I won’t lie. The $10.99 price on this package made me wince as I lowered it from shelf to grocery cart. This new ground beef substitute from Beyond Meat is packaged just like regular ground beef, right down to the 1lb block styled format. And $10.99 per pound is a huge price. I’ll concede an extra dollar or two might be my own local grocery store’s higher prices, but let’s put this into context, regular ground beef is less than half this price.
Regardless, I’m a fan of the Beyond Sausages (still marred by equally crazy pricing) and Beyond Burgers so wanted to see how this brand new product would shape up.
First things first, as I say, it’s packaged just like real beef; and it looks remarkably like the real stuff. Well, maybe the cheaper stuff that’s been on the shelf a while and oxygenated. It runs a little greyer than fresh, ruby red beef:
Once you open the package, there’s no way to reseal it, and the packaging encourages you to eat within three days. For my first adventure with Beyond Beef, I decided to try out a small plate of Tex-Mex items, and also some tacos for good measure.
The packaging notes you only need to cook for 5-8 minutes in the pan, if you’re going for a taco/ground beef approach. This seemed fairly accurate to me, and indeed, any more you’d certainly risk overcooking. I had some leftover scraps in my pan after cooking and these really tightened up and toughened – unpleasantly so. Don’t over cook this at all for best results.
One interesting feature of this product is that the meat is fairly malleable in the early stages of cooking. You can smush it together to form burgers and meatballs and whatever else you can dream – but as it cooks – it quickly starts to solidify and bind together. If you’re making ground beef, you’ll want to break the meat down into small pieces quickly, as towards the end of the cooking process, the meat won’t easily break down as it toughens up.
So here’s the first plate of this initial testing. Served up with home made guac, pico, cilantro-ranch sauce and black beans with a little cheese.
As you might expect, the product tastes exactly like Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, and has the same unmistakeable aroma. I seasoned fairly liberally with my mix of spices in the pictures above and below. I did eventually manage to tame the flavor somewhat. It was still a definitive component of the final dish.
To be honest, I’d much rather use a product like MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumblers in a dish like this. They have a far less assertive flavor and take on items like taco seasonings much better. Moreover, and here’s the kicker for me, they’re usually a third of the price.
I can see that this product might have some unique applications; anything where a fresh product needs moulding into shape – this would excel at. I’m pondering maybe making some Indian kofta soon – I bet this would be great. For meatballs though, I’d just use Gardein’s already fab product, and for burgers, just go and pick Beyond’s premade patties.
So for now, I have to give this product a relatively average rating. The high price coupled with niche utility means it’ll be an unlikely product in my refrigerator for the time being. When we get to $5/lb lets talk again…
Beyond Meat Beyond Beef nutrition, ingredients, cooking instructions
More Beyond products and dishes
- Beyond Chicken Plant-Based Tenders
- Beyond Breakfast Sausage Links review
- Beyond Meatballs – a top quality plant-based option
- Beyond Burger with mushrooms, Swiss and sweet potato fries
- Mushroom and Swiss burger
- Beyond Breakfast Sausage review
- Teriyaki mushroom and egg burger
- Spaghetti with vegan sausage
- Review: Beyond Meat Beyond Beef
- Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles
- Review: The Beyond Sausage – Original
- The Beyond Sausage Hot Italian – updated 2022 review
- The Beyond Burger review – updated for 2020
Is Beyond Meat Beyond Beef good?
This is an interesting new product from Beyond Meat, but at the current price point, has limited application. For burgers, just use their own burger product, and for a basic ground meat substitute it’s quite expensive – and bettered by the likes of Morningstar. For more unique dishes like meatballs, kofta, some might find utility though.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC – Utah’s biggest and oldest online food magazine; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. I started Shop Smart to catalogue my adventures in the grocery store and kitchen. Follow along on Instagram too!