The 2020 burger winner from the Twisted Tail.

It’s the time of year when Iowans who love to sink their teeth into a juicy burger are being asked to nominate their favorite burger maker, whether it’s gourmet or down-home style.

Kylie Peterson, spokeswoman for the Iowa Beef Industry Council, says that the group and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association are holding their 12th annual Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. Peterson says it’s more important than ever this year, since the pandemic has hurt or forced the closure of so many restaurants.

“This contest is not only a great way to celebrate that high-quality product that Iowa’s beef farmers produce, but it also helps draw business to participating restaurants,” Peterson says. “Whether you dine in or carry out, this contest is a great way to challenge Iowans to rally their support behind restaurant owners and Iowa’s beef farmers.”

You can fill out the online nomination form on the Iowa Beef Council’s Facebook page or text your nomination by sending the word BEEF to (515)-220-2020. The rules include: the burger must be 100% real beef, served in a patty form on a bun or bread product.

“Spices can be added to the patty, or course, and burgers can have a variety of different condiments and different combinations that are on top of it,” Peterson says. “Ultimately, the burger is judged on the taste of the patty, its appearance, and the proper cooking temperature of 160 degrees.”

Restaurants can download a digital toolkit including promotional materials from IBIC’s website to promote the contest. Peterson says the ten restaurants with the most nominations will be visited by a secret panel of judges, who will determine the ultimate winner.

“We go around and visit them and give them a plaque as recognition and we sit down with the restaurant owners and figure out where they get their beef sourced from and how they create that great-tasting burger that everybody knows and loves,” Peterson says. “It’s great to sit and talk to those restaurant owners and hear their story.”

The 2020 winner of the contest was the Twisted Tail in BeeBeeTown. The winning burger features a double patty, two slices of cheese, and a fried egg on top.

This year’s winner will be announced on May 3rd.

(By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic)