As much as I love turkey burgers, they can be notoriously dry. Leaner than beef, turkey just doesn’t have that generous amount of fat to impart real succulence. As a result, I’ve even known friends to sneak in a little pork into their ground turkey patties on the sly. Me? All I need is a precision cooker to make gloriously juicy turkey burgers that just might never make you utter, “Where’s the beef?’’ again. The secret’s in placing the burgers in a vacuum-sealed bag so they end up cooking in their own juices and reabsorbing them. Mix the ground turkey with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, mustard powder, fresh basil and fresh parsley for a Mediterranean flair. A dash of Worcestershire sauce adds complexity and savoriness. And grated onion imparts even more moisture. Form the patties, then freeze solid before vacuum sealing them in bags. Otherwise, they will flatten too much. For me, the real revelation came when I fried up a little of the meat mixture in a sauté pan. I always do that before making the actual patties in order to test for seasoning in case any adjustments are needed. My test portion was very flavorful. But what was really astounding was just how much juicier the actual burgers turned out to be after cooking them sous vide. I guarantee you’ve never had a turkey burger gushing with juice like this before. Take a bite and prepare for burger bliss.
Carolyn Jung is a James Beard Award-winning Bay Area food journalist, whose work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Coastal Living, Via magazine, Food Arts, Edible Silicon Valley, Wine Spectator and other publications. She is the former staff food writer for the San Jose Mercury News. Her debut cookbook "San Francisco Chef's Table'' published in December 2013. She is also the creator of the acclaimed blog, FoodGal.com.