Refrigerate — Ground turkey keeps up to 48 hours in a fridge or freezer, and unless you plan on eating within that time frame, you will want to either cook or freeze it. As normal, fresh ground turkey can be stored 2-4 days, while cooked ground turkey stored in the fridge for 3-5 days, once you have learned to store it correctly.
Do not forget to put your frozen ground turkey in an airtight, leak-proof freezer tray that will prevent the water from melting the turkey from spilling over into the freezer. Fresh ground chicken or turkey has a moist, flaky texture; anything that is slimy or gooey is most likely spoiled.
Freshly ground turkey or chicken will have a slight pink color and little to no flavor since it has been cooked right before serving. While turkey juices should be clear, there might still be pink in some of the meat and juices around the bones. In some cases, a bad smell coming off of your bad, uncooked turkey can smell like sulfur breath or rotten eggs.
You should learn the signs of thoroughly cooked turkeys by heart so you do not end up with an undercooked piece. It is also a mistake to undercook ground turkey, as the meat must always be cooked until it hits an internal temperature of 165oF. You should never serve ground turkey medium rare in any circumstances.
The correct internal temperature of 165degF or higher is required when cooking turkey in any form. While cooking ground meat at lower temperatures is generally acceptable, poultry needs to achieve an internal temperature of 165 degrees in order to eliminate any potential bacteria. If you really do have a thermometer, you are looking at a minimum temperature of 165 degrees, and I like cooking closer to 170 degrees, whether its poultry or ground meat. If you want to really make sure that the ground turkey is cooked, you can check with the thermometer–the internal temp at 165degF should be at least 165degF.
Even after cooking the bird to a safe internal temperature of 165degF, turkey may still look pink. Turkey, fresh pork, ground beef, or pork veal can still be pink after cooking at temperatures as low as 160 degF. Cooked meats such as turkey, fresh pork, ground beef and veal maintain their cooking color, such as turkey, even after refrigeration, when temperatures are up to 160degF. Cooked meat and poultrys color is not necessarily an indication of how well it was cooked.
Make the argument for ground turkeys benefits if you prefer your meat with high-fat content, ground turkeys tend to render out faster when cooked compared to, say, something like ground beef, whose fat is in an 80/20 ratio. Because ground beef typically has a higher fat content than other cuts of meat, the meat will be more tender and succulent. Using a potato masher to crush ground beef in the pan as it cooks, you can quickly and uniformly chop it up into smaller, uniform pieces that will be easier to incorporate into the gravy.
You can eat cooked ground beef right away, but you can also store it in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. In the oven, 25-30 minutes should yield you perfectly brown ground beef, ready to go into sloppy joes, tacos, casseroles, and other ground-beef recipes. Cooking ground turkey should take no longer than 15 minutes, resulting in a nice, uniform brown with no pink peeking through.
Grill the turkey hamburgers over medium-high direct heat for 10-12 minutes, keeping the lid closed as much as possible, turning every half-way point. You should test the turkey burgers again after they are done resting, just to be sure that they hit that 165-degree threshold. Since they are low-fat, cooking your turkey burgers at a safe temperature, not slightly above, is essential for making sure that your burger is as succulent and juicy as possible.
Turkey burgers are a healthier alternative to beef patties since the meat is lower in fat and calories. With its higher protein content, you may even lose weight by using turkey in place of other types of meat. You can get a variety of different cuts of turkey, from cubes, sausages, strips to saute, hamburgers, and, of course, GROUND turkey.
Whether you are baking ground turkey, barbecuing it, or cooking it in a skillet, there are lots of ways it can be cooked, and even more recipes that you can use it in.
Tip To make Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes, follow the above recipe and add cooked, chopped onions, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a splash of hot sauce to a baking pan, heating the ingredients all together until they are fully heated, then serving on burger buns.
Mix all ingredients together and allow to cook an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until ground turkey is no longer pink, or the temp reaches 165F. Add the ground turkey crumbs to chili, tacos, meat sauce, or minestrone soup, or use it as a base for sloppy joes.
Instead of baking a mixture of ground turkey meats like meatloaf, form the mix into balls and cook in a 400 F oven for 15-20 minutes.
Experts say that you should think about taking the turkeys temperature at its fattest thighs, farthest from the bones, as this is the part of the turkey that takes the longest to cook. Regular ground turkey includes both dark and white meat, and that darker meat is what helps the ground stuff really taste like turkey–a bit richer, more flavorful than chicken.