In the world of burgers, there’s a plethora of options to satisfy your cravings, but few can rival the indulgence of a Bacon Onion Jam Turkey Smash Burger. This tasty delight combines the smoky richness of bacon, the sweetness of caramelized onions, and the lean, flavorful profile of turkey into one mouthwatering masterpiece. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the steps to create this savory burger from scratch. Get ready to embark on a flavor journey that will have your taste buds singing!
Why Turkey over Beef?
Choosing turkey over beef for burgers can be a matter of personal preference and dietary considerations. Here are some of the reasons why I opted for turkey burgers:
Lower Fat and saturated Fat Content: Turkey is generally lower in fat compared to beef, especially when you choose lean ground turkey. This can be appealing to individuals who are conscious of their fat intake or are trying to maintain a lower-calorie diet. Lowering saturated fat intake can also contribute to better cardiovascular health. This is important when you’re considering there’s already a good amount of bacon being used.
Lighter Flavor and more versatility: Turkey has a milder, less pronounced flavor compared to beef. This can make it an excellent canvas for adding various seasonings, herbs, and spices, allowing for a more versatile and customizable taste experience. It still packs the protein while letting your palate explore more immense flavors
Allergies and Sensitivities: Some individuals have allergies or sensitivities to beef or red meat in general; turkey burgers can be a suitable alternative.
Ultimately, the decision to choose turkey over beef for burgers comes down to personal preferences, health goals, and dietary restrictions. Both options can be delicious when prepared thoughtfully and with the right seasonings and toppings.
Prep Time:35 Min
Cook time: 25 min
Total Time: 1Hr
For the Bacon Onion Jam:
- 8 slices of bacon
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Shallot
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tsp of Chili Powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Butter to Melt in Pan
For the Turkey Patties:
- 2 lbs. Jenny-O ground turkey
- 2 Eggs
- Spare Diced Onions
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Slices of your favorite cheese (We used Aged White Cheddar)
- 3 leaves of fresh Romaine lettuce (can use bun too)
- 1 large tomato (optional)
- Pickles (optional)
- Additional cooked bacon strips (optional, for extra indulgence)
For the Bacon Onion Jam
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon slices. Cook them until they’re crispy, then remove them from the skillet and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.
In the same cast iron skillet, use some of the bacon drippings and melted butter, then add the diced onions and shallots. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Once the onions and shallots are caramelized, add the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, minced garlic, and chili powder to the skillet. Stir well and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the mixture thickens and turns into a jam-like consistency. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Crumble the cooked bacon and stir it into the onion jam. Keep the bacon onion jam warm on low heat while you prepare the turkey patties.
For the Turkey Patties
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, eggs, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and diced whole onions. Mix gently until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Divide the turkey mixture into four equal portions and shape them into burger patties slightly larger than the size of your romaine lettuce pieces (or hamburger buns). This extra size accounts for the patties shrinking as they cook.
Heat a grill or skillet over medium-high heat and lightly grease it with butter to prevent sticking. Place the turkey patties on the hot surface.
Using a spatula or a heavy flat-bottomed object (like a cast-iron burger press), to smash each turkey patty down firmly. This smashing action helps create a delicious crust and ensures even cooking.
Cook the patties for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned and cooked through. In the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a slice of aged white cheddar cheese.
To melt the cheese faster, cover the skillet.
Assembling the Bacon Onion Jam Turkey Smash Burger:
Grab your pieces of romaine and lay 3 pieces down, slightly overlapping each other to hold together.
Next, take your spatula and lay down the turkey smash burger patty with melted cheese on top.
After that, take a spoon and place a generous amount of the warm bacon onion jam over the turkey patty.
From here, you’re ready to dive in, but you can also add a few optional ingredients of your choosing:
Top the jam with tomato slices and pickles if desired.
If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can add additional bacon strips on top of the jam.
Serve your Bacon Onion Jam Turkey Smash burger immediately with your favorite side dishes, such as crispy fries or a fresh salad.
The Final Verdict
This Bacon Onion Jam Turkey Smash burger is a game-changer in the world of burgers. As a chef, I’ve had the pleasure of experimenting with various burger creations, and this one never fails to impress.
Packed with Flavor
The flavor profile of this burger is a harmonious symphony of sweet, smoky, and savory notes. The star of the show is undoubtedly the bacon onion jam; even your kids will go crazy fo rit. Caramelizing the onions with brown sugar and apple cider vinegar creates a luscious, sweet, and slightly tangy jam that perfectly complements the smokiness of the bacon. When paired with the juicy, well-seasoned turkey patty and melted cheese, each bite explodes with flavor.
Texture and Composition:
No one wants a soggy burger that is falling apart every time you touch it. Texture and composition is a crucial aspect of any great burger, and the Bacon Onion Jam Turkey Smash burger excels in this department. The turkey patty, thanks to the smashing technique, develops a beautifully crispy crust while remaining moist and tender on the inside. The caramelized onions and bacon jam provide a slightly chunky, gooey jam texture that contrasts wonderfully with the crisp lettuce and juicy tomato. The combination of all ingredients in each bite is truly satisfying.
We eat with our eyes first, and this burger is a feast for the senses. The glossy, golden-brown turkey patty topped with melted cheese is a sight to behold. The vibrant colors of the lettuce against the deep, rich hues of the bacon onion jam create an enticing visual contrast. The well-constructed layers within the burger make it not only delicious but also visually satisfying as well.
Ease of Preparation Makes it a Quick “Go-to” for Family Dinner:
While this Bacon Onion Jam Turkey Smash burger may sound like a gourmet creation, it’s surprisingly straightforward and easy to make. The steps are easy to follow, and the ingredients are readily available. Caramelizing the onions may take some time, but it’s a labor of love that pays off in flavor. The smashing technique for the turkey patties ensures quick and even cooking, making this burger accessible for home cooks of all skill levels.
One of the great things about this burger is its versatility. You can easily customize it to suit your taste preferences. Want more heat? Add some sliced jalapeños or a drizzle of hot sauce. Craving more veggies? Throw in some tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms or roasted red peppers. The possibilities are endless, making it a fantastic choice for anyone looking to put their personal spin on a classic burger.
How Was the Smash Burger Invented?
The term “smash burger” refers to a style of burger preparation rather than a specific invention. Smash burgers are characterized by their method of cooking, which involves smashing a ball of ground beef on a hot griddle or flat-top grill, creating a thin patty with crispy edges. While there isn’t a single inventor of the smash burger, the technique has roots in American diners and burger joints.
The concept of smashing burgers likely evolved organically as a practical and efficient way to cook burgers quickly in a commercial kitchen setting. The process allows for a faster cooking time and produces a patty with a higher surface area, resulting in more crispy edges and a distinctive texture. The popularity of smash burgers has grown over the years, and they are now a beloved style of burger in the United States and beyond.
While the specific origin may be challenging to pinpoint, the smash burger’s rise in popularity is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of food trends and the creativity of chefs and cooks in the culinary world.
Cooking the Best Turkey Smash Burger – Tips and Tricks
Creating the best turkey smash burger involves a combination of choosing quality ingredients, employing proper techniques, and adding flavorful touches. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make delicious turkey smash burgers:
- Ground Turkey: Choose a lean ground turkey with at least 85% lean meat to 15% fat ratio. This ensures a moist and flavorful burger.
- Seasonings: Don’t be shy with seasonings. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or any other favorite seasonings to enhance the flavor of the turkey.
- Preheat the Griddle or Pan: Ensure your cooking surface is hot before placing the turkey patties. This helps in creating a nice sear and prevents the meat from sticking.
- Divide and Form Patties: Divide the ground turkey into evenly sized portions. Gently form them into balls, and season each ball with your preferred seasonings.
- Use Parchment Paper: Place a small sheet of parchment paper on top of the turkey ball before smashing. This prevents the meat from sticking to the spatula and helps create a uniform patty.
- Smash and Sear: Place the seasoned turkey ball on the hot griddle and use a sturdy spatula to smash it down. Press firmly to create a thin patty. Allow it to sear for a couple of minutes until the edges are crispy, then flip and cook the other side.
- Cheese Melt: Add a slice of your favorite cheese during the last minute of cooking and cover with a lid to allow it to melt.
- Toppings: Get creative with toppings. Consider fresh vegetables, pickles, avocado, or a special sauce to enhance the overall flavor.
- Buns Matter: Use quality buns and consider toasting them for added texture. Brioche or potato rolls work well with turkey smash burgers.
- Cooking Time: Turkey burgers should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked through without being overdone.
- Juiciness: To keep turkey burgers moist, consider adding a little moisture to the ground turkey, like a tablespoon of olive oil or some finely grated vegetables like onions.
Remember, cooking times may vary based on your specific cooking equipment, so keep an eye on the burgers as they cook to avoid overcooking. Enjoy your delicious turkey smash burgers!
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