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It's official: The Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association announced the winner during a live broadcast for their annual Best Burger in Iowa contest. 

Iowa's Best Burger for 2019 hails from Wood Iron Grille in Oskaloosa in Mahaska County.

More: These burgers are so good, they made the Top 10 list for Iowa's Best Burger of 2019

► Related: Here are the Top Ten burgers in Iowa in 2018

Wood Iron Grille in Oskaloosa took Best Burger in Iowa 2019 for the Wood Iron Original Burger — freshly ground chuck and short rib burger with an 80:20 lean to fat ratio, cooked on a flat top and topped with applewood smoked bacon, sweet and tangy onion and jalapeno jam and smoked cheddar cheese on a fresh toasted bun.

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council announced the winner Wednesday.

Owned by partners executive chef Michael Glesener, 37, and Matt Gunn, 34, Wood Iron Grill opened in October 2018 in Oskaloosa. The restaurant is located on the Oskaloosa Public Golf Course and features panoramic views of the fairways.

"It's kind of crazy," Gunn said. "It's our first six months being open and we're going big. It's exciting to be on the map for something in Iowa in a small town and getting our name out there. It's a huge honor considering how many beef and pork farmers there are out here."

In addition to the Wood Iron Original Burger, Wood Iron Grill also features a Cajun Black and Blue Burger dusted with a house blend Cajun seasoning topped with applewood smoked bleu cheese and a 'Merica Burger topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. 

Wood Iron's menu also features appetizers, flatbreads, salads, pasta dishes, entrees and desserts. 

"When I met my partner in crime, we knew it was a calling," Gunn said. "He was a chef and I was front of the house in many restaurants and I just knew that when we met that we would own a restaurant and this just kind of happened to us. With who we are, we had a chance to impact our community and the opportunity to open this up last year."

More than 10,000 nominations were received from the public over a period of about six weeks. The votes were counted and the 10 most popular burger joints advanced to the contest's final round.

The finalist list, in alphabetical order:

A secret panel of judges from the Iowa Beef Council traveled around the state tasting burgers from each restaurant to determine which one was Iowa's best.

May is Beef Month in Iowa. On March 15, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the annual proclamation to recognize the importance of Iowa’s beef industry to our state’s economy.

For a burger to qualify, it had to be made of 100% beef. Other ingredients such as spices and vegetables can be added, but it must be an all-beef patty — or patties — served on a bun or other bread product. Condiments are allowed and the burger must be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees.

This is the ninth year of the contest. Last year, Café Beaudelaire in Ames won for its hand-pattied 100% Angus beef burgers, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayo and served with Brazilian fries. Mozzarella, Muenster, cheddar, a fried egg and bacon can be added for an upcharge.

Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.

 

Previous Best Burger in Iowa winners:

  • 2018: Cafe Beaudelaire in Ames.
  • 2017: Smokin' Hereford BBQ in Storm Lake.
  • 2016: The Chuckwagon Restaurant in Adair.
  • 2015: The Cider House in Fairfield.
  • 2014: Brick City Grill in Ames.
  • 2013: 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis.
  • 2012: Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids.
  • 2011: Rusty Duck in Dexter.
  • 2010: Sac County Cattle Company in Sac City.

Wood Iron Grille

Location: Oskaloosa Public Golf, 2214 S. 11th St., Oskaloosa

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 am. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.

Contact: (641) 676-3322; thewoodirongrille.com; Facebook

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Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/dining/2019/05/01/iowas-best-burger-2019-wood-iron-grille-oskaloosa-iowa-cattlemens-association-beef-industry-council/3621233002/