Burger chain customers have become an ever more discerning group, and with good reason, too: burger fans have a good number of chains from which to choose these days. And many popular fast-food (and fast-casual) burger chains these days are serving burgers that rival the offerings once only found in sit-down restaurants, including using fresh instead of frozen beef.
Many chains these days tout the use of fresh ground beef and some are even preparing burger patties in the restaurant itself.
On the other hand, a lot of other fast-food burger joints have yet to get on the fresh meat wagon train. They may try to distract you from that fact using language like “freshly prepared,” “charbroiled,” or “made to order,” but none of that implies the meat didn’t arrive at the location frozen solid, which it does indeed at these chains.
Are Burger King’s burgers really kissed by flame as you see in those commercials? Well, sort of: they do go through flaming hot broilers and the grill marks seared into the patties are real. But are they cooked using fresh meat? Nope. Per Business Insider, those burgers are made from patties delivered to the restaurant frozen solid.
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Many people love the burgers at Carl’s Jr. and are all about the seemingly upscale options like the “Steakhouse Angus Thickburger” or the “Big Carl.” But no matter which burger you choose from the chain, it will have started off as a frozen patty that was then passed through a charbroiler, per a former restaurant manager who dished via Quora.
The ice cream and shakes aren’t the only things that are frozen at Dairy Queen. Despite all the fresh and juicy language DQ uses to describe its burgers—”savory real beef patties” and “juicy cheeseburger” and such, e.g.—DQ burgers are cooked from a frozen state. And according to former DQ workers sharing on Quora, they are then stored in a warming tray until needed for an order.
Jack in the Box may want you to think that its menu is available all day, every day, and made fresh to order no matter the hour, but the burgers hardly start off as fresh. According to an employee of the chain sharing via Reddit: “Everything is frozen, so there really isn’t anything that’s ‘fresh,’ unless you count the salads but the chicken that goes into it is frozen.”
To most people, it’s no surprise that the biggest burger chain of them all uses frozen beef patties. But some people may be shocked by the revelation, and those are the people taken in by McDonald’s recent touting of the fresh, never-frozen beef used to make its Quarter Pounders—except in Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. Territories. Per Eater, in 2020 McD’s switched to fresh beef for these burgers alone, and they touted the fresh Quarter Pounders vociferously. While nothing had changed about the other burgers, which are prepped from frozen patties, perhaps, the chain hoped there would be a halo effect making many believe all the meat was fresh without McDonald’s having made that claim.
Wendy’s (Some Locations)
Wait, what’s the deal, you wonder? Isn’t Wendy’s the burger chain that works the slogan “fresh, never frozen” into its copy at every possible chance? Well, yes, Wendy’s does make that claim a lot. But note the little statement marked with an asterisk at the bottom of one of the pages on their site—it reads: “Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada.” So Wendy’s diners in Hawaii or enjoying the eats at overseas locations don’t get “fresh, never frozen” burgers after all.
This content was originally published here.