Is Turkey Good For Burgers? (Turkey vs Beef)

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Does turkey make good burgers? Here we will share our experience with eating a plain turkey burger versus a beef burger. There are some things that we learned from our experience, that we would like to share with you. For our experiment, we kept it nice and simple by eating a turkey only burger, and a beef only burger. No additions, except for salt.

For the turkey, the best that we could find at the grocery store for ground turkey meat was 15% fat to meat. We chose higher fat turkey meat to ensure that it would be the fairest comparison against a beef burger with 20% fat to meat. The reason why we are choosing meats for burgers with more fat, is because they make the best flavored, most juicy, and best textured burgers; especially when they have a ratio of 80/20 for meat to the amount of fat in the meat.

For our first test, we made sure to apply the same amount of salt to both types of burgers; and to make each burger with the same amount of thickness. The beef, just like the turkey, came from the grocery store. They were both already grounded for us to immediately use for burgers.


When preparing the burgers by forming the ground meat into patties to cook on the grill, the turkey was more difficult to work with. The texture of the ground turkey was completely different than the ground beef. It felt like trying to make a patty out of extremely finely chopped chicken. Even though the turkey had 15% fat, it didn’t feel like it had much fat in it.

Despite this, the turkey did appear to bond well enough to form a good patty, which we were definitely able to do. Yet, it still felt like a completely different experience than it is with working with ground beef. In certain ways it felt as if the turkey was bonding better than the beef for making patties, yet in others ways it didn’t feel this way. The ground turkey meat had less consistency on these terms than the beef.

In an experience with the turkey meat (separate from our first experiment with the two meats), we ran water on the turkey meat, and found that it may do poorly with holding together like beef or pork would if a few additions were added into ground meat. The ground turkey had trouble bonding once a little water was added to it. The turkey burger patty was also more vulnerable to falling apart when compared to beef.


We found out that there are some key differences, but also some similarities in cooking for the turkey burger versus the beef burger. Both the turkey and beef burger were cooked at the same temperatures on the same grill. They were cooked until they reached the safe internal temperatures for safe eating.

First off, because of the color of the meat itself, it was difficult to tell if the turkey burger patty was cooking enough and ready to flip. Of course, this is due to the fact that turkey isn’t as red as beef. A food thermometer should definitely be used for cooking turkey burgers. It was difficult to see the bleeding that we were looking for in the turkey, which is an indicator to us that the middle is cooking.

Also, when the turkey is cooking and finally does start to bleed out its juices, the liquid isn’t pink or red for long. It cooks and turns to a light brown pretty fast when a high enough temperature is used.

However, despite all of this, the turkey was easier to cook than the beef. The heat seemed to cook thoroughly through the burger a lot easier, and the meat isn’t as tough as beef is. The color of the meat when it isn’t cooked is distinguishable enough from the color of the meat when it is cooked. It turns from a light pink to a tan when the turkey is cooking. The overall cooking experience when making turkey burgers was wonderful. Both the beef burger and the turkey burger can be messy when it comes to the grease that they produce, unlike the pork burger.

Eating Comparison

After cooking both the beef burger and the turkey burger, it was time to eat. The turkey burger had the texture of what you would expect from a burger, but it was lacking a little bit in flavor when compared to the beef burger. Honestly, at first we had decided that clearly turkey was something you would eat as a burger, only if you didn’t have beef, and you had to use it. It just didn’t seem to have that overall good burger taste.

As mentioned, to be fair, we seasoned both burger patties with the same amount of salt, and nothing else. The turkey burger at the time just didn’t seem to have a real memorable taste that made you want more. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t at that time as good as a beef burger. It definitely makes a good burger though. The turkey burger had a less meaty flavor than the beef that’s all.

However, we decided to give it another shot and try the turkey burger again, but this time with a little bit more salt. This time around, though the turkey burger didn’t have a really prominent meat flavor, it was very good. The turkey burger grows on you when it comes to flavor. It definitely can make a good burger despite the differences, and it actually works better than beef would for a simple salt seasoning.

We actually ended up liking turkey better for burgers over beef, and changed our mind about only using the turkey only if you run out of beef. We will definitely buy more ground turkey in the future and make burgers from them. We ended up eating the rest of the remaining ground turkey that we bought as burgers.

If you plan on using turkey to make burgers, our recommendation is to keep it simple, as turkey burgers tend to do better than beef when more salt is added to them. A turkey burger with just a few extra vegetables is spectacular if enough salt is added. We enjoy turkey burgers better for making great tasting burgers with no sauce. Even the beef burger that has enough salt, didn’t taste as good as the turkey burger did when it had more salt. It was a great experience.

Both the turkey burger and the beef burger were juicy, but of course, the beef burger was more juicier. Either one can be dry if they aren’t cooked properly. If you are looking for a substitute for beef, than try turkey. Just don’t forget the salt.

This experiment was done by an individual that never tried turkey burgers before, but had eaten beef burgers their whole life.

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