GREEK-INSPIRED TURKEY BURGERS
“Turkey burgers are normally dry….but with this recipe combination it really wasn’t…I would definitely make it again….I really enjoyed it.” -James D, Slow ‘N Sear owner
Our goal: save the turkey burger’s reputation, one delicious juicy burger at a time. Packed with flavor, this recipe will change your impression of turkey burgers forever.
Background and Prep:
We’ll be honest. While most people think “healthy” when hearing “turkey burger”, our choice of using turkey wasn’t because we wanted to watch our waistline, but because the Greek-inspired flavors of this burger really POP when using a milder meat. Lamb would be a great choice here, too, really bringing forward the Mediterranean feel of the dish. But for most folks, ground turkey is a bit more accessible, so we used that here.
In order to keep this burger from getting too dry, its important to keep enough fat in the mix. In many meat cases, you’ll find ground turkey packages looking similar to ground beef – with meat/fat ratios listed on the label. You’ll want to use an 85/15 mix for this recipe. If your package doesn’t list fat content, or if all you can find is labeled as “extra lean”, we’d recommend adding some additional fatty meat like ground pork.
20 oz. 85/15 ground turkey
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup feta crumbles
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp Kosher salt
Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients together in a large bowl, mix thoroughly with your hands to ensure uniformity of flavor throughout the burger. Note: if you’re looking to avoid gluten, you can substitute finely chopped mushrooms for the breadcrumbs.
Form the mixture into ~7 oz. patties. You’ll notice the patties are a bit sticky and moister than beef burgers – that’s completely normal. Once the burgers are formed, give them a light coating of oil to prevent sticking to the cooking grate and place them in the fridge while setting up the grill.
We’re going to cook the burgers at 325 – 350° F then sear at the end, so follow the lighting instructions for a long Hot & Fast cook. Since we’re cooking at temperatures over 300° F, we aren’t using water in the reservoir. If you want to use smoke wood, now is the time to get it on the coals. Personally, we skip the smoke in this recipe because the patties already have so much flavor.
Once the grill has reached temperature and your smoke is thin white/blue or clear, place the burgers on the indirect side of the grill opposite the Slow ‘N Sear, and place a leave in thermometer into one of the burgers. Close the lid and begin cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. NOTE: The time will vary depending on how thick you make your patties.
When the burgers reach an internal temperature of 100 degrees give them a flip to promote even cooking. Replace the lid and continue cooking until they reach 140 degrees. When the burgers hit 140° F pull them off the grill and get ready for the final sear. Open the lid and let the coals warm up for a few minutes. Grab a pair of tongs and move the coals around until the heat is even. Once the charcoal is ready simply spin the EasySpin grate so the burgers are over the sear zone or move them over to direct heat. Sear the burgers, two minutes per side for a total of 4 minutes with the lid on. After 4 minutes you should have nice color on both sides, the internal temperature should be 160° F and they are ready to eat!
These burgers are great on a bun, in a pita or on a lettuce wrap. To really bring home the “Greek” flavor, we love topping the burgers with homemade tzatziki sauce (recipe below), tomato, and Kalamata olives. However you top your burger, we know it’s going to be juicy and delicious!
English cucumber (peeled, seeded, and drained)
1/2 tsp salt
1 container (5.3 – 6.0 oz) Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped dill
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel an English cucumber. Cut in half length-wise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. With a handheld or box grater, grate the remaining flesh into shreds over a bowl. After it’s grated, mix the cucumber with a sprinkle of salt and move the shredded cucumber to a strainer or cheesecloth set over a bowl. Let the moisture from the cucumber drain for at least 30 minutes, squeezing occasionally. Once the cucumber has released most of its moisture mix it together with remaining ingredients. For best flavor, make 30-60 minutes in advance leaving it in the fridge until ready to use.