Worst Burgers In America + Healthy Summer BBQ Alternatives

Worst Burgers In America + Healthy Summer BBQ Alternatives
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There are few things in life that give me as much pleasure as biting into a burger. I’m partial to a medium-well bacon cheeseburger, but I don’t discriminate I’ll take it pretty much any way I can get it, as long as it’s delicious. And I’m not talking about the calorie-laden, heart attacks waiting to happen, fast-food burgers in the slideshow above. For me, it has to either be homemade or good quality restaurant-style.

Although, I’ll admit that I do dabble in the occasional McDonalds hamburger happy meal if the mood strikes for 500 calories and a toy, why not? But the Eat This, Not That fast food burgers in the slideshow above are all well over 500 calories, so click through to see how bad you’ve actually been. And make sure to read on for three healthier burger recipes (turkey and beef) to grill up this Memorial Day weekend.

Simple, Perfect Fresh-Ground Brisket Burger

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Recipe: Cookinglight; Yields: 4 serving


1 (1-pound) beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
4 (1/2-ounce) cheddar cheese slices
4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 (1/4-inch-thick) tomato slices


1) To prepare grinder, place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die plate in freezer 30 minutes or until well chilled. Assemble grinder just before grinding.

2) Arrange meat in a single layer on jelly-roll pan, leaving space between each piece. Freeze 15 minutes or until meat is firm but not frozen. Combine meat and oil in large bowl, and toss to combine. Pass meat through meat grinder completely. Immediately pass meat through grinder a second time. Preground beef, lamb, or turkey can be used instead of fresh ground. The spices and condiments will still produce a better, lighter burger.

3) Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in the center of each patty. Cover and chill until ready to grill.

4) Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

5) Sprinkle patties with salt and pepper. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Carefully turn patties; grill 3 minutes. Top each patty with 1 cheese slice; grill 1 minute or until cheese melts and beef reaches desired degree of doneness. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each serving with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, and top half of bun.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

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Recipe: Eatingwell; Yields: 4 servings


Marinara Sauce:
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted


1) To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.

2) To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4-inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.

3) Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.

4) Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see Grilling Variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

5) Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese. Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

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Burger King Cheeseburger and French Fries (small)
680 calories
33 g fat (10.5 g saturated, 0.5 g trans) 1,360 mg sodium

Wendy’s Double with Everything and Cheese
700 calories
40 g fat (17 g saturated, 2 g trans) 1,440 mg sodium

In-N-Out Burger Hamburger and French Fries
790 calories
37 g fat (10 g saturated)
895 mg sodium

Five Guys Cheeseburger (plain)
840 calories
55 g fat (22.5 g saturated)
1,050 mg sodium

Whataburger Double Meat Whataburger
870 calories
49 g fat (18 g saturated, 1 g trans) 1,510 mg sodium

Carl’s Jr. Six Dollar Burger
890 calories
54 g fat (20 g saturated, 2 g trans) 2,040 mg sodium

Hardee’s Original Thickburger (1/3 lb)
910 calories
64 g fat (21 g saturated)
1,560 mg sodium

Red Robin California Chicken Burger
946 calories
57 g fat
2,002 mg sodium

Ruby Tuesday Turkey Minis (4)
1,058 calories
58 g fat
79 g carbohydrates

Jack in the Box Bonus Jack with Small Fries and Small Coke
1,061 calories
48 g fat (17 g saturated, 5 g trans) 1,609 mg sodium

Red Robin Whiskey River BBQ Burger
1,114 calories
69 g fat
1,805 mg sodium

Ruby Tuesday Avocado Turkey Burger
1,130 calories
68 g fat
62 g carbohydrates

Burger King Triple Whopper Sandwich with Cheese and Mayo
1,250 calories
84 g fat (32 g saturated, 3.5 g trans)
1,600 mg sodium

Chili’s Big Mouth Burger Bites (4)
1,580 calories
97 g fat (28 g saturated)
2,930 mg sodium

Chili’s Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeño Ranch Dressing
1,901 calories
138 g fat (47 g saturated)
4,201 mg sodium

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