Venison burgers are the star of the show come summertime. Just as there are many opinions on the toppings for venison burgers or how they should be cooked, there are just as many opinions on how they should be made.
The truth is no matter how you make them, once you follow a well-put-together recipe, they will most likely turn out pretty great.
There are a few things to consider when making venison burgers, but these few things will determine the quality of the end product.
However, don’t be afraid to take a trial and error approach.
Best Seasonings for Venison Burger
One of the most popular debates is seasoning for venison burgers. When it comes to seasoning, I take a less is more approach.
Sometimes I use no seasoning in the mix, but more often, I use a small amount of onion and garlic powder, nothing more.
I’ve met guys who use half a tub of black pepper in their burgers. What’s the point? You could apply that to a shoe and still not know what you are eating.
We hunt venison for a reason, and when I am eating it, I want to be able to taste it.
Another thing I see people do is adding salt to the ground mix. Never add salt to the ground meat. Adding salt to meat sucks out the moisture. This is why salt is used when brining for smoking.
We don’t want to do this for venison burgers. We want them as juicy as can be. I certainly recommend adding salt to your venison burgers, smoked is even better, but this should be added right before it hits the grill.
How much fat to add to the mix is another topic worth discussing. I generally go for a 70/30 split with venison and pork fat.
Some people prefer to use beef fat, but for the sake of burgers, I find pork fat superior. It adds a nice salty flavor without having to apply too much salt.
When choosing the fat for your venison burger, you can use back fat or belly fat. After trying both extensively, I now prefer to use belly fat.
The belly fat usually has some meat layered in, and I find that this gives the burger a much better structure.
- 3 pounds venison
- 10 ounces pork belly
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Brioche buns
- Tomato ketchup or condiment of your choice
- iceberg lettuce
- If cooking in a frying pan, some oil for frying
- Chop the venison and bacon into cubes. approximately 1 inch (or whatever fits in your grinder)
- Place the meat in a large bowl and pour over seasoning and mix with your hands.
- When the meat is extremely cold but not frozen, mix half with a large hole plate and half with a small hole plate.
- Gently mix the ground meat with your hands.
- Form the meat into patties, about 3/4 inch thick, on some parchment or wax paper.
- set the meat into the fridge while you prepare the grill or cast iron pan
- Set the pattie over high heat, and add some salt and pepper. Fry for approx 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness and how well you want them done
- Flip the patties over and fry on the other side; add a little more salt and pepper
- Approximately 1 minute before the patties are cooked, place the cheese on top to get a nice melt
- set the patties aside to rest for 5 minutes
- Place the buns on the grill to toast
- When toasted, add the ketchup, lettuce, pattie, cheese, onion, tomato, and cucumber, and close the bun.
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.