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I bought Butterball frozen seasoned turkey burgers and they taste like cardboard! Help!

I purchased a package of Butterball frozen turkey burgers (preseasoned) and they are horrible. Absolutely AWFUL. I'm hoping the brilliant people on this message board can help me come up with a way to salvage the meat or something, since I can't bear the thought of throwing away food!

I have eaten two of the burgers. The first one I cooked on my Foreman grill, realized it was going to taste horrible, and tried to doctor up the cooked burger with some normal burger toppings like vidalia onions and ketchup. No dice. The second one, I cooked in a skillet and broke it up as it was cooking. I added some taco seasoning, tomatoes, and rice and made kind of a chili...ish. Still kind of gross. The texture is just... weird. Normally I like turkey burgers, so I'm pretty annoyed that I can't seem to find a way to make these edible.

Any suggestions? Would the texture be improved if I put them through the food processor and then made them into meatballs/meatloaf?

Thanks so much in advance!

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  1. When I have meat like that, I just store it in the freezer til next time I make chili. Hides a multitude of sins.

    1. I have no idea.... but thanks for the warning!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Leepa

        Jennie-O ones are okay! But yes, by all means, stay AWAY from the Butterball frozen ones!

        1. re: chefathome

          Unfortunately not! I can't give it away via freecycle either, since I've opened the package! :(

          1. re: bubblybarrister

            Hmmmm...I really am stumped on this one. Maybe try your food processor idea along with pork or beef and add Korean seasoning to create some sort of lettuce or rice paper wraps and drizzle a lot of extra sauce on top. Or do the food pro thing and blend with chorizo sausage meat and go from there... I think the key is mixing it with something else to offset the weird texture. On the other hand, that may waste otherwise good pork or beef!

        2. It'll be easier to help if you are more specific about what you don't like. "Gross" and "weird" are not specific and don't point us in any direction. You note that they are pre-seasoned and "taste horrible," so tell us what that means. Too salty or not salty enough? Too much or too little pepper? Other flavors you don't like? If so, what do they remind you of? The texture is "weird"? Okay, weird how? Too crumbly or too firm? Gelatinous or hard?

          Also, are there a lot of other ingredients on the package? They may provide clues as to why these are not tasty.

          Without knowing any of this, I'd say let them thaw and run them through a meat grinder and yes, make meatballs or meatloaf or tacos or chili or shepherd's pie, where other flavors and possibly binders may overcome some of those problems. But without knowing more specifics it's harder to go much further -- it could make your problems worse.

          There are a million ways to sub Turkey for Beef or other meats, but burgers can be problematic due to the low fat content and different physical structure of Turkey meat.

          5 Replies
          1. re: acgold7

            Sorry! They are preseasoned, but I wouldn't know it if I just tasted them by themselves. They are bland, and the texture is very, very, firm and dry. I imagine that they are similar to what biting into styrofoam would be like, if styrofoam was less crumbly. They're dense, but somehow they hold together. Additionally, even though they're so dry, there are still weirdly chewy, gristle-y bits that didn't quite disappear when I tried to break up the burger patty in the skillet.

            1. re: bubblybarrister

              Okay, good. So I would definitely let them thaw and then re-grind in a Food Processor or grinder and incorporate into a meatloaf or meatballs or anything else that uses ground meat. If they are bland they'll get lost in the other flavors and textures and will merely act as a reasonably high-protein filler that shouldn't ruin the rest of the dish.

              1. re: acgold7

                Another post-grinding option once mixed with more ground chicken or turkey would be croquettes. Make a creamy sauce in the frying pan after sauteeing the croquettes and removing them, using milk, flour, minced onion, and chicken base/broth,

                1. re: acgold7

                  Thank you! Sorry I was so vague in the original post. I just had a desperate moment there!

            2. no clue, but I won't be buying any.
              hate how cardboard sticks in my teeth :)))

              1. Ingredients: Turkey, Salt, Contains 2% or less of Dextrose, Brown Sugar, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors.

                Total Fat 11g17%
                Saturated Fat 3g14%
                Trans Fat 0g
                Cholesterol 105mg34%
                Sodium 680mg28%
                Total Carbohydrates 2g1%
                Dietary Fiber 0g0%
                Sugars 1g
                Protein 31g62%


                bubblybarrister, have you ever heard the phrase, "don't throw good money after bad"?

                4 Replies
                1. re: sandylc

                  Apparently I need to add it to my vocabulary! At the time I just wanted turkey burgers and they were on sale (and in comparison to a lot of the other frozen ones, relatively healthy). Ick.

                  ETA they are HUGE though, so the nutrition info is not quite as bad as it seems. I was planning to eat 1/2 at a time in a pita or lettuce wrap.

                  1. re: bubblybarrister

                    How about getting/making a really good soup as a base - and chunk up the burgers and let them sit in the soup for a while to absorb the moisture and flavors - maybe like an italian wedding soup?

                    1. re: smilingal

                      Oh, that's a great idea! I wasn't impressed with how they tasted in the quasi chili I made, but I think that would help the texture!

                      1. re: bubblybarrister

                        right - somehow you need to get some more moisture into them - and the longer they can be in that liquid(sauce,soup,broth) the better - and throw them in raw of course - as they will cook in the long process. good luck!

                2. Dice them and put them into chili, or a spaghetti "meat" sauce, or incorporate into lasagna.

                  1. Did you try first thawing them and then cooking them? Just joking with you!

                    However, just like plain pulled pork without some BBQ sauce, turkey needs some extra touches to bring out their delicate flavors. First try marinating the patties in any type of meat marinade to give them an initial boost of flavor. Then as with any meat, giving the burgers a good high heat searing on both sides to bring out more flavor. Then of course adding your favorite complimentary sauces helps a lot too. And don't be scared of turkey meat, just know it needs your loving touch to help make you love it back!

                    1. Here's a good flavorful recipe for turkey burgers, Courtesy of Chef Alyssa,
                      ALDI Test Kitchen http://aldi.us/us/html/service/2744_1...

                      Hawaiian Turkey Burger
                      Prep time: 15 minutes
                      Cook time: 15 minutes
                      Total time: 30 minutes
                      Yields: 4 burgers

                      Taste of the tropics atop a tasty turkey burger!


                      1 Goldhen Large Egg
                      1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken
                      1/4 cup Millville Old Fashioned Oats
                      1 tablespoon Stonemill Essentials Crushed Red Pepper
                      2 tablespoons Stonemill Essentials Parsley Flakes
                      1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
                      1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
                      1 clove of garlic, minced
                      1/2 cup red pepper, minced
                      1/4 cup Burman's Mayonnaise
                      1/4 cup Burman's Hickory BBQ Sauce*
                      1 tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
                      1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rings
                      1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rings
                      1 green pepper, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rings
                      4 L'oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
                      4 slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Sliced Cheese

                      Beat egg in a bowl. Add ground turkey or chicken, oats, crushed red pepper, parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic and minced red pepper.
                      Mix together until incorporated. Divide into 4 even patties, flatten and let sit in the fridge for 5 minutes.
                      Mix together mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. Set aside.
                      Heat grill to medium/high temperature. Place patties on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes each side until desired doneness.
                      Brush oil on slices of pineapple, onion and green pepper, then grill 2-3 minutes on each side.
                      Lightly grill the bun and set aside. Spread both sides of the bun with the mayonnaise BBQ sauce.
                      When burger is almost finished cooking, place 1 slice of cheese on each patty and continue to grill until melted.
                      To assemble the burger, layer the bottom of the bun with the patty with cheese, pineapple, onion, green pepper and top half of bun.

                      1. Crap like this I just give back. Here I would complain inter alia of the over-seasoning- a non-traversable plea. A refund is usual. If no refund, just abandon the stuff at the counter.

                          1. Cook as a burger and garnish with lots of kimchi and mayo. My favorite solution to meat disasters.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                              How do I overcome the kimchi?
                              I can take pills for the mayo.

                            2. Butterball label has a good reputation so your experience seems unusual. Perhaps they got freezer-burned at the store or your home? Or thawed & refrozen? If you think the product was mis-handled at the store or during packaging at the maker, return them and ask for a refund.

                              Otherwise toss them & chalk the costs up to the kitchen's "research & development" budget. Life is too short to (intentionally) eat bad meals.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                Tyson has a good reputation too, but their burgers are terrible. It's one thing to grow turkeys and another to "further process" the meat.

                                Wampler used to make a great one, but then they had some kind of recall, and disappeared, that was a shame. However I just checked and it looks like they are selling them again.

                                I bought a box of Bubba lately, maybe I'll get around to trying them this summer. I bought them for company more than for myself. So I'll take a vote if it happens.

                              2. There is an old Romanian saying. It says that you don't blame the baker, if it's the butcher who bakes the bread.

                                I remember once when I went to an outing and they starting roasting a large whole pig late one evening over a large rotating spit. By morning, the wafting smells of the roasted pig were mouth watering, even though it was just breakfast time. By mid-morning, the BBQ chef cut off a small piece of the cooked pork for me to sample. I never forget how tasteless it was without some BBQ sauce. But the fatty cooked browned skin with the meat had great flavor and though it was tough to chew, it was great to gnaw on. II learned it was the dripping fat into the fire that smelled so great!

                                Likewise turkey burgers are low in fat and therefore need some help with bring out their flavor. It's the fat and the browning of the meat that brings out the flavors. So you just have to be creative and either add your own fat, like adding some EVOO, or bacon fat, and making sure you caramelize the meat to bring out it's natural flavor.

                                Ever wondered why boiled meat tasted so bland?

                                1. You should have taken them back to the grocery store and asked for a refund.

                                  1. i do a lean (or extra lean) ground turkey sweet potato shepherd's pie... if you're interested, i can post the method, and maybe you can food process a patty or two to resemble ground turkey. i think my seasonings and flavors *might* be able to overcome the seasoning... maybe.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      Emme - I would love that recipe!

                                      1. re: Emme

                                        The op who bumped this old post reminded me that I would love Emme's sweet potato turkey pie.

                                      2. I bought them also, terrible. My dogs don't like it either. I'm going to try and make a spread adding pickles and see if I can chock it down. I also hate wasting money on food but these have been the worst ever.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: tucoma

                                          Funny: I just did a search on Butterball Original Seasoned Turkey burgers to see if there was a way to salvage this package. I agree with the op's description of them as weird, gross, and horrible. My husband was going to try to eat the rest of them--but he wasn't going to enjoy it. After reading all the comments, I'm going to try to get a refund.