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The burgers are too big!

roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:15 PM

My husband was commenting on a place he went for lunch where he had a burger. It was delicious, he said, but too big. He feels that burgers have gotten too big, and that it is impossible to find a delicious, well-cooked burger that you could actually finish without feeling nauseous. Does anyone agree?

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    gordeaux RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:21 PM

    Nope. I just ate a 2/3 pounder (pre-cooked weight) today, and loved every morsel. He doesn't have to eat it all. (but I do!) :-)

    6 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux
      gordeaux RE: gordeaux Jun 12, 2008 06:08 PM

      Maybe I misunderstood. Many responses are pointing to a burger as a meal with fries and / or other sides. I generally view fries as empty calories, so I avoid them like the plague. Maybe that's why I can get with the big burger plan.

      1. re: gordeaux
        Miss Needle RE: gordeaux Jun 12, 2008 06:18 PM

        Fries are the best part. : )

        1. re: Miss Needle
          Davwud RE: Miss Needle Jun 13, 2008 04:22 AM

          Frech fries are the best part of a hamburger??


          1. re: Davwud
            Miss Needle RE: Davwud Jun 13, 2008 05:27 AM

            No, but it's the best part of a hamburger experience. To me, you just can't have a burger without fries.

            1. re: Miss Needle
              Davwud RE: Miss Needle Jun 13, 2008 01:02 PM

              I know what you mean. I was just teasin'

              Nothing wrong with a good side of fries.


              1. re: Miss Needle
                ML8000 RE: Miss Needle Jun 15, 2008 10:29 PM

                Or a coke...some say a milkshake but I say a coke or root beer...the fizz washes and finishes the grease nicely.

                I tend to agree. Burgers are getting HUGE. 6 oz (max) seems right to me if I'm hungry or it's dinner. Any more and you risk maxing out the bun/produce/condiment to burger ratio.

                Not enough bun or condiments/lettuce/tomato/onions makes it seem like you're just eating a chunk of ground beef. The beef overpowers everything at that point.

      2. tatamagouche RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:23 PM

        Agreed—but no more so than anything else; everything's gotten too big, as countless posts on CH boards have noted.

        But your thread title makes me think of that great Don Hertzfeldt cartoon Rejected, where the...whatever he is keeps saying My SPOON Is too big!


        1. l
          Lucia RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:26 PM

          Agreed, but a 4 oz. burger is my perfect size, which probably puts me in the minority.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lucia
            Kelli2006 RE: Lucia Jun 12, 2008 06:39 PM

            I agree totally. Id rather have a 1/4 lb burger with freshly ground lamb or chuck with big seasonings, rather than a 2/3 lb fast food calorie bomb.

            I have noticed that I am slowly becoming a vegetarian, so even 1/4 pound burger seems like a excessively large burger.

          2. Low Country Jon RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:31 PM

            I agree, mostly because I don't like wrestling with burgers I can't fit in my mouth!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Low Country Jon
              pikawicca RE: Low Country Jon Jun 12, 2008 04:55 PM

              When we go to a good local burger joint, my DH and I always split a burger. With a salad and a side of fries, that's plenty.

            2. Ruth Lafler RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:35 PM

              Agree. Among other things, what makes it a hamburger is the whole assembly of the meat, condiments, bun, etc. If the patty is too big (I usually like about 6 ounces pre-cooked weight), it's too hard to take a complete bite.

              According to my Dad, back in the day, hamburgers were originally much smaller -- similar in size to the orginal McDonald's burger.

              1. ChrisOC RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:57 PM

                I agree. To me a good burger is one that tastes like another one.

                1. mrbozo RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 04:58 PM

                  Ah, the supersizing of America and Americans continues. When it comes to food less is more (and more better for you too).

                  1. steve h. RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 05:17 PM

                    agree. a single burger at a lot of places and a side of fries is more than enough food for two.

                    more quality, less quantity at the same price point would work for me.

                    1. goodhealthgourmet RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 05:19 PM

                      welcome to the united states of obesity. before placing your order, please be advised that our serving sizes have changes, and what was formerly a large serving is now the junior. also, we're pleased to announce that all super-sized orders of our "heart disease + diabetes" combo special now include a dose of lipitor, an insulin shot, and your very own seat belt extender...at no extra charge! oh, and don't forget to ask your cashier how you can add a deep-fried twinkie or snickers bar for dessert for only 99 cents.

                      enjoy your meal!

                      1. m
                        mojoeater RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 05:30 PM

                        If I'm in the mood for a greasy fast food burger (it happens a couple times a year), I get a double with cheese and a bottle of water. Plenty of food and the biggest meal of my day. On the other hand, if I really want fries, I'll get the junior size burger and small fries. Or if I really want a shake, I'll get the junior burger and shake. There's no way I could stuff in a burger, fries and a shake of any size.

                        1. hannaone RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 05:47 PM

                          Some of us are actually still hungry after those dime sized designer burgerlets. When I make burgers at home three pounds of ground beef makes 6 sandwiches. That's 2 burgers each, with sides, for a good filling meal.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: hannaone
                            mrbozo RE: hannaone Jun 12, 2008 06:05 PM

                            Holy cow! That's about 1800 calories in lean ground beef alone.

                            1. re: hannaone
                              pikawicca RE: hannaone Jun 12, 2008 06:15 PM

                              Do you really find 50 bites of a burger satisfying? I'd rather have 20 bites, plus more bites of salad and veggies for variety. I can't imagine eating half a pound of meat at a sitting.

                              1. re: pikawicca
                                hannaone RE: pikawicca Jun 12, 2008 06:39 PM

                                More like about 10 bites :-)
                                We grill burgers about once or twice a month in the summer, and when we do it we enjoy.
                                Most of our meals though are Korean with one shared meat dish, lots of rice, soup, and ban chan (fresh and pickled veggies) so it balances out. The amount of food per meal is actually a bit more than what we eat on "burger days" but we do one large meal with a simple rice and soup or similar dish about mid day.

                            2. manraysky RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 06:11 PM

                              Totally agree. When I see the menu lists "half pound burger" I just think, jeez, I can't eat that much! And I could make it two meals, but a leftover hamburger isn't really the best next-day meal.

                              1. Miss Needle RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 06:17 PM

                                Yup. I remember the days when a quarter pounder was the largest burger you could get at Mc Donalds. I haven't been there in a while, but I think they've got a double quarter pounder now. And I walked by a Mc Donalds the other day where they were advertising a third pounder. I wouldn't be surprised if you'll get a 2/3 pounder soon (if it's not already in place).

                                1. rworange RE: roxlet Jun 12, 2008 07:59 PM

                                  How big was your husband's burger? Where are you eating?

                                  I find that upscale places that are charging absurb amounts for burges like $15 and above, usually make the burger too big.

                                  How big is too big? What is the right size burger (using pre-cooked weight)?

                                  IMO, a 4oz burger is too small. There's not enough to allow for a crusty exterior with a juicy interior. About all that size is good for is the fast food joint or greasy spoon.

                                  I'd say 1/2 lb and over is too much Perhaps a 6 oz burger is the perfect size.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: rworange
                                    currymouth RE: rworange Jun 12, 2008 08:16 PM

                                    I have 2 dozen burgers in the freezer in anticipation for the arrival of my family from Norway. 4 are 8 ounces each for the kids and the rest are 10 ounces each for the adults. I have found after much experimentation a 10 ounce burger on the grill will satisfy just about everyone.

                                    1. re: rworange
                                      roxlet RE: rworange Jun 13, 2008 04:12 AM

                                      My husband's burger was at Fogarty's, a pub type place in Bronxville, where we live. I don't know the size exactly, but my husband is a real beef guy who loves steak, etc., so it had to have been quite large. We went to another local joint recently (our kitchen is being renovated, so we find ourselves eating a lot of 'basic' meals out), and I wound up eating a little more than half of my burger. It was just too big, and I do think that aside from having a billion calories, these burgers are unwieldily to eat. I never thought I'd be the kind of person who cuts their burger in half, but I do. Maybe we will have to start sharing!

                                      1. re: rworange
                                        scubadoo97 RE: rworange Jun 13, 2008 07:12 AM

                                        That's my target as well. 1/3 lb is ideal.

                                      2. Davwud RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2008 04:28 AM

                                        I don't know if I agree or not. One of my favourite places to have a burger out has huge burgers. I forego the fries and just eat a burger.
                                        That said, if I make them at home, I make 1/3lb burgers. To me, that's the perfect size.
                                        I also like sliders.

                                        So what do I really know about burger size. Except that size doesn't matter. How good it is does.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Davwud
                                          roxlet RE: Davwud Jun 13, 2008 04:43 AM

                                          Except that if they're really good, one is temped to overeat (the "it's so good, just one more bite' syndrome) and then you feel crumby and over-stuffed afterwards. I think that 1/3 pound would be the absolute limit; beyond that, it's just an invitation to obesity!

                                        2. j
                                          jhopp217 RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2008 04:46 AM

                                          I somewhat disagree with the statement, because unless it's a ridiculous weight (say over a lb), it should be cooked properly. If you have an 8oz burger on a bun with lettuce and tomato, and a side of fries/potato salad, it shouldn't be too much food. If it is, take away the bun, eat the burger before the fries and skip and fries you might not want.

                                          I'm not saying this applies to your husband, but most people who have the luxury of sitting down to eat lunch at a restaurant, tend to eat way too fast. I'm a relatively fast eater anyways, but I know, when I get larger portions, I try to slow down. Eating too fast makes me a lot more nauseous than eating too much.

                                          46 Replies
                                          1. re: jhopp217
                                            roxlet RE: jhopp217 Jun 13, 2008 05:03 AM

                                            Well, we'll have to disagree jhopp! A half pound burger strikes me as very large, indeed. I guess that I think of a burger as a meal that includes fries, and whether I eat too fast or slow, that's a hell of a lot of food!

                                            1. re: roxlet
                                              Sean RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2008 05:08 AM

                                              Yes I agree, I LOVE a nice juicy burger but I also would like to be able to take a bite out of it. Maybe too big is not my issue, but too FAT is, If I can take a bite of the top and bottom of the burger without dislocating my jaw it is a good thing.

                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2008 05:15 AM

                                                whether you have the fries or not, 8 ounces is still an huge amount of meat for someone to have in a single sitting. i know there are many people who can, and often do, eat that much [and more] at once, but it's 233% of a standard 3-oz. serving size of protein.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  KevinB RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 13, 2008 07:10 AM

                                                  I don't disagree with you, but you do realize that on most dinner menus, an 8-oz steak is usually the smallest cut available. I'm inured to going to a steak house, ordering a 16 to 20-oz steak, and taking more than half of it home for the next day. (It helps that I order my steaks blue, so when I cook it the next day, it doesn't turn to leather!)

                                                  I do have to say, five or six thin strips of prime steak, sauteed next to my eggs, makes a mighty fine breakfast!

                                                  1. re: KevinB
                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: KevinB Jun 13, 2008 08:32 AM

                                                    actually, i get frustrated with the portion sizes at steakhouses...i always order a petite filet if it's available, and i still won't finish it. i understand the strategy behind ordering big & taking home the leftovers, but for me, i still have half of my filet left over anyway! plus, like you i prefer my meat to practically still be mooing [crazy for someone who was a vegetarian for 21 years, but hey]...so leftovers don't work too well for me unless i have the time - and forethought - to leave the leftovers out to come up to temp before i eat it. if i have to re"heat"it, it ends up too well done.

                                                    then again i like your steak & eggs idea, and i could probably enjoy it more on the cooked side at breakfast....i just never think to go for red meat in the morning. i might have to do that next time...

                                                    btw, the other issue is that burgers are a completely different story with me. i hate to waste food, and for some reason it's just not the same as leftover steak. next-day remnants of a patty never appeal to me.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      Miss Needle RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 13, 2008 11:52 AM

                                                      I'm with you. I was so excited at a steakhouse to see that they priced steaks by the oz, only to learn that there's an 8 oz minimum.

                                                      I especially don't like huge portion sizes when I'm traveling. While you can take stuff to go when you're in your hometown, you generally don't have that luxury when you're away. I either try to finish it (and feel incredibly sick) or take it to go and give it to a homeless person. DH feels it's tacky and a bit condescending to give my leftovers to the homeless, but I'd rather do that than to waste it. If they don't want it, they don't have to eat it.

                                                      1. re: Miss Needle
                                                        manraysky RE: Miss Needle Jun 13, 2008 12:55 PM

                                                        The last time I went to a steakhouse I was traveling, and I ordered the smallest steak on the menu. It was 12oz. I didn't eat even half of it, and it made me so sad, since I had no way of saving it. And since I was late night dining in my own hotel, I didn't really have a way to give it to a homeless person, which is what I would do at home.

                                                        That, combined with the "side" of potatoes which was more like a family size casserole was just depressing. So much waste.

                                                        1. re: manraysky
                                                          Miss Needle RE: manraysky Jun 13, 2008 01:07 PM

                                                          Wow! 12 oz! That's huge! The way portion sizes are increasing in America, I think some of us are going to have to start ordering from the kiddie menu soon. And don't think I haven't thought about that. I usually never do because the kiddie menu generally has foods that I'm not interested in -- ie. chicken fingers, pizza rolls, etc.

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle
                                                            Ruth Lafler RE: Miss Needle Jun 13, 2008 03:13 PM

                                                            LOL. Sometimes I feel like doing that, too. I often order a kiddie size ice cream serving (funny, I'll pig out on lots of things, but even though I like ice cream, I don't eat it in large quantities).

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 13, 2008 03:46 PM

                                                              i used to have arguments with the people who worked at a frozen yogurt shop in LA because i always wanted to order the kiddie cup and they wouldn't let me...it was against their "policy" to let adults order the kids' size.

                                                              pissed me off.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                chowser RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 14, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                I order the regular size but ask them to give me less. I get weird looks sometimes like if I'm paying for it, why don't I want it?

                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: chowser Jun 14, 2008 02:33 PM

                                                                  i run into the same thing all the time, and i always wonder why they care. i'm paying for it, so take my money and be glad you just got away with charging me more money for less product...right?

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                  jfood RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 14, 2008 02:05 PM

                                                                  mrs jfood always orders the kiddie size, never turned down, especially since it's non-fat froen yogurt. .

                                                              2. re: Miss Needle
                                                                currymouth RE: Miss Needle Jun 13, 2008 04:48 PM

                                                                Miss Needle, We have a steakhouse mini chain in New Jersey called Arthur's where in the old days only offered 2 sizes of steaks, A 24 ounce and a 48 ounce. I used to be able to eat a 24 with sides and still polish off a French onion soup. Needless to say those days are now behind me and I try to eat red meat once a month and in quite smaller quantities. I really don't see those huge sized portions as much as I did on today's menus simply because the profit margins on just about all proteins are becoming razor thin in the light of today's economic climate.

                                                                1. re: currymouth
                                                                  Miss Needle RE: currymouth Jun 14, 2008 03:15 PM

                                                                  24 oz!!!! Wow! That's like a week's worth of meat for me! I think I would have been able to pull off 1/2 that when I was younger, but that's about it. Currymouth, you should have trained for competitive eating! : )

                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                    currymouth RE: Miss Needle Jun 16, 2008 04:26 AM

                                                                    No, not competitive eating, just the excesses of youth. No regrets.

                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                      currymouth RE: Miss Needle Jun 23, 2008 11:08 AM

                                                                      Just read an article in Restaurant News where the largest growth on menus are Hamburgers and the largest growth in hamburgers are cheese as well as big burgars. So I stand corrected. Just thought I would share.

                                                                  2. re: Miss Needle
                                                                    miss_bennet RE: Miss Needle Jun 14, 2008 02:39 PM

                                                                    A local chain that I go to for business lunches has an 8-ounce burger. I have to get them to substitute the child's burger, but get the adult toppings. Even the child's burger is 6 ounces!

                                                                    I'm one of those people who wants to be able to eat my side salad, some fries and the burger. Also, burgers (legally) have to be well-done here, so juicyness is an issue (although my BF claims that the bigger the burger, the juicier it is). I dont want a huge, dried-out burger!

                                                                    There is one place, though, where I can easily eat the 6-ounce patty (basted with buffalo sauce, topped with cispy onions and blue-cheese dressing). So maybe it depends on how good the burger is to begin with...

                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                      sebetti RE: Miss Needle Jun 17, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                      I missed lunch yesterday and was running errands for work, my only option was fast food so I got a kids meal through the drive through at McDonalds. I was embarrassed until I pulled past several women eating lunch outside...they were all eating kids meals too.

                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                        lolaeatspickle RE: Miss Needle Jun 18, 2008 10:15 AM

                                                                        I hate it because I often try to eat off the kids menu and they don't let me- or worse yet, the kids menu assumes kids only want fried chicken nuggets and Mac and Cheese, but I guess that's another argument lol. I get weird looks when I say "half portion" and am willing to pay for the whole thing- cheaper than paying a cardiologist or a dr when I have diabetes!

                                                              3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                gordeaux RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 13, 2008 10:41 AM

                                                                3oz cooked serving size of protein is the "standard," right?.
                                                                Your 1/2 lb burger is always listed as 1/2 lb pre cooked weight. I'm not sure what 1/2 lb cooks down to, but it will not be the same 8oz you started with. I'm not saying that it will cook down to 3 oz, or anything like that - just pointing out that you are comparing apples to something that's not really apples.

                                                                1. re: gordeaux
                                                                  roxlet RE: gordeaux Jun 13, 2008 12:29 PM

                                                                  Yes, but whatever 8 ounces cooks down to, is just too much. I think that we all understand that these measurements are pre-cooked weights -- I've never known anyone to weigh after they've cooked a protein. So although we're not comparing apples to something that's not really apples, we are comparing a ginormous, hulking piece of raw hamburger to a ginormous, hulking piece of cooked (medium rare, thank you) piece of hamburger!

                                                                  1. re: gordeaux
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: gordeaux Jun 13, 2008 12:32 PM

                                                                    i guess i'm also comparing it to my experience at home. i tend to cook with relatively lean meat, so if i start out with 4 oz, i still end up with at least 3.5 when cooked. when there's very little fat to begin with, you don't lose much during cooking. plus, i like my meat rare, so there's less of an opportunity for moisture loss.

                                                                    i once brought home a burger from "barney's gourmet hamburgers" in LA, and the patty looked enormous to me, so i just couldn't resist - i put it on my kitchen scale before i ate any of it...the thing weighed 7.25 ounces.

                                                                    at the end of the day, doneness aside, a half-pound [pre-cooked weight] patty will still set you back at least 6 oz...or double a standard serving. sure, i get it. some of us can put away that much on occasion, particularly if they're not also gorging on fries & other accompaniments. i just take issue with how "normal" it seems to have become to so many people.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                      mrbozo RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 13, 2008 12:56 PM

                                                                      If you're a lumberjack it's OK! (Everybody now!)

                                                                      1. re: mrbozo
                                                                        mojoeater RE: mrbozo Jun 16, 2008 08:41 PM

                                                                        I sleep all night and I work all day...

                                                                        1. re: mrbozo
                                                                          miss_bennet RE: mrbozo Jun 18, 2008 04:15 PM

                                                                          I thought they ate buttered scones...

                                                                          1. re: miss_bennet
                                                                            Kajikit RE: miss_bennet Jun 19, 2008 08:46 AM

                                                                            Don't forget the currant buns :P

                                                                            (on topic, I'm a very small eater when it comes to beef, so when I make burgers for us, I only cook up about 3/4 of a pound raw-weight - my burger is about 3oz, and DH gets the rest. By the time you've added cooked onions and mushrooms and bacon and tomato the burgers are HUGE. I just couldn't eat a full-sized patty with all the 'extras' I like!)

                                                                            1. re: miss_bennet
                                                                              Davwud RE: miss_bennet Jun 20, 2008 08:01 AM

                                                                              Only with tea.


                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                            Ruth Lafler RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 13, 2008 03:18 PM

                                                                            "Normal" -- exactly. And the people who say they're still hungry. If they've eaten that many calories, they're not hungry. They may not be satisfied, but that's not the same as being hungry. Too many Americans don't recognize the difference (including me, sometimes, when I still feel "hungry" even though I know I've had plenty to eat). We're so used to overblown servings that we don't recognize "normal" anymore. It took me a year of weighing and measuring most of my food before I got a decent grasp of what a portion should be.

                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 13, 2008 05:41 PM

                                                                              i used to live in a constant state of amazement over the ignorance of the general public regarding appropriate portions & serving sizes...now the reality of it just saddens me.

                                                                              i can't tell you how many of my clients freak out when i put their food on a scale and show them what their portions actually weigh...as opposed to what's suggested they consume.

                                                                              i give every new client an introductory packet of documents that contains basic nutrition information, and among them is a primer on serving sizes. it includes a visual guide that offers comparisons to everyday items - i've updated mine to include more current cues such as a computer mouse and a CD/DVD [because really, who even remembers what a cassette tape looks like anymore?], and they're expected to learn the information...i quiz them on it during subsequent sessions. i know, it probably sounds a bit extreme, but every one of them thanks me for the education & enlightenment.

                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                              chowser RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 14, 2008 01:58 PM

                                                                              I agree--people have no idea what portions are and even if they're told what a serving size is, can't visualize it. A complete meal is not just a burger and fries. It should also include veggies and you can eat as much of that to make you feel full. Sorry, I'm not addressing you personally, goodheathgourmet, since you're the choir but just tagging onto your post. I think we'd go a long way in the war on obesity if people thought a slider, some fries and a large side of broccoli was a meal and not 1/2 lb of meat and a heaping of fries.

                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: chowser Jun 14, 2008 02:35 PM

                                                                                "I think we'd go a long way in the war on obesity if people thought a slider, some fries and a large side of broccoli was a meal and not 1/2 lb of meat and a heaping of fries."
                                                                                amen to that, chowser.

                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                  hannaone RE: chowser Jun 14, 2008 05:41 PM

                                                                                  Actually I think we would get a lot further if people went back to an active life (physical activity) instead, but that's a different rant.

                                                                                  I don't believe in the "one size fits all". Instead of daily portion control I eat meal sizes based on variety and my level of activity. On meat days we eat a lot of meat with some veggies. Other days it's lots of veggies and some meat.
                                                                                  When I am active in work (or play) my meals are larger and when not so active they are smaller. My daily intake does tend to be above the "2000" limit most of the time and my average weight has been the same (+ or - 5lbs/year) for the past twenty years.

                                                                                  LoL, my single biggest weight gain was when I joined the military and ate "healthy, balanced, nutritious" meals for the first time. I went from 140 to 175 in 14 weeks of basic training and tech school.

                                                                                  So burger (serving) size is pretty relative. I prefer the larger sizes.

                                                                                  1. re: hannaone
                                                                                    chowser RE: hannaone Jun 15, 2008 07:35 AM

                                                                                    As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I'm a big advocate of active lifestyles but knowledge of portions and being active should go hand in hand, not one over the other. Preference of burger sizes is obviously relative if you just read this thread, as is with everything else. But, while some people want 10,000 sq foot houses, how necessary is it for the general population? With 60% of Americans overweight or obese, I wouldn't advocate 1/2 pound burgers for the general population. What you do, in terms of varying your diet to your activity level is about portion control, IMO. You control your portions and don't eat more than you burn off which is the name of the game . If only that were the case for everyone.

                                                                                    LOL, having seen what the military considers "healthy" meals, I'm not surprised you gained weight. I asked my husband what people who wanted to lose weight ate and he said, "Salad" meaning iceburg lettuce.

                                                                                    1. re: hannaone
                                                                                      alanbarnes RE: hannaone Jun 15, 2008 10:27 AM

                                                                                      You're absolutely correct that ideal serving size is relative. A 19-year-old male who's burning 6,000 calories a day and adding muscle mass in the process can make good use of a meal consisting of a 24 ounces of beef, a couple of huge potatoes, and an entire head of broccoli. A sedentary middle-aged professional type--not so much.

                                                                                      As far as that goes, something tells me that while your weight went up in basic training, your body fat probably stayed pretty flat. The problem arises when somebody goes from an extremely active lifestyle to a sedentary one. We just aren't engineered in such a way that our appetites will respond immediately to our activity levels, so it's easy to maintain the same caloric intake even when the expenditure has decreased dramatically.

                                                                                      (As an aside, my body weight has been about the same for about 20 years, too. But my pectoral muscles have retired and moved south. Time for smaller portions, longer sessions on the bike and the elliptical trainer, and (sob) less beer...)

                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                        hannaone RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2008 11:02 AM

                                                                                        That's the idea I wanted to get across. The "standard" serving size(s) don't fit everyone.
                                                                                        Even the USDA is getting away from recommending specific portions, instead going to a recommended "average" based more on individual needs with the "My Pyramid" concept.


                                                                                        Others are also changing.


                                                                                        1. re: hannaone
                                                                                          chowser RE: hannaone Jun 15, 2008 06:51 PM

                                                                                          Yes, everyone has different caloric needs. But, obviously in the US most people don't know theirs and overeat. I don't think we're saying such different things--just that we need to know the portion sizes that fit our bodies and not necessarily what we want, eg. 1/2 pound burgers for everyone. And, even a healthy weight 19 year old could use veggies in addtion to a burger and fries.

                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                            hannaone RE: chowser Jun 15, 2008 09:44 PM

                                                                                            Oh, I agree with you in general chowser. Just don't agree with the rigid, inflexible 3oz protein per serving crowd.

                                                                                            1. re: hannaone
                                                                                              chowser RE: hannaone Jun 16, 2008 04:40 AM


                                                                                              1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                Ruth Lafler RE: hannaone Jun 16, 2008 12:39 PM

                                                                                                Three ounces is just a description -- not a prescription or a proscription. From there, anyone can decide how many "servings" they personally need. I think it does help to have some kind of specific "norm" that everyone can use as a baseline for making up their own servings.

                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                  Miss Needle RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 16, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                                                                  Agreed. And in general, a lot of these guidelines are made based with a person who weighs 150 lbs. So you can take that into account as well.

                                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                                    Ruth Lafler RE: Miss Needle Jun 16, 2008 04:51 PM

                                                                                                    Not only that, but it depends on the 150 pounds. A person who weighs 150 pounds and has 10 percent body fat is going to burn a lot more calories than someone who weighs 150 pounds and has 35 percent body fat. I knew it was a lot, but I didn't know how much so I looked it up: it's roughly 500 calories a day, depending on the relative activity levels (in practice, a person with only 10 percent body fat is probably a lot more active than someone with 35 percent body fat, which means the difference is even greater).

                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 16, 2008 01:39 PM

                                                                                                    that's what i was getting at...apologies if i was unclear. i didn't intend to imply that everyone, regardless of body size, lifestyle, health, or activity level should always eat exactly 3 ounces of protein in one sitting. i was simply pointing out that very few people even have a basic grasp of what constitutes a "standard" serving to use as a reference point they can then modify to fit their own needs.

                                                                                                    then again, i guess it's sort of pointless unless they have a sense of their individual dietary requirements...

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                      currymouth RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 16, 2008 08:24 PM

                                                                                                      Thew............Thank goodness. because 3 ounces of meat would just piss me off.

                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                    jhopp217 RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 15, 2008 10:55 AM

                                                                                    Isn't a 3ox burger called a slider, haha?

                                                                                    If I ever went to a restaurant and ordered a burger and a 3oz pattty was served, I'd strangle someone

                                                                                2. re: jhopp217
                                                                                  macca RE: jhopp217 Jun 13, 2008 07:21 AM

                                                                                  I don't know- I love burgers on the grill, and I love fries and potato salad- but I cannot finish an 8 ounce burger with potato and roll. And I love my burgers on a toll! I usually make mine about 4 ounces, add swiss cheese and raw onions on a toasted roll. For sides, I like sliced tomatoes and cucumbers I do make larger burgers for other family members, however!.

                                                                                3. e
                                                                                  ESNY RE: roxlet Jun 13, 2008 04:18 PM

                                                                                  Does not compute, does not compute.

                                                                                  Any burger that is 10 ounces or less is definitely not too big. Depending on the style of burger, my favorites range from 1/4 pound to 8-10 oz. The 1/4 lb burger is a west coast style burger, like shake shack or in n out. The 8-10 oz burgers are the pub or steakhouse style burgers and I just dont think they'd taste that good if any smaller. They need a nice crust on the outside and rare in the middle and you just can't get that with a smaller burger

                                                                                  1. d
                                                                                    dtud RE: roxlet Jun 14, 2008 01:13 PM

                                                                                    i totally agree. like another poster, i like a maximum of 1/4 lb. burger. and, honestly, i'm fine with a 1/8th lb. burger. what bothers me the most though is that no places really offer a choice for a smaller burger. most restaurants seem proud of their 8 oz or 16 oz burger and don't even offer a 4 or 2 ounce burger. people are entitled to what they want to eat - big or small. but it seems like restaurants don't want to offer what people really do want.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: dtud
                                                                                      KevinB RE: dtud Jun 14, 2008 02:13 PM

                                                                                      This will probably disqualify me from all future CH postings, but I buy frozen burgers. There are times when I just want a fast burger on the spur of the moment, and the pucks fill the need. I check the ingredients list, and won't buy anything that has fillers or chemicals; just beef and salt.

                                                                                      That said, there are all kinds of specialty frozen burgers on offer at Toronto groceries: Angus, Sirloin, Prime Rib, Cheesy, Banquet (cheese & bacon), Lean, plus non-beef options like Chicken, Turkey, Pork & Onion, etc. Almost all of these are 6-8 oz burgers, and as the majority here are posting, these are just too big for me. I buy 4-oz ones, and I find even those are hard to fit into a standard bun.

                                                                                      Even if I end up at a FF chain, it's a single at Wendy's, or a Whopper Jr. at BK, otherwise I just feel bloated. When I read about these 2, or 5, or 11(!) lb burgers, only two words come to mind: alcohol and bravado.

                                                                                      1. re: KevinB
                                                                                        Ruth Lafler RE: KevinB Jun 14, 2008 03:00 PM

                                                                                        I bought some frozen bison burg at Grocery Outlet the other day -- they came six to a two-pound box, so about 5.5 ounces raw weight. I find this to be a perfect size (and am able to cook them crusty on the outside and rare in the middle).

                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 14, 2008 03:19 PM

                                                                                          i understand what everyone is saying about the risk of getting a dry burger when they're on the small side, but i think you just have to treat them properly. i make lean ostrich burgers, bison, & beef burgers at home all the time, and the raw weight is somewhere between 3 & 4 ounces. just a minute or two on each side in a screaming hot pan, and i always end up with a nicely charred, crusty exterior & rare center. when i'm making one for someone who likes it cooked more, i just lower the flame after the initial sear and leave it on the heat a bit longer.

                                                                                        2. re: KevinB
                                                                                          Sooeygun RE: KevinB Jun 24, 2008 01:46 PM

                                                                                          I completely agree about the specialty frozen burgers. Too big. Not sure if you are talking about Pres Choice, but have you noticed that on the box for the smaller 4 oz burgers, it says they are made with the same meat as one of the other specialy burgers...can't remember which. So I go for those.

                                                                                          In a restaurant, I don't eat burgers often. They are just too large.

                                                                                      2. jfood RE: roxlet Jun 14, 2008 07:29 PM

                                                                                        jfood likes the 3 to the pound variety fr the right size but does not consider it too large til it gets past 8 oz. then it is not too large to eat, just too large to handle.

                                                                                        Now if they made a wider bun to fit an 8 oz burger that was not too wide for the mouth, then jfood would gladly eat that as well.

                                                                                        Now for the fries, a great burger deserves great fries. And BTW, a great burger deserves great cheese and great bacon and Heinz ketchup.

                                                                                        How can you eat all of these extras with a 3 oz. burger?

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                                                          Ruth Lafler RE: jfood Jun 14, 2008 07:54 PM

                                                                                          How can you eat them with an 8 oz. burger? As you noted, a bun that is the right proportion for an 8 oz burger is pretty hefty, especially it if also needs to contain cheese, bacon and ketchup. That starts to be to big for me to get my mouth around, plus even if I can take a complete bite, it's generally too big to really taste properly -- the surface area of my tongue is only so big!

                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                            jfood RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 15, 2008 04:06 AM

                                                                                            Here's the thing, the bun seem to dictate the issue. If there was a way to keep the height of the bun constant and stretch the sides (sorta silly putty'ish) then you can have a burger that increases in it's horizontal dimension and leave the hight alone.

                                                                                            Granted an 8 0z normally means greater height and the inability to open the mouth wide enough, but if the height is constant and the width is the changing variable (bun size dictated) then you have a winner.

                                                                                          2. re: jfood
                                                                                            jhopp217 RE: jfood Jun 15, 2008 10:58 AM

                                                                                            8oz Medium-rare/rare patty, not overly thick, a nce soft roll that soaks up the juices. For me bleu cheese with nice crispy (but not burned) bacon and a tiny dollop of ketchup. Perfect!

                                                                                          3. Candy RE: roxlet Jun 17, 2008 09:12 AM

                                                                                            I find almost all restaurant burgers wayyyyy too big. There is a sandwich shop near where I work that offers 1/3 lb. hot dogs. That I find excessive. The sandwich shop also makes great sandwiches and offers halves. I usually get a half. Sometimes I get a whole and save half for the next day's lunch. The place corns their own beef and their sandwiches are wonderful. Just way too big. There are some other places near by that offer take out or delivery. They advertise/brag their burgers are 1/2 lb. size. I don't bother with them.

                                                                                            1. Chew on That RE: roxlet Jun 18, 2008 08:15 AM

                                                                                              Hehe...I've never heard anyone complain that their portion was too big (although I guess that's the cause of obesity in America)...I don't think I'd have this same problem. I might not eat it all...but I'd enjoy a biggg juicy burger.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Chew on That
                                                                                                BobB RE: Chew on That Jun 20, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                                                                I'm surprised you haven't heard that before, since a significant minority of us out here (especially those who are familiar with the more reasonable portion sizes served outside the US) frequently gripe about it. One of the things I love about dining in France, for example, is that I can eat a three- or even four-course meal and not feel bloated when it comes time for dessert.

                                                                                              2. rockandroller1 RE: roxlet Jun 18, 2008 11:04 AM

                                                                                                I've also tried to order from the kiddie menu before but am often told it is "not allowed" and many restaurants have specific wording printed on their menu stating the items can only be ordered by those 12 and under, just like the seniors' menu can only be ordered by people of a certain age. I'm sure they think I'm trying to be cheap but I'm NOT, but if I want chicken fingers, I maybe want two, I don't want 5 and then a whole meal on top of it. I solve this by usually ordering an appetizer as my meal and getting a starter salad first.

                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                  swsidejim RE: roxlet Jun 18, 2008 11:14 AM

                                                                                                  restaurant burgers are getting pretty big with a 1/2 lb. of meat being almost the norm nowdays. It does not stop me from ordering a burger from a good place, cooked medium rare of course, but it also does not mean I have to finish the whole thing. I do not have a problem pushing myself away from the table without feeling the pressure to lick my plate clean.

                                                                                                  As a side note 8 oz of ground beef/chuck is too much for me at one sitting, but as far as a prime steak goes, 8 oz. is just getting me started, I need closer to 20 oz of rare steak to be happy.

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