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Dec 15, 2013 12:45 PM

Venison Burgers/Sliders

I was given some ground venison, and I know it's VERY lean, but I've never cooked with it before. My husband suggested sliders or burgers. I'm thinking sliders would be a good idea, as I can cook them quickly without drying them out. Don't I still need to add some sort of fat? If so, what kind, and how? I don't have a meat grinder, but I do have a food processor. Any advice and recipes would be appreciated. TIA

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  1. Find out if it was already ground with beef fat. We hunt and process our own venison here. When grinding venison, we always add 20% beef fat for burgers and other ground meat applications. For sausage we use 20% pork fat when grinding.

    Was the meat ground by an individual or at a processor? If done by a processor, the hunter usually asks to have some fat added to the grinding mix. If you look at the ground meat and see bits of fat, that probably means that who did the grinding already added some fat. If there is already fat added it can be used like any other ground beef for burgers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Springhaze2

      Agree with the 80-20 mix. We do the same with venison for burgers and chili. We grind our own venison, and for sausage we add 20% beef fat to keep it pork free.

      1. re: Cherylptw

        What they said. We grind our own and do the same. Very often, if you ask nicely, your butcher or the meat counter at the store will give you the requested fat for free or a very minimal price. They just throw it out anyhow.

    2. As already said you need Fat.

      1. As a variation, I make venison burgers with olive oil.
        I use the food processor.
        I use COLD olive oil that I placed in a pyrex measuring cup and placed in the freezer for ten or so minutes.
        I add venison to food processor with COLD olive oil and salt and pepper. I pulse about ten times. I transfer to a bowl.
        I the add onion and green bell pepper to the food processor and pulse a few times.
        I add to bowl and mix all together and form burgers.

        If you want, you can make and add a panade, like in making meatloaf or meatballs.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gastronomos

          I like this idea. Do you use ground venison or venison cubes? I would be afraid that putting ground venison in a food processor it would turn into a baby food consistency. Also, do you pre-cook the onions and green pepper first? If not, aren't they kind of over powering?

          1. re: Springhaze2

            I place cubes of venison in the food processor.

            I do not precook the onions and green peppers, but if you like, you can. They get chopped up well in the food processor though, and I don't add a whole lot either.

            If I am in the mood sometimes I'll add other herbs to the hamburger, like parsley and a bit of dry oregano.
            Spices like cumin always work well.

            Just don't over do it on anything. A little bit goes a long way. And, after all, you do want to taste the venison :-)

            1. re: Springhaze2

              The key to grinding meat is to make sure your meat is super cold or even put it in the freezer for awhile prior to running it through the grinder so that it does not clog up from fat or just the meat itself before it grinds.

              Also, make sure it is cut into a chunk small enough to go through the chute. Grinders back up or get clogged if the meat is too large to go through the blades smoothly as well.

              Same with a food processor but pulse the meat for a couple of seconds at a time to keep it from a puree

          2. I picked up some suet at the store, thought I would freeze it then grate it so I can mix it into the already ground venison. Does this sound like it would work? Any better ideas?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Lmrbest

              works well. grate it? ok. I would use the food processor.

              1. re: Gastronomos

                Unless you're finely grating it, a box grater will leave you with pieces of fat that may be too big. +2 on the food processor

              2. re: Lmrbest

                Grating it from Frozen is great(no pun intended) or you can grind it. The Idea is to keep it from melting at all.

              3. As an alternative, I like making meatballs with ground venison moreso than burgers. Egg, grated cheese and breadcrumbs can add a lot of substance (and some fat/filler) to the 'balls, you can season them up heavily to "fool" people who say they don't eat venison, and it can be a good success. I made a pile of these for my holiday party this year (browned in olive oil, served with sauce on the side) and they were a big hit.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sockii

                  +2 on the meatballs; meatloaf and hamburger steak w/onions & gravy are another options also.

                  The first time I ever had venison, I was a grandmother made smothered venison burgers in onion gravy. I didn't know they weren't beef burgers and ate two; they were that good. Later I found out they were deer; no one told me because they knew I wouldn't have eaten them otherwise. Glad they didn't but I loved venison ever since.