Ground Venison Burgers are going to rock your world! Imagine an umami-filled burger with crispy shallots, crispy bacon, and a butter-stuffed venison patty on top of a bun with garlic aioli and cheese. That’s what I’m talking about, and they’re easier to make than you might think!
This post is sponsored by NZ Venison. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I am excited to get you to try venison!
Table of Contents
- What Is Venison?
- For the umami garlic aioli:
- For the crispy shallots:
- What Are Shallots?
- How To Make The Best Venison Burgers
- Expert VENISON BURGER RECIPE TIPS
- How To Serve Grilled Venison Burgers
- MORE BURGER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Juicy Ground Venison Burgers Recipe
- Video: Watch the best way to make the juiciest venison burgers
- Recipe FAQsWhat is the ideal venison-to-fat ratio for burgers?
Venison is hugely under-appreciated. Some say it is too lean or too gamy, but farm-raised New Zealand venison has a far milder flavor due to it being grass-fed.
Not only is the venison burger mix insanely good, but when you grill them, they get a hint of smoke and all that delicious grill flavor. And they smell soooo good when grilling – your neighbors will be jealous!
There’s plenty to love about these flavorful burgers, so fire up that grill and sink your teeth into these umami-packed burgers today!
What Is Venison?
Venison most commonly refers to deer meat, but technically it can also come from elk, antelope, or any game animal with horns. However, we’re discussing deer meat. Venison meat is red meat and is butchered into cuts similar to beef.
New Zealand Venison is pasture and farm-raised, grass-fed, and sustainable. A 3.5 oz portion has less than 1 gram of saturated fat, and contains 40% recommended daily intake of iron, 35% Zinc, and 67% B12. It’s naturally low in fat and in fact lower in fat than skinless, boneless chicken and higher in iron, it’s high in vitamin B12 and high in protein.
NZ Venison can be cooked similarly to beef and has a flavor that is begging to be used as grilled steaks, roasts, and of course, delicious venison burgers!
This burger works so well because we add fat to the ground venison and then layer on the satiating power of umami with the rich aioli, extra bacon, and shallots. The flavors and textures that meld together on a perfectly toasted but make for the perfect venison burger (and you may also find yourself dipping your fries in the aioli).
No strange ingredients here! Grab a pound of ground New Zealand venison and some fresh bakery buns from the market; the rest may already be in your fridge and pantry.
For the ground venison burger:
- Ground New Zealand venison – not usually stocked at your local grocery story, see our favorite places to order meat online for where we source our venison.
- Egg yolk
- Worcestershire sauce
- Butter – Cold and diced into small cubes.
For the umami garlic aioli:
- Roasted garlic – Minced finely.
- Girl Carnivore Ooomami seasoning
For the crispy shallots:
- Shallots – Thinly sliced.
- Oil – Use a neutral oil like canola, avocado, or vegetable oil.
- Bakery fresh buns
- Cheese – Gruyere, Havarti, or provolone cheese.
- Lettuce – Red leaf lettuce.
- Pickles – Sliced.
- Bacon – Cooked until crispy.
What Are Shallots?
Shallots look like little onions, but they are sweeter and far less sharp in flavor than an onion. And, with high sugar content, they fry up oh-so-nicely. Shallots will keep well on the counter for several weeks, so grab a few when shopping for this deer burger recipe!
How To Make The Best Venison Burgers
There are a few steps to cooking juicy venison burgers, but the good news is that some of it can be made ahead of time. Scroll down to see my tips about how to prep these burgers up to a few days ahead and make them just like beef burgers – or better. But because ground deer meat doesn’t have much fat, we have a few tricks beef this up and make a truly delectable burger.
Make the burgers:
- Combine the ground venison, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a large bowl. Gently mix to combine.
- Fold in the cold butter, then form the venison burger mix into 4 patties, about ½ pound each. This is a simple trick to help add extra fat to the ground meat and not dry the burger out.
- Use your thumb or the back of a spoon to press an indentation into the middle of each patty.
- Arrange the burger patties onto a plate and refrigerate for up to an hour.
Make the Umami Garlic Aioli:
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, roasted garlic, and Girl Carnivore Umami seasoning together until smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Make the crispy shallots:
- Add the shallots to a shallow pan and cover with oil. Turn the heat to medium and fry the shallots, stirring often, until they are crispy and golden brown.
- Strain the shallots from the oil and drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
Grilling the venison burgers:
- Prep the grill by lighting charcoal in a charcoal chimney. When it is about 70% ashed over, arrange the charcoal to one side of the grill, creating a 2-zone cooking area with direct and indirect heat.
- Place the grate over the coals and clean it if necessary.
- Cover the grill, open the vents, and let the grill heat up.
- Arrange the venison patties on the hot side of the grill, cooking for 2-4 minutes, letting a crust form on each burger patty.
- Flip the burgers and cook an additional minute.
- Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill and cook until your desired temperature or at least 140-F with an instant read meat thermometer.
- Add the cheese to the patties and toast the buns.
- Assemble the venison burgers by slathering the toasted hamburger buns with the umami aioli and stacking the venison burger patties, lettuce, pickle, bacon, and crispy shallots onto the bun or your other favorite toppings. Top with the other half of the bun, grab some napkins, and dig in!
Expert VENISON BURGER RECIPE TIPS
- Buy good quality ground venison. I recommend New Zealand ground venison, its for grass-fed, pasture-raised and has no added hormones or steroids.
- Because venison is naturally lean meat, adding additional fat to the grind is important when making juicy burgers. We use butter and egg yolk in this version, but you can also mix in pork fat, bacon, or even some ground beef fat to help bump up the fat ratio.
- The venison burger mix can be made the day before cooking and tightly covered in the refrigerator.
- You can make the umami aioli up to a few days in advance – just keep it tightly covered and in the fridge.
- The crispy shallots can be made 1-2 days in advance. Keep them in an airtight container on the counter.
- Get the best quality cheese, bacon, and buns for these the best burgers.
- If you don’t have a grill, try pan-searing these in a cast iron skillet.
How To Serve Grilled Venison Burgers
This easy venison burger recipe makes burgers that are meaty enough to be a meal all on their own, but I also love pairing them with tasty sides. Some of my favorites include leafy kale and apple salad, spicy deviled eggs, or delicious beef tallow fries.
MORE BURGER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Juicy Ground Venison Burgers
For the ground venison burger
- 2 lb ground New Zealand venison
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup panko or pork panko
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp butter diced into small cubes
For the Umami Garlic Aioli
- ½ cup Mayo
- 4 cloves Roasted garlic minced
- 1 tsp Girl Carnivore Ooomami spice blend
For the Crispy Shallots
- 2 shallots sliced thin
- 1/2 cup Neutral oil canola, avocado, or vegetable.
- ½ tsp salt
- Cheese gruyere, havarti, or provolone
- Red Leaf lettuce
- Bacon cooked
Prep the burgers:
- Combine the ground venison, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, panko, and salt in a bowl. Gently mix to combine.2 lb ground New Zealand venison, 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup panko, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp Salt
- Gently fold in the cubes of butter.
- Form into four patties, about a ½ pound each.
- Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, press an indention into the center of each patty.
- Arrange the patties onto a plate and return to the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Make the Umami Garlic Aioli
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayo, roasted garlic, and umami powder together until smooth.½ cup Mayo, 4 cloves Roasted garlic, 1 tsp Girl Carnivore Ooomami spice blend
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Fry the shallots:
- Add the shallots to a pan and cover with oil.2 shallots, 1/2 cup Neutral oil
- Place the pan over medium heat and occasionally stir the shallots until they have fried to a golden crispy brown, about 20 minutes.
- Carefully strain the shallots from the oil.
- Arrange on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.½ tsp salt
Prep the grill:
- Light charcoal in a charcoal chimney.
- When the charcoal is about 70% ashed over, carefully arrange the charcoal to one side of the grill, creating a 2-zone cooking area for direct and indirect heat.
- Place the grate over the coals and clean and oil the grate.
- Cover the grill, open the vents to allow for airflow and let the grill come to temperature.
Grill the venison burgers:
- Arrange the burger patties over the hot side of the grill. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, allowing a crust to form.
- Flip the burgers and cook 1 minute longer.
- Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill to continue to cook to your desired internal temperature or to a minimum of 140F.
- When the burgers have about 1 minute left, add the cheese to the patties and place the buns over the grill grates and cover the grill.Cheese
- Carefully remove the buns and burgers from the grill.
- Assemble the burgers by slathering the toasted buns with the umami aioli and stacking on the lettuce, grilled venison burgers, and topping them with a pickle, the cooked bacon, crispy shallots, and top with the toasted remaining half of the bun.Bun, Red Leaf lettuce, pickle, Bacon
- Serve hot.
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Video: Watch the best way to make the juiciest venison burgers
Recipe FAQsWhat is the ideal venison-to-fat ratio for burgers?
A common ratio is 80% venison to 20% fat. If you find that too lean, you can increase the fat content to 25-30%. We use fat from pork, beef, or bacon to amp things up.
Yes, you can substitute ground venison for ground beef in most burger recipes. Just remember that venison has a mildly gamier taste compared to beef and is leaner, so you need to adjust seasonings and fat content for the best results.
Fat. Venison is lean, it’s important to add quality fat to the mixture to keep the burgers moist. You can also avoid overcooking the burgers by using a meat thermometer and cooking them to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare. Because it’s lean, if you over cook it, the deer meat quick dries out.
You can season venison burgers just like you would with beef. Popular seasonings include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Feel free to get creative and add your favorite herbs and spices. We love Worcestershire to add that layer of umami.