9 Great Venison Burgers Have Bacon, Garlic and a Secret Ingredient

This awesome Venison Garlic Bacon Burger looks fantastic and would no doubt be welcome at any deer hunter’s 4th of July celebration. (Photo: NevadaFoodies.com)

Want more flavor and fun with your ground deer meat this summer? Create the best venison burgers for your 4th of July celebration with these great recipes.

As much as I love to eat different foods, combining meat with fire and bread to create a sandwich — in this case, the traditional summer hamburger — may be one of my favorites.

Meat, of course, is delicious when cooked properly and not ruined. Bread? Good grief, the different kinds of bread are mind-boggling. Just consider your traditional white bread burger bun and other options today: pretzel buns, onion rolls, Kaiser rolls, or something deliciously unholy like buttered French garlic toast. Yum.

It’s easy in summer to grab a 12-pack or two of white bread buns at the store and be done. Or even loaf bread, which toasted and with a thinner meat patty can be doggone good. Remember, however, that adding onions, mustard, ketchup, mayo, steak sauces or a tasty aioli, perhaps tomatoes and pickles — juicy things —can make any bread soggy (but especially loaf bread). So you have to build carefully to prevent a giant sloppy mess and the unwanted slippage from the bottom as you take a bite.

Wait, we forgot to discuss cheese! Cheese makes it all better! A robust cheddar! Bleu cheese! Smoked gouda! Oh, the possibilities. Many of us grew up eating the slices of plastic-wrapped “cheese product” and still use those. Whatever floats your boat. But a slice of real, sharp cheddar or even a Havarti dill or something else will give you a better layer of flavor.

I mentioned onions, which is one of my favorite things. Until a trip to Oklahoma in 2015 I’d never had an onion burger, but after seeing one made and enjoying one I’m ready for more. you can make these at home, too, even without the commercial flattop grill. Use a cast iron skillet, a burger press, metal bowl for steaming (like in the video) and enjoy.

Enjoy these favorite venison burgers of ours and have a super 4th of July holiday!

Stephen Burchett’s Venison Burgers

Stephen Burchett of West Virginia loves bowhunting and making venison dishes.

Stephen Burchett of West Virginia sent us a photo of his awesome buck a couple of years ago along with a super recipe for venison burgers. It’s easy to prepare, and the seasoning is awesome. I like Tony Cachere’s (pronounced Sasharee) on everything from scrambled eggs and popcorn to meat and stews. It’s great.

2-3 lbs ground venison
1 lb package ground pork
Tony Cachere’s Seasoning

Take venison and pork out of refrigerator for about an hour to come closer to room temperature so that they are easier to work. Combine venison and pork in large mixing bowl by hand. Generously shake on coating of Tony Cachere’s Seasoning. Mix well again by hand.

Form into 6oz. patties. (Six ounces seems to be best size for cooking and on the bun.) Grill and enjoy. These are so tasty, that many prefer just the burger on the bun with nothing else.


Game and Garden Venison Burgers

Mmmm … venison burgers are great anytime! (Photo: Stacy Harris/GameandGarden.com)

Be sure to check out the great tips and recipes from Stacy Harris and her other thoughts at GameandGarden.comas well as her great cookbooks here, here and here or this super DVD here in ShopDeerHunting.com.

Venison Burger
4 pounds venison (or lamb)
1 pound bacon
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly ground pepper
6 Hamburger Buns
Pickles (optional)

In a meat grinder, grind venison and bacon on the largest setting. This will keep your hamburgers light and juicy. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix gently, but well.

Grill your hamburgers until just done. I did these on a flat top on my stove – I let them cook 5 minutes on one side then flip then and finish cooking about 4 minutes on the other side, depending on the thickness of your patties. Don’t overcook, but make sure the pork is completely cooked.

Warm your buns on the flat top until they are slightly steamed. Serve them with Chipotle Mayonnaise (get that mayo recipe here), pickles and anything else you you like! Enjoy!


Sportsman Burger from Weston
Try out the guacamole with this fantastic burger from Weston and see more super recipes on the Weston blog, too!

Sportsman’s Burger

3 lbs. venison
1 lb. bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons black pepper
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cube the venison into 1-inch pieces, then grind with a Realtree Outfitters Meat Grinder by Weston. We used the #8 Electric Meat Grinder & Sausage Stuffer (33-0201-RT). The meat texture for burgers should be fine, so grind it through once with the coarse grinding plate, once with the medium, and finally, once with the fine grinding plate.

Meanwhile, bake bacon strips for 10 minutes, crumble, and add to the ground venison. The bacon should still be somewhat raw so that it cooks fully once the burger is grilled. Mix together all of the ingredients in a Weston Meat Lug or use a Weston Meat Mixer if you’re making this recipe in bulk. Put the mixture into a gallon sized Weston Vacuum Sealer Bag and seal with a Weston Vacuum Sealer. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 6 hours.

Once marinated, open the package and press the meat mixture into burger patties with a Realtree Outfitters Burger Press by Weston. This is a large recipe, so we used Weston Patty Paper to keep the extra patties separated during freezer storage. Grill to your preferred temperature.

Serve with your favorite burger condiments! We recommend arugula mayo (fresh chopped arugula mixed into mayo) on fresh whole wheat buns.


Bleu Cheese Venison Burgers
Here’s a great burger recipe from wild game chef Scott Leysath, who has a great cookbook you should check out! The bleu cheese has enough of a tangy flavor to accent the meat without overpowering it.

Venison Bleu Cheese burgers are great with your young or old deer, but only if you take care of the meat and prep wisely.

1 1/2 pounds ground venison
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
4 burger buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in mushrooms and sauté until soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool.

Add ground venison, blue cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands to blend. Form into 4 large patties. Grill, pan-fry or broil patties until browned. Add to bun with lettuce, tomato and your choice of other condiments.


Teriyaki Burgers
Yes, it’s easy to look at the accompanying ingredient list and do a double-take. Tapioca? That’s no typo. Tracy Schmidt first learned of this trick when experimenting with an old chili recipe that incorporated it as a thickening agent. Try it the next time you make burgers. You’ll be glad you did.

DDH Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt and his family enjoy venison year-round. He and his wife create super meals including a great venison burger with a secret ingredient.

Tapioca is the critical ingredient D&DH Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt and his wife, Tracy, uses when making burgers from lean ground meat like venison. It doesn’t change the flavor of the burger, and it goes a long way to help hold the meat together when grilling. Venison is extremely lean, and it needs a little help with moisture so it doesn’t fall apart when cooking.

1 lb. ground venison
1 Tbsp tapioca
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
1/4 cup sweet green pepper, minced
Hamburger buns

Mix the first five ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes. Press into patties, and cook in skillet or on grill until cooked through.

Check out more recipes in our most popular cookbook, “We Kill It We Grill It.”


Yogurt Venison Burgers
This venison recipe for Yogurt Venison Burgers offers a different take on the standard grilled venison burger. It comes from Deer & Deer Hunting reader Rich Decembrino of Pennsylvania.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/3 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds ground venison

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, mustard and lime peel. Refrigerate until burgers are ready. In a separate bowl, combine the onions, yogurt, jalapeno, salt, pepper and ground venison. Form into 8 patties with a consistent thickness so that they cook evenly. Grill over medium heat, turning once until cooked to medium. Do not cut or poke holes in burgers while cooking to ensure that they stay moist.

Top with cheese of choice if desired. Serve on toasted hamburger buns with mayonnaise spread. Enjoy!


Italian Sausage Burger
This was submitted by D&DH reader Lowell Nudd for “We Kill It, We Grill It” and sounds fantastic.
10 lbs. venison Italian sausage
2 oz salt
1/2 oz black pepper
1/2 oz red pepper
1 1/2 oz fennel seed
Grind venison once through medium plate (on the grinder). Mix salt, black pepper, red pepper and fennel seed. Add to venison and mix all ingredients by hand. Make into softball-sized balls (about 1 pound each) and put into freezer bags. Each bag makes four patties. Cook on a grill until done, without overcooking. Serve as hamburgers or chopped steaks.

(Editor’s note: If you don’t have venison sausage on hand but do have ground venison, buy some Italian sausage at the store, remove it from the casing and mix with your ground venison. Then be sure to kill an extra deer or two this season, if possible, and have Italian sausage made!)


Stir-Fry Venison Burgers
1/2 stick butter or substitute
Worchester sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Make a sauce that is deep enough to cover 3/4 of each steak slice by first melting the butter. Then pour in Worchester sauce until butter turns color of milk chocolate. Add to the sauce diced onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook. Place sauce over top of grilled venison burgers.


This wonderful creation comes from Nevada Foodies, which has some great tips and recipes to check out.

Venison Garlic Bacon Burger
Makes 6 Hamburgers

  • 1 lb ground venison burger (bacon and garlic recipe here)
  • 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce (use your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices thick dry cured or peppered bacon
  • 6 hamburger buns
  1. In a bowl, mix together bacon and garlic venison burger with salt, pepper, barbeque sauce, a whole egg and breadcrumbs. Shape into 6 hamburger patties. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Cook bacon in a cast iron skillet until fully cooked. Remove and set aside on a paper towel. Remove 95 percent of the bacon fat from skillet.
  3. Set your oven to broil.
  4. Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with bacon fat. Place burgers in skillet and cook for approximately 6-7 minutes or until browned. Turn and continue to cook on the other side.
  5. Remove from heat. Cut bacon in half and top each hamburger with 2 thick slices and 2 slices of cheddar cheese. Place cast iron skillet under the broiler until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven.

Place the venison hamburger on your favorite hamburger bun, add a slice of crisp white onion and pour your favorite barbecue sauce all over the top.  Squeeze together and enjoy! We served these hamburgers with oven roasted sweet potato fries.


Click the photo to order …

For more recipes and prep tips from Scott Leysath, check out his great Better Venison Cookbook. It’s filled with his years of experience and is super for camp, and also for Christmas gifts! See it here …