One of the most hyped plant based burgers in the World, has recently become available in one of Australia’s mainstream supermarkets, Coles.
After reading so much about these burger patties and watching a stack of taste testing reviews of them, I couldn’t wait to get some and cook them up; unfortunately, they were not stocked where I live, so I had to wait.
Luckily, on a recent short holiday at the Sunshine Coast, I checked out the Coles at Sunshine Plaza, just in case I was lucky enough to find some.
I got lucky, finding 2 packets were on the shelf, one for $12, the other half price at $6, winner! Naturally, I bought them both. Another win for me, was that, right next to the Beyond Burgers, were some recently released, Australian, Alternative Meat Burgers, so I bought some of them as well.
I was eager to cook the Beyond Burgers, but decided to wait until I got home, so I put them in the freezer at the unit, ready for my trip home.
Arriving back in town, I shopped for burger rolls and ingredients to go with my purchase, as I couldn’t wait any longer and was going to cook them that night.
I cooked 4 burger patties that night, 2 of the Alternative Meat Burgers and 2 of the Beyond Burgers. I won’t do a comparison in this post, I will do a follow up post on the Alternative Meat Burgers later.
The Beyond Burger has gained a lot of notoriety in the press, as one of the new plant based burgers that ‘bleed’. It is often confused in some publications with The Impossible Burger, which uses a plant derived, GMO Heme to replicate the flavour and ‘bleed’ of animal blood.
Unlike the Impossible Burger, the Beyond Burger doesn’t use any GMO products, nor Heme for the colour or bleed, instead, it uses beetroot powder and annatto to give it a realistic meaty colour that provides the colour of the ‘bleed’.
Now, if you are worried about the realistic ‘bleed’, I can’t say I really noticed it; it’s not thankfully, like a traditional undercooked meat patty as far as bleeding goes, which is not a bad thing, as I don’t think too many vegans would go for that.
To me, this is one the most impressive elements of this burger. If, like me, you have made various types of veggie burgers, you know it can be difficult to get the oozing juices of fat rendering from the patty. It really does take some effort to incorporate the right amount and types of plant based oils and fats that break down at different temperatures to give a vegetable patty similar qualities to grilling a meat patty.
Straight out of the packet, the Beyond Burger replicates this brilliantly, oozing fat as you cook it, to keep the burger juicy from inside to out.
Another traditional problem with many veggie burger patties is the texture; I am sure we can all relate to a less than satisfying mushy veggie burger patty.
One of the primary reasons for this, is excessive moisture in the ingredients, which, if not reduced, flows through to the formed patty. These mushy patties often don’t hold up to frying in a pan, either falling apart, or crumbling as you try and flip them.
To rectify this problem, many recipes you see online recommend baking the patties in an oven, essentially removing the moisture.
The Beyond Burger does not suffer from this problem at all, you take them out of the packet and put them straight into the pan. Flip them to your hearts content, they hold up to it and don’t fall apart or go mushy and cook just as a meat patty would.
Closely aligned with the texture, is the resulting mouth feel; once again the Beyond Burger nails it.
While developing different veggie burgers I have made some that have the right colour, fat oozing delivery and texture; they look the part, the texture seems right, they hold together while frying, they have the right flavour, yet don’t provide the mouth feel of a traditional burger patty when eaten. They Beyond Burger doesn’t suffer from this, it has the same mouth feel as a high quality meat patty.
Taste And Flavour
Now maybe my taste memory is a little old now for a flavour comparison to my pre-vegan days, but how it stands now, the Beyond Burger is up there with the best tasting burger patty I have ever eaten, including some high end meat ones.
This honestly tastes like a very high quality, high end meat patty, not your typical cow chow from some of the fast food outlets.
Juicy and full of flavour, this burger replicates the traditional burger and then takes it up another level in taste. It gives a very subtle smokey beef flavour, that replicates a traditional beef patty, disturbingly well. if you don’t want a beefy burger flavour, don’t eat this, or maybe eat it just once, as it really isn’t beef and see how you feel afterwards.
Price is the one element where the Beyond Burger can appear to lose out, when compared to similar plant based, or meat based burger products; it does seem expensive at its regular Australian price of $12 for 2 patties.
Cooking it at home, you still need to add other elements, such as burger buns and associated ingredients in the creation of your perfect burger, which further will raise the per burger price a slightly.
Now depending on what you add, the extra cost in your creation, could be as little as $1 to create your perfect burger. This may be different, however, if you are into more extravagant ingredients, like French Truffles… 😉
Saying all this $6 per patty is expensive, but, when compared to plain burger offerings from McDonalds, this is very comparable in price, plus is entirely plant based and, in my opinion, tastes better; I am willing to pay for that alone.
For some reason, when you can find them are in stock, you can also get some terrific bargains on the price; I have seen posts from some people buying a pack of 2 for less than $3.
It is easy to see that I am impressed with the Beyond Burger. If you were serving this at a BBQ and didn’t tell your meat eating mates, I honestly don’t think they would tell the difference and would be well fed, with a great tasting burger.
The Beyond Burger is the juiciest, best tasting burger I have had to date, even in my pre-vegan eating days; if you can get your hands on some, grab them and give them try.