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Posts Tagged ‘Heat & Eat’

Home Cookin’ Test – Extra Value Frozen Beef Patties

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I’ve  reviewed a lot of these frozen patties, and to date, I’ve liked Ball Park brand the most, even though they are a ‘heat and eat’ product, not a raw patty.

Extra Value is an economy brand, manufactured by the Holten Meat Company, outside of St. Louis.

20130518_074809I bought a package of a dozen quarter pounders, and out of the box, they look like the pictures on the left.

They require a medium  heat cook, for a few minutes on each side.  Usually the instructions for frozen patties say to cook on one side, until ‘blood’ runs from the top of the patty, and then flip for a couple minutes.

I followed a similar regimen with this product.

The ingredient list reads:  beef, beef hearts, water, textured vegetable protein, seasoning, MSG, sugar, salt.

I wasn’t put off by the hearts, but I was curious about  the vegetable protein.  Vegetable protein is a “meat analogue”, which according to Wikipedia, is  also called a meat substitutemock meatfaux meat or imitation meat, approximates certain aesthetic qualities (primarily texture, flavor and appearance) and/or chemical characteristics of specific types of meat. Many analogues are soy-based.

And it’s that textured vegetable protein where the Extra Value patties fall apart, both literally and figuratively.

While the general “flavor” of a beef patty is present, the expected texture of cooked ground meat is completely lacking.

The texture while cutting, chewing, is more akin to the vegetarian patties I’ve had.  It doesn’t really ‘cut’, it crumbles.

And for me, that’s a deal killer.  Here’s what the end product looks like:

extravalue2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Value Frozen Beef Patties

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7-Eleven “Fresh to Go” Cheeseburger Review

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7-Eleven Fresh to Go CheeseburgerI’ve reviewed a lot of heat and eat burgers this year, and although I’ve had them from 7-Eleven before,  my past bites were generally a “brand name”, like the Big A, from the Chef Pierre company in Cleveland, a big supplier to mini-marts, schools, food service, the military.

This is the first one I’ve had with the 7-Eleven brand on it; the company has been offering more of their own branded product over the past couple years, and why not?  Cheaper to make, higher profit margin.   It’s official moniker?  “Seasoned chopped beef steak with cheese on a bun.”

I have griped in the past that 7-Eleven needed to update their packaging for those of us who chose to “Fresh to Go” at home.  The heating instructions formally included the standard “press button 3 for…”, to correspond with in-store microwaves.  “7-Eleven,” I cried, ‘tell us how long to cook it at home,”  and apparently they heard me, as packaging now includes these instructions.

Packaging gives no clue as to who makes these for 7-Eleven.  Apparently since they are “finished product”, they don’t have to have a USDA plant number emblazoned on them.

(But I’ll find out and let you know).

Instructions called for 50 seconds on high in the nuke chamber, I went with a full minute to compensate for an aging microwave.   The sandwich was heated through at that (it is on the shelves thawed, but probably shipped frozen).

The taste and texture were fine, as was the price ($2.49 for 6.7 ounces, or about .37 per ounce.  The bun tastes fresh enough, and the whole patty experience was reminiscent to the Ball Park brand burgers I tested a couple weeks ago.  Kind of a “built in grilled seasoning.”

As it comes on a bun, of course this is a no-no for the gluten free followers.   And I would venture a guess it doesn’t approach “all natural” either, as the ingredients list for the patty, bun, and cheese runs to over 40 separate ingredients.

Would I buy it again?  Sure, and you know why.  I am a burger whore.

Side dish?  7-Eleven Select Brand Kettle Style (Original) chips.  Made in the USA.  No idea where.

7-Eleven Fresh to Go Cheeseburger

7-Eleven Fresh to Go Cheeseburger

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