Is Hamburger Processed Meat?

Last updated on August 5th, 2022 at 04:15 pm

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Summer days mean barbeques and outdoor grilling. The most common food you usually cook on the grill for a summer barbeque include hamburger and hotdogs. If you are watching what you eat, you will probably avoid the hot dogs because you know it is processed meat, but what about hamburger meat? 

Hamburger meat is ground beef that has been formed into the circular shape of a burger. It is then cooked on the stovetop or  even a grill and served smashed between buns with your choice of toppings. 

But, is hamburger meat processed? 

Hamburgers are not considered processed meat. It is processed when it is bought in frozen patties from the store. Meats that are canned, smoked, dried, along with some that are frozen like frozen hamburger patties are processed meats but fresh meat is not considered to be processed. 

Is Hamburger Processed Meat?

A golden glow beams from the setting sun as you prepare to make dinner for your family. You have already prepared the ground beef into flattened circles and seasoned with your favorite flavors. Heading out to the grill, you feel the warmth of the weather and a soft breeze. 

It’s the perfect evening to cook out. 

You grab a hamburger patty and flop it on the grill then another and another until they all sit on the bars over the flame. Now, you wait until they are ready to turn over. Taking in the summer air, you enjoy the smell of the grilling burgers knowing they are going to be delicious. 

Once browned, you then turn them over to complete cooking. Finally, they are ready and are transferred over to a plate and taken into the kitchen where they will be topped with lettuce, cheese, pickles, and condiments. 

As you take a bite into your hamburguer, you remember hearing that processed meat isn’t good for you to eat. You wonder if hamburger meat is processed. Fortunately, if you have made the burger from ground beef, then it is not processed and you can continue to enjoy that burger. 

But, if you have made it from the frozen patties, then it is. Most of the time, hamburgers are made from ground beef. Along with being healthier for you, it tastes much better, too! 

If you are buying a pound of ground beef, then no, this isn’t processed. It hasn’t gone through any processes of cooking or preserving. Fresh ground meat is fine for you to eat and does not pose any harm to your heart. 

But, frozen hamburger patties are something different. They contain added preservatives to make them last until you cook them. Even frozen veggie burgers are processed. In reality, any food that is cooked is processed food because it has gone through a process to make or preserve it. 

But, chemicals and preservatives are added to some meats and food before it is cooked to help to perverse it for longer so you can wait longer to cook it. Eating these kinds of food often can be hazardous to your health. 

But, you don’t have to worry about your hamburger. Hamburger meat is not processed meat and is not harmful to your health. But, if the hamburger meat are those frozen hamburger patties, then this is processed and preserved meat.

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What Meats Are Not Processed?

A lot of the meat that is available at the grocery store is processed. These include more easy and ready to eat meat. But some meats are not and are entirely safe for you to eat without risking your health. 

So, what meats are not processed?

Meat that is not processed are fresh meats that you can buy at your local grocery store. Fresh or frozen chicken, ground beef, pork etc. are not processed unless they are precooked or altered. Lunch meat, deli meat, etc. are all examples of processed meat. 

Processed meats like this contain added preservatives to help them last, but these could have some health risks. 

Some processed foods contain nitrates which are linked to certain health risks. Eating a lot of processed meat could have a harmful effect on your health. It has been linked to diseases such as cancer along with diabetes and high blood pressure.

With all the added preservatives it just isn’t the best thing for you to be consuming. The only way to avoid processed meats altogether would be to switch over to a plant-based diet or only eat fresh/freshly frozen meat. But, if you are like many people who don’t want to sacrifice eating meat, then you don’t have to. Just stick to eating a limited amount of heavily processed meat or only eat meat that hasn’t been so heavily processed. 

So cut back on those hot dogs and beef jerky and you are off to a good start.

Processed meat is meat that has been preserved through salting or curing. This includes meat that is canned, smoked, dried, or one with added preservatives. As you can see, processed food is available everywhere. 

Cafeterias, restaurants, and grocery stores sell it.

Adding salt to meat has been a way of preserving it for many years, but now we have refrigerators for that reason. So, in order to explain what meats aren’t processed, we should discuss which ones are. These are the meat you want to avoid or limit your intake of. Along with lunch meats, let’s mention a few processed meats and why they could be harmful to your health:

  • Dried meat and beef jerky – These are heavily processed since they are salted, marinated, and chemical additives are added to preserve them without the need to refrigerate the meat.
  • Canned meat – Yes, spam and other canned meats are processed and preserved. Their packages are often made with Bisphenol A which is associated with some diseases.
  • Hot dogs – These are emulsified, meaning that they are blended with chemicals and ingredients that bind everything together so that it holds a desired shape. Emulsified foods are usually made from parts of the animal that are discarded or less desirable for other meats.

Final Thoughts

So, if you are concerned that hamburger meat is processed, don’t be. Hamburger meat is not processed meat and isn’t a danger to your health the way other processed meats are. Fresh meats don’t go through a preservation process meaning that they don’t have any added chemicals in them. 

These additives in processed foods are what are unhealthy to consume. So, instead of eating a lot of processed foods, you should stick to eating fresh meat like ground beef or chicken and veggies. Although it isn’t as easy to make, it will help keep you healthy. 

Hamburger meat is not processed unless it is in frozen patties.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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