How To Cook Beyond Burgers (And Other Plant-Based Burgers)
Gone are the days where plant-based foods are called “flavorless”, “bland”, and even “boring”. So, if you are still having doubts about going meat-free, then this is your sign!
Most peoples’ biggest holdback to not making the switch is that they don’t know how to prepare meat-free alternatives. We see this especially often when it comes to meatless burger patties.
So, how do you cook plant-based burger patties like Beyond Burger? Simply preheat your pan, place the patties inside, and fry for about 4 minutes per side. Thinner patties will take less time. The patties will have been fully cooked once they have reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
In today’s article, we will be looking at the many different ways to cook Beyond Burger patties as well as some other meatless burger patties.
We will also be looking at some helpful tips and tricks, how to tell when the patty has been fully cooked, and the many ways you can use your meatless patties.
What Are Plant-Based Burgers?
Plant-based burgers are by no way new to the grocery store, but they are still not that well-known!
You may or may not have seen (or even accidentally grabbed) some Beyond Burger patties, or other brands like Morning Star, but do you actually take it? Or do you just leave it because you don’t know what they are?
You might have heard other people say plant-based burgers just aren’t as good as meat-based patties.
But please, don’t let that hold you back! You don’t have to be vegan or have a dietary restriction to enjoy these delicious plant-based burgers. Trust us, you are missing out on these delicious burgers!
With plant-based burgers, the first thing manufacturers look at is how to make them meaty.
So, when looking at regular burger patties, you have the protein component, some fat, minerals, carbs, and water. So, instead of using meat, you can use plant-based ingredients to check all those off.
For example, lentils are used instead of red meat. Aquafaba liquid is used to help bind the ingredients. Plant-based fats like coconut oil are used to help add moisture. Pretty impressive, right?
Not all plant-based burgers are created quite equal to the famous Beyond Burgers products. They might have different preparation processes or ingredients used and definitely different flavor profiles.
That is part of what makes plant-based burger patties so great! You don’t only get the flavor from spices, but the actual ingredients used.
The burgers today also don’t just consist of blunt vegetables that fall apart when they are being cooked, but also contain a ton of nutrients.
Benefits Of Plant-Based Burger
Plant-based burgers are not only delicious but actually have a ton of other benefits to them that could potentially convince you to make the switch from meat to meatless.
- Plant-based burgers are better for the planet. Yes, we know, it might sound like a cliché, but why not help the planet while you are enjoying a delicious burger? Agricultural production of animal products accounts for almost 51% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Now, we are not saying ditch animal products completely, but every little change and difference you make will help bring this number down! Plant-based burgers use at most 75% less water, 94% less land, and create almost 87% less greenhouse gas emissions than a regular burger would. Wow!
- They are cruelty-free products. Choosing plant-based burgers help fight against animal cruelty. We have all seen the horrific videos circulating the internet – chicken farms, pig pens, commercial cow feedlots. We know not all farms operate like that, but do you truly know where your meat is coming from? Unless you are willing to put in the actual effort to find out, rather opt for plant-based to ensure you aren’t contributing to an inhumane practice.
- These are truly delicious products. So, we don’t know who said that plant-based burgers have no flavor because if you think about it, the only thing flavoring meat patties are spices. And all plant-based burgers still contain spices! They are actually more flavorful because they also have the added flavor of the vegetables used. And, when basted with an extremely umami (meat-free) basting sauce, you probably won’t even notice that it’s not real meat.
- Meat-free is potentially a healthier lifestyle choice. Imagine having a burger that does not contain any hormones and is completely saturated and trans-fat-free! Well, plant-based burgers are the answer. Since they contain no meat, there are no worries about harmful hormones or any saturated or trans-fats. Considering how natural veggies are, it must be way better for your body than consuming a burger packed with hormones. You can also check whether the manufacturer used non-GMO products or organic produce.
- Better quality protein. Numerous studies have shown that plant-based protein is a higher quality of protein than regular animal-based protein. So technically you are still bulking up, just in a better way!
- Higher quality ingredients. Burgers are made from ground beef – usually offcuts and bad quality cuts. There is actually no way to determine what part was used and even (sorry to say this part but you’ve heard the rumors) if it is all-beef or all-chicken! With plant-based ingredients, all you really have to look for is non-GMO ingredients. Even if the packaging doesn’t state that specifically, plants are still guaranteed to be of better quality compared to meat.
- Guaranteed to be pink slime-free. Yes, you read it right, pink slime. Yuck! Pink slime is an additive that most processed meats get. Fatty animal leftovers are heated and spun before being treated with ammonia gas to remove bacteria. While this is safe to eat, why would you want to if someone has to add that to a burger!? Plant-based burgers on the other hand are 100% pink slime-free!
Nutritional Value Of Plant-Based Burgers
If just the thought of pink slime hasn’t yet convinced you to rather opt for plant-based burgers, here are a few nutritional facts that surely will change your mind.
Plant-based burgers provide the same amount of calories, protein, iron, and micronutrients as a regular beef burger would. Although plant-based burgers are sometimes high in sodium it has many nutritional and health benefits.
- Plant-based burgers contain a healthier mix of fats and don’t contain any trans-fats or saturated fats.
- The risk of food-borne illnesses is less because the ingredients don’t come from meat.
- There’s a chance that it might lower the risk of cancer because of the lack of hormones and chemicals inside the ingredients.
- Raises good cholesterol (HDL) which in turn has a lot of cardiovascular benefits.
How To Cook Plant-Based Burgers
Cooking a veggie burger might seem easy, and it is quite simple, but if you’ve cooked one before you’ll know there is always the possibility of it falling apart. It is also quite difficult to know when it has been cooked completely through.
With meat the color is usually an indicator, but how do you know with plant-based burgers?
Obviously different plant-based burgers will have different cooking instructions, so be sure to read the packaging first. Today, we will try to cover all the variables you could possibly get when it comes to plant-based burgers.
How To Cook Beyond Meat Burgers
These are usually plant-based patties that are on the thicker side of average.
- 2 Beyond Burger patties
- Your favorite burger toppings
- 2 Burger buns
- Preheat a grill or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. You can add a little oil to the pan if you want to, but it isn’t always necessary.
- Remove all the packaging from the patties and place them on the grill or pan. You can grill them for roughly 4 minutes per side, making sure to only flip them once.
- Remove the patties from the grill or the pan and assemble your burger to your liking!
We love adding some garlic aioli, grilled mushrooms, and a slice or two of vegan cheese. Alternatively, you can go for the more classic flavor profile and opt for crispy lettuce, tomatoes, and caramelized or even beer-battered onions.
Tips And Tricks For Cooking Plant-Based Burgers
Just as with regular meat-based burger patties, plant-based burger patty brands do vary. The most common varying factor (after the ingredients used) includes the thickness of the patty.
As we have mentioned, Beyond Burger makes thicker than normal patties. Other brands, like Morning Star, make quite thin patties. The thickness will definitely affect the cooking times and ultimately when the patties have been fully cooked.
For thicker burgers:
Thicker burgers like Beyond Burgers should be cooked a little longer than thinner burgers. The recommended cooking time for thicker plant-based burgers is about 4 minutes on each side depending on the brand.
Usually thicker burgers like Beyond Burgers recommend defrosting their patties first before beginning the cooking.
For thinner burgers:
Thinner burgers such as Morning Star veggie burgers can be microwaved for 1-2 minutes depending on your microwave. They can also be cooked on the grill or in a pan, but for a slightly shorter time than thicker burgers.
Morning Star burgers are cooked for about 3 minutes per side. A good rule of thumb (that generally applies in cooking) is the thinner the product, the shorter the cooking time will be.
How To Tell If It Is Cooked Through
Unlike animal meat burgers, you cannot always tell if the plant-based burger has been cooked all the way through. With meat, the color is usually the best indicator, but some plant-based ingredients don’t give away much.
The best way to check if the burger is ready is to measure the internal temperature at the thickest part of the burger patty. The internal temperature should always be 165°F.
- Use a spatula! Yes, sometimes we’re lazy and we just flip the burgers using a fork or spoon or whatever is close by! Plant-based burgers are a little more fragile compared to beef burgers, so be sure to use a spatula so that the burger doesn’t break or fall apart.
- Leave it be! Allow the burger to brown thoroughly on one side before flipping it. Flipping it too much might also cause it to break or even extend the cooking time. Just leave it for the right amount of time and be patient.
- Make sure your pan is hot before adding the burger patty! A little oil always helps brown the burger beautifully. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan when cooking your burgers otherwise some might cook while others stay raw!
Other Cooking Methods
Just as with any regular beef burger patty, there are so many different ways to cook plant-based burgers, and it really just comes down to what you personally prefer or what equipment you have available.
So, here are a few different ways to cook plant-based burgers.
Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Pop your favorite plant-based burger patty in the air fryer chamber and fry it for 9 minutes, turning the patties around halfway through the cooking time.
Make sure to grease the air fryer basket with a little oil or non-stick spray to prevent the patties from sticking to the air fryer basket.
The air fryer is a quick and convenient way to cook plant-based burgers, but it might be a little more effort to clean than a regular pan.
This might leave you scratching your head, but yes, you can cook some plant-based burgers in the microwave. These burgers are usually already pre-cooked and simply need to be reheated.
The results will not be the same as when you use a grill pan or skillet. The microwave will not give you that charred, crispy texture, but will rather give you a softer patty. It is still a great option to have in pinch.
The trusty oven never falls short of delivery. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place your plant-based burgers on a baking tray and cook the burgers for 10-15 minutes while flipping the burgers halfway.
Ovens tend to take a little longer to cook plant-based burgers than a pan or air fryer would, but the results are still great never the less!
How To Store Plant-Based Burgers
Plant-based burgers should be used within 3 days of opening. Store the opened burger patties in the fridge until you plan on using them.
An unopened package will stay fresh for up to 10 days in the fridge unless indicated otherwise on the packaging!
Plant-based burgers keep really well in the freezer and can be stored for up to 6 months! Always make sure to safely thaw frozen burgers in the fridge overnight.
It is recommended to cook the burgers thawed, but some plant-based burgers, especially the thin burgers, can be cooked from frozen.
Once the patties have been cooked, we wouldn’t hold on to them for too long. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
What To Do With Plant-Based Burger Patties
Plant-based burgers are actually quite versatile! Here are a few fun ideas to do with your beyond burgers.
- You can use the patties to make your very own plant-based meatballs and serve it with a delicious béchamel, cheese sauce, or tomato-based sauce.
- Divide the patties up into smaller patties to make mini-sliders for appetizers, canapes, or birthday parties.
- Crumble the burgers and mix them with little breadcrumbs or even other veggies to replace ground beef in your favorite lasagna or on top of Nachos!
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