By Tyler Harris
Finishing the second day of the 2012 World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines recently, Gary Vinsand divided up the four pieces of the world's largest pork burger. The burger, made up of 260 pounds of meat on a 40-pound bun, took him from 8 o'clock in the morning to five in the afternoon to cook. Vinsand says the burger would feed over 700 people if each person takes one-third of a pound.
Two of the corners went to the burger's sponsors, the National Pork Producers Council and Hog Slat, a company based in Humboldt. The other half was donated to Central Iowa Shelter and Services of Des Moines. With six sites, the center serves many needy people throughout Des Moines in a year, and is the largest homeless shelter in the city, says the center's volunteer coordinator Amy Olson.
The pork for the burger came from Hy-Vee of Ankeny, while the bun came from Hy-Vee of Humboldt, and the sauce is Vinsand's own creation. "That's my own barbeque rub I use in my restaurant," he says.
This isn't the largest-size pork burger Vinsand has ever created. Two years ago, Vinsand, owner of Vinny's BBQ, a restaurant in Dakota City in north central Iowa, cooked a 240-pound burger on the Fourth of July.
But despite these accomplishments, Vinsand says 260 pounds will not earn a place in the Guiness Book of World Records. "They won't recognize it because they lump it in with the hamburger category," he says, noting the irony of the word "hamburger" in this scenario.
Although Guinness doesn't have a specific record-holder for the largest pork burger, the record-holder for the world's largest hamburger, set in Montana in 1999 by Loran Green, weighed 6,040 pounds, was 24 feet in diameter. That giant burger required a 576-square-foot grill, according to www.GuinnessWorldRecords.com.