Finally a GREAT Turkey Burger!

Are you ready for a Turkey Burger that rocks! One that’s juicy, full of flavor, has a little spice to it… and includes black beans? Wait… black beans? Yep! Don’t worry – it all comes together for a lip-smacking final product!

The Origin of my Signature Turkey Burger!

I do have to give some credit here – the inspiration for my turkey burger recipe actually came when I was trying out some recipes from the USDA to pass along to a diabetic friend. The turkey burger seemed to have some promise – when it came to flavor – but it was a crazy recipe designed for upwards of 64 servings. I had to scale that down a notch and while doing so added my own flare to pack in as much flavor as possible. Of course, I went overboard! So, Let’s get started!

The Burger Mixture

The first thing I did was downsize the recipe! The original USDA versions serve upwards of 64 servings. Keep that in mind when you view my recipe compared to the USDA. I used a little over a pound of ground turkey and a can of rinsed black beans. I also added in 1/4 cup of liquid egg substitute and two-three tablespoons of toasted low sugar bread crumbs. I had some end pieces left from a loaf so I figured – “why waste them.” Then I added salt-free spices such as black pepper, minced garlic, onion powder, and chili powder.

The Wet Spoon & Foil Trick!

Plain and simple – burgers made from beef are completely different from turkey burgers when it comes to how to put them together. Turkey meat is sticky and forming a burger can be messy! My solution is one of my favorite tips when giving chef demos.

No matter what turkey burger recipe you are using – do this! Mix the ingredients in a bowl, chill for a moment to firm up, and then spoon equal portions onto squares of foil coated with non-stick spray! Then gently spread the mixture into a patty using the back of a wet spoon. It’s simple and works great.

Grilling ‘Em Up!

Fire up the charcoal using your BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity and arrange the charcoal, when ready, into a two-zone grilling setup. That means hot charcoal on one side and only a few – if any – pieces on the other side. When the coals are ready place the burgers, with their little foil plates, onto the grate above the low heat zone – then close the lid! Grill for a few minutes and allow the burgers to firm up.

When they are firm and changing color due to the heat, carefully turn the burgers over and gently peel away the foil. Do this over the low heat zone to avoid flare-ups from the dripping grease. Rotate the grate and grill for a few minutes to get your perfect grill marks.

Grill Marks and Internal Temperatures!

It should only take about 10-12 minutes total grilling time as mentioned above. But, if you have an instant-read grilling thermometer, you can grill the Turkey Black Bean burgers to perfection without fear of drying them out. The USDA and list an internal temperature of 165 degrees is needed for ground turkey with no rest time.

Kent’s Ground Turkey and Black Bean Burgers

First things first – go crazy with toppings! Who said turkey burgers had to be boring. We went with a bun from a local deli, pickles from a canned jar given to us by a friend, sweet Vidalia onions, and more!


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic, or garlic powder
  • Dashes of pepper
  • Dashes of chili powder
  • Dashes of onion powder


Mix evenly in a bowl. Chill for a few minutes. Spray squares of foil with non-stick spray. Next, spoon equal portions onto the foil squares and mooth and form using a wet spoon.
Grill using a two-zone grilling method with the heat on one side of the grill and none on the other. Rotate grill grate as to cook some over direct heat, rotate to limit flare-ups as needed. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Author Bio: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR, and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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