Is pork good enough to use for a burger? Here we will talk about the experience of eating a pork burger when compared to the traditional beef burger. We will also discuss what it is like to cook grounded pork for making a burger. From our experience, eating a pork burger vs a beef burger has been a completely different experience. Neither of them really show any significant similarities in their taste, texture, or cooking.
First off, if you are going to cook a pork burger from ground pork, then try to get the ground pork that has the most fat. This is the most flavorful ground pork to use for burgers, plus, it is only right to use this type when making a fair comparison between beef and pork burgers. The pork burger that you see that we cooked and made from the picture provided, was 15% fat. It is the highest fat ground pork that we could find locally.
For our beef burgers, we use 20% fat ground beef, which to us, is the best for making flavorful good textured burgers.
For the cooking of beef burgers, they usually begin to bleed out their juices as they cook, making a fatty mess all on the grill. However, when cooking the pork patties to make a burger, the pork didn’t do this. It was a lot cleaner of an experience for cooking the pork patty over the beef patty. As the pork patty cooked, it did begin to bleed out some of its juices eventually, but did it drastically less than beef.
So, if you are looking for a cleaner cooking experience that doesn’t get grease everywhere, then pork is better than beef for burgers. If a high enough temperature is used (we used the same that we would for beef, 375 degrees Fahrenheit), then the juices in the pork patty basically cook almost as soon as they begin to bleed from the patty. They solidify when they come in contact with the heat.
This made it easy to cook the pork patty, and it was also easier to tell when the burger was fully cooked when eyeballing it. We would recommend cooking pork patties for burgers over beef patties if you struggle with beef burgers ending up pink in the middle after cooking them.
Neither type of burger is immune to shrinking or puffing up, but the pork patty had less shrinkage, and its juices remained more in the patty.
The texture for a high quality pork burger vs a high quality regular beef burger is also a lot different. For pork burgers, the texture of the burger when you bite into it is less chewy than a beef burger. Even if the meat is well cooked, it still has a texture that is better than most beef burgers. The pork is easy to chew, and takes less effort to break down than beef would.
The beef burger does make a more juicy burger, but the pork was also fairly juicy too. It wasn’t dry even when it was cooked for a longer period of time. So the pork has a little more leniency and flexibility when cooking it for awhile and avoiding the burger becoming dry while cooking. This is because the pork patty bleeds less of its juices out, as opposed to beef burger patties, which can bleed out much of its juices pretty fast when cooking.
For our experiment, we made sure to cook both types of burgers at the same temperature until they reached the safe to eat temperature internally. Then they were taken off the heat and served immediately.
The flavor of a beef burger vs a pork burger is admittedly better, but it is definitely not the same. The pork is definitely flavorful, but of course, it has a pork taste. It isn’t as strong as bacon, but it is still very prominent.
For our experiment for comparing the two, the two burgers were kept simple, with only salt as the seasoning and only meat and bread. This way we could taste the flavor of the meat better when comparing the two. The beef burger works better with the salt seasoning than the pork, however with other seasoning mixes, the pork was better.
The integrity of the pork patty at first when it is being cooked, seems to be more difficult to mash into a patty. This could be because the meat itself contained 5% less fat than the 80/20 ground beef. It isn’t too hard to mash the grounded pork meat together to form a burger patty from it, but it is easier to do from 80/20 ground beef.
The pork patty after it was finished cooking however, did have more integrity than the beef. It felt more dense and tougher on the surface, despite it being less tough and chewy when eaten. Both types of burgers seemed to still have trouble staying together if the intial patty wasn’t formed well from the meat once it was time to cook them.
A pork burger has good flavor, good texture, and good integrity, making it an excellent choice for burgers. It can be eaten and enjoyed without subconsciously criticizing any of its qualities if it is made and cooked correctly. It does well with simple seasoning, but better with seasoning that have many ingredients in them, especially if they are spices.
It isn’t as juicy as a beef burger and doesn’t have that same hamburger taste, but its distinct pork flavor isn’t off putting when made into a pork burger. A pork burger is better suited for versatile burgers for creativity, but can’t beat that all around general flavor of a 80/20 lean to fat beef burger.
A pork burger is definitely worth making, and has the potential to become a personal favorite meat to use for making burgers. For those struggling to cook well done burgers, pork is a great substitute that can hold up better than beef for longer cooking times in high heat.