taste test: After cooking the appearance is similar to a ground chicken burger. The outside of the patty is crisp with nice grill marks. The first bite is firm and juicy. Semi-moist without being too oily. No standout flavors other than the seasonings added prior to cooking.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of chicken burgers, this can easily be a good replacement. It has a moist and dense texture like chicken breast, but definitely needs additional seasonings to step up the flavor.
Hilary’s Veggie Burger Review
Before cooking: As far as appearance goes, this burger fits the description of what a veggie burger would look like. Super thin, greenish brown, definitely does not resemble meat.
During the cooking process: Cooked the patty 5 minutes per side. Even with an oiled grill pan the patty still had a dry appearance.
Taste test: This burger has a very dry texture, that reminds me of an overcooked tater tot. The main flavor is the grain (millet) and the vegetables are secondary.
Bottom line: Not a fan of this patty as a burger when compared to the other three. The flavor is not terrible, but the overall texture is too dry and brittle to our liking.
Well, the verdict is in on who gets an invite to the Memorial Day cookout. Drumroll please……Ken chose Beyond Burger, while I prefer dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger. Ken likes the flavors and juiciness of the Beyond Burger. He says this burger most reminds him of a real beef burger. Dr. Praeger’s is my favorite because it did not have an overpowering, can’t quite put my finger on it type of smell. Overall, this burger has a great grill-like flavor and palatable texture. Either of these burgers will be at hit with the meat lovers in your family! If you try any of these brands let us know what you think, we would love to hear your opinions! Don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!