turkey burgers from america's test kitchen

compumomJuly 4, 2012

Can anyone provide me with the recipe for Juicy Turkey Burgers from ATK? The recipe is on their site, but as I'm not a subscriber, I can't see it!

On my ride home this evening I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air, topic Summer Grilling episode where Terry Gross was interviewing ATK's Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop. They had a method for making juicy turkey burgers using gelatin that had bloomed in a bit of chicken stock and a some baking soda to coat the outside. I'm not too sure on the baking soda, but the gelatin made some sense.

Can someone please enlighten me with the recipe?

Thanks in advance!

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Here it is...

Juicy Grilled Turkey
BurgersServes 6. Published July 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

To create juicy, well-textured turkey burgers, we ditched store-bought ground turkey in favor of home-ground turkey thighs, which boast more fat and flavor. To ensure that our turkey burger recipe delivered maximum juiciness, we made a paste with a portion of the ground turkey, gelatin, soy sauce, and baking soda, which trapped juice within the burgers. Finally, we added coarsely chopped raw white mushrooms to keep the meat from binding together too firmly.

If you are able to purchase boneless, skinless turkey thighs, substitute 1 1/2 pounds for the bone-in thigh. To ensure the best texture, don�t let the burgers stand for more than an hour before cooking. Serve the burgers with Malt Vinegar�Molasses Burger Sauce or your favorite toppings. Serve the burgers with any of our burger sauces (see related content) or your favorite toppings.

1 (2-pound) bone-in turkey thigh , skinned, boned, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon unflavored gelat in 3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

6ounces white mushrooms, trimmed

1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch baking soda
2 tablespoons vegetable oil , plus extra for brushing
Kosher salt and pepper

6 large hamburger buns


1. Place turkey pieces on large plate in single layer. Freeze meat until very firm and hardened around edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over chicken broth in small bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Pulse mushrooms in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 7 pulses, stopping and redistributing mushrooms around bowl as needed to ensure even grinding. Set mushrooms aside; do not wash food processor.

2. Pulse one-third of turkey in food processor until coarsely chopped into 1/8-inch pieces, 18 to 22 pulses, stopping and redistributing turkey around bowl as needed to ensure even grinding. Transfer meat to large bowl and repeat two more times with remaining turkey.

3. Return 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) ground turkey to bowl of food processor along with softened gelatin, soy sauce, and baking soda. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. With processor running, slowly drizzle in oil, about 10 seconds; leave paste in food processor. Return mushrooms to food processor with paste and pulse to combine, 3 to 5 pulses, stopping and redistributing mixture as needed to ensure even mixing. Transfer mushroom mixture to bowl with ground turkey and use hands to evenly combine.

4. With lightly greased hands, divide meat mixture into 6 balls. Flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patties about 4 inches in diameter; press shallow indentation into center of each burger to ensure even cooking. (Shaped patties can be frozen for up to 1 month. Frozen patties can be cooked straight from freezer.)

5A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

5B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).

6. Clean and oil cooking grate. Brush 1 side of patties with oil and season with salt and pepper. Using spatula, flip patties, brush with oil, and season second side. Place burgers over hot part of grill and cook until burgers are well browned on both sides and register 160 degrees, 4 to 7 minutes per side. (If cooking frozen burgers: After burgers are browned on both sides, transfer to cool side of grill, cover, and continue to cook until burgers register 160 degrees.)

7. Transfer burgers to plate and let rest for 5 minutes. While burgers rest, grill buns over hot side of grill. Transfer burgers to buns, add desired toppings, and serve.

How We Built a Better Burger

Swapping out lean, bland commercial ground turkey for freshly ground turkey thighs (we use a food processor) was only our first step toward a juicier, more meaty-tasting burger.

1. Grind Dark Meat: Turkey Thighs contain more fat and flavor than lean white meat.

2. Mix in Mushrooms: They add moisture and flavor, and lighten the texture of the meat.

3. Add Baking Soda: Just a pinch tenderizes the meat by raising its pH.

4. Add Gelatin: Gelatin acts like a sponge, holding up to 10 times its own weight in water.
America�s Test Kitchen is a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook�s Country and Cook�s Illustrated magazines and is the workday destination for more than three dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to America�s Test Kitchen (www.americastestkitchen.com) on public television.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 4:24AM
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Thanks Nancy!!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:51AM
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I'd like to hear your report if you do end up making these. DH loves turkey burgers, but they seem so bland to me. I've never actually taken a bite, mind you...but they look so dry when he makes them. I thought I'd give this recipe a try to see if he likes it better.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:47AM
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I've made the Mar-a-Lago turkey burgers several times. They are wonderful. Didn't think I could ever get enthused about a turkey burger until I made these.

Nancy's recipe sure sounds interesting, too. The mushrooms ought to help keep the burgers moist.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 6:54PM
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