December 01, 2009
A Better Burger: Five Tips for Making Ground Venison Patties
By Hank Shaw
A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
1. Remember those Brontosaurus burgers your mom made when you were a kid? Charred on the outside, raw inside? Don’t let your venison burgers get thicker than an inch, or you’ll suffer that same fate.
2. Grind your own meat. You’ll get a fresher taste and be able to eat the burger more rare if you’ve ground it just before cooking, as there is less chance for bacterial contamination.
3. Always include at least 20 percent fat with your venison. Any less and it will be dry and crumbly. I go 25 percent.
4. Check the fat on the deer before tossing it. Many whitetails in agricultural areas put on clean-tasting fat that is excellent eating and makes ideal burger fat.
5. If your butcher has removed all the deer’s fat already, use pork fat instead of beef tallow. It’s softer and more neutral tasting and has less saturated fat, meaning it’s better for you.