Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

Here is my time-tested favourite grilled venison burgers recipe. I’m confident that these will be the best venison burgers you have ever tasted.

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I believe venison is one of the all-time best and most underrated meats out there, which is why I am trying to encourage more people to try it. It’s incredibly healthy and delicious.

You can find more of my venison recipes here.

Venison is a very lean meat with a low meat-to-fat ratio and as such, you’ll usually need to add in a little extra fat to help with the flavour and to ensure the meat binds together.

This will be the same for any other wild game burger.

There is no reason why you can’t swap the venison meat in this recipe for ground beef if you wanted and make some amazing beef burgers.

You could also use another ground meat, such as turkey etc.

How to cook venison burgers on the grill? What is the secret to grilling burgers?

The secret to grilling a burger is to make sure you have created two heating zones on your grill.

First off, make sure you are using some decent lump wood charcoal, and let it burn for approx 20 minutes so that it has a decent covering of ash over it.

Scrape all the charcoal over to one side of your grill. Place your grill grates on top and get to cooking temperature.

You now want to cook your burgers on the side with no coals underneath.

This indirect way of cooking allows the burgers to cook more slowly and evenly, without flare-ups burning the outside of your burgers.

If your grill has a lid, put it on and let the smoke build inside to add more flavour.

Assuming you have a good medium-high heat, turn the burgers after approx 4-5 minutes and give the other side another 3-4 minutes.

Don’t overcook your burgers.

Undercooking is always a worry, especially when serving to family and friends, but as long as you follow the indirect cooking method (and maybe sample one yourself), then your burger should be thoroughly cooked through.

For extra reassurance, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be at least 160°F (70°C).

The above method should give you a perfect venison burger every time.

How long should you grill venison burgers?

For a standard-size venison burger, grilling on medium-high heat, using the indirect method, you should grill for approx 4-5 minutes on one side, then turn and grill for approx 3-4 minutes on the other side.

This very much depends on the size of your burgers, as well as the heat that you are cooking.

To check your burgers are fully cooked through, use a meat thermometer and ensure the internal temperature is at least 160°F (71°C), or 165°F (74°C) if they contain any pork.

This very much depends on the size of your burgers, as well as the heat that you are cooking.

What do you mix with venison to make a burger?

You can mix a variety of different ingredients into your venison burgers, depending on your taste and what you have available in the pantry.

For some standard ingredients through, go with egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, butter, salt and pepper.

What is a good binder for deer burgers?

Venison is very low in fat and you therefore usually want to add some fat back in to allow for a more juicy burger and to also allow it to bind together to form the burger shape and stop them from falling apart.

On top of adding bacon to the venison burger, you should also add in egg yolk, as this helps the burger mixture to bind properly.

Egg yolks help this to happen while adding extra flavour and nutrients to your burgers. Go for organic free-range eggs if you can.

Do venison burgers need a binder?

Yes, you should use a binder when making venison burgers.

One of the best binders is a free-range egg yolk.

Adding an egg yolk helps you to properly form the burgers into their shape and also helps to stop them from breaking up when cooking them.

Can venison burgers be pink in the middle?

Yes, venison burgers can be slightly pink in the middle, as long as the internal temperature has reached at least 160°F (71°C).

If you are unsure, use a meat thermometer to confirm this.

If you have used pork in the mixture, such as bacon, then the temperature should be at least 165°F (74°C).

What is the best fat to mix with deer burger?

The best fat to add to a deer burger is either beef fat or pork fat.

Beef dripping is good for this, or for the pork option, go with chopped bacon. Either of these will increase the flavour of your deer burgers.

How do I make my venison burger not taste gamey?

Use well-prepared venison and as fresh as possible.

Generally speaking, if you use good quality venison, for your ground deer meat, then once combined with the other burger ingredients, you will not notice any gamey taste.

Not everyone likes the taste of venison, but when put through the meat grinder and mixed with the other ingredients, most would think it is beef they are eating.

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe Card

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

My time-tested venison burger recipe – that that just works every time.
Use good quality ground venison for this and you won't go far wrong.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, bbq, European
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 Chopping board
  • 1 large bowl, for mixing
  • 1 cast iron pan / skillet, or baking tray

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground venison meat
  • 1/2 pound smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 large burger buns
  • Toppings: sliced cheese (either american cheese, or cheddar) garlic mayo, normal mayo, lettuce, mustard, onion, pickles.

Instructions
 

  • Using your hands combine the ground venison, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, butter, salt and black pepper, in a large bowl.
  • Once mixed, using your hands, form 6 even balls with the mixture. Then shape each ball into a burger pattie.
  • Place onto a baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper (greaseproof paper).
  • Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and put in the fridge for approx 20 minutes to help firm up the burger patties.
  • If cooking on the grill, preheat to a medium-high 450-500°F (232-260°C). If frying, preheat your cast-iron pan/skillet to a medium heat before cooking.
  • Using your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of one side of each patty. This indented side will become the top and the reason for doing this is that it will help stop the burgers from puffing up while the cook.
  • If grilling: brush some olive oil on the indented side of each burger and place on the preheated grill, indention side down. Cook for around 4-5 minutes. Flip the patties over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165°F (71°C).
  • If frying: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter to the preheated pan. Add 2-3 burgers (thumb indention side down), and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (71°C). Cook the remaining burgers in the same way.
  • Place the cooked burgers onto a clean chopping board and place a slice of cheese onto each one while they are still hot.
  • Assemble your burgers: Slice each burger bun crossways (if not already done). Butter the top and bottom of each. Spread mayonnaise and/or mustard inside each. Add lettuce, sliced onion, sliced tomato and pickles.
  • Serve with french fries. Enjoy!

Notes

Tips:

  • If cooking on a skillet, make the burger patties a bit flatter (thinner) so that they cook more evenly.

Storage:

  • Refrigerator – Uncooked burger patties can be prepared in advance and then stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. You can also use cling film (plastic wrap), but I try not to use this stuff, as it’s not great for the environment.
  • Freezing – Wrap each burger patty in parchment paper and place them in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
Keyword venison burger recipe

Venison burger toppings

Some great venison burger toppings include:

  • Cheese slices – either American cheese or cheddar
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced tomato
  • Pickles
  • Crispy bacon

The best cheese for venison burgers

This is a matter of opinion, but in general, slices of American cheese or cheddar work best with venison burgers.


Want more goodness? Check out my famous venison chili here.


The Best Venison Chili Recipe

The Best Venison Chilli Recipe

Are you looking for the best venison chili recipe out there? Well, here it is…

I love all kinds of chili, beef, mushroom, or otherwise, but this venison chili recipe is simply delicious and my hands down favorite.

Feel free to adjust ingredients to your taste, but I would recommend following the main steps.

The Best Venison Chilli Recipe

The Best Venison Chilli Recipe

James
This is quite literally my favourite venison chilli recipe of all time.
It's easy to make, has massive depth of flavour and is truly delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large cooking pot
  • 1 Chopping board
  • 1 Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound smoked back bacon, chopped into mouth-sized pieces
  • 3 inches chorizo, chopped into small cubes
  • 3 pounds venison – minced (ground) or cubed
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree / tomato paste
  • 1/2 pint good quality beef broth
  • 1 can red kidney beans (optional)
  • 1 can pinto beans (optional)
  • 1 can black beans (optional)
  • 2 large squares 90% cocao dark chocolate
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat up a large dutch oven or large skillet. Add the bacon and chorizo and gently fry on a low heat until both are lightly browned.
  • Remove the bacon and chorizo from the pot and set to one side.
  • Now increase the temperature on the hob to a medium-high heat and add the venison.
  • Stir until the meat starts to brown.
  • Add the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes until softened.
  • Now add the rest of the ingredients – garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, chipotle powder, chili powder, tomato paste, beef broth and beans (drained).
  • Add the bacon and chorizo back in.
  • Add chocolate squares.
  • Stir thoroughly.
  • Reduce to a medium heat, place lid on pot and simmer for approx 3 hours.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • If the chilli has a little too much liquid, you can remove the lid for the last part of the cook and allow to reduce down.
  • You can use minced venison (ground deer meat) for this, but my preference is to have cubed. Cubed venison makes for a more substantial dish in my opinion and is also more authentic.
  • Serve with either rice, tortilla chips, baked potato, fries (yes fries), or just have it straight up. I also like it with freshly buttered bread.
  • For toppings, go with some grated cheddar cheese, some sliced green onions, a dollop of sour cream and corn chips.
  • I like to make extra so I can also have it for lunches in the week. It always tastes even better the next day and will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days! Store in an airtight container if you do this, or freeze for future use.
  • Swap chipotle powder for 2 chopped chipotle peppers if you have them.
  • This chili works equally as well with ground beef, elk meat, other wild game or indeed any other lean meat that you can get your hands on. If it’s fresh and good quality, it should be good in a chili. You can also make a vegetarian version out of mushrooms.
  • If you don’t have tomato puree/paste to hand, you can use tomato sauce, just be aware that it will make it taste a bit sweeter.
  • The beans are all entirely optional.
Keyword Chilli, Cubed, Slow cooker, Venison

Can I cook venison chili in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook venison chili in a slow cooker.

Simply do the initial fry in a large skillet or dutch oven and then transfer to the slow cooker when it’s ready for the final cook.

If cooking this way, make sure to not have too much liquid once at the slow cooker stage, as it will not be removed.

Reduce the amount of stock (beef broth) you add and you should be fine.

A slow cooker venison chili is amazing and a great way to cook chili once the main prep work has been done.

It also means you can get on with your day.

What gives chili a rich flavor?

A chili’s rich flavour comes from the ingredients you add, as well as reducing down the liquid to form a more concentrated depth of flavor.

Personally, I think a chili tastes even better once it has had time to sit for a day or so in the fridge.

The flavours just seem to improve.

A good slow cook also helps.

What enhances the flavor of chili?

This is somewhat a matter of opinion and largely comes down to personal taste, but generally speaking a good beef broth or stock is a great way to enhance the flavour of your chili.

Some recipes also call for coffee to be added and molasses.

Chili seasoning is a highly debatable subject, with many strong opinions on the matter.

Some other alternatives include cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, adobo sauce, green chilies and even a bay leaf.

It’s your chili, so do as you wish and experiment a little until you find what works for you.

Should I leave the fat on venison?

Yes, you should leave the fat on venison.

Venison is a very lean meat as it is and if it does have any fat, then this will only help add to the flavour of the dish.

Due to venison being so lean, it is quite common to be adding fat back in, such as some bacon or chorizo.

Simply put, you want some fat in a hearty venison chili, so stop worrying and crack it in.

Does chili get better the longer it sits?

Yes, the longer chili sits the better it gets.

It gives a chance for all the flavors to mix and combine and increases the flavour massively.

Obviously, there is a limit. 1-2 days in the fridge is about max.

If you intend to keep longer then you should freeze.

Does venison chili taste gamey?

No, venison chili does not taste gamey.

In fact, if you are concerned about gameness, then this is probably one of the best venison recipes to try.

The combination of flavours in this easy venison chili recipe takes over and is a guaranteed hit.

Give it a try and you will see.

What is the best thickener for chili?

The best way to thicken a big pot of chili is to leave the lid slightly off while cooking, so that the liquid can evaporate off.

This reduces the chili down to a thicker sauce.

Another method is to add cornflour to the chili, but I would only do this if you have to.

Try reducing it first though.

Does chili taste better the longer it cooks?

Yes, chili tastes better the longer it cooks.

Cooking it for longer gives the flavours more of a chance to develop fully and will improve the dish.

Good chili toppings

There are many toppings you can add to your venison chili.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Green onions (sliced)
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Sliced chili pepper to taste

Looking for more venison goodness? I would highly recommend trying my venison burgers