Reality Check: Burger King's A.1. Steakhouse XT and a Look at Their New Broiler

Reality Check

Reviews of fast food burgers and a look at how the real life version compares to the advertised beauty shot.


A.1. Steakhouse XT. [Photograph: Burger King]

This week Burger King unveiled their new premium burger line, the Steakhouse XT made of 7-ounce patties cooked on their new batch broilers. I went to a press tasting today at a Burger King in New York City to try the A.1. Steakhouse XT, along with a few other dishes cooked on their new broilers. Check out the burger in real life after the jump.


[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

I have a few photos of the "real" burger because...hell, why not? First is the burger the Burger King peeps put on a nice plate to display for everyone, unsquished by the hands of a wrapper.


It's a neat wrapper to be squished in, though.The floating ingredients illustration is a nice touch.


Here's what's going on under the hood. The A.1. Steakhouse XT is topped with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, ketchup, mayo, A.1. steak sauce, American cheese, and fried battered onions, and comes on a cornmeal-dusted bun. (The regular Steakhouse XT doesn't include the steak sauce, cheese, or fried onions.) I shared the burger with Adam of Burger Conquest, who opted to remove the tomatoes. Fine by me; I always prefer burgers sans tomatoes.


Can't forget about a cross-section of the burger. (If you're wondering why the bottom isn't level, it's because it was being held by fellow food blogger / impromptu photo assistant Jason Lam.)


Here's what it looks like after getting a bit smushed during the journey from Burger King back to the Serious Eats office. Unsurprisingly, it got a bit congeal-y.

As for how it tastes, eating just a quarter of the burger left me with smoke-scented burps for the rest of the day. There's probably something wrong with my digestive system (this isn't Burger King's fault; I'm a prolific burper), but man, that is some pronounced smoke flavor. It's almost like I ate a lump of charcoal. If you're into that, this burger's for you. Our upcoming "Burger King Steakhouse XT vs. McDonald's Angus Burger Taste Test" should provide more info than my tainted burps.

For a limited time, the Steakhouse XT is available at participating restaurants in the U.S. and Canada for an introductory price of $3.99. The A.1. Steakhouse XT and the Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT (a regular Steakhouse XT with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, and bacon) have the suggested retail price of $4.49. The Steakhouse XT and the A.1. Steakhouse XT are permanently on the Burger King menu while the Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT is available for a limited time.


[Photograph: Burger King]

The burgers weren't the star of the show though: in between the chews, focus was on Burger King's new proprietary broiler, which they named their "secret weapon." Burger King's senior vice president for global product marketing and innovation John Schaufelberger told us that the broiler would allow them to make casual-dining quality food at fast food prices. The news release says:

The broiler, supplied by two manufacturers, features proprietary technology that allows restaurants to further enhance the brand's famous flame-fresh taste and provides the flexibility necessary to explore a wider range of innovative, delicious, fire-grilled foods.

The broilers are also touted for being more energy efficient. Compared to the previous systems used by Burger King restaurants, they will reduce gas consumption by 52 percent and electricity consumption by 90 percent.

We tried the "wider range of innovative, delicious, fire-grilled foods" during the press event, including bone-in ribs, steak, and a s'mores-inspired dessert. You can view those dishes and other photos from the event in the slideshow »

Thanks to Rev, Jackie, and Adam of Burger Conquest and Jason for sharing the Burger King calories with me today.