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Grill Battle: Hamburgers versus salmon patties

Posted by Edna B. Wilson on

So what’s healthier for you? Grass-fed beef or wild salmon patties? It’s not a major debate; the debates seem to be more about grass-fed beef and stock yard beef, farm-raised salmon and wild salmon. While some environmentalists are concerned about how beef cattle live out their lives before they end up at the stock yard, others are more concerned about the taste difference between grass-fed and corn-fed beef.

We can thank Temple Grandin for taking a stand for beef cattle and making their lives more humane and a bit easier. There doesn’t seem to be an advocate for salmon yet, but there is plenty of debate over which type of salmon is healthier to eat. Wild salmon is better for the planet and for you, but it’s more expensive.

In the midst of grilling season 1, we suggest trying both grass-fed beef and wild salmon. Try the recipes below and test them. See what tastes better 2, what you like more, and go from there.

Half Baked Harvest’s Hawaiian BBQ Salmon Burger with Coconut Caramelized Pineapple 3

It is as good as it sounds! Serves 4, preparation time 45 minutes.


  • 1 pound fresh, raw salmon – skin removed
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce – your choice
  • 2 tablespoons each, chopped fresh cilantro and grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons each, lime juice and pineapple juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 4 king Hawaiian hamburger buns or whole wheat, toasted
  • 1 avocado, sliced or mashed
  • Lettuce
  • Pickled jalapeños – optional

Coconut Caramelized Pineapple

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 large fresh pineapple rings
  • 2 tablespoon toasted coconut


1.In a small bowl, combine lime juice, salt and pepper, BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, and cilantro. Mix well. Put to the side to use later.

2.Chop the salmon into small pieces with a sharp knife.

3.Put salmon in a bowl, add bread crumbs, parmesan and 2 tablespoons Hawaiian BBQ sauce –save the rest for later – and mix together. Shape into 4 burgers.

4.Heat grill to medium high and coat burgers lightly with coconut oil.

5.Cook burgers about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

6.Add Swiss cheese and jalapeños a minute or so before taking off grill so it can melt into burger.

7.In a separate skillet, heat the rest of the coconut oil – about 2 tablespoons – and place the pineapple slices in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until caramelized.

8.To make the burger, put the lettuce on the bottom of the crisp brown bun, add the salmon burger, avocado and a ring of pineapple.

9. Drizzle each burger with the rest of the Hawaiian BBQ sauce and add the top bun.

Salmon Rosemary Burgers from 4

Serve with or without bun. Adapt recipe as needed.


  • 2 ½ pounds king salmon fillet, skinned and de-boned
  • 1 tablespoon each, Dijon mustard and minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon each, salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons fresh horseradish
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


1.Cut the salmon into strips, cutting the strips sideways and chopping the fish until minced. Make sure to remove all small bones.

2.In a large bowl, mix the minced salmon with bread crumbs, red onion, Dijon mustard, fresh horseradish, and eggs. Add rosemary, salt and pepper seasoning. Refrigerate and chill at least 30 minutes.

3.Preheat outdoor grill to medium high heat.

4.Shape the salmon mixture into 8 salmon patties. Lightly coat each with olive oil.

5.Put salmon patties on grill, cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Aaron McCargo Jr.’s Inside-out Burger 5


  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 pounds of chuck
  • 1 teaspoon each, black pepper and coarse salt
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces Swiss cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 sesame seed buns
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (I’d suggest swapping the grapeseed oil for a healthier fat, but that’s up to you)
  • 1 cup of beef bone broth, reduced


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.Place small pieces of bacon in large pan and cook until crispy, for about 5 minutes.

3.Remove bacon with slotted spoon, leaving 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until caramelized, roughly 5 minutes. Remove from heat, put in bowl and let cool.

4.In a large bowl combine beef, shallot, salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Separate the mixture into 4 equal portions, and then divide again into 2 separate patties.

5.Add the cheese into the bacon and mushroom mixture and mix thoroughly. Take 1 patty and top with 2-ounces of the filling. Place another patty on top and pinch the edges of the patties together to make sure the filling is completely covered. Make the rest of the patties the same way.

6.Pre-heat grill to medium high heat. Lightly cover each patty with grapeseed oil. Once the grill is hot, add the burgers and cook for 2 minutes on one side and flip and cook 2 minutes or until golden brown. For medium burgers, grill 4 to 6 more minutes.

7.Remove from the grill and serve on a toasted sesame seed bun. Serves 6.

8.To add a bit of extra taste, dip burger and bun into reduced beef broth, also known as beef au ju dipping sauce.

Grilled grass-fed beef burgers are scrumptious and healthy.

Grass-fed Beef Burgers with Caramelized Sweet Onions 6 (Recipe adapted from PCC Natural Markets)

Grass fed beef is lean and has less fat, so the caramelized onions keep the burgers moist. Serves 6.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ pounds grass-fed, extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon each, salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 slices Gouda or Cheddar cheese
  • 6 burger buns
  • Lettuce and tomato slices
  • Additional condiments as needed


1.In a sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat, and add onions. Cook, stirring for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take off heat and let onions cool completely.

2.Combine beef with caramelized onions, salt and pepper, Worcestershire, mix together and divide the mixture into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten out to about ¾ inch thick patty.

3.Preheat charcoal grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until brown. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger for a minute before removing it from the grill.

4.Remove from grill, put on buns, add lettuce and tomato and condiments.

Grilling is a summertime tradition in the United States, South America, and some European countries. While many countries focus on grilling meat, others are branching out into fish and seafood. Enjoy the summer, experiment with traditional recipes and new twists on old standards. Call some friends, do a pot luck and have everyone bring something to pass for your weekend grilling adventure. It’s healthy, delicious, and easier than you think. 

Image Credits: Pixabay








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