Monday, May 20, 2013

A hamburger throw down! Fast, frozen and homemade!

Hamburgers come to us in many ways; they can be made by hand, purchased premade and frozen, or bought at a fast food joint of which there are quite a few here in Forsyth Missouri. And, that go me to thinking... Just what was the cost and caloric impact of the three sources when compared to the overall taste? I decided I was just the man for the job!

Here were my ground rules for this meaty comparison. First off, I decided on comparing a simple cheeseburger, you know, something you might easily make at home and which would employ; 1) regular buns, 2) about 80 grams of meat, 3) a slice of American cheese and 4) standard condiments like onion, lettuce, ketchup and mustard. Sounds yummy to me!

The sources of my burgers for this test was to be McDonald's for the fast food candidate and a local grocery store for both the frozen patties and a package of raw ground beef. (I already had some cheese on hand). The frozen patty I chose was a precooked 73 gram offering from the folks at Hillshire people called Ball Park Flame Grilled patties, while the ground beef came out a package from the meat department. Let the burger battles begin!

Contestant #1 – McDonald's cheeseburger!
Where's da beef?

Calories: 300
Cost: $1.00
Taste: 9

Hochimama! What a meal deal and only 300 calories to boot! How in God's name do they do it? Add a medium fry and you'd have a great lunch that came in at $2.80 (after taxes) for about 680 calories! (A doable meal for us dieters assuming we exercise for about 40 minutes that day, so as to knock off 200 or so calories).

Contestant #2 – Ball Park's frozen patty cheeseburger!
Calories: 455
Cost: $1.15
Taste: 7

For this burger, I utilized standard hamburger buns (130 calories), a 73 gram frozen hamburger patty (230 calories) and a slice of American cheese (95 calories). Note to self: I still cannot figure out how McDonald's can keep their calorie count so damn low?? (That will be a subject for a future post. In the meantime, my suspicion is that there is almost no beef ).

The frozen patty was nuked in the microwave for a few minutes and the buns were toasted by placing them on top of a toaster (my unique trick). The cheese was added during the last 20 seconds of the microwave cooking cycle.

Contestant #3 – My homemade cheeseburger!

Calories: 323
Cost: $1.12
Taste: 8

Nothing, and I mean nothing beats a homemade burger fresh off the grill! (When I made this burger, I was so hungry, I forgot all about the cheese)! Coming in at about 100 grams of cooked beef, this burger was almost too much for its bun! So, why did I score it below McDonald's - 1) its slightly more expensive and 2) you just cannot compete with whatever it is that the Big M puts in their products!

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