How to Tell If Turkey Burger Is Done | 5 Alternative Hacks

Are you sad or dissatisfied with your turkey burger? Or, does every time your burger turns into a mushy mess? Most people do not know – how to cook the turkey burger properly. So, you should learn How to Tell If Turkey Burger Is Done. Many people make mistakes as they try to cook the turkey meat just like the ground beef.

Every product is independently reviewed and selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Ground turkey beef is leaner compared to ground beef. So, it becomes dry faster. That’s why you need to add some additional ingredients such as onion or garlic to keep the moisture. So, hold on! I will share many more tips and tricks in this article to make your turkey burger perfect!

5 Ways on How to Tell If Turkey Burger Is Done

While cooking a hamburger, it is pretty easy to tell if the burger is done and ready to eat or not. When talking about the venison burger, when it is raw, it looks pink in the patty center. But as the grilling time goes, the center becomes darker. 

If the turkey burger reaches 165° F, juices run out of the patty, look slightly pink, and you feel warm and soft in touch then your turkey burger is done. 

Temperature Test

In the last few years, the turkey burger has earned much popularity and is considered a healthier alternative to a beef burger. Because a turkey burger has less fat compared to a beef burger. But this lack of fat also makes it dry while cooking. 

In fact, it is extremely tricky to cook a turkey burger. The minimum temperature for the ground poultry is 165 ° F (74° C). As all ground turkey products contain many dangerous pathogens, it is important to cook them at this temperature to destroy them.

Though a meat thermometer is a very essential tool and I recommend everyone to have one in their stock. But if you do not have a thermometer, then to check whether it is done or not, you can follow the idea mentioned below. So, you can follow these surprising tools to check your burger meat.

Color Test

After slicing or piercing, if you observe the juice looks reddish pink, then it indicates the patty needs more time to cook. So, in this case, you need to put the patty back to grilling and wait for a short time. 

The Touch Test

Many chefs and home cooks use this touch test. The touch test is another effective method to check the meat’s condition. You need to touch the meat cut using your finger, feel it with your thumb. 

If you feel like a fleshy part and cold then the meat is not cooked, it is raw. So, you need to cook it for a short time. But in case it feels warm and close to your body’s temperature, the meat is medium-rare. But if it feels hot, then bravo it is cooked well! 

The Time Test

You can grill your burger patty for 10 to 12 minutes on medium heat. You should close the lid as much as you can. After 10 to 12 minutes if the burger meat is still undercooked then you need to cook it over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Or, cook it until it becomes brown and crispy. For frozen turkey patties, you can cook one side for 8 minutes and another side for 7 minutes till it has cooked properly. 

If the patty is not cooked properly then it can contain Salmonella bacteria and it can lead to food poisoning along with fever, abdominal cramps.

Juiciness Test

You can use a knife or fork for performing the juiciness test. Using the knife or fork you need to slice or pierce a small portion of the patty to check. If you can observe a clear juice, then your patty is done. 

How to Check A Burger’s Internal Temperature

As the turkey burgers come from poultry, so it needs to be cooked properly. But as the turkey is thin and lean meat and lack of fat make it prone to drying out quickly. 

It is important to check the temperature to avoid drying out the burger meat. Remember, you should count every degree while grilling the ground turkey.

To check the internal temperature of the turkey burger, you can use a meat thermometer. There are many top-class meat thermometers you can find in the store. But I recommend you to use Super-Fast Thermapen®.

Let’s follow the mentioned steps to check the internal temperature of the burger –

Step-1: Firstly, insert the thermometer’s tip into the turkey burger from the top. Otherwise, you can lift the turkey burger with a spatula from the grill’s surface to check the temperature.

Step-2: Then you need to push the tip in the patty center and pull it back slowly. 

Step-3: After that, you should read the temperature carefully on the display of your thermometer. Because the number can rapidly change. 

Turkey meats come in different shades of pink and white. So, to know – how the turkey burger is done? 

You can follow two general rules –

  • Cook the patty until the pink color in the center disappears. 
  • Cook the patty until the internal temperature reaches at or up to 165 ° F (74° C).

Can a Turkey Burger Be Pink In The Middle

Ground poultry has to be cooked at 165 ° F (74° C) or higher before you consume it. As long as the harmful bacteria is destroyed to the proper temperature, a little pink in the center is okay! 

Your burger patty can remain pink after proper cooking or reaching the internal temperature at 165 ° F (74° C).  The smoked turkey meat always looks pink. If you want to understand the cause of the color differences in fresh turkey, then you need to know the natural color of the meat.

Are Turkey Burgers Supposed to Be Mushy

Ground turkey burgers are supposed to be pretty mushy. Just like the other meat, you also have to add some ingredients to keep the meat together. To avoid this problem, you can put some dry breadcrumbs into the meat mixture before you give it a patty shape. 

Breadcrumbs will help to absorb natural juices while cooking and release the moisture back into the meatloaf. In fact, it makes your burger juicier and tastier.  But remember these breadcrumbs should not be considered as a binder.

As the turkey patties are leaner and they dry out quickly while they are exposed to high heat. So, to compensate, we usually use the darker turkey meat ground for the burger patty. Besides, you can add some chopped onions and pepper to add in some moisture. Meat fat can also add moisture.

What Happens If You Eat An Undercooked Turkey Burger

It is wise not to eat an undercooked turkey burger. Because most of the people intake the most common bacteria – Salmonella with the undercooked poultry. Salmonella is a very harmful bacteria that causes severe food poisoning. But sometimes this food poisoning becomes acute.

Some typical signs and symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Acute vomiting
  • Signs of dehydration (like dark-colored urine, feeling low, and dry mouth)
  • Bloody stool

Sometimes diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This situation becomes very serious in infants and children. It may cause death.

So, everyone should cook the burger properly over medium heat for 5 minutes until it becomes brown and crispy to destroy the dangerous bacteria and pathogens. 

Can You Eat A Medium-rare Turkey Burger

A juicier, tastier, and rare steak is one of the delightful meals. But whenever it comes to the burger patty, a rare or undercooked patty is A BIG NO! 

Do you want to know the reason, right?

Because a medium-rare or undercooked burger patty may lead to food poisoning. You need to cook the burger patty perfectly as the ground meat belongs to poultry. It contains harmful pathogens not only present on the surface of the burger patty but also inside the patty.

Mostly the pathogens are present on the muscle tissue’s surface. So, at the time of grinding the meat, you disperse all the pathogens throughout the patty.  Turkey burger patty belongs in the poultry category. 

So, it needs to be cooked fully before eating. It is better not to eat a radium rare turkey burger. You have to cook your burger patty until the internal temperature reaches 165 ° F (74° C). 

How Do You Make Turkey Burgers Not Mushy

Ground meat becomes mushy when you use poor quality meat or you keep the meat at room temperature. It will smear the meat fat. So, while cooking the meat, this smeared fat becomes liquid then steams the patty meat. 

So, I am here to share with you – how do you make turkey burgers not mushy?

Choose Better Quality Meat

The prime factor you should focus on first is – the quality of the meat! You should not use low-quality meat for your burger. The low-quality meat includes brine or water. 

This water will steam while cooking and turns into a mushy mess. Besides, low-quality meat contains high fat, it will give a soft texture and turn into a soggy mess. So, it is better to choose high-quality meat for your burger patty.

Freeze The Meat Carefully

Freezing is not a big issue. Though you should be alert and you should not freeze the meat in an inappropriate way.  To avoid mushy meat, you should be more careful to stop the freezer burn. 

So, you can preserve the meat in a Ziploc bag and also fold the bar with aluminum foil for additional protection. You can chill the burger meat with some ice cubes in the fridge before you keep it in the freezer.

Besides, you should try to keep the meat cold while you are going to work with it.

For Grinding Use a Sharp Knife

You need to use a sharp knife to grind the meat. It is essential to assure the blades are sharp enough. Also, you should remember – Never Grind the Meat Too Much!  As too much grinding can make the meat too soft.

Here I provide some tips so that your turkey burgers do not become mushy:

Preheat your oven, grill, pan, or whatever you are going to cook the meat and cook the burger meat straight from your freezer. The rare burger contains a more mushy texture, so you have to cook the burger meat to medium.

Final Words

Hope that my article will answer all of your queries that make you confused. Now you can easily know – How to Tell If Turkey Burger Is Done or not! So, before you step into the kitchen, read this article once again if you miss out on any important note. 

Happy Cooking!

Leave a Comment