Cole and I are a poultry family. Almost all of our meals are chicken or turkey. This isn’t because we are trying to live a certain type of heart-healthy lifestyle, but it is simply because we prefer the taste. Cole would probably be completely okay if we never had red meat in the house, but personally, I occasionally crave a juicy burger. As a compromise, when I was shopping at the meat market and saw a pound of ground turkey, I decided it was time to try and make my own turkey burgers. I came to realize this was the best of both worlds. Cole could stick to poultry, and I could still have an amazingly delicious burger.
Turkey burgers get a really bad reputation because they are seen as the less appetizing, healthy option for a burger. However, a lot of people that feel this way either haven’t actually tried a turkey burger, or they have had one that has been cooked incorrectly. It wasn’t until I tried to make my own turkey burgers that I realized why people have such an aversion to them. Turkey meat is leaner, which makes it more difficult to cook without becoming dry. It took me a while to perfect the art of grilling turkey without it falling apart or drying out, but I finally found the magical ingredient – butter.
Because turkey is such a lean meat, it needs some fat added into it before it can be grilled. This takes about ¾ tbsp butter for each pound of turkey meat. You have to melt the butter first and then mix it into the meat with a fork until it is thoroughly combined. Once the butter is mixed into your meat you will have added some additional fat content into your burger. This will help your burger to both stay juicier while it is cooking and will allow it to be grilled without breaking into pieces. Now that the meat is prepped, you can form it into ¼ pound patties. After you form your patties you will want to place them on top of wax paper. This prevents your patties from sticking to the plate they are on while you wait for your grill to warm up.
Even though you fixed the fat content, you will still have two more items to consider to make the perfectly delicious turkey burger. You have to grease your grill and keep an eye on the heat. In order to cook a turkey burger without drying it out you want to get your grill between 400 and 450 degrees. You never want the temperature to climb higher than that. Once the grill gets up to the proper temperature take a heat resistant basting brush and brush olive oil on the top rack. You will want to cook the patties on the upper rack so that they are not in direct contact with the hottest part of the grill. Getting too close to the heat source will cause them to crumble apart as they cook.
After the grill has been oiled it is time to place the meat on the grill. You will cook each side for six minutes. Next, place your desired toppings, I use bacon and pepper jack cheese, on top of each patty, giving it another four minutes on the grill for both the cheese to melt and for your burger to finish cooking.
Once the burgers are finished, I like to serve them on a homemade burger bun and add avocado slices and mayo, but BBQ sauce tastes equally great with it! Unfortunately my burger pictured above is missing the avocado. Safer at home rules prevented me from running to the store for a fresh one.
Like this recipe? Check out some of my other grilling recipes listed below.
Grilled Spice-Rubbed Chicken https://soupsonwithschallock.wordpress.com/2020/07/19/grilled-spice-rubbed-chicken/