Author: Deer & Deer Hunting
Published: November 1, 2022

Ready to cook that big buck you just killed? Try out these venison burgers.

“Being able to grill a great venison burger is essential for any hunter-cook worth his or her salt. And I’d argue a delicious venison burger is the gateway food for anyone wishing to learn to love eating game.

There are some key aspects to keep in mind: You want to serve that burger medium-rare, as venison’s flavor potential decreases exponentially for every degree past 135 (internal temp). Ideally, you also want to serve it as fresh as possible, which likely means, if possible, grinding your burger the same day. If you have trim or whole roasts sitting in the freezer, you can cut them into chunks and run through the fine plate of a grinder and go from there.

But there is indeed no harm in using pre-ground venison for your burgers. Do invest in quality, fresh vegetables and slice them the day of. Also, pick up some quality buns. I’ve recently started purchasing St. Pierre Bakery brioche and hamburger buns. I can find them in most stores in Kansas (and that is saying something, because we don’t get a lot of fancy things here).

And don’t add bacon or beef or any other “supplementary” proteins to your burger meat. Keep it 100% ground venison and grill it on a hot flat top or skillet. Because venison is so lean, you run the risk of it coming apart if grilled on a grate. You want the entire surface area of that venison burger patty in constant contact with a hot cooking surface for a very even sear and solid crust that will keep that burger together when you flip it.

Lastly, try your hand at hand-forming your patties. When forming a patty, it’s important to almost karate-chop the edges to form what I call a “rampart of meat.” Doing so eliminates cracks along the edges, which will potentially burst open when cooking.

To hand-form, measure into 6-ounce balls and smash down with non-dominant hand. Turn burger as you do this: Form a circle around patty with dominant hand and lightly press edges toward middle while non-dominant hand flattens meat and pushes toward edge. The opposing forces of pushing meat to edge and while pushing back toward center will form that rampart of meat.

The steps below are very simple but also make it very easy to grill the perfect venison burger. Make sure your ground venison is fully thawed but cold when forming patties, then lightly salt and pepper and leave out at room temp for an hour (in patty form). This will make sure you have the perfect medium-rare cook in the end.

Ingredients (makes two servings):

  • Two 6-ounce venison burger patties  
  • Two quality hamburger buns
  • Minimum two American cheese slices (more if you want per burger)
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Dill pickle slices   
  • Mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard
  • Cooking oil

The full article and cooking directions can be found here.

Photo Credit: Original Author

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