Wednesday, April 13, 2011

White Turkey Burgers

Lately I've been reading Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes book which understandably got me in the mood for last night's meal. We've had a pound of ground turkey frozen for a few months so I decided to thaw it out and form it into three burger patties. If you've ever cooked hamburgers you know that they always shrink while cooking so I tried a technique used in Flay's book to get them formed better. The small indention in each center allows for the burger to expand upward on the grill making it more even when it is finished. Otherwise you end up with raised tops which usually causes backyard chefs to press down on their burgers creating flareups and releasing all the juices. The result is usually a dry, burnt burger with less flavor. This was my first try at making my own patties, and doing it with ground turkey was definetely a challenge. Due to the low fat content the meat didn't want to hold together very well, I think if you wet your hands it makes it easier. I made these in the morning then put them back in the fridge until dinnertime. When it was time to cook I added some coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to both sides.

I preheated the grill to high and oiled the grate with some vegetable oil to avoid sticking. The burgers went on the gas grill over medium high heat at about 400 to 500 degrees for 6-8 minutes per side. When I started to see bubbles form on the top, that's when I knew when to flip them. If you mess turkey burgers too much (i.e. constant flipping and moving around) they start to fall apart so I just let them cook until both sides were a nice, dark brown and the juices ran clear.  

As you can tell here the burgers definetely shrunk more than I expected for the buns I bought. Next time I will have to make the patties bigger but these worked out well for a first attempt. This White Turkey Burger is served on a jumbo sesame bun with mayonaisse, grilled yellow onion and swiss cheese. On the side we have rice and green beans.

The meat was very juicy despite having only 10% fat, the one flip method really helped to retain the moisture. My only real complaint is the flavor, next time I will go a little heavier on the black pepper. It was perfect for my toddler, she ate an entire burger without the bun AND without ketchup!

The Ingredients

1 - 1.5 lbs Ground Turkey
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sesame hamburger buns
Swiss Cheese
1 medium yellow onion

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