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Juicy Venison Burger Recipe

This easy venison burger recipe creates the juiciest venison burgers that are tender and flavor-packed. Ground venison is a very lean meat but we’re sharing all of our simple tricks to getting extra juicy burgers that will rival even your favorite beef burger!

Two venison burgers assembled with lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.

Why This Venison Burger Recipe Works

As a lean protein, venison meat has a very low-fat ratio and can sometimes turn out to be tough or dry if it’s not prepared properly. But that’s not the case with these juicy venison burgers!

They are extra tender, juicy, and have a great flavor thanks to a delicious venison burger seasoning!

Our top tips for using ground venison for burger meat are:

  • Add fat to the deer meat. Juicy burgers depend on a higher ratio of fat than deer meat has so you need to add a bit of fat. We use pork fat, but beef fat also works.
  • Form the patties gently. Don’t compress them, or they will turn into bricks.
  • Do not over-cook them. If you overcook deer meat, it will dry out and get tough.

These flavorful burgers are now one of our favorite venison recipes, right along side this venison goulash and our recipe for venison and broccoli with oyster sauce.

Ingredients for Venison Burgers

Preparing juicy venison burgers relies on your technique and ingredients. This venison burger recipe is not complicated, but you will want to follow it closely for the best results.

We don’t add any binders or fillers to the deer patties (we are making hamburgers, not meatloaf!) and we find that the patties really don’t need them. Instead, a simple ground meat mixture and a few seasonings is all it takes for venison burger perfection!

The ingredient list includes:

  • Ground venison and pork or beef fat- the added fat is key to getting juicy, flavor-packed venison burgers. To get extra fat, cut the ends off of bacon strips or ask your local butcher for scraps of beef or pork fat. 
  • Burger toppings- use your favorite ingredients for building the burgers. We like cheese, horseradish aioli, toasted hamburger buns, tomato, onion, bacon strips, and lettuce.

Some other great condiments for your burgers include:

Ingredients used to make a venison burger.

Venison pairs really well with bold flavors like horseradish and spicy seasonings, so we’ve added a few suggestions in the recipe notes.

How To Make Juicy Venison Burgers

Whether you’re making grilled venison burgers or you decide to cook the patties in a hot skillet over the stovetop, you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s how to make them (we’re including instructions for both the stovetop method and grilled venison burgers). Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the full, printable recipe card and all of the ingredient amounts!

  1. Process the meat fat: Place the pork or beef fat in a meat grinder or food processor. Grind or process so you can easily mix it with the ground venison.
  2. Mix the meat and form the patties: Add the ground fat and venison to a large bowl and mix it until it is just combined. Don’t over-mix! Gently form the meat into four patties, pressing them loosely until they stay together. If you pack them down or press them too firmly, the meat will be tough.
  3. Season the raw venison burger patties: Combine your salt, pepper and Cowboy seasoning (if using). Season the patties generously and then refrigerate them until it’s time to cook the burgers.
  4. Cook on the stovetop or grill: Add each burger patty to a hot skillet or grill and cook for 2-4 minutes per side.

    We use an instant-read thermometer and pull the patties off when the internal temperature is 5°F below our target temperature (see notes for temperature ranges). The meat will continue to cook a bit after they’re off the heat. Place cheese on the burger patties right before taking them off the heat.
  5. Assemble the venison burgers: Spread some flavorful aioli on the buns and assemble the burgers with your favorite toppings!

Recipe Tips

  • If you do not own a meat grinder or a food processor, you can use a chef’s knife and chop the fat until it is finely minced.
  • To make grilled venison burgers, clean and season the grill grates well before you begin cooking.
  • We recommend cooking venison burgers medium rare (or less) for the best texture and optimal juiciness. (see below for FDA recommendations)

Temperature Doneness for Burgers

Use this handy chart (and meat thermometer) to cook your venison burgers to the perfect temperature! Keep in mind, that the FDA recommends a temperature of 160°F for most ground meat.

  • Rare= 120°F -130°F
  • Medium rare= 130°F -135°F
  • Medium= 135°F -145°F
  • Medium-well= 145°F -155°F
  • Well-done= 155°F +

Please remember that ground meat has an increased risk of carrying bacteria since it gets processed (blending potential bacteria throughout the meat).

The safest temperature for burgers is 160°F.

You can still get a good venison burger if you cook it well-done if you add fat to the meat and do not compress the patties.

A venison cheeseburger, sliced in half.

Venison Burgers: Frequently Asked Questions

What can I mix with venison to make burgers?

To make the best burger patties with venison meat, it’s important to add extra fat. Venison is very lean and doesn’t have much fat.

Without adding ground pork fat or ground beef fat, the burgers will turn out dry and tough. Ask your butcher for extra fat or trim the fatty ends off of thick-cut bacon and grind it in a meat grinder (or use a food processor).

What do you add to ground venison?

While extra fat contributes to the overall texture and flavor of the venison burgers, bold herbs and spicy seasonings do a lot for venison.

Because of this, it’s easy to create different flavor variations for venison burgers by adding your favorite spices and herbs or topping your burger with bold condiments like horseradish and spicy mustard.

How do you make deer burgers that don’t fall apart?

Our venison burger recipe doesn’t require binders or fillers, but don’t worry. They won’t fall apart on you if you add extra fat! When forming the patties, take care not to press them too firmly.

You can loosely press them together and they will still hold, thanks to the added fat in the ground venison mixture. Cooking the burgers in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop or on the grill over a medium-high heat also ensures they form a nice, outer crust that keeps them together.

What spices go well with venison?

We love zingy, zesty, bold flavors with venison! A few of of our favorites include: Black garlic aioli, Chipotle aioli, Black and Bleu seasoning, and MeatEater Venison Seasoning.

We hope you find these simple tricks to be useful as you prepare the perfect venison burger!

Whether you’re an avid hunter (or know one) during deer season or you’ve picked up some deer meat from local grocery stores, venison is great game meat that can have so many uses if done the right way! These tasty burgers are easy and delicious, especially with air fryer fries or Hasselback potatoes on the side!

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Two venison burgers assembled with lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.

Venison Burgers

Yield: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

Since venison is such a lean meat, the secrets to tender, juicy venison burgers are to add extra fat to the meat, form the patties gently, and don’t over-cook them.

We did not add any binders or fillers to the deer patties (we are making hamburgers, not meatloaf) and we seasoned the outside of the patties generously. Venison pairs well with bold flavors like horseradish aioli and spicy seasonings so we added a few suggestions in the notes for condiments and seasonings.

Ingredients

For the Venison Patties

To Build the Burgers

  • 4 slices of cheese
  • Horseradish aioli
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked
  • lettuce, torn into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Place the pork or beef fat in a meat grinder or food processor and grind.
  2. Add the ground fat and venison to a bowl and mix until just combined. 
  3. Gently form the meat into four patties. Don’t pack the patties down, just press them loosely until they stay together. If you press the patties too firmly, they will be tough. 
  4. Season the patties with salt, pepper, and Cowboy seasoning (if using). Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  5. Heat a grill or skillet to medium-hight heat (if you are using a skillet, add a splash of cooking oil to the skillet). 
  6. Add the venison patties to the hot skillet or grill and cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side. If you have an instant read thermometer, shoot for an internal temperature of 5°F below your target temperature (see notes below). The meat will continue to cook a few more degrees after you remove them from the heat. 
  7. Place the cheese on the burger patties just before you remove them from the heat. 
  8. Spread aioli on the buns and assemble the burgers with your desired fixings and condiments. 

Notes

  • To get extra fat for the venison patties, cut the ends off of bacon strips or ask your local butcher for scraps of beef or pork fat. 
  • If you don’t have a meat grinder, use a food processor to grind the pork fat. Alternatively, you can use a chef’s knife and chop the fat until it looks like it is finely minced. 
  • If you cook the burgers over a grill, clean and season the grill grates before you begin cooking the burgers. 
  • The venison patties will continue to cook a few degrees after you remove them from the heat. Check the chart for burger doneness and pull the patties off the grill when they are about 5°F below your target temperature. 
  • We recommend cooking venison burgers medium rare (or less) for the best texture and optimal juiciness. I like to pull the burgers off the heat when they reach 125°F internally. 

Temperature Doneness for Burgers

  • Rare= 120°F -130°F
  • Medium rare= 130°F -135°F
  • Medium= 135°F -145°F
  • Medium-well= 145°F -155°F
  • Well-done= 155°F +


More ideas for seasonings and condiments

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 678Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 1173mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 57g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Friday 20th of May 2022

I like to use extra tallow in my burger patties too. This looks so juicy and flavourful. angiesrecipes http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.com

Dahn Boquist

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

thanks Angie.

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