Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Today we are covering the art of making venison burgers. There are three important factors you need to know when making a burger. First, make sure you have the right meat to fat ratio for the type of burger that you are preparing. Second, make sure that you double grind the meat and fat mixture so that everything is evenly distributed. Last and certainly not least, leave your burgers out at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Meat to Fat Ratio
You want to have the correct meat to fat ratio when cooking burgers and that especially goes for wild-game burgers. The ratio should be based off of the type of burger that you like. If you like a nice thin burger that’s charred, you better have at least %15 fat worked into the meat or you will be left with a dried out hockey puck. If you like to eat lean burgers you’re better suited to go with a thicker burger that’s cooked to a medium or medium rare temperature to ensure that it isn’t dried out and retains some moisture. Of course if you like some fat in your burgers, you can prepare those in the thick fashion as well and cook to whatever temperature you like. Just remember, the more fat that’s in the burger the higher the internal temperature you can get away with without drying it out. The next step is just as important as this one.
Double Grind your Meat and Fat Mixture
If you’ve ever had a burger that was pretty good but you felt like some of it was dried out and some parts were juicy? I’m willing to bet my life savings that the meat and fat mixture wasn’t put through the grinder twice. Putting the mixture through the grinder a second time ensures that the fat will be evenly distributed through the meat. You will also achieve a better crust on the meat because the surface will have the correct amount of fat. You can a number of fats such as bear, beef, pork and even grass-fed butter. Yes, that’s right I said butter. Cut the butter into cubes just like any other fat and freeze for an hour before grinding. Also make sure that everything else is super cold as usual.
Let your Burgers come to Room Temperature
Please don’t be a victim of burger shrinkage. Like with pretty much every other meat that you cook, burgers should be left at room temperature a little while before cooking. Letting your venison burgers come to room temperature does two things. First it prevents the meat from being shocked by the extremely hot cooking temperature and shrinking up to nearly half its size. Second, it will greatly increase your chances of achieving a nice crust. Cold meat has a tendency to cool down the cooking surface and in return steaming the meat or making it stick to the pan or the grill.
Here’s one of my Favorite Burger Sauces
Chipotle & Pepita Aioli
1 Cup – Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon – Pumpkin Seed Oil
1 Tablespoon – Chopped Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
½ Teaspoon – Ground Cumin
¼ Teaspoon – Ground Coriander
Salt and Pepper to Taste