Burger King launched its Impossible Whopper nationwide on Thursday, Aug. 8. The fast-food chain tested the plant-based meatless burger in a few markets before deciding to roll it out across the country.
Billed as “100% Whopper, 0% Beef,” the Impossible Whopper comes on a sesame seed bun with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles and onion. The burger performed well in test markets, leading BK to bring it to locations around the country. The Impossible Whopper has 630 calories (the original Whopper has 660 calories).
Since the CBS4 digital team is a dedicated group, we decided to order a few Impossible Whoppers to see how they tasted. Are they suitable substitutes for the real thing?
We ordered five of the sandwiches (three with everything plus cheese, one with everything plus cheese minus tomato and one with cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard). Here’s the rundown:
Kylee Scales, web producer and the brains behind Kylee’s Kitchen (Impossible Whopper with everything plus cheese)
Firstly, I should preface this review by saying I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a Whopper. It’s been 10 years or even 20 years maybe. I’ve never personally ordered anything from Burger King, but my mom ordered it on occasion as a special treat when I was younger.
That being said, I’m not a Whopper connoisseur. But I’ve tried a wide variety of meat-alternative burgers. Also, plain and simple, I like good food, so that should be qualification enough for reviewing the Impossible Whopper.
I ordered my Impossible Whopper with everything on it. I didn’t do that to disguise any potential taste difference between the Impossible Whopper and a regular Whopper—that’s just how I like my burgers.
Upon opening the wrapper, the plant-based patty doesn’t look any different than a regular patty. I think a lot of people hear “veggie burger” and think that it’s going to be a green burger, but that’s definitely not the case.
I was sold after the first bite. It mimics Burger King’s signature flame-grilled taste to a T. The texture was spot on, and it didn’t crumble with each bite, which is often a problem with plant-based patties. Actually, it was chewy just like a real burger patty, which is saying something considering it isn’t very thick.
This was my first time trying Impossible Foods, and I am definitely a fan. As previously mentioned, I’ve never actually ordered anything from Burger King, but I think the Impossible Whopper will actually prompt me to visit the restaurant.
Depending on what rating system we’re using here, I give is a 10 out of 10, 5 stars, and 2 thumbs up!
Matt Adams, digital EP (Impossible Whopper with cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard, i.e., the Saddest Impossible Whopper)
Smelled more like roast beef to me than a hamburger—something I noticed while driving back to work from Burger King. The “not-quite-a-burger” smell persisted once I unwrapped the sandwich.
The texture remains very burger-esque, but the burger itself just tastes a little bit “off” if you’re used to eating “real” beef. I wouldn’t call it “bad” at all, just different. It definitely lacks the meaty “punch” of actual beef.
Since I’m a boring person without a soul, I had mine with cheese, pickle, ketchup and mustard. No onions, tomatoes, or lettuce for me. As a result, my Impossible Whopper definitely looked much sadder than the ones my coworkers ordered.
The edge of my Impossible Whopper was slightly burned on one side, giving that part of the burger a satisfying “crunch” with a charbroiled flavor if you’re into that sort of thing. If you get a good bite with plenty of cheese and condiments, it’s pretty close to the real thing.
Just a little “off.” Again, not bad. I think I could acquire a taste for it. I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, but I ate the whole thing. For science.
Having just had a regular ol’ Burger King cheeseburger the other day, I could definitely taste the difference.
It’s definitely a bold experiment for Burger King to get people to try a meatless alternative by expanding this nationwide.
Greg Margason, web producer (Impossible Whopper with everything plus cheese minus tomato)
OK, so one major thing Burger King has an advantage with here is the flame-grilled aspect. I think that goes a long way in the flavor to make it taste closer to a real burger and I’m not sure other fast food places can compete on that front.
I’ve not had one of these before, so I’m not sure about the aftertaste when it’s not flame grilled. But the aftertaste is there for sure and I could definitely tell the difference in a blind taste test. it’s almost plastic-y in my opinion but I can’t nail down a great descriptor.
The combination of that aftertaste and the flame-grilled aspect is interesting. You know how sometimes when you smell something you can taste it?
The apartment next to mine caught on fire and was badly burned a few weeks ago. I swear that the aftertaste + smokey flavor of this burger tastes like the aftermath of that fire smells.
Would I get this again? Not in this current offering, but I’m glad they’re putting some effort into meat alternatives.
Jeremiah Beaver, web producer (Impossible Whopper with everything plus cheese)
After just having a regular Whopper just a few days ago, I can say the Impossible Whopper is pretty good.
I think they went a little too heavy on the charring or smoky flavor, but other that, it tasted the same for me. The look and texture is also incredibly close to the original.
If I was on the road and got one of these by mistake in the drive-thru, I probably wouldn’t notice the difference and would definitely be satisfied.
I’ll probably get these Whoppers moving forward.
Kyle Hicks, web producer (Impossible Whopper with everything except pickles and tomato)
My expectations weren’t terribly high for Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, because I don’t normally eat the regular Whoppers.
With that said though, the sandwich wasn’t bad. I’d even go as far as saying I wouldn’t know it was meatless if I wasn’t told beforehand.
In the future, I’ll recommend the Impossible Burger to anyone trying to cut down on meat, but I’ll also highly suggest to load it up with condiments to cut down on the blandness.
Bill Remeika, special assignment for CBS4Indy.com (Impossible Whopper with everything plus cheese)
Well, this is a bit different – I am old school and I kind of like those greases rolling down my arm and off my lips as well from real meat.
The toppings help mask a bit of the blandness, which the SUBSTITUTE MEAT has, but I think that is because it is plant-based, which tends not to have a whole lot of flavor unless you salt/season the heck out of it.
I always go by this: is the first bite as good as the last? In this case, it’s so-so. I could easily eat about a half one as long as I had fries and such with it, but plain without cheese or ketchup or something else, I am not totally sold.
(For the record, I did eat the entire burger)
There is a bit of an aftertaste, kind of like I might have licked BBQ sauce off the ends of a latex glove, first believing that it was OK, but then realizing at the end I shouldn’t have done that as the sauce is gone and all I am eating is a rubber glove!