Why Food Commercials Use Undercooked Burger Patties

Have you ever watched food commercials and thought to yourself, "Wow, it never looks that good when I order it." If you have, that's because it isn't really real. In fact, what you are seeing is what is known as food styling. Much like any other kind of stylist, food stylists also focus on color, size, shape, and texture (via The Art Career Project).

For example, when you see fruit in commercials, the first thing you probably notice is how shiny it is, right? Well, that radiance is brought to you by deodorant spray. Who would have thought a sweat repellent was perfect for spraying on fruit? When that IHOP commercial shows a classic stack of fluffy pancakes topped with syrup, it's hard to look away. Now imagine engine oil being used instead of syrup and that should get your attention (via Bright Side).

Curious about what other creative tricks food stylists use to whet our appetites? Real ice cream is rarely ever used in commercials because, obviously, it would melt into a puddle before the camera is turned on. So what else is creamy and won't melt under hot lights? Yes, you guessed it — mashed potatoes! So the next time you see that frozen goodness on-screen, Bright Side reports that you are actually looking at colored mashed potatoes as a substitute.

As for meat, specifically burgers, the secret to how they make patties look appealing on TV might just make you look twice at that next Wendy's commercial. 

Why burgers always look so juicy in commercials

Ordinarily, burgers are cooked pretty quickly and eaten even quicker. But one thing to remember is that photo and video shoots can take hours. Having meat sitting out for that long doesn't necessarily produce appetizing results when filming. According to Money Talks News, food stylists typically use undercooked burgers to create that juicy, plump burger that entices audiences and keeps customers piling up in fast-food joints. Bright Side even reports that some photographers and stylists will even paint the burgers with shoe polish to create grill marks. Pretty cool, huh? 

Staging nearly raw burgers will ensure they look mouth-wateringly delicious for the duration of the shoot, whereas fully-cooked beef patties will start to look like the typical burgers we receive wrapped in paper and placed inside paper bags. Not the most appealing, right? 

Don't worry, though! These burgers are just for show, so there's no fear of contamination or someone getting an E. coli infection from raw meat on set.