Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Ground Turkey vs Ground Beef




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Pink Hurricane
03-06-2013, 02:50 PM
I have heard a lot of good things about ground turkey. Currently I use lean ground beef in recipes that call for beef, but I would really like to reduce our intake of beef in general and start using ground turkey for us. But does turkey taste much different than beef when used in things like tacos or pastas and soups?

Also does it taste better? I have never had ground turkey before but it certainly seems like it would be a much better option for us!


427pounder
03-06-2013, 03:29 PM
Turkey is better for you, but don't believe anybody that says it tastes just like beef. It doesn't. Its not bad, but its also not beef. It needs to be seasoned very well, or its not very good at all.

If you learn how to make good ground turkey then its a great substitution. It took me a good 3 tries before I started substituting it in on a regular basis, but its still not my first choice of meats.

thinkfit
03-06-2013, 03:30 PM
I made the switch sometime last year after seeing it constantly pushed on The Biggest Loser - in my opinion, it tastes the exact same when used for something with a lot of seasonings (like tacos), but on it's own it tastes better! When I make chili or burgers, my mother, who swears up and down that beef is better, can never tell the difference ;)


amandie
03-06-2013, 03:32 PM
It does taste different from beef. Sometimes I cheat and add a cube or two of beef flavored bouillon (sp?.) Not sure how I can describe the flavor, lol. The only tip I have is not to smash/break it up too much while cooking if you are making tacos. The ground beef stays in little chunks even when broken up while the ground turkey can easily break up in very little pieces which I personally don't like, sort of grainy-mouthfeel to it.

Same goes for pasta although it works best as very small teaspoon-sized meatballs (cook them first to get most of the fat out) then add to sauce.

I have made stroganoff pasta with ground turkey before and it was good, even when I forgot to add a cube or two of beef-flavored bouillons.

I also have made it in a shepherd's pie type but with some turkey gravy added and it was pretty good.

I have yet to try it in soups but I'd imagine I would use the same method for pasta, the teaspoon-sized meatballs.

Hope you like it!! If you don't like one thing, try again with another! :)

elvislover324
03-06-2013, 03:36 PM
I don't have turkey or beef in my diet plan yet but I did learn from someone to make sure when you buy ground chicken or ground turkey, make sure it's 99% white meat (I think that's what it says). I guess some ground chicken and turkey can contain more than just the breast meat (I won't get into details!) if it's not specifically labeled, which makes it higher fat and calories.

amandie
03-06-2013, 03:46 PM
I don't have turkey or beef in my diet plan yet but I did learn from someone to make sure when you buy ground chicken or ground turkey, make sure it's 99% white meat (I think that's what it says). I guess some ground chicken and turkey can contain more than just the breast meat (I won't get into details!) if it's not specifically labeled, which makes it higher fat and calories.

Oh yes, this!!! I made this mistake a couple of times and admittedly have had gristle in 'em, ughhh.

Honestly, if you have a food processor, you can make your own ground chicken and ground turkey. I have done that a couple of times and it turned out pretty well.

Silverfire
03-06-2013, 03:50 PM
I have been swapping ground for ground beef for few things recently. Chili for one, I actually think I prefer the turkey, but my bf STRONGLY disagrees! lol. If I am using it for something that should probably be beef, I try to season it like I would beef (Worcestershire sauce or even steak seasoning...) that seems to help. I try to get it cheap from Costco if I can, it can be rather expensive compared to beef.

Mozzy
03-06-2013, 06:10 PM
I've been eating ground turkey for over 20 years, beef tastes weird to me.
So I guess you just get used to it?

Pink Hurricane
03-07-2013, 01:25 PM
All of this is great to know, thank you for all of the responses! My concern was definitely the taste, but it seems to be a consensus that until it becomes a 'normal' taste that seasoning the turkey, and not over breaking it up, helps with the taste!

surfergirl2
03-07-2013, 03:34 PM
Maybe this does not speak well to the quality of the meat i eat, but i really can't tell much of a difference...i always use ground turkey because it's cheaper

200poundquest
03-07-2013, 10:56 PM
I like the taste of turkey burgers better than beef, when seasoned correctly. Of course beef doesn't taste that good when not seasoned correctly either.

I don't think it tastes like beef and I don't like it in everything (not crazy about turkey chili for instance), but I like the flavor in some things. I used to make nachos with ground turkey and baked tortilla chips that were pretty tasty.

gailr42
03-10-2013, 06:27 PM
Ground turkey is expensive and I don't like it. Making it taste good requires way too much effort. LOL. This from someone who likes almost everything. Yesterday I made up a bunch of Kaplods' recipe for ground beef extended with TVP. Adding the TVP dilutes the fat and cholesterol etc. in the beef, plus, it tastes good. All I had to add was salt, pepper, onions and garlic salt. This ground meat/soy mix is also economical. Of course, if you don't eat soy, you won't want to try this.

Skinnygirldreams
03-10-2013, 06:40 PM
I used ground turkey for every recipe that calls for ground beef. I love it. I've made meatloaf before for someone once who swore ground turkey was gross... and guess what... he thought my ground turkey meatloaf was delicious... you should have seen his face when i told him it wasnt made with ground beef! lol

April Snow
03-10-2013, 09:44 PM
I do think they taste different, and I don't make chili or tacos, etc. but I can taste the different in spaghetti sauce. You can mix lean or extra lean ground beef with ground turkey, so you still get a bit of the beef for flavor but the lowered fat from the turkey.

mariposssa
03-10-2013, 10:54 PM
I have been using ground turkey for many, many years. I use it in everything except meatloaf; which has to be ground chuck for me. I only buy ground chuck/beef when it is on a good sale. Lately it is way too expensive.

Oh yeah...I don't like turkey burger's either. Real ground chuck or ground chicken only and usually only in the summertime cooked on the grill.

With spaghetti, chili, tacos, soups etc the turkey is fine. I season it pretty heavily with garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. I also add veggies--onions, green peppers and carrots-- and a couple of tablespoons of milled flaxseed to it. My MIL has said she cant understand why my taco meat tastes better than hers...not ever telling her its the ground turkey. They turn up their nose to anything healthy. ;)

celigirl88
03-11-2013, 09:53 AM
I use both ground turkey or chicken, even when a recipe calls for beef. (For example I found a recipe on pinterest that was a "taco pasta" and I substituted everything for anything healthier, including the meat). But by itself, yes, it does need to be seasoned. It tastes NOTHING like beef, considering it's completely different. I did notice that the first couple times I ate ground turkey or chicken though my stomach was ON FIRE. I don't know why but it made me very sick to my stomach and I almost felt like I had to "get used to it". Other than that, now I use strictly just that and love it.

427pounder
03-21-2013, 06:20 PM
I use both ground turkey or chicken, even when a recipe calls for beef. (For example I found a recipe on pinterest that was a "taco pasta" and I substituted everything for anything healthier, including the meat). But by itself, yes, it does need to be seasoned. It tastes NOTHING like beef, considering it's completely different. I did notice that the first couple times I ate ground turkey or chicken though my stomach was ON FIRE. I don't know why but it made me very sick to my stomach and I almost felt like I had to "get used to it". Other than that, now I use strictly just that and love it.

Interesting that you mention your stomach being on fire. I got heart burn the first time I ate a ground turkey burger. I wonder what's with that.

kaplods
03-21-2013, 08:31 PM
Turkey isn't necessarily any healthier or lower in calorie than beef. It's the fat content that matters. In the "old days" when fat content wasn't disclosed, ground turkey usually was lower in fat and calories than ground beef. Turkey skin (fat) is often added to ground turkey so it now can be as fatty and caloric as any ground beef, and ground beef can be leaner and less caloric than turkey breast.

With both ground turkey and beef, the less fat, the higher the price. As someone mentioned, to save money, I buy cheaper, fattier ground meats (beef, turky, pork and even chorizo and other ground sausage) and brown with dry tvp granules (cheap, low in calories, and nearly fat-free) and seasonings and broth. I end up with a 90-95% lean meat equivalent to the expensive lean ground meats, for a per serving price about half of the price of the fattiest, cheapest ground beef (because tvp is about 1/4 the price per serving of cheap beef).

If you're interested just put the words kaplods, tvp, ground beef into your search, or browse the shoestring meals forum, because I've posted several versions of the recipe many times over the past few years.

mariposssa
03-21-2013, 10:51 PM
Turkey isn't necessarily any healthier or lower in calorie than beef. It's the fat content that matters.....With both ground turkey and beef, the less fat, the higher the price. As someone mentioned, to save money, I buy cheaper, fattier ground meats.

That depends....fat/calories don't really factor into my decision. I get ground turkey because it is cheaper; then I add things like garlic, onions, peppers and flax seed to make it healthier. I'm not on a low fat plan and a lot of low carb people actually do high fat instead of high protein now.

pluckypear
03-23-2013, 02:11 PM
That depends....fat/calories don't really factor into my decision. I get ground turkey because it is cheaper; then I add things like garlic, onions, peppers and flax seed to make it healthier. I'm not on a low fat plan and a lot of low carb people actually do high fat instead of high protein now.

Where I live ground turkey and or chicken are more expensive then ground beef. Even ground beef is expensive. I just eat it rarely but DH is a meataholic. Lol

kaplods
03-23-2013, 04:26 PM
I do a moderate-fat low-carb myself, so regardless of whether fat factors into your consideration, I was just pointing out that from a health standpoint, there's no inherent health benefit to turkey over beef, and as pluckypear mentioned, there's not necessarily a monetary advantage either.

In our area, turkey (when you match for protein and fat content) is as expensive or more expensive than beef. I actually preferground chicken best, but it's the most expensive (in my area), and the hardest to find.

Cheap ground turkey (in my area) tends to be made from the dark meat only and also has a lot of skin added, and it tends to have a "funkier" taste, which makes me suspect that internal organ meats are also ground into the mix. In itself, neither is necessarily a bad thing, but I also find there's rarely a cost savings over ground beef with a similar percentage of fat.

I think many people compare the cost of even the cheapest ground turkey to the cost of very lean (and expensive) ground beef, and a better comparison is comparing the cheapest ground turkey to the cheapest ground beef - or to look for labels and compare the protein and fat content. You also have to be aware that sometimes, cheap ground turkey has water added, which can make it harder to compare cost/value ration (which is why comparing fat and protein content will help).

I buy whatever is cheapest, which may be turkey, beef, or pork, which generally ends up being around 75 - 80% fat. Sometimes premium beef and turkey is on a particularly good sale, and I'll buy that. If there's only a small difference between the 80% and the 90%, I might buy the leaner cut, but usually only if I'm making hamburger patties. For ground meat, I almost always buy the cheapest, because I'm going to combine it with the tvp anyway.

Per serving, tvp is about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of even the cheapest ground pork (usually the cheapest ground meat in our area, often less than $1 per pound - well, at least until this past year, now it's usually a little higher than $1).

By combining the tvp with cheap, fattier meats I can choose the fat content simply by adjusting the amount of (virtually fat-free) tvp that I combine with the meat.

TVP can be substituted for ground meat, but it doesn't have much flavor of it's own, and it doesn't have a true meat texture. I don't mind, but hubby HATES tvp on it's own, but when I mix it with meat, he doesn't mind, and usually can't even tell. There's enough meat flavor and texture to keep him happy up to about 3 to 4 parts tvp to 1 of meat. More tvp than that, and he'll start to complain, "how much tvp is in this? It tastes a bit bland."

We used to eat recipes using the ground meat/tvp mixture almost every day, along with beans, because they were the cheapest and most filling protein sources.

Now that I've found that I do best on a pseudo-paleo diet, I have cut back on the meat/tvp mix, but it's just too affordable to give up entirely. (I do still eat small to moderate amounts of cultured dairy, legumes, sweet and waxy potato, and high protein grains like quinoa and wild rice).

My main point was to compare the cost and nutrition of ground turkey against beef (or any other meat including other brands of ground turkey) you can't just compare cost per pound without also knowing the protein and fat content. For example if you compare two brands of ground turkey, you might find that one has less fat AND less protein per pound, that's a sure tip-off that the one with the lower nutritional value has added water to their product.

While I don't worry much about fat content, it's the protein count that matters to me for meal proteins, so I often judge value by cost per gram of protein.

If you were more interested in fat than protein, you could judge value by cost per gram of fat. If you're going to be draining off even some of the fat, it would still pay to judge based on protein count.






....fat/calories don't really factor into my decision. I get ground turkey because it is cheaper; then I add things like garlic, onions, peppers and flax seed to make it healthier. I'm not on a low fat plan and a lot of low carb people actually do high fat instead of high protein now.

Where I live ground turkey and or chicken are more expensive then ground beef. Even ground beef is expensive. I just eat it rarely but DH is a meataholic. Lol

FrecklesTX
05-26-2013, 12:46 PM
I like Jennie O's seasoned stuff. Their turkey hot italian sausage is good. Don't even know it it's healthier but it does have fewer calories!

It's taken me awhile to adjust to ground turkey but like everyone else now it's my go-to for taco meat, chili, and spaghetti sauce.

I used to hate it as a meatloaf until I tried a recipe that substitued SF ketchup for tomato sauce and you sauteed the veggies (just onions for me) before mixing it with the turkey. Made the best moist delicious turkey meatloaf evar! Whip up some mashed cauliflower and it's on!! :)

elvislover324
05-26-2013, 01:00 PM
I don't like the idea of chicken sausage but the calorie and fat difference from pork is HUGE! I got the buffalo chicken sausage (I forget the brand but I think there was only 1 at the market) and it was SO good. It cured the craving for sausage and it was literally half the calories and a third of the fat. YUM!

bargoo
05-26-2013, 01:20 PM
I make chili using ground turkey and people ask me for my recipe, not suspecting that it is ground turkey rather than ground beef.

tehshort1
05-26-2013, 01:40 PM
I really enjoy the ground turkey. My husband and I gloss right over the ground beef at the grocery store. While it does taste different, I tend to like it a bit more. It tastes awesome in my DH's chilli and such. I recommend checking it out.

celigirl88
06-05-2013, 10:17 AM
Interesting that you mention your stomach being on fire. I got heart burn the first time I ate a ground turkey burger. I wonder what's with that.

I have no idea!! It happens every now and then where it will make me so sick, and I'll get CRAZY heartburn. I wonder if it's something in the meat that beef doesn't have.

100Mother
06-05-2013, 11:23 AM
I usually choose ground turkey, though sometimes I can tell my body just WANTS some red meat so I'll go for lean organic ground beef. When I use ground turkey, I definitely agree that you need to season it. I also try to add black beans, because it makes it taste 'meatier' to me? Not sure if that makes sense. Example: Ground Turkey & Black Bean Tacos and Hamburgers, etc.

CherryPie99
06-07-2013, 10:14 AM
I use ground turkey and ground beef. I buy the 93% lean beef and 93% or 99% ground turkey. I also use ground chicken. I eat whatever I'm in the mood for. There is not a huge difference in calories and fat.

Roo2
06-07-2013, 10:29 AM
I have tried Ground Turkey several times seasoned it well...and found it lacking.
Too expensive for me to spend money on something that I do not enjoy eating..
so I just buy lean ground beef.

maybe later down the road I will give it a try...but Ground Turkey here is expensive....maybe my tastebuds will change...

BettyBooty
06-24-2013, 11:20 AM
When I eat ground meat, I choose 93/7 beef. I've tried ground turkey and just didn't care for it.