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Arby’s first ever burger is here – how does it taste?

Arby's Wagyu Steakhouse Burger

It’s taken nearly 60 years, but finally it’s here, Arby’s first ever burger is now available on menus across the country. It’s a limited time special too, so you’ll want to act fast to taste this huge new release. With their tagline of, “we’ve got the meats”, fans are likely expecting something special.

With that in mind, Arby’s newly minted patty comes with a blend of Wagyu and ground beef. According to the brand this 6.4 ounce burger (50% larger than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder) is a 52% blend of American Wagyu and 48% ground beef that is cooked “sous vide style”. Consider me intrigued!

Sous vide you ask? That’s a fancy restaurant technique that involves vacuum sealing your protein than cooking low and slow in an immersion circulator – a water bath held to precise temperatures. The idea behind sous vide cooking is that the combination of super slow (at the carefully considered temp) cooks the meat just right – locking in ever ounce of flavor. I can’t image Arby’s are doing this in store, my guess is that this surely happens before the patties land in store, ready for a final cook to order.

At any rate the Wagyu Steakhouse Burger comes with the following myriad toppings:

  • Wagyu Steakhouse Burger Patty
  • American Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Burger Sauce
  • Pickles
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato
  • Brioche Bun

First impressions are good, this is a substantial and weighty burger clocking in at more than 700 calories for the sandwich alone (you’ll go North of 1200 for the combo meal). The burger is noticeably hefty in the hand.

The second thing you’ll notice is that this is a messy monster. As you unwrap the foil packaging ingredients start to cascade out, tumbling every which way. Eat this in your car at your own risk – you’ve been warned – you’ll be covered in pink burger sauce faster and a flurry of lettuce.

So, was the nearly six decade wait for the first Arby’s burger worth it? First some pictures…

Arby's Wagyu Steakhouse Burger foil wrapped
Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger foil wrapped
Arby's Wagyu Steakhouse Burger foil opened
Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger foil opened
Arby's Wagyu Steakhouse Burger
Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger
Arby's Wagyu Steakhouse Burger toppings
Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger toppings
Arby's Wagyu Steakhouse Burger interior
Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger interior
Steakhouse Burger interior close up
Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger interior close up
Arby's Steakhouse Burger - crispy
Arby’s Steakhouse Burger – crispy

Sadly, I have to report my own experience of this burger was a let down. Those grand claims of a sous vide patty created with wagyu beef create some huge expectations going in; which my local Arby’s put paid too quickly with some over zealous cooking. Just to be sure, I purchased two of the burgers and each was cooked to within an inch of its life, and then a little bit more for good measure. The resulting burger patty was dry, with a crisp exterior. Too crisp for me.

Beyond the excessive cooking, the burger had little overt beefy flavor, presumably that left when the fat went on its merry way. The rest of the composition itself was solid; Arby’s burger sauce is reminiscent of a sweeter Big Mac sauce, and this was the flavor which dominated proceedings more than anything else. And of course, there are those copious amounts of toppings, it’s clear Arby’s wanted to bring as much as they could to the party, for their first burger, and it was all of good quality. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that the buttery brioche bun held up nicely throughout. No quickly disintegrating bread here.

Arby’s own website claims that “There are too many bad burgers out there. That’s why Arby’s created THIS burger with wagyu beef, cooked medium-well with a hint of pink.” There was little sign of this gentler hand in the execution of my two burgers. Both were cooked to a well temp, if nota little more.

Whether this was a failure of my local Arby’s having an off day, or simply a nod to the fact that this is the first time the kitchen crew at the chain have to handle a burger product – I’m unsure. Certainly many other online reviews seem to be raving about this one right now. With that in mind, you might want to have a word with the team when you order.

If you want to give your local Arby’s the benefit of the doubt, the Wagyu Steakhouse Burger cost me $6.19 here in Salt Lake City; a bacon ranch version is also available for a buck more at $7.19. Whatever you choose, just be sure to order plenty of extra napkins for this one…

The burger can also be ordered for delivery via DoorDash – first time users get a freebie delivery deal and we get a small referral fee too! The burger should be available through the end of July.

Update: I decided to do a little digging on how exactly this burger is cooked in store. I came across this thread on Reddit that suggests the burgers are deep fried for 1 min 45 secs, presumably arriving at the store cooked sous-vide with the fryer the final heat and serve process for the guest. That would definitely explain the severe crisp on the exterior of the burger I posted above.

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