For me, there is nothing better in the world than comfort food, and that includes the humble burger. Not any burger, mind you, but a homemade veggie burger with lashings of hummus or fresh guacamole.
You know that the veggie burger is done when its outside has a beautiful crispy golden coating, there is a distinctive crunch when you bite into it, the burger’s internal temperature is around 165°C, you’ve set the grill to medium heat and cooked the veggie burger for about five minutes per side.
There are a few fundamental rules and tips to follow for those wanting to cook a veggie burger. And for you cooks that make veggie burgers, some failsafe tips to help you cook the perfect burger.
The best way to cook veggie burgers on a stove is to
- Heat a grill pan over medium-low heat.
- Add a little oil and a couple of veggie patties to the pan.
- Cook the patties until heated through.
- The patties should be slightly firm and browned on both sides.
- Cook the patties for about four to six minutes on each side.
- The patties will be soft when flipping, so flip carefully.
- If any bits fall from the sides as you flip, press them back into the sides of the patty.
- Once you’ve finished cooking your burger patties, let them sit on the baking tray for a few minutes.
- Ideally, have a cooking thermometer on hand to check the inside temperature of the veggie patty.
- The temperature of the cooked patty should be between 165°C and 170°C.
If you cook plant-based burgers in the oven first
- Place burger patties into 360°F or 180°C pre-heated ovens.
- Cook the patties for 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- The patties will still be soft when flipping, so flip carefully.
- Once you’ve finished baking the veggie patties, let them sit on the baking tray for a few minutes.
Seven tips for grilling the perfect veggie burger
Personally, when making veggie burgers, I prefer to use a grill. The grill not only gives my patties great flavor but also fantastic texture.
- One kitchen tool that I do use when making burgers is a cooking thermometer.
- The cooking thermometer allows me to check on the patty’s internal temperature. When it hits 165°C, I know my burger is cooked and safe to eat.
- If you are using frozen veggie burgers, there is no need to thaw them first. The patties can go straight from the freezer to a hot grill.
- The cooking time of your burgers would be less if you thawed the patties out first.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat but don’t oil the grates.
- If your veggie patties are store-bought, check the package for grilling instructions and follow them. If no instructions are provided, cook your veggie patties for about 5 minutes per side.
- Flip your patties only once halfway through the cooking stage. Doing this will stop them from falling apart.
Can you cook veggie and plant-based burgers in a microwave?
If you do want to microwave your burger patty, you can.
- Microwave the patty on high for one minute thirty seconds, turning the patty over halfway through heating time.
- Again, check the burger’s internal temperature to see if the burger is cooked.
- It’s not advisable to microwave more than one patty at a time.
Must the patty of a veggie burger be cooked, or can you eat the patty raw?
- Despite no meat involved in a veggie burger, bacteria on the vegetables, mainly if they’re organic vegetables, still exists.
- Veggie burgers cooked to 165°C will kill any existing bacteria and bugs, making the burger safe to eat.
- So checking food temperature, especially that of veggie burgers, is important.
- Most times, the binding agent we use for veggie patties is the uncooked egg. Because the raw egg can contain salmonella, checking the internal temperature of the patty is important.
- Even with store-bought veggie patties, check the labeling to be safe.
- An undercooked patty is something you should try and avoid.
Can you get sick from a veggie burger if it’s not cooked right through?
- There’s a false belief that you cannot get food poisoning from vegetable or plant-based veggie burgers.
- The fact is, you can though the possibility of that happening is remote.
- As long as the vegetables you use are washed and cleaned correctly, the chances of getting food poisoning are small.
What happens if you eat an undercooked veggie burger?
- There is a very tiny chance of you getting salmonella or some other kind of food poisoning from an undercooked veggie burger.
- Also, if you’ve already eaten it, there’s not much you can do.
- Try to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your patties, mainly where raw ingredients have been used, and you won’t be disappointed.
Seven things you should know before cooking veggie burgers.
- How long do veggie burgers stay fresh in the freezer?
A veggie burger will stay fresh for up to 273 days in the freezer if frozen. When you cook the patty, it must reach 165°C on the inside to be cooked.
- Is there a difference between a veggie burger and a plant-based burger’s cooking time?
In cooking a traditional veggie burger and a plant-based burger, there is no material difference. Both types of veggie burgers inside need to reach 165°C for them to be cooked.
- How long can a veggie burger patty be stored before it’s no longer suitable to eat?
Veggie burgers can, after three days in the fridge, go off. An unopened package of veggie burgers will stay fresh for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. If frozen, they’re suitable for 273 days. But you’ll still need to check the patties before cooking them.
- How to tell if frozen veggie burgers are no longer suitable and should instead be discarded?
- Check for any dry spots or discoloration development on the patties. If there is, instead discard the patty.
- Freezer burn will compromise the veggie burger’s texture and taste even though they’re still safe to cook.
- If your frozen veggie has been at room temperature for more than two hours, discard the patty. Bacteria rapidly grow at temperatures between 40°C and 140°C.
- Can I refreeze veggie burgers once thawed?
The companies that produce veggie burgers do not recommend freezing the patties once they’ve been thawed. Instead, cook the patties, put them in the refrigerator, and eat them later.
- Are bought veggie burgers pre-cooked?
Most store-bought veggie burgers are pre-cooked. All have packaging that explains how to cook the burgers. By following these instructions, you won’t undercook the burger.
- Can I eat veggie burgers raw?
Technically you could eat veggie burgers raw, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The proteins in the veggie patties are not pleasant to eat raw. The protein becomes more palatable as they cook and thicken.
Five mistakes to avoid when making veggie burgers.
Making veggie burgers can be somewhat tricky and a little challenging. And cooking the perfect veggie burger becomes a little daunting.
Avoiding these five simple mistakes will get you the perfect burger every time.
- Don’t use only raw vegetables in the veggie burger. As the burger cooks, the vegetables release moisture, and you may end up with a mushy burger.
- Pre-cook the vegetables and then add them to the rest of the burger mix. Your veggie burger will hold its shape a lot better when flipping it.
Include rice and whole grains in your burger mixture but be sure to cook them first. If not, you’ll end up with an underdone veggie burger.
- You need a binder to hold your burger in place. Anything from wheat germ, breadcrumbs, oats, or raw egg will do.
- Without a binder, your patty will fall apart the minute it hits the grill or pan.
- You’ll never then be able to tell if your burger is cooked through.
- Don’t make your veggie burger mixture too wet. Nobody enjoys a mushy burger.
- Mixing the veggie burger ingredients makes the mixture slightly stiff and holds the burger together a lot easier.
Not checking the internal temperature of your burger. The burger should be warm to hot and not cold inside.
- Veggie burgers go bad like any food product if left unattended.
- You can freeze veggie burgers for 273 days.
- Thawed burgers are good for ten days in the fridge unopened.
- Once you open the veggie burger package, consume the burgers within three days.
- It’s advisable to check the temperature of your veggie burger before eating it.