Burgers are hitting the grill about as quickly as home runs leaving baseball stadium and fireflies lighting up summer, and it’s pretty doggone hard to argue with a tasty burger.
Everyone has their own method of preparing and cooking burgers. We get that. No one has “the” way to make what everyone else would say is the greatest burger in the world. But we can agree there are some burgers we flat- out love with vivid memories and others we never would put toward our securely pursed lips again.
Great venison burgers start when your deer is on the ground. There’s no denying that. Getting your deer cleaned and cooled is critical, especially during the opening weeks of the season, when it’s still hot. We’ve heard the old stories about Pee-Paw showing off his buck around town with it on the hood or tailgate. Well, don’t be like Pee-Paw. Get your buck to the processor or your skinning shed, get it going and get it cooled down.
When you’re dealing with different cuts, it’s time to grind. If you’re a do-it-yourself hunter, use a sufficiently powerful grinder with different plates to give you a coarse or fine grind. Weston makes a couple of good models of grinders that have different plates, along with sausage stuffers. Add whatever amount of fat to your venison, if desired, and any other spices or ingredients you might want while grinding and mixing.
Form patties in uniform sizes, or use a Weston burger press. Consistent sizes help with cooking time and done- ness. Too small and they burn before the larger ones get done, and a giant double patty might not be cooked thoroughly. Make them about 3⁄4- to 1-inch thick, and put a thumbprint divot in the middle. This helps the patty keep its shape during the grilling process.
With a medium-high heat setting on the grill and an oiled grate to help reduce sticking, put the patties on and close the lid. If you’re a burger watcher, it might take a little longer to cook. No biggie, though. A critical deal is to leave them alone. No poking, lifting, cutting, forking or anything. Let them cook, and when they release easily from the grate with a spatula, it’s time to flip.
Flip once. Remember the no poking-lifting-cutting thing? Yeah, same deal. If you cut open a burger to see if it’s done, whatever great flavorful juices are inside will go trickling into the flame. Don’t do that. Let them cook for about five minutes for well-done or longer if you want them done through. When they release easily, add any cheese to quickly melt or a brush of a final quick marinade, if desired.
Remove the patties and cover them under tinfoil on a plate. Toss the buttered buns on the grill for a quick minute to give them some love. Combine a patty, whatever else you want — condiments, onions, mush- rooms, greens, bacon (mmm, bacon), a fried egg — and enjoy.
It’s summertime. What could be better than venison burgers in summer?
If you’ve had burgers all summer and want a change of pace, check out this great Venison Stir Fry from the Weston Blog!
Venison Stir Fry
1 pound venison
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 clove fresh garlic, minced 1⁄4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/8 cup peanut oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 small white onion
handful of green beans, cleaned
1 cup cilantro, chopped
12 ounces baby corn
8 ounces water chestnuts
Trim your venison of excess fat and silver skin. Feed the venison through your Weston Jerky Slicer to make perfect strips for the stir fry. Place the strips into a Weston Vacuum Sealer bag with the marinade and seal. Refrigerate at least eight and up to 48 hours. Use a Weston Mandoline Slicer to slice your pepper, onion and carrot.
Heat your wok over high heat. When hot, pour in the oils, garlic, ginger and onion powder. After you begin to smell the garlic and ginger strongly, drop in the marinated venison strips.
Flip often, and as soon as the venison is no longer pink on the outside, drop in all the veggies. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes or until your veggies are lightly sauteed. Be sure to flip very often to cook everything evenly, because your stir fry will cook very quickly.
For more outstanding recipes, including the sriracha noodles recipe for this venison stir-fry recipe, and tools for processing and preparation, visit www.WestonProducts.com.
Learn how to hunt, process, and cook a wide variety of wild game with Hunting for Food by Jenny Nguyen and Rick Wheatley. Begin with detailed instructions on the best practices for hunting different types of game, including coverage of how to find or attract the game you’re looking to hunt, best times for hunting, and the gear you’ll need to be successful.