The Essential Vegan Guide to Summer Grilling: Burgers, Brats, Ribz, and More Leave a comment

Have you dusted off your grill yet? We’re taking every opportunity to get outside this summer, and that includes plenty of plant-based cookouts. The mouthwatering innovations in plant-based meat continue to lure us in year after year, and it’s high time to don that “Kiss the Vegan Cook” apron and get grilling! From vegan ribs to bratwurst sausages, here is your comprehensive guide to vegan grilling this summer. 

Kara Aragon

1. Tofurky Plant-Based Burgers

The original Tofurky has come a long way since its humble hippy beginnings in 1995. The brand is now competing in the plant-based burger space, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The soy- and-seitan patties are juicy, grillable, and contain 19 grams of powerhouse protein. Recreate a veganized, at-home version of a McDonald’s classic burger by topping it with ketchup, mustard, a few pickles, diced raw onions, and sandwiching it all on a soft sesame seed bun. 
Get grilling here. 


2. Burgerlords Vegan Burger Patties

New York City has Superiority Burger, and Los Angeles has Burgerlords. The much-beloved (and now entirely vegan) burger restaurant offers eight and twelve packs of its highly acclaimed patties on Goldbelly. Made with barley, mushrooms, miso, veggies, and kombu, this patty eats like a burger but isn’t quite as meaty as an Impossible or Beyond Burger. For many, it’s the perfect compromise between real enough and too real. 
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Chef Tanya’s Kitchen

3. Chef Tanya’s Kitchen BBQ Ribz

After Tanya Petrovna stepped away from her first major venture—the fast-casual vegan chain Native Foods—she took to the California desert and established her own namesake cafe. She’s been serving the community of Palm Springs for years with her incredible deli salads, vibrant bowls, and epic sandwiches. Last year, she launched nationwide shipping of her insanely good vegan meats, and the BBQ Ribz are perfect for grilling. We love pairing them with a side of collard greens and homemade or store-bought mac and cheese. 
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Herbivorous Butcher

4. Herbivorous Butcher Summer Grill Pack

The original vegan butchery is supplying our summer with grillable proteins we’ve yet to find elsewhere. Complete with four Bacon Brats, four Mesquite BBQ Ribs, a 10-ounce Flank Steak, and a 14-ounce Chicken 2.0, this collection is perfect for a large family barbecue or an al fresco dinner party. Cooking for one? Check out the à la carte online ordering option. 
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I Can You Can Vegan

5. Alpha Chik’n and Original Beefy Burgers

You can grill way more than burgers and brats, and this juicy chik’n patty proves it. The breading crisps up nicely on the grill—leaving Instagram-worthy char marks. Pair it simply with lettuce, mayo, and a thick beefsteak tomato slice. Pick up a few of the Original Beefy Burgers for a more traditional burger night. 
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6. Lightlife Bratwurst Sausages

The same company that brought us Smart Dogs has made a serious comeback with these meaty brats. While we love a classic Smart Dog, we admit that they don’t quite pass for an authentic meat substitute—at least not by 2021 standards. The new bratwurst have redefined the brand. The texture, flavor, and snap replicate its meat-based analog exceptionally well. Load it up with mustard and grilled onions or a pile of sauerkraut—these links can handle it. 
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7. Prime Roots Bacon

What’s better than bacon? Grilled bacon. If you’re obsessed with the Tabitha Brown-famous Whole Foods TTLA, then you’ll flip for a homemade version made with this crispy accouterment. This online-only company started with bacon as its sole product in 2020 but has since expanded to meal kits, mac and cheese, pasta, and more. While we’re fans of the new products, we always check out with a slab of Prime Roots bacon. Try it, you’ll understand. 
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Plants & Progress by Misha

8. Trader Joe’s Protein Patties

These pea protein-based patties caused a bit of a flurry when they debuted in January 2020, and initial reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Unlike most veggie burgers, these thick patties stand up to the grill and can take the char without falling apart. In a pinch, Trader Joe’s has become our one-stop shop for all of our grilling goods. 
Get grilling here

Upton’s Naturals

9. Upton Bar-B-Que Jackfruit

This meat isn’t meant for the grill (unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning it), but this sticky-sweet and smoky pulled pork replica is a wonderful complement to grilled onions and toasted buns. Get some char on those veggies then pile on the jackfruit! 
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Field Roast

10. Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages

The flavor is what truly brings us back to these hearty links. Made with apples and sage, they offer a complex taste most brats lack. The slight smokey flavor is amplified when grilled— resulting in a sausage that really doesn’t even need toppings. We enjoy eating them with a side of sauerkraut and spaetzle.  
Get grilling here

Kiren Milan Deraj

10. The Very Good Butcher Very Good Box

If you’re only cooking for one or two, this box will last you through the entire summer. The collection includes a pack of Very Good Burgers, Smokin’ Burgers, Very British Bangers, Smokin’ Bangers, Very Good Taco Stuff’er, and Pepperoni. If you’re looking for a less processed meat option, you can trust in the company’s name. The minimal-ingredient eats are made with whole foods such as mushrooms, jackfruit, wheat gluten, spices, and beets.  
Get grilling here

Impossible Foods

11. Impossible Burgers

These patties need no introduction. Impossible Foods products have been flying off grocery shelves and restaurant menus at an unrelenting pace. Impossible fans, you know who you are, and we can bet you already have these beefy burgers in the fridge, queued up and ready to grill. 
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Ozo Foods

12. Ozo Smokehouse Burgers

There’s grilling, and then there’s smoking. If you’re not keen on the hours-long process it takes to successfully smoke vegan meat, these applewood-flavored frozen patties are a convenient solution. Fire up a few on the grill for that smoked flavor in under 15 minutes. 
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Chocolate and Cheese Please

13. Sweet Earth’s Vegan Jumbo Hot Dogs

Here’s the major selling point: these new vegan hot dogs are 23 percent larger than any other vegan hot dog on the market. Yes, please. They stand up to the grill and virtually any amount of toppings you pile on. Be warned: you might need to knife-and-fork this. 
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Madison Vegan Eats

14. Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Burger

The makers of fishless fish sticks and porkless sausages recently debuted their meatiest creation to date—the Ultimate Plant-Based Burger. Unlike its falafel and black bean patties, this burger stands up to the heat of the grill. Find it in the frozen aisle among other Gardein favorites. 
Get grilling here

VegNews.BeyondBurger3.0Beyond Meat

15. Beyond Meat Beyond Burger

We can’t pass up a summer without grilling up a few Beyond Burgers. It’s a delicious exercise to try new patties, but we will never go without the brand that catapulted the veggie burger into something that could be legitimately considered as “beefy.” We don’t have to tell you how to dress up this burger—you top it any way you like it. 
Get grilling here

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Beyond Meat

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