Trader Joe’s Protein Patties Plant Based Burger Review – You knew this day was coming. Trader Joe’s is never one to be left behind on a food trend and the recent spate of faux meat burgers is taking the world by storm right now. My kids have had the Impossible Whoppers a couple of times already and while they are cool, I don’t know if they will eat them too many more times. I guess if you put enough cheese, ketchup, mustard and pickles on something it will taste like a burger. I’ve had my fair share of black bean burger and the like. They are good and filling and flavorful, but they aren’t meat.
I picked up three boxes of these for the family. There are two patties in each box. 4 ounces per patty. The box costs $4.49 per box so that works out to about $9 a pound of fake meat. I don’t know about you, but that’s almost on par with the cost of high quality grass fed ground beef in my town. I don’t eat a lot of burgers anymore, it’s really not healthy. I ate a TON of them growing up and into my 20’s. I worked in a mall while I was in college and right next door was McDonald’s. I ate burgers almost every day for a couple of years. I don’t suggest doing that. My kids are much more aware of the risks of eating a ton of beef. I don’t make them a lot of burgers and they crave them like candy.
When you look at them through the window on the packaging, they look almost exactly like two really nice beef hamburger patties. The color is spot on for a lean grind of beef. Opening the package was an interesting experience to say the least. Cutting open the clear plastic release a very weird aroma. It smelled like canned pet food and more specifically like cat food. I was afraid this wasn’t going to end well. I wanted to check the Sell By date (I knew these couldn’t be old since I got them the first day they were for sale), but couldn’t find one. Let me know if you find one, I couldn’t.
You supposedly can’t freeze these patties, or at least that’s what the packaging says. I know that my store sells Beyond Burger patties in the freezer. I’m not sure what is different between the two. I know that Impossible Burger is made from primarily wheat protein and Beyond Burgers are primarily pea protein. If I was to hazard a guess, I would say that Beyond Burger is making these for Trader Joe’s with minor tweaks. The ingredients look almost the same except for the types of oils they use. The packaging even looks similar.
I cooked these up like regular burgers in a cast iron pan with some canola oil sprayed on it. You can’t heat them up like a real burger, they patties can’t take the high temperatures that real meat can take. I saw a little burning on a couple of patties and turned it down. There is a lot of oil in these things and it will come out of the patties, kind of like real meat too. They did get nice and browned after a few minutes on each side. They had an odd smell to them, I couldn’t place me finger on. It smelled familiar. I didn’t opt for cheese and my kids did. I also salt and peppered them like I would a normal hamburger. They didn’t shrink or change size much as I cooked them, which is also quite different from real meat.
After about 5 minutes on each side on a low heat setting. I put them in buns and topped them with a nice tomato slice and lettuce and condiments. I took a bite and I found it quite nice. The actual burger has a soft texture without any snap to the meat, it was just kind of mushy. I ate just some of the fake meat and there isn’t much flavor either way. It did have a nice red color throughout the patty. It looked like it wasn’t cooked or raw, but it can’t be raw since it’s just vegetables and oil. I guess the coloring comes from beets. My teenage boys both ate the whole thing. One said it was just like a real burger and wanted another one soon and the other didn’t like the texture either and said it had no flavor. I fell somewhere in between. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad. My one son that has had a couple of Impossible Burgers said he like those much better.
Would I buy these again? Maybe, it depends on the situation. I would eat them again. I like burgers but don’t eat beef that much anymore. My wife would eat them again, but I am not sure I could get my kids to eat them. But, I would recommend them to anyone that is vegan and wants to try a fake burger that is pretty close to beef!
Ingredients: hydrated pea protein blend (water, pea protein, pea fiber), sunflower oil, beets, natural flavors, methyl cellulose, oat fiber, fruit juice (color), onion powder, sea salt, vegetable juice (color).
4mg iron (20% daily value)
4mg iron (20% daily value)