This juicy ground Venison Burger recipe is 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 we’re talking about, and they’re easier to make than you might think!

Hand holding venison burger.

Video: Watch the best way to make the juiciest venison burgers

This post is sponsored by NZ Venison. All thoughts and opinions are our own, and we are excited to get you to try venison!

Venison is hugely under-appreciated. Some say it is too lean or too gamey, 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 so good when grilling – your neighbors will be jealous! 

There’s plenty to love about these epic burgers, so fire up that grill and sink your teeth into these umami-packed deer burgers today!

Ground venison burgers with one in foreground showing grilled patty on soft bun with thick cut bacon and shallots.

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% of the 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 any cut of beef. It has a flavor that is begging to be used in recipes like buttermilk marinated venison steaks, herb crusted roasted rack of venison, and delicious ground venison recipes like venison burgers or venison meatloaf!

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).

Ingredients for ground venison burgers.

INGREDIENTS

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 venison meat – not usually stocked at your local grocery store. 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 CRISPY SHALLOTS:

  • Shallots – Thinly sliced.
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil like canola, avocado, or vegetable oil.
  • Salt

TOPPINGS:

  • Bakery fresh buns
  • Cheese – Gruyere, Havarti, or provolone cheese.
  • Garlic aioli – so much better than traditional mayonnaise.
  • Lettuce – Red leaf lettuce.
  • Pickles – Sliced.
  • Bacon – Cooked until crispy.
Dark moody shot of a grilled ground venison burger with crisped bacon and shallots on top.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST VENISON BURGERS

There are a few steps to cooking juicy venison burgers, but the good news is that some things can be made ahead of time. Scroll down to see our tips about how to prep these burgers up to a few days ahead and make them just like beef burgers—or better. Because ground deer meat doesn’t have much fat, we have a few tricks to 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 while forming the patties.
  • 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. 
Mixed ingredients for the umami mayo.
Whip the umami garlic aioli together.

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.
Shallots frying in a pan.
Fry the shallots.

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. If using wood chips for smoking, add them now.
  • 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 for an additional minute.
  • Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill, over indirect heat, 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. We recommend New Zealand ground venison, it’s 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 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.
Hand picking up juicy venison burger.

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 we also love pairing them with tasty sides. Some of our favorites include leafy kale and apple salad, spicy deviled eggs, or delicious beef tallow fries

Above shot of grilled ground venison burgers on table with fries.

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover venison burgers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the burger patties by themselves for up to 3 months. 

To reheat, you have a couple of options:

Oven Method

  1. Turn your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place burger patties on a baking sheet or baking dish.
  3. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until they reach 165 degrees F.

Skillet Method

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop.
  2. Melt some butter and place the leftover patties in the skillet. 
  3. Heat for a couple of minutes each side or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F.

For a more convenient option, you can always microwave the patties until warm.

MORE BURGER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

The next time you think of whipping up burgers, try this Venison Burger recipe! It’s the perfect way to jazz up your basic burger recipes and surprising everyone with crazy delicious flavors.

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

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Juicy Ground Venison Burgers 

5 from 20 votes
Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Resting Time: 3 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Huge ground venison burger on a soft bun with lettuce, cheese melting down the side, thick cut bacon, and crispy shallots with fries in the background.
These juicy venison burgers are crazy delicious, topped with crispy bacon, shallots and a rich umami aioli! It’s a great way to bring a whole new burger to the dinner table!

Ingredients  

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 Crispy Shallots

  • 2 shallots sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Neutral oil canola, avocado, or vegetable.
  • ½ tsp salt

Assembly

  • Cheese gruyere, havarti, or provolone
  • Bun
  • Umami Garlic Aioli
  • Red Leaf lettuce
  • pickle
  • Bacon cooked

Instructions 

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.

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.

Serve:

  • Assemble the burgers by slathering the toasted buns with the garlic 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.

Video

Notes

The umami mayo can be made 2 days ahead of time and stored in a resealable jar in an airtight container in the fridge.
The shallots can be cooked a day ahead of time. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 1007kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 82g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Monounsaturated Fat: 30g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 1502mg | Potassium: 871mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 274mg | Iron: 8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

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!

WHAT 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.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE GROUND VENISON FOR GROUND BEEF IN A BURGER RECIPE?

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.

HOW DO I PREVENT MY VENISON BURGERS FROM BEING DRY?

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 overcook it, the deer meat quickly dries out.

HOW SHOULD I SEASON MY VENISON BURGERS?

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.

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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