I still prefer real beef but this will do.
Hands down, one of my favorite meals is a beefy cheeseburger with all of the fixings. Unfortunately, I’m aging and cheeseburgers aren’t that good for me. Well, they are good for me in that they make me VERY happy, but as far as healthiness and cholesterol is concerned…
…I guess I can’t actually just drink more alcohol to thin out my blood.
While it doesn’t fully recreate the experience of a real cheeseburger, ground turkey does provide an almost acceptable substitute. Honestly, it doesn’t make for an awesome cheeseburger, but a turkey burger makes for an okay meal on a weeknight.
I don’t actually make these from any recipe, but I measured out what I used for the purposes of this article; just in case anybody wants to try something similar.
I started with a pound of ground turkey purchased from our local Sprouts supermarket (great place with really good, CHEAP, produce and even better beef!) and some items from the pantry. Everything gets lightly hand mixed in a medium mixing bowl.
Into the bowl:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp dried chives
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
There are two things from the ingredients list that I feel it’s a little important to point out here. The first is the Dijon mustard. I add this to help keep the turkey from drying out on the grill. I encourage you to experiment with different condiments to add to the turkey to help keep it moist for grilling and to give your patties some added flavor. But be careful not to add too much our you’ll end up with really loose and mushy turkey burgers! The second item worth mentioning from the ingredients list is the 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. I feel the breadcrumbs keep the burger from being too mushy by adding some texture and help glue the burger together a little. Just be careful to not add too much of the breadcrumbs or you might see a burger patty that is too dry and wants to break apart on the grill.
After lightly hand mixing the ingredients, it’s time to form the turkey mixture into patties. I typically divide the mixture up into four portions (for four patties); gauging it by eye and feel. The four portions are loosely rolled into balls; don’t handle the turkey too roughly and pack it too tightly or the texture of the cooked patty wont be all that enjoyable. I am fortunate to have a simple burger press that my in-laws got me to quickly and uniformly form burger patties. You can just as easily hand form your patties though.
After letting the turkey burgers rest in the ‘fridge for a little, it’s time to heat up the grill! I typically turn my two burner grill up to high (both burners) for most grilling. For dinner this night, I put two of the turkey burger patties in a FoodSaver vacuum sealed container for dinner the next evening. The remaining two patties got brushed with some low sodium (no MSG!) Dale’s sauce to help add a bit of a salt component to the flavor.
Once the grill is hot, it’s time to put the turkey burgers down. I highly suggest using aluminum foil with cooking oil spray when cooking turkey burgers. Doing this will help keep the turkey burgers from sticking to the grill grates and help keep them patty shaped when flipping them. Please, be careful not to use the cooking oil spray near your lit grill unless you want a nice fire!
Once the burgers have nicely browned on each side (after flipping them) and some juices start coming out (just a little), I melt provolone cheese on my patty (my wife doesn’t do cheese on her burgers!) and toast my buns on the grill. I like a fully loaded burger with all of the fixings, so mine get lettuce, tomato, and onion. I also like sliced avocado on my turkey burgers, along with mayonnaise and sriracha!
The take aways:
- NOTHING BEATS A REAL ALL BEEF CHEESEBURGER!
- While a turkey burger wont replace beef cheeseburgers in my book, they are okay.
- Use something to keep that turkey patty moist and glued together!
- Why does unhealthy food have to taste sooooooo good!?