How to Make a Good Soy Burger

Being vegetarian, I’ve eaten quite my fair share of soy burgers over the years. I’ve had pretty much every major brand you can think of, as well as a variety of hand-crafted burgers from vegetarian restaurants. Unfortunately, as much as I love vegetarian cuisine, the soy burger is just something that most people don’t get right. It’s either too dry and crumbles apart, or it gets so wet and moist that it feels slimy in your mouth. If you’re lucky and that doesn’t happen, sometimes the particular brand you’ve chosen just tastes nasty. It looks delicious on the outside, but once you’ve gotten that first bite in you’ll realize this soy burger isn’t getting delicious anytime soon.

Just as there are a wide range of burger brands and styles, the same holds true with soy burgers. There are three main makers of soy burgers that most of you are probably familiar with. The infamous Boca Burger, Amy’s, and Morningstar Farms.

I personally find most Boca Burgers to be pretty bad, as they carry such a strong taste, it’s hard to really enjoy what you’re eating. They have a tendency to get wet and slimy, not to mention they sometimes carry a pretty big stench with them. Overall I’d give them a 4/10

Amy’s soy burgers are usually pretty delicious, even if you put nothing else on them. The Texas barbecue flavor in particular really hits the spot, and the only issue you have to worry about with these is that they may get soggy if cooked incorrectly. 7/10

Morningstar Farms also knows how to make a pretty good soy burger, especially their Grillers selections. The Grillers Prime has a great flavor and texture as well. Because of the way they package it, it doesn’t come out wet or slimy, and it’s easy to incorporate into most meals. 8/10

I know there are other makers of soy burgers too, but these three are pretty much universal, and shouldn’t be hard to find at your local grocery store.

So that leaves us with the question of how do we cook these things?

As tempting as it may be to throw a soy burger right on top of the grill, that’s usually not the wisest move. Grilling soy burgers is really an art, and unless it’s something your confident in doing, 90% of the time, because of the extreme heat on the grill, your soy burger will end up drying out. It will LOOK tasty on the outside, but as soon as you take that first bite you’ll regret your actions. I’d recommend trying other methods first, and once you’ve gotten an idea of how you like your soy burger to taste, then perhaps moving it over to the grill.

The second method is frying it using a skillet. You’ll have to use some sort of oil or non-stick product on the skillet to prevent your burger from sticking and creating a mess, as soy burgers don’t contain all the fat and grease that real burgers do. Depending on the burger, you’ll usually cook it on medium heat for about 7-9 minutes, flipping occasionally. If you’re not a fan of the microwave, this is the way to go, as it’s much more user friendly than the grill is, allowing for burgers to come out less soggy than if they were in the microwave.

Finally, the microwave represents the easiest option for cooking your soy burgers, and to be truthful, sometimes yields the best results too. The only thing I stress is… If your soy burgers have any bits of ice on them, shake that off before cooking them. If you leave those little bits of ice on the soy burger when you go to cook it, it’s going to get extremely wet and slimy. Nothing worse than a soggy soy burger.

-Rodeo Burger-
This burger is delicious, and probably my favorite soy burger of all time. I can eat them around the clock they’re so good, and they really don’t take long to make at all.

You will need:

– Soy burger (Recommended: Morningstar Grillers Prime or Amy’s Texas Barbecue)
– Barbecue sauce (Recommended: KC Masterpiece)
– Onion Straws
– Lettuce
– Tomato (optional)
– Pepperjack cheese
– Bun

1) First put the onion straws in the oven, these take about 20 minutes to cook. (make sure you have enough to not only put on your burger, but also to eat by themselves. Yes, they’re that good.)
2) With the onion straws done, I recommended microwaving one soy burger patty, although you can also cook one on a skillet too.
3) Put the burger inside the bun, the cheese directly on top of the burger, the onion straws on top of the cheese, and the lettuce on top of the onion straws! You can then either put the bbq sauce on top of the lettuce inside the burger, or you can pour it off to the side, dipping your burger inside of it. Don’t forget the tomato if you decided to add one of those also.

This soy burger tastes so delicious, I’m pretty confident that once you’ve had one, seen how easy they are, and then seen how delicious they turn out, you’ll want to make them a staple of your diet.

-Cheddar Burger-
This soy burger is extremely delicious and easy to make on the fly, requiring almost no time at all.

You will need:

– Soy burger
– Cheddar cheese
– Lettuce
– Bun
– Ketchup / Mustard

1) For this particular burger, I like to use either Amy’s All-American Soy Burgers, or Morningstar Farms Grillers Prime. Heat the patty in either the microwave or on the stove using a skillet. Either method is fine for the Cheddar Burger
2) Simply place the soy burger inside of the bun, put the cheese and lettuce on top, add your choice of condiments (I find ketchup works best) and you’re good to go!

The burger is out and done so quick, you can make one when you’re in a hurry almost any time of the day.

-All-American Flame Grilled Burger-
I know that just because I’ve recommended against cooking a soy burger on the grill, that many of you are still going to try it. It’s human nature, you’re going to attempt it yourself regardless of what others tell you until you’ve learned that lesson first hand. If you’re going to attempt it, you may as well do it right. A soy burger on the grill is no easy task, BUT, if you can pull it off you’ll find yourself well rewarded.

1) I think Morningstar Farms Grillers Prime soy burgers are the best burgers to grill. Wait until the grill is nice and hot before dropping your burger on, as it’s easiest to time this way. Because these are soy burgers, you can’t simply tell when it’s done just by looking at it; it requires a sort of sixth sense.
2) Generally most soy burgers take about 7-9 minutes to grill, although sometimes it can be much, much less than that. Some grill as quick as 3-4 minutes, and some may finish even shorter. Look at the box the soy burger came in to get a general estimate.
3) The easiest way to tell if the soy burger is done is to lightly touch it if you can. It should feel pretty hot, but it shouldn’t be completely dry. Also, when you poke it, if it begins to feel like a piece of dried toast then you’ve gone too far, this soy burger is no longer going to taste good. It should be pretty firm, but you should still be able to easily stick a fork through it.

Aside from that, it’s really something you’re going to have to practice with time and time again. Depending on the brand and how hot your grill gets, the times will vary for each person, so there’s no one-size fits all cooking time I can give you. You’ll also notice that I left out specific toppings, and that’s because when cooking the All-American Flame Grilled Burger, the effort really comes from actually cooking it, not what you decide to put on top. Personally, if you can get one of these soy burgers to come out pretty well then I recommend using it on the Rodeo Burger.

Soy burgers are delicious, and it usually takes some trial and error before you’ve found one that you enjoy and can easily cook. Aside from everything above, my best advice to you is to simply experiment. You’ll never know what type of soy burger you’ll run into and love, so keep trying until you find one that you like, even if the first few tries don’t turn out so hot.

With that being said: good luck and have fun with it! A delicious soy burger is certainly a rewarding experience in its own.