Picture: Mateusz Gzik (Shutterstock)
I’ve typically considered turkey burgers as a relic of the ‘90s, leftover from an period when fats was the primary enemy, and Snackwells reigned (and it was a reign of artificially candy terror). However some folks simply don’t like pink meat, and others have medical causes for desirous to keep away from it. Some folks might identical to the concept of the turkey burger, however had by no means been in a position to make a really tasty one.
There are solely three issues it’s essential to do to make a turkey burger style good, although: You need to up the fats (just a bit), season it with MSG (that additional little bit of glutamate makes a world of distinction), and smash the heck out of it.
How a lot fats does a turkey burger want?
One of many greatest points folks run into with these explicit chook burgers is that they generally tend to dry out whereas cooking. Including moist elements makes it laborious for the burger to maintain itself collectively, which implies you need to get binders (comparable to bread crumbs and eggs) concerned, and I merely don’t have time for all of that.
Just a little fats goes a good distance although, and it retains your turkey burger from turning right into a turkey puck. Floor darkish meat turkey has sufficient, so ask your butcher if they’ve any behind the counter. In the event that they don’t, simply purchase the pre-packaged floor turkey with the very best proportion of fats (normally 85/15). If all yow will discover is the tremendous lean stuff, you may combine some fats in your self. A tablespoon of schmaltz, lard, or bacon grease per pound of meat will preserve issues moist and provides your burger extra taste, particularly if you happen to use unfiltered bacon grease.
Season your turkey burger with MSG (and salt)
Monosodium glutamate is the best solution to give one thing a meaty, savory umami, and that’s one thing that floor, white-meat turkey positively wants. It additionally wants salt, as a result of the whole lot wants salt.
You don’t want numerous MSG—only a few shakes. Begin by dividing your turkey into four-ounce balls, however don’t press them into patties simply but. Season the surface of every of your turkey orbs with three to 4 pinches of salt, and 4 shakes of MSG out of your MSG shaker. (Don’t have an MSG shaker? Get your self a little bit panda. They promote them on Amazon, however you’ll discover them for less expensive at Asian grocery shops, and generally Walmart.) Now it’s smashing time.
You must smash your turkey burgers
There isn’t a level in making a thick turkey burger. It’ll take longer to prepare dinner, which provides it extra time to dry out and, in contrast to thicc beefy bois, you may’t even prepare dinner it to a pleasant medium-rare. (Some folks would argue you shouldn’t even do that with floor beef, however others dwell a little bit extra dangerously.) I’ve all the time most popular skinny, smashed burgers to thick, steaky burgers, anyway. Smashing creates extra floor space, which implies extra of the meat will get browned, and browned floor turkey is the one floor turkey that tastes like something.
In case your objective is to maximise taste with crispy, craggy edges, smashing rapidly in an excellent sizzling pan is your greatest plan of action. Principally, you need it to appear to be this:
Picture: Claire Decrease
Warmth a forged iron or stainless-steel pan over higher-than-medium-high warmth. You don’t need your burners at their hottest setting, however you need them virtually there. As soon as your pan is sizzling sufficient—use the water drop methodology to check—add a teaspoon or so of animal fats or vegetable oil to the pan and wipe it round with a paper towel. Take your seasoned orb of turkey meat, place it within the pan, and smash it down laborious with a big spatula. Let it prepare dinner till the perimeters are browned—no less than two minutes—then scrape and flip the burger and high it with a slice of American cheese. Let it prepare dinner for a pair extra minutes, then switch on to a bun, slather on the condiments, and pile on the toppings. You’ve simply made a turkey burger that tastes actually good, and that’s a uncommon factor.