These days plant-based proteins like ground meats and burgers, sausages or chicken are becoming increasingly popular. And now you can find them everywhere from grocery stores to fast food restaurants. Since these plant proteins are more available to shoppers, they are fast becoming a staple of more people’s diets. The options are abundant—you can find burgers, sausage crumbles, sausage links, and even hot dogs. We have come a long way from Tofu. In the Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen, we wondered how those new proteins taste and how they would cook on some of our indoor grills, so we put them to the test.
In our local supermarkets we found three plant-based protein brands: Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger and Light Life. To make it fair, we made all proteins into 4-ounce burgers and pitted them against regular ground beef. We weighed the burgers before and after cooking, followed package directions and grilled them on two different Hamilton Beach grills: the Hamilton Beach Smokeless Indoor Grill and the Hamilton Beach Searing Grill.
We preheated the grills and cooked each burger according to package instructions. When the results were in, all three plant-based burger brands cooked well and didn’t stick to the grill during cooking. The ground beef lost the most weight and size while the plant-based burgers had minimal change in size during the cooking process. All burgers achieved beautiful grill marks and were easy to flip. We invited some of our discerning team members to taste the results. They agreed that all the burgers had a seared flavor from the grilling.
Give it a try
How to decide which brand is best is up to personal preference. The color, texture and flavor varies between brands. And if you check the package ingredients, you’ll find that some are made from soy protein and some from pea protein. The color in most cases comes from added beet juice. Since we discovered that the plant-based 'meats' can be prepared just like regular beef, try substituting them for hamburger in your favorite recipes. Or, be adventuresome and add plant-based sausage with vegetables on kabobs.
Looking for more fresh vegetarian main dishes?
Try grilling a Portobello and Peppers Sandwich or Margherita Pizza. Bring out your spiralizer and create a delicious Zucchini Corn Pie or Spiralized Potato Egg Nests. Complete your meatless meal with one of our favorite vegetarian side dishes:
- Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Grilled Salad with Creamy Caesar Dressing
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Pressure Cooker Baked Beans
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Blue Cheese Cole Slaw
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Mexican Corn and Avocado Salad
- Spicy Summer Pasta
- Watermelon Tomato Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Air Fryer Buttery Corn-on-the-Cob
- Creamy Coleslaw
- Deviled Eggs
- Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Marinade
- Grilled Shrimp With Herbed Feta Cheese and Brown Basmati Rice
- Peach and Pepper Salsa
- Marinated Vegetable Kabobs
Have you tried adding a meatless day to your weekly menu? Share some of your favorite ideas by leaving a comment below.