The Internet is mildly abuzz about Burger King’s Jalapeño & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger. It’s the first “wacky” fast food item to debut in 2011. I’ll let Burger King’s official press release explain. Imagine The King staring at you from outside your window while you read it. Don’t imagine him saying it though; The King does not talk. Little known fact: this is because The King got involved with some very shady characters a while back, and he saw too much. He paid the price; he’ll never squeal again. I should probably not explain any further. I’ve already said too much.
Anyway, press release. “This premium sandwich packs a flavorful punch of robust ingredients with bits of jalapeño peppers and Cheddar cheese inside the juicy flame-broiled burger that’s topped off with creamy poblano sauce, ripe tomatoes and crisp lettuce on a premium bakery bun.”
I don’t really understand all the hubbub. Oh my god, they put what would usually go on top of the burger inside the burger! They must be crazy! My husband has been doing that for years. Garlic, chipotle, onions, you name it. Right in the raw ground beef, then right into the pan. How is this strange or overindulgent? Have I finally lost my grasp on the last shred of understanding how normal people see food? It’s a very real possibility.
I do like one other tidbit from the press release. According to Jonathan Muhtar, vice president, global product marketing and innovation, Burger King Corp, “With our first ever stuffed sandwich, we’re giving our guests what they want – juicy 100-percent beef infused with jalapeños and Cheddar for an experience you can see and taste in every bite.”
I like to imagine hundreds – nay, thousands – of angry emails coming in from faithful Burger King lovers, demanding that BK start shoving shit into their meat patties. Vehemence. Violent threats. Back against the wall, Mr. Muhtar had no choice. This is where all of his global product marketing and innovation were going to be put to the test. It was go time.
Jalapeños and cheddar are pretty pedestrian items when it comes to violating a meat patty, but I’m intrigued by the “creamy poblano sauce”. The poblano pepper is generally a very mild pepper. It’s the pepper vessel used in the dish chile relleno, if that gives you any further context. I’m curious as to why this particular pepper was chosen to be incorporated into a sauce. I guess the only way to find out is to eat the thing.
My first impression of the Burger King Jalapeño & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger (do we really need the BK? It’s a long enough product title and I’m pretty sure I know where I got it from, I’m not Sammy Jenkins) was that it has a nice heft and is quite large. Large enough that my petite mouth could barely take a solid bite. Imagine one of those sexy Carl’s Jr. commercials with Kim Kardashian messily eating a burger, except replace her with some dumb food blogger wearing an oversized Newcastle Brown Ale shirt with no pants on watching the awful reality tv show of your choosing. Ladies eating giant burgers aren’t always sexy. Trust me.
The lettuce was not the best, but that’s to be expected from a fast food joint. All those white pieces did add a nice crunch, though. The tomatoes tasted fresh. The bun, described as “premium”, was a little different than your usual stepped-on-looking bun. It was nice and fluffy, and was topped with corn flour instead of your typical sesame seeds.
Of course, the important part was the patty. As you can see, there are visible bits of jalapeño and cheddar embedded in the burger, as advertised. After eating a few bites, I was already appreciating the heat of the jalapeño. Fast food joints tend to play up the spiciness of their food, but this burger had legit heat. By the time I finished, my nose was running a little. That’s the sign of some legitimate capsacin in the house.
While the heat was a surprising and welcome addition, I found the star of the show was really the creamy poblano sauce. I’ll admit, I struggled to find any true poblano flavor. But nonetheless, that sauce was delicious and plentiful. It seemed more like a southwest mayo, but with a little something I couldn’t quite place. I hate it when there’s that little touch of flavor that I just can’t nail down. The sauce wasn’t really spicy, but it had lots of flavor that played really well with the heat from the jalapeño chunks.
What was sadly missing from this otherwise tasty group of ingredients was the cheese. I really tried to taste the cheddar, but I just couldn’t find it in there. Maybe there was a subtle creaminess of cheese, but not really any cheese flavor. Heck, the creaminess could have come from the sauce, for all I know.
The Burger King Jalapeño & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger isn’t that wacky, but it is a quality burger. The runny nose effect shows that it has a good amount of heat. I loved the poblano sauce too, even though I was mystified as to what was making it taste so good. The lettuce was weak and I had a hard time getting any cheddar flavor, which was the most disappointing part. But even without the cheese, this stuffed burger is spicy and tasty. It’s available for a limited time only, but hopefully it will be successful enough to inspire more Stuffed Steakhouse burgers. I know from personal experience that chipotles and sriracha sauce both make good stuffings. Just a tip, in case The King is reading this. Stay clean, man, you don’t want to lose any more body parts.
- Score: 4 out of 5 eerily silent Kings
- Price: $3.99
- Size: 1 burger
- Purchased at: Burger King #17145
- Nutritional Quirks: There doesn’t seem to be any nutritional information available from BK for this burger, but I’m dying to know what’s in the creamy poblano sauce. Maybe the secret ingredient is magic!
(Edit: Thanks to The Impulsive Buy and Burger King’s PR department, I now know that this burger has a surprisingly low 590 calories, but you can take heart in the 34 grams of total fat which includes 12 grams of saturated and 2 grams of trans. Also enjoy your 1,240 milligrams of sodium!)