The Perfect Elk Burger

elk burger

I’ve struggled with game burgers from the beginning.  Mine have always resembled a hockey puck or baseball and have been similarly dry, dense, and tasteless.  But then this summer came, grilling season kicked off, and everything changed for me and my burgers.

I can’t quite recall where the article came from, but I think it was from those geniuses at Williams Sonoma.  Apparently, and many of you may already know this, but the trick to a great burger is very little handling of the raw burger meat.  You quickly form your patty, put a small dent right in the center (to avoid baseball syndrome) and put it down.  There’s no shaping and re-shaping, pounding and smacking.  I believe that by somewhat loosely forming your patties, you are allowing the juices to course through the burger.

So this first trick applies to the general burger population, but here’s another trick for great tasting game burgers.

Confession:  I don’t always LOVE the natural, fresh from the forest or freezer taste of all game cuts, specifically burger and round steak.

The second part to the perfect game burger is taste.  Sometimes game meat needs a little help in this department due to the lack of natural fat.  I’ve gotten into the habit of adding fresh herbs, spices, vinegar, and crumbled cheese to my game burgers and they have started turning out pretty darn delicious.

Experiment with some flavors and quickly form those patties and you too may have a burger revelation.

Bacon, Black and Blue Elk Burgers:

1 pound ground elk
1 container of crumbled blue cheese
Fresh thyme and oregano, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion chopped
Lots of coarsely ground black pepper
A tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar
Another tablespoon or so of Worcestershire sauce
Freshly chopped garlic
Red pepper flakes

– Quickly mix ingredients and be careful not to handle meat too much
– Form your patties
– Grill over medium high heat until desired temperature (Remember that meat continues to cook after you take it off the grill)
– Let the burgers sit for a minute to allow juices to form
– Serve on bun of your choice and top with bacon

This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Wild Game Recipes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Perfect Elk Burger

  1. South Cox says:

    MMM….that sounds delicious! Now all I need is an elk to stand still! South

  2. Dyrewulf says:

    Reblogged this on 323 Archery Shoot and commented:
    *groan* and I’m on a diet….

  3. Kristy says:

    Okay this sounds amazing… I have a few easy and really inspiring elk and antelope burger recipes that I would love to share. I also recently just ground some fresh burger using bacon ends, pickeled jalapenos and garlic. They stayed super moist. Serve them up with a slice of Sharp Cheddar on buttered toast! MMMMMmmm.

  4. gary says:

    try a smoked elk burger, you will never go back to grilled….

  5. Ann G says:

    Tried a variation on this tonight where I slightly undercooked the bacon, then chopped and added it straight into the meat/cheese mix.Had to pan-fry the patties inside (it is -5 out, so no grill) but the burgers turned out great– moist and tender and totally delicious! Only downside was some sticky blue cheese residue in the pan–well worth it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. Vikki K says:

    Fantastic! Very juicy and flavourful!

  7. Great recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients, so for blue cheese I substituted 2tbl blue cheese dressing& 1cup shredded sharp cheddar, substituted green onion for red onion, substituted balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar, then I added 1tbl curry and 1tsp cumin & also added 2 slightly cooked bacon strips chopped in to tiny pieces. Really yummy, thanks for the tips!

  8. Denise says:

    Hi, we have never eaten any wild game & a friend just gave us a pound of ground elk & a pound of ground antelope. He suggested I make a meatloaf with it, using some ground beef also. Can anyone give me a recipe? I’ve been all over the internet searching. Thank you! I’ve subscribed to your website!

  9. Meg from NC says:

    This is absolutely the best burger I have ever eaten! We did have elk on hand (making them again for friends tonight) but I think it would be great w/ any meat.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Emination says:

    Gonna try a variation of your road map to a great Elk burger… I’ll let you know how the outcome plays out… Thanks for the ideas.

  11. Lee says:

    Although I liked the recipe, my husband and sons asked, “what’s all this stuff in here?” They prefer plain ground elk (with 10% pork suet), seasoned with a little Worcestershire, pepper, salt (or garlic salt), and topped with sharp cheddar. My teenager adds hot sauce to everything after it’s cooked, anyway. Simple is good – I’ll go back to it, especially since the cow I shot doesn’t taste gamey at all.

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