The big picture: Meat-free burgers are said to look, cook and satisfy like beef but without the harmful effects associated with animal-based meat products. The true test for most, however, will be in the category of taste.
Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat has partnered with Carl’s Jr. to bring its animal-free creation to more than 1,000 fast food locations across the country.
The quarter-pound Beyond Burger patty is the featured attraction of the Beyond Famous Star, a plant-based version of Carl’s Jr.’s most iconic burger. It’s cooked top-to-bottom using an open flame in the restaurant’s char broiler, a technique that Carl’s Jr. says helps lock the flavor in.
The standard-issue Beyond Famous Star comes with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, sliced onions, dill pickles, mayonnaise and special sauce on a sesame seed bun. If you want a true plant-based option, order it without cheese and mayo.
The partnership makes Beyond Burger far more accessible. Up to this point, perhaps the easiest way to secure a meat-free burger was to pick some up at Whole Foods or try one from rival Impossible Foods. Those burgers, which the FDA said was safe to eat last summer, can be found at select Fatburger, Hopdoddy, Umami Burger, The Counter and White Castle restaurants across the US.
Why opt for a meatless burger? According to Beyond Meat, plant-based meat is better for human health, positively impacts climate change, addresses global resource constraints and improves animal welfare.