Many people love Beyond Meat burgers and sausage links, and their great flavor has also converted many meat-eaters to plant-based foods.
For people who are accustomed to cooking traditional beef burgers, there can be questions about whether Beyond Meat can be prepared like beef.
For example, can you eat Beyond Meat burgers medium rare or rare? Or can you eat Beyond Meat raw or undercooked?
The Beyond Meat company specifically instructs users to not eat their products raw.
If Beyond Meat is fresh from the unopened package and has been stored properly, there is probably minimal health risk from eating it raw or undercooked.
However, raw Beyond Meat products taste terrible and are difficult to digest. So, although you probably can eat Beyond Meat raw, you shouldn’t.
Read on to learn more.
Does Beyond Meat Need to be Cooked?
Beyond Meat products need to be cooked before you eat them.
The Beyond Meat company has a wide and growing range of products, and each has different instructions for how to cook it properly, but all of them need to be cooked.
Beyond Meat products should not be eaten undercooked or raw.
What Happens if You Eat Beyond Meat Raw?
While Beyond Meat products do not pose the same risks of bacteria and contamination as many animal-based products, some risks come from eating Beyond Meat products raw.
Here are the main reasons not to eat Beyond Meat raw.
Bacteria and Pathogens
Plant-based foods do not harbor the same bacteria and pathogens as animal-based foods, but there is still the risk of some food-borne bacteria that can make you sick.
As with animal-based meat, cooking Beyond Meat products as recommended kills unhealthy bacteria that may be present in the food.
Cooking Beyond Meat products as recommended develops the intended flavor and texture.
Because these foods have been developed through food science research, they have been designed to be packaged, stored, and cooked in a specific way to produce the desired flavor and texture.
Raw Beyond Meat products do not taste good and don’t have the intended texture.
Most plants and plant-based products are easier to digest when they are cooked.
Cooking Beyond Meat products improves your ability to digest them and access all the nutrients.
How to Tell if Beyond Meat is Cooked
Beyond Meat products should always be cooked according to the package instructions.
Beyond Meat’s ground meat alternative products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, but specific products have different recommended preparation methods and internal temperatures.
The best way to tell if your Beyond Meat is cooked is to use a meat thermometer and ensure it is adequately cooked all the way through.
Beyond Meat’s beef alternative product is designed to remain pink on the inside and brown on the outside, so it visually resembles a beef patty when cooked.
However, it will remain pink inside regardless of the temperature, so a thermometer is the best way to ensure the food is cooked correctly.
Tips for Cooking Beyond Meat and Beyond Burgers
Follow these tips to cook the most delicious Beyond Burgers and Beyond Meat.
Thaw Before Cooking
It is possible to cook Beyond Burgers from frozen by simply extending the cooking time, but the burgers will brown better and be more flavorful if cooked after thawing.
Thaw Beyond Beef in the fridge for up to 12 hours before cooking.
Use the Proper Cooking Method
Beyond Meat’s chicken tenders are their only product that’s microwave and air-fryer-friendly.
For all other Beyond Meat products, avoid microwaving, deep frying, air frying, or boiling them.
These cooking methods don’t create the correct texture and won’t cook them properly.
For Beyond Burgers and other Beyond Meat products, here’s a rundown of cooking methods:
You can cook Beyond Meat products in the oven, and they will have the correct color, texture, and flavor.
Skillet or Stovetop
You can also cook Beyond Meat products in a skillet or griddle on the stovetop.
This is the second-best way to prepare a Beyond Burger.
As you may expect, Beyond Burgers, and other Beyond Meat products like brats and sausages, taste best when prepared on the grill.
The grill imparts an additional smoky flavor, along with the grill marks and the appearance that makes them even more appealing.
Beyond Burgers can be cooked in a non-stick skillet or grill, but they are more prone to sticking than a traditional beef burger.
Prepping your pan or grill with a thin layer of high-smoke point oil like canola or peanut oil helps to keep a Beyond Burger from sticking or crumbling as it cooks.
Beyond Burgers have a more fragile structure than beef burgers, so it’s best to avoid flipping them repeatedly.
Instead, cook on one side for 3-4 minutes (until the desired color is achieved), then flip the burger and cook 3-4 minutes on the remaining side until it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F
Turn With a Spatula
Beyond Meat has a more delicate texture than traditional beef, so use a spatula and turn them carefully, rather than flipping with a fork, tongs, or other implement.
Season Before Cooking
Add salt and pepper to taste on each side of the burger before cooking.
Even though Beyond Burgers have a slightly more delicate texture and remain pink inside regardless of temperature, cooking these burgers and other Beyond Meats is very similar to cooking animal-based meats.
The grill is always the best way to promote great flavor, but they can also be cooked on a griddle or a stovetop inside.
Pre-heat to medium-high, lightly grease the pan or grill grates, and enjoy the sizzle when your Beyond Burger hits the pan.
Cook entirely on one side and only turn once, and you’ll have a great burger that will satisfy any appetite and may even fool your meat-loving friends.
The most important thing to take note of here is that Beyond Meat cannot be eaten raw.
If you do eat it raw, you run the risk of getting sick due to bacteria.
Even if you don’t get sick from the bacteria, uncooked Beyond Meat can still give you an upset stomach, not to mention that it just won’t taste good either.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to prepare Beyond Meat for the best flavor, so try your hand at it and see what you can create!