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Why You Need To Grate Butter Before Adding It To Turkey Burgers

Turkey burger on a table
Turkey burger on a table - Timolina/Shutterstock

If you're avoiding beef for health reasons, or are among the millions of people who don't eat beef, a turkey burger is probably your barbecue go-to. Unfortunately, turkey burgers tend to be a bit boring and dry, compared to a juicy beef burger. Turkey is a lean meat and can dry out faster than other more fatty meats -- it's why we need to pay so much attention to the bird while cooking it at Thanksgiving. When using ground turkey for burgers, the lack of fat becomes apparent. To stay juicy, we need to give ground turkey some help and add in a little fat. All you need is a stick of cold or frozen butter and a grater.

Butter is around 80% fat, which makes it the ideal add-in to your turkey burger to keep it juicy. Since butter is relatively flavor-neutral in its richness, you can get a boost of moisture without adding in other more-dominant flavors like mayonnaise or finely chopped mushrooms. All you need is 2 tablespoons of grated, unsalted butter per pound of ground turkey.

The butter should be frozen or cold, as you can't grate softened butter. Grated butter will spread more evenly through your turkey burger instead of mixing in blobs of soft butter or wrapping turkey meat around a pat of butter. As your burger cooks, the butter will melt and give some much-needed moisture and flavor to your burger. No more dry turkey burgers this summer!

Read more: 62 BBQ And Grilling Recipes For Your Next Cookout

Stress Less Over Your Turkey Burgers With Some Simple Steps

Grated butter on a counter
Grated butter on a counter - Szakaly/Getty Images

A moist turkey burger shouldn't be complicated or require too many ingredients outside of kitchen staples. An egg and a little bit of panko bread crumbs will keep your burger together and add moisture, but be sure not to over-mix; mix just until everything is combined and then form your patties and keep your meat cold -- this will also keep any add-ins like your moisture-bomb of grated butter cold and inside the patty, instead of melting out. Salt the patty just before you're ready to cook, since adding salt too early changes the texture of the meat and draws moisture out, which ruin the texture of your burger, giving it the texture of sausage.

As you cook, don't press down on the burger, as this will press all the precious juices out of your burger, when we want to keep the juices in. And don't fidget with them -- let them cook. Constantly poking, prodding, and flipping causes more juices to leak out. And perhaps the most important tip for a juicy turkey burger -- don't overcook them. Cook the burgers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit but pull them from the heat when they hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit. They'll continue to cook as they rest, which should be for at least 10 minutes before digging in.

Read the original article on Mashed.