Review: Plant-based burgers
Updated: Jul 6, 2019
- We've reviewed five supermarket plant-based burgers, just in time for the June/July heatwave and the first of many summer BBQs. Surprise your plant-based friends, wow your family members with your low-carbon life decisions, and enjoy some tasty tasty burgers.
For this blog, we've recruited help from an independent reviewer, a flexitarian who enjoys meat from time to time. We've judged each of the following burgers on the basis of (1) cost, (2) texture, (3) flavour and (4) appearance - we have also taken into account nutritional value.
Before we start, it's important to say we aren't bashing any particular plant-based brands. In fact, they all taste pretty damn good when placed between a sesame-seed bun, some crunchy iceberg lettuce, and a couple slices of red onion/tomato with a healthy dose of tomato sauce. Huge respect to each of these brands, doing big things. But, we want to make sure that you guys (the consumer) have burgers that bang every time. Let's get into this.
Burger number 1: Sainsbury's Meat Free Burgers (£1.60)
Independent Reviewer: *Inspecting it closely*
James: Thoughts on appearance?
IR: I can see various seasonings...that excites me. Colour is quite realistic, but overall it's a bit small and thin.
J: It's a double-decker burger for sure.
IR and J: *Bites*
IR: It's a bit bland.
J: Yeah, and the patty ingredients are a bit separated.
IR: Lacking fusion. A Q without a U.
PROS: The pack contains 8 burgers (all the other burgers are two to a pack), that's just 20p per burger. Great value for money if you chop-up the burgers and add to other dishes for a sizeable amount of protein (19.1g/100g).
CONS: As burgers go, not the most enjoyable in the mouth department.
Burger number 2: Iceland No Bull Burgers 1/4 pounder (£2.00)
J: So this is part of Iceland's new plant-based range, which I have to say I've been very impressed with. What do you think about its appearance?
IR: I'm not sure about the colour, it's almost florescent red. It is thicc though, that's a big plus.
J and IR: *Takes a huge chomp*
J: Woah, that's juicy. You can literally hear the juices as you bite into it.
IR: Meaty taste, firm, and seasoned very well. With a bit of brown sauce that would do me that would.
PROS: An essential patty for the creation of your ultimate plant-based burger. Very, very tasty indeed. It's £2 per pack, but Iceland regularly reduce their plant-based goodies.
CONS: The No Bull Burger is the lowest in terms of protein (13g/100g), so bare that in mind if you're trying to get your gym pump on. Highest in sugar by some margin (5.00g/100g - next closest is Linda burger at 1.70g/100g).
Burger number 3: The Meatless Farm Co. Meat Free Burgers (£2.50)
J: I confess I haven't heard of Meatless Farm before, but the product looks good. Packaging and brand on point.
IR: The patty itself looks a bit weird, it's red and perfectly round. Looks a little too processed.
IR and J: *Munches*
J: Not a fan.
IR: Me neither, it's got a dry, gritty flavour. It's similar to corn beef, it just melts into a paste in your mouth.
J: Not a juicy boi, that's for sure.
PROS: The cooking instructions tell you to season the patty before cooking it. That's quite fun. Makes you feel like you're on your own cooking show. Highest in protein with a whopping 21.80g/100g. Fortified with all those good vitamins (B12 and iron included) so you won't turn pale and die x
CONS: It's chalky, and really not that enjoyable. Expect better for £2.50.
Burger number 4: Linda McCartney Vegetarian 1/4 Burgers (£2.00)
IR: Let the record show we are both huge Linda fans. Love having a bit of chopped-up Linda in our meals.
J: It looks great too. I'd say the most realistic of the bunch. It's textured and a good colour - not a beetrooty/raw looking slab.
J and IR: *Bites, chews, swallows and look at one another*
J: I'm a bit disappointed tbh, taking into account other Linda wares.
IR: It's chewy and bitty. The burger isn't one cohesive whole.
J: The only saving grace is its juices.
PROS: Juicy and looks beefy - your carnivore pals might not realise you've got a Linda burger hidden betwixt your baps, lettuce and tomato.
CONS: Not the tastiest Linda McCartney product on the aisles. You win some, you lose some. Highest in fat (11.90g/100g), although still less than your typical meat burger.
Burger number 5: Vivera Veggie Burgers (£2.50)
J: Last, but my no means the least, Vivera. I've heard their plant-based steaks are a little bit special, so very hyped to try their burgers. It's one of the smaller patties, but it has a nice colour.
IR: Smells, omg, it reminds me of something familiar.
J: Maple syrup?
IR and J: *Takes laboured bite (v. full now)*
J: It's very moist, but almost too moist. It could do with a bit more bite to it. I do enjoy the hints of rosemary and sage though.
IR: It just doesn't convince me. Too plain.
PROS: The Vivera burger is fortified with vitamin B12 and iron, which is pretty cool. Less than 0.1g of sugar/100g, a big win!
CONS: Joint-most expensive, but you wouldn't know it. Lacking in the ol' taste department.
Conclusion. The most expensive burgers weren't the best. We weren't particularly impressed with either the Meatless Farm burger (1/5) nor the Vivera burger (2/5). On the flip side, the Sainsbury's burger (the least expensive one) wasn't anything to write home to the cows about (2/5). The medium-prices burgers, Linda McCartney (3/5) and Iceland (5/5) burgers were the best. In our humble opinion, the Iceland burger was head and shoulders above it's competitors. Mad probs to Iceland. Sidenote: they were also the first major retailer to commit to becoming plastic-free, which I guess is pretty bad-ass. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/16/iceland-pledges-go-plastic-free/)
Check out the burgers for yourself, tweet us (@greensandbeans_) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) your thoughts and feelings.