A simple recipe for basic venison burgers as well as a discussion on perfecting a homemade burger.
The all American burger is something I’m fairly certain everyone is familiar with, even if you’ve never set foot in the U.S. By now McDonalds has infiltrated nearly the entire globe so people are at the very least familiar with the concept.
While I’ve had my share of take out burgers I honestly believe that nothing can compare to a homemade burger if it’s done right. Now there innumerable camps that have staked their claim to the best way to prepare burgers, contesting meat to fat ratios, spice content, meat type and all that jazz. For me honestly I think simplicity works best.
I think a solid 80 to 20 meat to fat ratio is ideal. Fat is what makes the burger juicy and tender. However, when grinding large portions of venison meat at once (usually the case for us) Chuck and I opt for a 90/10 ratio since it works best for other recipes. Sometimes I add more fat when I want to cook burgers sometimes I don’t. They are really good either way. If you are using a lower fat ratio then I suggest mixing in a little liquid to the meat before cooking to help them stay juicy. We typically add in a couple cups of water during the grinding process before vacuum sealing and storage for this reason. For venison burgers I like to use pork fat, usually in the form of bacon, because it’s the most easily accessible.
I’m also a firm believer in handling the meat as little as possible. Working it too much can make the burgers dense and crumbly, no one wants that. To combat this I just combine my spices separately and gently work them into the meat before forming the burgers, only handling the meat for a few minutes to do all of this.
I am a member of the flip once camp. I know that the number of times you flip doesn’t actually make a difference in anything but the outside crust. I like a little crust on the outside of my burger, and since I like mine mostly rare it’s not hard to just flip once and get a perfect burger.
If your meat is already ground up (fat included) then go ahead and heat that grill up. If you are starting from scratch this post from Hank Shaw gives a great overview on grinding meat. If you are looking to use a different type of fat in your meat this post talks about some of my favorites.
- 1½ lbs ground venison (fat included)
- Salt & pepper
- Burger buns & toppings for serving
- Preheat the grill.
- Using your hands form 4 roughly equal patties.
- Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Grill the burgers to your desired doneness (5-6 minutes on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the second for side for medium-rare).
- Remove the burgers from the grill and let stand for 4 minutes before serving on buns with desired garnish.