There is still time to nominate your favorite burger for this year’s Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. The annual contest sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) is looking to award this title to the best burger in the state.
“Our goal is to surpass last year’s total of 9,200 nominations,” says Brooke German, director of marketing for the IBIC. “We are on track to reach this goal, but time is running out to nominate your favorite burger.”
Nominations are being accepted online at iabeef.org. The nomination period closes at 5 p.m. on March 12.
Details about the contest, rules and nomination forms are available on the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s website, www.iabeef.org. Burger lovers can also find a link to the online nomination form at the Iowa Beef Council Facebook page; or by texting BEEF to 313131. Photos of your favorite burger can be shared socially using #IABestBurger.
The quest to find Iowa’s best burger began on Feb. 12. To qualify for the title, burgers must be a 100 percent beef patty, served on a bun or bread products and be cooked to 160° F doneness.
The 10 restaurants with the most votes will be named on March 19. In addition to receiving the title of one of the Top 10 best burgers in the state, these finalists qualify for the title of Iowa’s Best Burger. A secret panel of judges will visit each of these restaurants to taste and judge their burger to help us determine the winner.
“This contest is a great way to celebrate beef and the 27,000 beef producers in Iowa,” said Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications for ICA. “Our cattlemen and women raise a great tasting product that all Iowans can be proud of.”
It’s also a great way for Iowa’s restaurants to build their businesses. The past three winners have been relatively new restaurants who have added staff and increased beef sales as a result of the contest. “We’ve doubled the number of lunchtime staff since winning the Best Burger contest,” said Natalie Schumann, front-of-house manager for The Smokin’ Hereford in Storm Lake, the 2017 Iowa’s Best Burger Contest winner. She says visitors have come from all over the state because of the contest.
Kim Reha, owner of The Chuckwagon in Adair, the 2016 contest winner, agreed that the contest was good for business. “Now that we are famous for burgers, we sell a lot more beef than we ever did before,” she says. The Chuckwagon has also added staff as a result of the competition.
In 2017, more than 9,000 nominations for nearly 500 restaurants were received in the contest. The final winners in previous years are: 2017 – The Smokin’ Hereford, Storm Lake; 2016 – The Chuckwagon Restaurant, Adair; 2015 – The Cider House, Fairfield; 2014 – Brick City Grill, Ames; 2013 – 61 Chop House Grille, Mediapolis; 2012 – Coon Bowl III, Coon Rapids; 2011 – Rusty Duck, Dexter; 2010 – Sac County Cattle Company, Sac City.