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Ground Turkey vs Ground Beef

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Ground Turkey vs Ground Beef

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!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:30 PM   #3
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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
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvislover324 View Post
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.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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I've been eating ground turkey for over 20 years, beef tastes weird to me.
So I guess you just get used to it?
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:25 PM   #9
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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!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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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
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:56 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #13
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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
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:44 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:54 PM   #15
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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.
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