Published July 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Most turkey burgers are dry, bland, or loaded up with flavor-blunting fillers. We made more than 200 burgers to figure out a better way.
Most turkey burgers are dry, and those that do offer some flavor taste more like overdressed turkey meatloaf than burgers.
We wanted tender, juicy, and flavorful meat without the distraction of our spice cabinet or other superficial fixes.
First, we decided on the meat. We knew that grinding our own would allow us to control both the cut and the size of the grind. We opted for thigh meat, as this cut boasts a decent amount of fat and flavor, and broke out our food processor.
To solve the moisture issue, we decided to use some of our turkey to make a sausage. This finely processed meat causes the proteins to stretch out and link up into a stronger network that traps fat and moisture. When mixed into the remaining ground turkey, the sausage trapped copious amounts of moisture and fat, resulting in the juiciest turkey burger we’d ever had.
Next, we focused on loosening up the texture. After a slew of tests, we hit upon the solution: raw white mushrooms. Chopped in the food processor and then mixed into our turkey sausage, the mushrooms provided three unique benefits: They increased tenderness; provided extra moisture; and, thanks to their high level of glutamates, helped boost meatiness.list of recipes