I love to share recipes for venison burgers like the Bobby Burger. This venison burger recipe is another of my family’s favorites. It’s a true foodie fantasy! I’ve updated this post with tips and tricks for the juiciest, tastiest burger.
Hunters and Foodies Unite in Venison Burger Joy
You know hamburgers are extra special when every culture has their own take on the ingenious creation. Burgers show up for just about every special occasion — even weddings! Really, who doesn’t like a hamburger? Even vegetarians enjoy their own versions of a juicy burger patty on a bun.
Deer hunters have been enjoying venison burgers since … well, the invention of the hamburger. During deer season and beyond, venison recipes are in high demand.
Recently the “foodies” of the world have embraced venison meat like never before. They are fascinated with the flavor, especially of meat from deer that have been grass, acorn, berry, and herb fed.
This venison burger recipe is sure to satisfy all the meat eaters in your family.
On the side, try these crispy double fried french fries.
For an Awesome Hamburger, Try a Venison Burger
No other cut of meat can compare with the earthy flavors of venison. Lamb gets very close to the texture and flavor, though, and is a fine substitute in this recipe. Grass fed beef works well, too.
I prefer my meat not to be finished off by grains and corns because they do change the flavor. Additionally, grass-fed meat may be healthier than grain fed. Whatever the health benefits, I embrace the earthy flavors of these organic meats.
If you fear a “gamey” flavor in venison burgers, I offer solutions below.
How to Make Venison Burgers Juicy
- The secret to making a super juicy venison burger is to add fat. In this recipe I use bacon, but you could also mix in a different kind of pork fat or beef fat. I like to grind up the fat at the same time that I am processing the venison so that I can control the fat-to-venison ratio. I find 80-20 to be the perfect mix.
- Salt the venison burgers right before cooking. If you salt the patties too far in advance, then the texture of the meat will change and turn into more of a sausage than a ground meat. So I salt and pepper the burgers almost immediately before I put them on the griddle. The salt creates a crust around the exterior, making the patty juicy, crispy, and perfectly seasoned.
- Another trick I found is to baste the venison burgers with butter. The butter both adds flavor and keeps my burgers super juicy.
- Don’t press the burgers while they’re cooking. This is probably the number one tip to follow when making hamburgers but also with all cuts of meat. If you press the patties as they cook, all you’re doing is pressing all of the juices out and leaving a dry, flat burger.
- Let the burgers rest. I know it’s hard but before you go digging into your all american feast give your burgers time to rest. When you let the meat rest for a minute the juices have time to settle down and collect inside of the patty rather than on your plate.
How to Make a Venison Burger Taste Good
Many people ask, Does a venison burger taste good? With this recipe, it does!
Venison burgers are my all-time favorite tasty high-protein meal. They are so satisfying. And burgers taste even better when you know where everything came from: the meat, vegetables, and sauces.
However, occasionally you may get venison that tastes super gamy. That is usually because the meat didn’t have enough time to dry age. Removing the gamey taste is a challenge, but it is not impossible.
First, you can mix the deer meat with other meats such as bacon. As mentioned above, pork or beef fat will make the burger juicy. At the same time, it will also hide any gamey flavor. Then the sensational flavor of venison will shine through.
Second, the right seasonings help make venison burgers taste phenomenal. I particularly like a little heat and sweetness mixed into my flavor profile! For me, therefore, the chipotle pepper mayonnaise in this venison burger recipe is just the right addition. Actually, this easy mayonnaise recipe works well as a vegetable dip, too. It is a recipe to learn by heart, for sure.
Of course, a melted slice of cheese is always delicious, too, if you don’t mind a little extra cholesterol and calories.
What should the internal temp be for venison burgers?
When cooking deer burgers, I tend to aim for 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit. However, my husband likes his burger temperature to be even less than this, sometimes as low as 130. The internal temperature is up to each individual, but the average temperature is usually 140 degrees for, in my opinion, a perfectly cooked burger.
Can you get sick from undercooked venison?
If the deer had an illness, then yes, consuming undercooked or raw meat can make you sick. If you didn’t raise the deer or see it being processed, I would recommend cooking it to at least 145 degrees. However, the number of people getting sick from deer meat is very low. Deer live a healthy lifestyle and are not hypersensitive to many diseases, but they can catch illnesses that remain contagious through the raw meat. So again, if in doubt, cook to at least 145 degrees.
Can you freeze these burgers?
Yes. Freezing venison burgers is a super simple process. After you shape the burgers, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can put the burgers in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Venison is such a lean meat that the burgers they tend to fall apart, but they keep their shape much better when cooked from frozen.
How to Cook Frozen Burger Patties
To cook the frozen burgers, heat a skillet over high heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is almost smoking, add the frozen patties. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook for about 8 minutes. Flip each patty and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
Is this venison burger recipe healthy?
Yes! With venison being so lean, it is much healthier than other red meats. Since it is both lean and super high in protein, it is great for building muscle and supporting heart health. Venison is a fantastic meat to have when you’re on a restrictive diet or trying to lose weight.
What can I mix with venison to make burgers?
You can make venison burger patties with everything from breadcrumbs to eggs, but personally, I like to keep the mixture for my burgers simple. I add just a few seasonings and a little bit of fat to help bind the meat together and make it juicy.
The seasonings are totally up to you. The Bobby Burger includes Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, while this recipe mixes it up with chipotle mayonnaise. Some people add garlic powder and onion powder to their burgers, but I prefer minced and diced fresh.
Likewise with the fixings: the usual lettuce, tomato, and pickles work just fine, but you might like to add extra onion slices, green pepper, etc.
How do you keep deer burgers from falling apart?
Adding a little bit of fat, 80:20 in ratio, to ground venison helps the patties stick together a little better. As mentioned above, the bacon also makes this venison burger recipe super juicy.
- 4 pounds venison or lamb
- 1 pound bacon
- 4 cloves garlic minced or crushed
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 6 Hamburger Buns
- Pickles optional
Homemade Chipotle Mayonnaise
- 1 ripe red jalapeño seeded (or not if you like it more spicy)
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups organic olive oil
- In a meat grinder, grind venison and bacon on the largest setting. This will keep your hamburgers light and juicy. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix gently, but well.
- Grill your hamburgers until just done. I did these on a flat top on my stove – I let them cook 5 minutes on one side then flip then and finish cooking about 4 minutes on the other side, depending on the thickness of your patties. A cast-iron skillet will work fine, too. Don't overcook, but do make sure the pork is completely cooked.
- Warm your buns on the flat top until they are slightly steamed. Serve them with Chipotle Mayonnaise, pickles and anything else you you like! Enjoy!
- In a food processor add all the ingredients except the olive oil. Start food processor and run continuously while adding drops of oil to the ingredients. Continue adding drops of oil waiting in-between drops 10 seconds. Once it begins to thicken, add the rest of the oil in a very slow stream.
- You may not need all of the oil. After every 1/2 cup of oil is added, check to see if it is the taste and consistency that you like. Place any unused mayonnaise in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.