Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Turkey Burgers, you done me wrong!

So to be honest, I'm kind of on the fence about turkey burgers. About two weeks ago, I bought a pound of dark ground turkey meat. I made some Mushroom Marsala turkey burgers and the taste of the meat was so strong my husband and I could barely eat them. In fact, we didn't. Sadly, I threw them away. It was a waste of some good Marsala mushrooms. Instead of giving up on turkey burgers, I decided to try the light or white ground turkey meat. I figured it wouldn't have such a strong, gamey like taste. Well, it didn't, but it still had a hint of that strong flavor.
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I just don't understand why? I love turkey!! Roast turkey at Thanksgiving never has this flavor, neither does deli meat turkey - which I can eat like it's going out of style. So why does ground turkey have this strong, kind of off-putting taste? Has anyone else noticed this? Am I just buying the wrong kind of meat? Am I buying "bad" meat? I hope not! I bought both packages of ground turkey from Trader Joe's so I don't think it was poor quality meat. Who knows. I will say, I'm quite skeptical about trying turkey burgers again. I think I'll stick to regular old beef burgers.

Anyway, for this most recent turkey burger experiment I made a batch of pesto and mixed it up with the ground turkey meat. I then topped the burgers with provolone cheese and more pesto.
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I found that we both had to keep piling on extra pesto to combat that strong irony flavor of the meat. Once we had enough pesto on there they actually tasted good, but that was probably because they tasted more like pesto and cheese than actual turkey meat.

13 comments:

EJacks said...

That's odd... I've never found that ground turkey has a strong or at all over-powering flavor. I use it for burgers all the time. Sorry you didn't like it!

Cate said...

I don't think I've ever noticed an overpowering turkey flavor, but I'm glad pesto did the trick!

Tanya said...

Aww - I love turkey burgers - and since I don't eat beef, I have them all the time in the summer. Keep trying (and that's not just because I want to see what you come up with so I can use it myself :-)

Me! said...

I have to agree with the other commenters, I have never noticed a gameyness to ground turkey. Maybe the TJ's stuff is wild turkey? I've heard that stuff is gamey.

Anonymous said...

I had a similiar incident just this evening with Trader Joes' ground turkey. I found your blog because I was starting to worry about the gamey taste and wondering if it really was spoiled. It was REALLY Gamey, maybe it's the dark meat. I could barely eat it. Again, a waste of perfectly good veggies since I put it in garden casserole. I never had this experience with grocery store turkey, maybe this is what it's supposed to taste like. Just wanted to say your claims are founded.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are having the same problem with TJ's frozen turkey burgers. My wife can't eat them and I drowned them in sriracha. These were fearless flyer burgs so I'm wondering if that's why they were so cheap? Not giving up but not looking forward to my next attempt.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I keep trying ground turkey but I taste something off. And I have grocery store extra lean ground turkey not from Trader Joe's. I also LOVE turkey in other forms I just don't understand this :(

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this blog because my last 6 experiences with ground turkey have been phenomenal (no gamey flavors). I had purchased Jennie-O on special then decided to try the Simple Truth brand. Right away during cooking we noticed a gamey smell which transitioned in to the taste. No one wanted to eat the spaghetti and my wife ended up making another batch using ground beef. I didn't just want to throw it away so I mixed mine up with sriracha and jalapenos and made some weird concoction out of it. The gameyness wasn't too bad but my family won't eat it. Anyway, I will stick to Jennie-O for now.

darlavris said...

I Googled "gamey tasting ground turkey" and found this site. I too have been getting some off tasting ground turkey lately. I've been using ground turkey for years and have never had it taste like this before. It's strong smelling and tastes awful. I wondered if anyone else has noticed it, and obviously it's not just me and my family. I buy Jenio and Louis Rich. Both have had the same gamey taste. Jenio darker meat was the strongest and Ive had to throw $30 of it out. (I buy it on sale and freeze it) No amount of seasoning can cover that taste! Lol

darlavris said...

I Googled "gamey tasting ground turkey" and found this site. I too have been getting some off tasting ground turkey lately. I've been using ground turkey for years and have never had it taste like this before. It's strong smelling and tastes awful. I wondered if anyone else has noticed it, and obviously it's not just me and my family. I buy Jenio and Louis Rich. Both have had the same gamey taste. Jenio darker meat was the strongest and Ive had to throw $30 of it out. (I buy it on sale and freeze it) No amount of seasoning can cover that taste! Lol

Anonymous said...

I've had the gamey experience with Aldi ground turkey and now a Purdue 93% lean one. The stink started during cooking and the taste was just ewww. There's got to be a reason for this - either the type or something else they do when processing it. I've found so many tidbits of this happening online that it's not just multiple cases of bad meat. I'd love to figure it out and avoid it in the future. Ground turkey is a huge part of my diet.

vera bartolomey said...

I usually get Jennie-O or Perdue ground turkey and never have this problem, but recently I purchased a different brand that (Old Tyme Butcher Shop, to be exact) and man, such big difference in flavor!! I'm making teriyaki meatballs right now, and have tasted one, and it has that strong overpowering taste of whatever it is, turkey I guess? Dinner plans about to be changed haha
I'll stick to Perdue and Jennie-O from now on :/ someone mentioned it could be that the meat was ground with skin, but I remember grinding turkey meat and skin together (when I was growing up) and never smelling nor tasting that whatever it is.

I suggest old meat meaning the bird was old when got butchered, that's my only explanation.

Anonymous said...

I also have this problem from time to time. I've found it in Hannafords natural brand and Plainville Farms. I buy the 6. Percent fat kind. It doesn't matter how much seasoning goes into the recipe the end result is inedible. I'm tired off wasting food this way, time to quit ground turkey. It's not a healthy alternative to ground beef when it ends up in the trash. It's too bad because when it's not gamely it's great as meatballs, chili and Indian dishes.