The BEEF Taste Test has a new champion. It's the Bubba burger with Vidalia® Onion, one of two Eaves Foods, Inc., (Elberton, GA) products sampled this month.

The Bubba burger with Vidalia® Onion garnered an overall score of 9 (10-point scale) from a panel of staff from BEEF magazine and the Minnesota Beef Council. That overall score ranks it ahead of previous champ Ortega Fiesta Dips Nacho Beef (April 2001, page 46), which scored an 8.77.

The Bubba sister product — Bubba burger Original — scored an 8.72. That ties it with Schwan's Ground Chuck Beef Burgers (December 2000, page 14) as the fourth highest ranked product in our series.

The two Bubba burger products are frozen beef patties ground from whole-muscle Choice chucks. The 2-lb. packages contain six 1-in.-thick, 5-oz. patties and sell for a suggested retail of $5.78.

They're part of a product line that includes a Certified Angus Beef product and a leaner burger ground from whole rounds. All products are available in the frozen meat cases of 4,000 stores in the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. They can also be ordered through RMH Foods at 800/307-7013, or online at www.ilovemeat.com.

The common comment from panelists was that both Bubba burger products tasted homemade. The Vidalia Onion burger rated a 4.9 in flavor, a 4.7 in tenderness and 4.6 in both texture and juiciness (5-point scale). While panelists preferred the Vidalia Onion product's flavor, the Original product rated just slightly less in all categories.

The manufacturers attribute that performance to a special production process that allows the patties to retain extraordinary juiciness and flavor when handled and prepared as directed. Those directions are clearly specified on the package.

Panelists lauded the Bubba burgers' cleanly designed, laid back packaging. “It's fun,” remarked two panelists. “When I read the packaging, I can just picture Bubba Eaves telling me this,” said another.

Panelists were split on the serving size. Two felt the patty size, slightly more than 5 oz., was too large. Three other panelists preferred the larger portions.

Every panelist, however, raved about the flavor.

  • “Great flavor, very moist.”

  • “It tastes so fresh; it doesn't taste frozen.”

  • “This patty looks and tastes like a real homemade burger.”

In other words, this is one great ground chuck burger patty. It's the best product we've encountered thus far.