April 25, 2013
New Product Review
Johnsonville Grillers - Cheddar Cheese & Bacon and Swiss Cheese and Mushroom "Burger Patties"
Johnsonville has a new product line out called "Johnsonville Grillers." Basically these are pre-made pork "burger" patties that come loaded with a considerable amount of flavor. I was a little skeptical at first since I'm all about making my own handmade burgers. This is because the pre-made frozen burger patties in the store just aren't that good. Well these are a little different. Check this out.
2015 Update: Most readers seem to HATE this new product. I didn't mind it and was able to grill up quite a few batches with no complaint. But you might want to read the comments section below prior to buying. I think the key here is that you need to grill them over low heat or you can end up with a charred hockey puck.
Swiss Cheese and Mushroom
I sampled two flavors of the Grillers burger patties. The first was the Swiss Cheese and Mushroom. These come in 1/3 lb patties. There are 6 in a box. These are pork burgers, which I think is pretty unique. When I first saw "swiss cheese and mushroom" written on the box I was a bit disappointed. I dislike mushrooms. For real. Take a look at the recipes over to the right and you'll notice there are none with mushrooms! But, what the hell? Johnsonville has never let me down before, so I figured I'd start here. I grilled the patties and sampled them plain on a homemade burger bun (I love making homemade bread). The first thing I noticed was that these are loaded with swiss cheese. They weren't shy with incorporating the swiss cheese in these patties. In fact, you can see the cheese chunks oozing out. Also, there is a good bit of mushroom flavor in the patties and this works well. Here I dislike mushrooms and I think this is the best pre-made patty I've ever had. I'm not just saying that. This is really a tasty pork burger with a really nice flavor combination.
Cheddar Cheese and Bacon
The next one I tested out was the cheddar cheese and bacon. As with the swiss cheese burger, you could really see the cheddar cheese chunks incorporated within the patty. That's pretty cool. My only gripe with this product is that I really didn't notice too much bacon flavor. I would have liked to have seen chunks of bacon all throughout. I did note a nice smoke flavor which complemented the cheddar cheese and pork very well. This was also a really tasty burger. I can picture this burger topped with typical burger condiments like mustard, ketchup and pickles. That would be really good.
How to grill Johnsonville Grillers Pork Burger Patties
I was a little surprised to see the grilling instructions on the back of the box. It says to grill frozen patties over low heat for 15-18 minutes. Normally I grill burgers over medium or medium high heat. However, these come frozen so that changes things a bit. If you were to grill them over a high heat you'd have a burnt outside and a raw inside. No worries. The low heat instructions actually make these very easy to grill. For a charcoal grill, set up the coals so there is a single layer of coals. You can see in the picture below that there aren't too many coals under the burgers. I was able to hold my hand one inch over the grate for about 5-6 seconds prior to grilling. I grilled them for about 8-9 minutes per side until the internal temperature was about 160 degrees. I used a thermapen right in the middle to assess doneness. There are also instructions for grilling thawed patties. Thawed patties are to be grilled over low heat for 6-7 minutes per side.
So are Johnsonville Grillers any good?
Yes. I think these are a good product if you are looking to buy a pre-pressed burger patty. These are better than an average pre-made burger that would come frozen in the freezer section of grocery stores. Grillers are loaded with unique flavor and can totally stand on their own. As I mentioned above I ate these totally plain. I think these have potential to take a basic cookout to a new level. If you are in the market for a quick and easy cookout meal I'd say give these a try!