JUICY Venison Burger Recipe

venison burgers on a platter with mushrooms and Swiss

If you’re looking for a great venison burger recipe, you’ve come to the right place. What’s best about this recipe is that its juicy AND versatile. I use mushrooms and Swiss on this burger, but you could absolutely go with jalapeno and cheddar, bacon jam and brie, the possibilities are endless.

I really enjoy grilling venison, as evident by this marinated venison steak recipe, or this recipe for grilled rack of venison with blueberry compote. Good venison tastes very clean, earthy almost, and that lends itself to a number of different flavor influences, but it doesn’t come without challenges.

The challenge most people have with venison, especially venison burger, is that it’s extremely lean. Like turkey burger lean, so it tends to dry out. Follow my venison recipe here for an amazing JUICY venison burger.

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Does Venison Taste Like Beef?

In a word, no. The problem is that because venison is red meat like beef, people tend to cook it the same way. That’s a recipe for dry, awful venison.

venison burger with melted cheese on top

Venison flavor is unique in that it’s a cleaner flavor than beef, I would describe it as a bit earthy. If there must be a comparison to beef, it’s more like dry aged beef than wet aged.

How To Keep Venison Burgers From Being Dry

Much like the advice I give in my marinated grilled venison steak recipe, venison burgers should be cooked differently than beef burgers. By grilling a venison burger like ground beef, it’s going to be dry.

Venison simply doesn’t have enough fat content to be juicy, and if it is ground with venison fat it’s going to taste gamey. Unlike beef fat which is delicious, venison fat is awful and that’s where the gaminess comes from.

venison burger patties on a serving platter
Notice the beef tallow mixed into the burger patties.

The fix is simple here, you have to add fat to ground venison. If you’re grinding your own venison, it’s easy to add in some pork fat to meat mixture. If you’re not grinding your own, I recommend a quality grass fed venison grind like the meat from New Zealand Venison. The game changer prepackaged venison, is adding in some wagyu beef tallow.

Adding this beef tallow is the key to cooking venison burgers perfectly. They will be juicy, flavorful, and not at all gamey. The tallow is good for so many things, so don’t worry about buying too much of it.

Can Deer Burgers Be Pink Inside?

It’s not uncommon for a deer burger to be slightly pink inside. Keep in mind though, that ground meat is more susceptible to bacteria, just based on exposed surface area.

venison burgers being cooked over charcoal on the grill

I cook venison burgers to 140°F and have never had an issue, but you should always cook any meat to a safe eating temperature as indicated by the USDA.

venison burgers on a bun with melted cheese and mushrooms

How To Cook Juicy Venison Burgers

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 7 mins | Cook Time: 13 mins

Ingredients
2 lbs ground venison
2 tbsp wagyu beef tallow
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt, divided
1 sweet onion, cut into rings
12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
8 slices Swiss cheese
4 brioche buns

Step 1: Light your grill and set it up for two-zone cooking. One zone at medium-high direct heat, the other for low heat.

Step 2: Using your hands, combine the venison meat with the beef tallow, Worcestershire sauce and half of the kosher salt, being careful not to overwork the mixture.

Step 3: Form the mixture into four equal sized patties and season on both sides with remaining salt and pepper. 

vension burger patties with onions on a platter

Step 4: Place the patties directly over heat. Allow them to cook for three minutes, flip the burgers and cook for an additional three minutes.

venison burger patties on the grill over charcoal

Step 5: Move the burgers over to the low heat side of the grill and top each patty with an onion ring. Inside the onion ring, place one slice of cheese, (you may need to fold the cheese in order for it to fit inside the onion ring) an equal portion of sautéed mushrooms, then another slice of cheese.

Step 6: Close the lid and allow the cheese to melt and the burger to finish cooking for 5-7 minutes, until the internal temperature of the burger is 140°F as indicated with a reliable quick read thermometer.

venison burgers with melted Swiss cheese and mushrooms

Step 7: Remove from the grill, place on a brioche bun and serve hot.

venison burgers on a cutting board
deer burger on a brioche bun

Juicy Venison Burgers

4 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground venison
  • 2 tbsp wagyu beef tallow
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt divided
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion cut into rings
  • 12 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced and sauteed
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 brioche buns

Instructions

  • Light your grill and set up for two-zone cooking. One zone at medium-high direct heat, the other for low heat.
  • Using your hands, combine the venison meat with the beef tallow, Worcestershire sauce and half of the kosher salt, being careful not to overwork the mixture.
  • Form the mixture into four equal sized patties and season on both sides with remaining salt and pepper.
  • Place the patties directly over heat. Allow them to cook for three minutes, flip the burgers and cook for an additional three minutes.
  • Move the burgers over to the low heat side of the grill and top each patty with an onion ring. Inside the onion ring, place one slice of cheese, (you may need to fold the cheese in order for it to fit inside the onion ring) an equal portion of sautéed mushrooms, then another slice of cheese.
  • Close the lid and allow the cheese to melt and the burger to finish cooking for 5-7 minutes, until the internal temperature of the burger is 140°F as indicated with a reliable quick read thermometer.
  • Remove from the grill, place on a brioche bun and serve hot.

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