How To Tell If A Turkey Burger Is Done: Think Beyond Pink

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A lot of people are used to grilling beef burgers, but you may be nervous about grilling a turkey burger. The main difference between a beef and turkey burger is the texture.

In addition, turkey burgers have a much lighter color when the meat is fully cooked.

How To Tell if a Turkey Burger is Done: Think Beyond Pink

Although, you need to make sure that your turkey burgers are properly cooked before you serve them.

In this article, we will be discussing how you can tell when your turkey burgers are done. 

When Are Your Turkey Burgers Done?

There are multiple ways to tell when your turkey burgers are done. The easiest way to tell if your turkey burgers are done is by using a meat thermometer.

Or if you don’t have a thermometer to hand, then you can check the color of the meat juices when a fork is interested.

You should always keep an eye on the times, so that the meat is cooked for 5 to 6 minutes on each side to ensure an even cook.

Why Choose Turkey Burgers?

A lot of people have recently started to eat more turkey burgers than beef burgers.

This is because turkey burgers are a much healthier option, as the meat has fewer calories and is lower in fat.

In addition to that, ground turkey is known to be a good source of protein and is rich in various nutrients like potassium and selenium. 

When you are purchasing your turkey burgers, you want to give a look of the fat content in them.

You want to radio between 93% meat to around 7% fat. However, it is common to find mixtures that are 99% lean meat and only 1% fat.

We would recommend a mixture of 85% lean meat when it comes to beef burgers, and you want a leaner blend when  it comes to turkey burgers. 

For turkey burgers with a leaner meat content, you want to offset the mild flavors with a bold seasoning.

These can be Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard or Tabasco sauce. With turkey burgers, you may see a mixture of white and dark meat used.

Whichever type of ground turkey you decide to use for your burgers, you must make sure that the meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature.

If the meat is undercooked, it may still contain harmful bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. 

The Safest Temperatures For Turkey Burgers

All types of white meat, which includes turkey, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit minimum.

Once the meat has passed this point, you know that the meat is still safe to eat, even if inside the meat is a tad pink. 

It is important to note that the meat will carry on cooking once it has been taken off the heat.

Therefore, you are welcome to take your turkey burgers off the heat once they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, as they will continue cooking and raise another 5 degrees as they rest.

Although, once they have finished their resting period, you should check their internal temperature once again, to make sure they have reached 165 degrees. 

For some chefs, they like to wait until the internal temperature of the turkey burger has reached around 180 degrees Fahrenheit, before the burger is served.

Waiting this long to serve the burger won’t cause much harm, except when dealing with lean ground turkey, you will affect the texture of the burger. You run the risk of drying the burger out.

Medium To Rare Turkey Burgers

Medium To Rare Turkey Burgers

Poultry like turkey is different to ground beef. Therefore, you must make sure the ground turkey is properly cooked to ensure all harmful bacteria has been destroyed.

Therefore, the burger must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Never eat a turkey burger that has been cooked to a medium or medium rare temperature. 

What is the proper way to determine if a turkey burger is cooked thoroughly?

When cooking turkey burgers, it’s important to ensure they reach the proper internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal cooking turkey burger temperature reaches 165°F. This ensures that the turkey burgers are thoroughly cooked and safe to eat.

4 Ways To Tell Your Turkey Burger Is Done

Meat Thermometer 

The easiest and more reliable method is to use a meat thermometer or instant read thermometer, to check the temperature of your burgers.

Once the burger has reached 165 degrees, then it is safe to be consumed. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest area of your burger, to get a good reading.

In addition, the edges of your burger will cook a lot quicker than the middle of the burger. 

Remember to calibrate your thermometer regularly to make sure that it continues to give you accurate readings. 

Juice Test

You may not have a meat thermometer, therefore a simple way to test if your turkey burgers are done is by checking the juices of the burger.

With a small knife, slice into the burger and look at the juices that run away from the burger.

If the meat juices are clear, then you will know that your burger is done and safe to eat.

However, if you notice that the juices still look a bit red or pink, then you will know that the burger needs a bit longer to cook.

Every 2 to 3 minutes, test the juices until they all run clear. Once again, it is important to run this test in the thickest part of the patty, to make sure that it is properly cooked. 

Touch Method

This test is better for those of you who have experience in grilling and can tell the difference between cooked and raw and meat just by touching it. 

For this test, you will press a finger into the middle of your turkey burger.

If the center still has a flesh like texture and is cold, then this is a sign that you need to cook your burger for longer.

The burger may feel warm when touched, but it still needs to be cooked for a bit longer. 

Only when the center of the turkey burger feels extremely hot and firm but springy in the center, can you know that the burger is done.

This method takes a bit of practice to get it right and for you to have confidence in your touch that you know what a cooked burger should feel like. 

Time Method

You can time your whole cooking process, to make sure that the entire burger has plenty of time on the heat.

With raw turkey burgers, you want to cook them for 5 to 6 minutes on each side on a medium heat.

When cooking on a grill, you should try to keep the lid on the grill as much as you can, to keep the heat in.

After this time, if the meat still doesn’t look cooked, then give them another 5 minutes and check again. 

For frozen turkey burgers, you will want to cook them for around 8 minutes on each side. When they are done, the burgers will be slightly crispy and browned on both sides. 

What If The Middle Is Still Pink?

If the middle is still pink, there is nothing to worry about/ For smoked turkey burgers, it will hold onto this pink color.

However, as long as the internal temperature is 165 degrees, then the burger is safe to eat, even if the middle is still slightly pink. 


As you can see, there are a few ways to tell when your turkey burger is done.

The best thing to do is aim for an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Making sure your turkey burgers are properly cooked is important, otherwise you could be giving someone food poisoning. 

We hope you have enjoyed this article, and understand now how to tell when your turkey burgers are done.

Tommy Hall

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