Nothing says summer like venison burgers on the grill. However, getting the right cook on the burger is just as important as choosing the right toppings.
A minute too long or a minute too short, and you may be disappointed in the outcome.
Venison burgers will take 6-10 minutes to cook on a grill, depending on how you like them.
Venison Burger Cooking Times
As you will see below, numerous factors influence the cooking times for venison burgers.
These numbers are for a 3/4 inch patty with 30 percent pork belly cooked over a charcoal grill at a temperature of around 450F.
|Rare||4 minutes||125F||5 minutes|
|Medium-Rare||5 minutes||135F||5 minutes|
|Medium||6 minutes||145F||6 minutes|
|Well Done||8 minutes||160F||6-8 minutes|
The first and most obvious thing that will affect the cooking time of your venison burgers is the thickness.
Depending on which venison burger recipe you followed, you may have a thick or thin burger.
I usually like to keep my venison burger patties to a 3/4 inch thick. This allows me a quick cooking time while keeping them rare to medium rare.
Other recipes recommend one-inch thick burgers, which are also fine.
However, I tend not to go too thick because getting a perfect cook is harder.
Everyone knows that to create the perfect venison burger, you need some fat.
The amount varies across recipes, and there are no fixed rules.
Generally, I use 25-30% pork fat to make my venison burgers.
The fat in the burgers will cook faster than the venison. It also melts and can reach a high temperature, cooking the venison in the process.
This is why when creating the venison patties, it’s essential to get a good mix; by doing so, your burgers will cook more evenly.
Burgers with a higher fat content will cook faster than those with lower fat.
Another factor to consider is the grill temperature and the fuel used.
If using a propane grill, you can likely reach cooking temperatures of 450F and up. This is extremely high and is used for searing and creating a char.
However, if you’re like me and prefer to use charcoal or wood-powered grills, then your temperature will vary.
The amount of coal on the grill will have a direct effect on the temperature. It is not unknown for charcoal grills to be able to reach 1000F.
Similar to charcoal, wood is also able to reach extreme temperatures. The type of wood also plays a part in the heat output.
If grilling venison burgers, it’s best to use a dry high BTU hardwood like oak.
All three fuel types mentioned above can reach temperatures sufficient for cooking venison burgers.
Ideally, for venison, you should be cooking over a high-heat grill.
Venison is dryer than most other meats. We often counter that by mixing in some form of fat, as mentioned above.
However, while this helps, it’s not enough to entirely prevent venison from drying out if cooked for longer than necessary.
The ideal temperature for cooking venison burgers is around 400F.
Some people like a little lower and cook their burgers at 350F. I find this a great temperature for beef burgers but a little too low for venison burgers.
If you are looking for a little char and some grill lines, you could even go as high as 450F.
Cooking burgers is not like cooking a steak. With a steak, you can set it over high heat, get a great sear and move it aside to finish cooking.
A burger isn’t like that, at least not a venison burger. With a venison burger, you set it down and leave it until you are ready to flip it.
This means choosing your heat wisely.
Most people are aiming for a medium cook on their venison burgers. I, however, prefer medium rare.
Whichever you prefer, it’s essential to know the difference between time and temperature.
At a lower temperature of about 350F, the difference between doneness is about 30 seconds.
This means going from medium rare to medium is only 30 seconds longer.
You also need to remember that the time is reduced the higher the temperature.
The difference is negligible, but if you also don’t want to burn the outside.
So for anything more than a medium cook, you should lower the temperature a little.
For rare and medium rare cooks, use the higher temperature of 400-450F
I use 450F and a medium rare cook. I find this works better to keep the venison as juicy as possible.
When you take the burger off the grill, it’s important to remember it’s not done cooking.
During the resting time, the burger is still cooking. Resting time also varies according to the degree of doneness.
I like to rest for 4-5 minutes. If I were cooking a burger to well, I would increase the resting time to 6 minutes.
Venison burgers are not as forgiving as beef burgers. We usually make these burgers at home, and they are free from additives.
Venison is easier to dry out and harder to rest. However, it doesn’t need to be rocket science.
A perfect medium rare venison burger will take 3 minutes per side on a 450F grill and then a further 5 minutes to rest.
Rusty enjoys connecting food and nature and has done so since a child. He was fortunate enough to explore cuisine worldwide and work at great European restaurants. He now enjoys thinking up new recipes that he can find around him in nature in North America.