I have a beef with turkey burgers. Did you see what I did there? Yes, they’re healthier and lower in fat that traditional burgers, but they often turn out dry, bland, and boring. After trying many different recipes, I was about to give up on the idea of a delicious, juicy home made turkey burger when I found two ingredients that take turkey burgers to the next level.
The two ingredients that really make these burgers stand out are the BBQ sauce and the smoked paprika. Together they make the burgers juicer and they add a rich, smoky flavor that turkey burgers usually lack. I personally like to use a thick, corn-syrupy BBQ sauce for these and I’m always careful to choose one with a lower than average sugar content (yes, difficult to find when looking at BBQ sauce) as sugar burns easily.
To me the most important difference between beef burgers and turkey burgers is that unlike beef burgers, turkey burgers should not be cooked rare or medium rare. You really don’t want to under cook ground turkey. If you spend some time looking at various turkey burger recipes you’ll see a range of different recommended temperatures the turkey should be cooked to; from 160 F to 180 degrees F. Wanting to make sure I was cooking my meat thoroughly, I did a little research and found that Foodsafety.gov lists 165 degrees F as the safe minimum cooking temperature for ground turkey, with no rest time needed. Be sure to use your meat thermometer, not just your eyes to make sure these are done.
Once you’ve cooked them to the appropriate temperature you’ll arrive at my second-favorite step: topping the burgers. I topped mine with a colby-pepper jack cheese, extra bbq sauce, then piled on the veggies. Then, on to my first-favorite step: eating them.
BBQ Turkey Burgers
For the patties:
- 16 oz ground turkey 93% lean
- 1 ½ tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of chili powder
- Pinch of salt
- Canola oil to coat grill or skillet
To Complete Burgers:
- 6 cheese slices if desired
- 6 hamburger buns sliced
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix thoroughly using your hands.
- Separate the mixture into 6 evenly sized portions, and form each portion into a patty.
- Lightly coat a grill or skillet in oil and cook burgers over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook until burgers are golden brown and their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- If desired, top with a slice of cheese and leave burger on the grill until cheese is slightly melted.
- Place burger on bun, top with desired condiments and toppings, and serve immediately.