The profound love for meat is definitely considered a “niche” in 2019. With the flurry of misinformation regarding what is “healthy” and what is not makes it so. Many people are firmly entrenched in their current beliefs (i.e., plant-based, vegan, organic, etc.) that you have hundreds of different “camps” to join. It is what it is.

Which is fine – because we still have plenty of inventory for us to choose from!

But we’ve had a little bit of a revelation when it comes to red meat. In particular ground beef.

When meat quality matters (or doesn't)

Pat Lafrieda is our favorite burger.

Ground beef quality matters – depending on how you consume it!

We realized a couple things over the past few years. That the taste and texture between hamburgers vary greatly. And all without a huge price disparity, either. Sometimes just a buck or two per pound can be the difference between near-filet-mignon taste – to road kill grizzle.

When you consume hamburgers like most of the population does (with a carby bun, sugary condiments, cheeses, and inflammatory toppings), your choice of hamburger should not matter.

At least that is how we see it.

Because when you literally drown out the taste of the meat with all those “supporting actors,” how great the meat tastes matters so much less. Sure, you can still (sort of) taste it – but not nearly as much. So it shouldn’t matter whether you buy low-end meat – or even frozen patties for that matter. If you’re going to mask the meat so much, don’t waste your time being an aficionado. At that point, the quality of your bread and toppings start mattering more.

Same goes for using ground beef as part of a bigger recipe – such as meat sauce or chili.

When meat quality matters (or doesn't)

These Kobe beef burgers did nothing special for us. Not worth the $5 more per pack! Never again!

But when you eat the meat STRAIGHT-UP (just salt), you begin to see how varied the meats are. We’ve already determined that all pre-frozen meats are a total waste of time. One exception is Profeta Farms burgers – which are awesome.

Additionally, the fresh meats also matter. Ordinary supermarket beef is okay – when cooked medium rare, but become tasteless the more you cook them. The meat proprietors such as Pat Lafrieda (available at ShopRite exclusively) and Schweid & Sons (everywhere) have the best “plain burger” taste we’ve found, and the cost is not prohibitive. Because they use blends. To get the best-tasting burger, a blend is crucial. Even some renowned butchers still don’t offer burger blends, which is sad.

(Note – for those on the carnivore diet, it still may not matter much. As “meals” are not considered entertainment – but rather “refueling sessions.” We are still happy eating ordinary run-of-the-mill grocery store ground beef without the accolades or special labels. You know, such as free range, or Kobe, or Angus, you name it. The composition of the meat, combined with the low-carb levels is more than enough – and we’re on to living life quickly after eating. We still enjoy becoming satiated and not negatively impacting our health. So if you’re on a budget, the $1.79 a pound ALDI 73% ground beef is a great value that still hits the mark regarding consumption.)

In the end – all tastes are subjective – and this was our pragmatic viewpoint.

We truly think it’s a waste of money to spend top dollar for premium meat if you’re eating loaded burgers or making other recipes. But you will certainly notice the difference more if you eat the meat alone. Whether that “taste experience” is worth it – is up to you (and your wallet!)

When meat quality matters (or doesn't)

Schweid & Sons are our 2nd choice if they don’t have the Pat Lafrieda, or if they’re on sale.

About the author

NJroute22

NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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