The essential vegan guide to summer grilling: burgers, brats, ribz and more
Have you ever dusted off your grill? We take every opportunity to go out this summer, and that includes plenty of plant-based ready meals. The mouthwatering innovations in plant-based meat continue to draw us in year after year, and it’s high time to put on that ‘Kiss the Vegan Cook’ apron and grill! From vegan ribs to bratwurst sausages, here is your complete guide to vegan grilling this summer.
1. Tofurky vegetable burgers
The original Tofurky has come a long way from its humble hippie beginnings in 1995. The brand now competes in the plant-based burger space, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Soy and seitan patties are juicy, toast and contain 19 grams of potent protein. Recreate a take-home vegan version of a classic McDonald’s burger by topping it with ketchup, mustard, a few pickles, diced raw onions and sandwiching it on a sesame seed bun.
2. Burgerlords Vegan Burger Patties
New York City has Burger Superiority, and Los Angeles has Burgerlords. The popular (and now fully vegan) burger restaurant has eight and twelve packs of their popular patties on Goldbelly. Made with barley, mushrooms, miso, vegetables and kombu, this patty is eaten like a burger but is not as meaty as an Impossible or Beyond Burger. For many, this is the perfect compromise between quite real and too real.
Chef Tanya’s kitchen
3. Chef Tanya’s BBQ Ribz cuisine
After Tanya Petrovna walks away from her first big business – the fast and relaxed vegan chain Indigenous foods– she traveled to the Californian desert and created her own cafe of the same name. She’s served the Palm Springs community for years with her amazing deli salads, vibrant bowls and epic sandwiches. Last year, she launched the nationwide expedition of her insanely good vegan meats, and Ribz BBQs are great for grilling. We love pairing them with a side of collard greens and homemade or store-bought mac and cheese.
4. Herbivorous Butcher Summer Grill Pack
The original vegan butcher’s shop provides our summer with toasted protein that we haven’t yet found elsewhere. Complete with four bacon bits, four Mesquite BBQ ribs, a 10-ounce flank steak and a 14-ounce Chicken 2.0, this collection is perfect for a large family barbecue or al fresco dining. Cooking for one? Discover the option of ordering online à la carte.
I can you can vegan
5. Alpha Chik’n and Original Beef Burgers
You can grill a lot more than burgers and kids, and this juicy chik’n patty proves it. The breadcrumbs crunch nicely on the grill, leaving Instagram-worthy smears of charcoal. Serve it simply with lettuce, mayonnaise and a thick slice of steak tomato. Pick up some of the original beef burgers for a more traditional burger night.
6. Lightlife Bratwurst Sausages
The same company that brought us Smart Dogs has made a serious comeback with these meaty kids. While we love a classic Smart Dog, we admit it doesn’t quite pass for an authentic meat substitute – at least not by 2021 standards. The new bratwurst have redefined the brand. The texture, flavor, and cliché reproduce its meat-based analogue exceptionally well. Fill it with mustard and grilled onions or a bunch of sauerkraut – those ties can take it.
7. Bacon Prime Roots
What’s better than bacon? Grilled bacon. If you’re obsessed with Tabitha Brown’s famous Whole Foods TTLA, you’ll go for a homemade version made with this crispy accessory. This exclusively online business started with bacon as the only product in 2020, but has since expanded to meal kits, mac and cheese, pasta and more. While we’re fans of the new products, we always check with a slice of Prime Roots bacon. Try it, you will understand.
Plants & Progress by Misha
8. Trader Joe’s protein patties
These pea protein patties caused quite a stir when they debuted in January 2020, and early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Unlike most veggie burgers, these chunky patties resist the grill and can take char without falling apart. In a pinch, Trader Joe’s has become our one stop shop for all of our grilling products.
Upton’s natural products
9. Upton Bar-B-Que Jacquier
This meat isn’t meant for the grill (unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning it up), but this sweet-sticky, smoked pulled pork replica is a wonderful addition to grilled onions and toasted buns. Get charcoal on these veggies, then stack them on the jackfruit!
10. Sausage with apple and sage, smoked in the field
The flavor is what really brings us back to those hearty ties. Made with apples and sage, they offer a complex taste that most kids lack. The slight smoky flavor is amplified when grilled, resulting in a sausage that doesn’t even need a garnish. We like to eat them with a side of sauerkraut and Spaetzle.
Kiren Milan Deraj
10. The Very Good Butcher Very Good Box
If you’re only cooking for one or two, this box will last you all summer. The collection includes a pack of Very Good Burgers, Smokin ‘Burgers, Very British Bangers, Smokin’ Bangers, Very Good Taco Stuff’er and Pepperoni. If you’re looking for a less processed meat option, the company name can be trusted. Low-ingredient foods are prepared with whole foods such as mushrooms, jackfruit, wheat gluten, spices, and beets.
11. Impossible Burgers
These patties do not need to be presented. Impossible Foods products have been flying off grocery store shelves and restaurant menus at an unrelenting rate. Impossible fans, you know who you are, and you can bet you already have those beefy burgers in the fridge, waiting and ready to grill.
12. Ozo Smokehouse Burgers
There is the grill, and then there is the smoking. If you don’t like the hour-long process it takes to successfully smoke vegan meat, these frozen applewood flavored patties are a practical solution. Fire up a few on the grill for that smoky flavor in under 15 minutes.
Chocolate and cheese please
13. Giant Vegan Hot Dogs from Sweet Earth
Here’s the biggest selling point: These new vegan hot dogs are 23% bigger than any other vegan hot dog on the market. Yes please. They stand up to the grill and pretty much any toppings you stack on top of. Be warned: you may need to use a knife and fork.
Madison Vegan Eats
14. Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Burger
The makers of fish-free fish fingers and pork-free sausage recently released their meatiest creation yet, the ultimate plant-based burger. Unlike its falafel and black bean patties, this burger stands up to the heat of the grill. Find it in the frozen aisle among other Gardein favorites.
15. Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
We can’t go a summer without toasting a few Beyond Burgers. It’s a delicious exercise to try new patties, but we’ll never go without the brand that catapulted the veggie burger into something that could rightfully be considered “beefy”. We don’t have to tell you how to dress this burger – you top it the way you like it.
Tanya flink is a digital editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, California.
Photo credit: Beyond meat
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