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Elk Burger Recipe

If you’re looking for a quick and tasty meal, then look no further than the elk burger.

These ground meat patties are packed full of flavor and taste great served over grilled buns.

What Is An Elk Burger?

Elk burgers are made from 100% lean beef with a little bit of fat added in during grinding.

The result is a juicy patty that has all the flavors of ground beef without the fat.

These patties can be used as part of a main course or alongside other ingredients on a sandwich.

They also make a good addition to a salad or side dish by topping them with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, etc.

elk burger recipe

How Is An Elk Burger Made?

Traditionally, hunters would use elk as their main source of protein during hunting season.

The meat was cured by drying it out with smoke from wood fires or smoking it using hickory chips.

Once dry, they could be stored until needed for cooking later on.

These days, many people who hunt elk prefer to cook them themselves at home.

If this sounds like something you might want to try, here’s how you can make your own elk burger.

  • First off, you need to find some fresh elk steaks.
  • You should also get yourself two pounds of lean hamburger meat.
  • Make sure both pieces are trimmed of all fat and connective tissue before proceeding.
  • To ensure even cooking throughout the patty, don’t just place one piece of meat down onto the grill.
  • Instead, do the same thing for each steak.
  • Once everything has been placed on the hot grill, let them cook for about five minutes per side.
  • Remember to flip them halfway through so that they cook evenly.
  • The last step involves adding seasoning such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Then mix these together in a bowl.

What Are The Ingredients In An Elk Burger?

The main ingredient in this dish is beef (although it uses elk), which makes up about 80% of its weight.

The rest consists of vegetables like onion, tomato, mushrooms, peppers, and other seasonings.

There isn’t much fat or cholesterol in these burgers because they don’t contain red meat.

You can also add some spices to give them additional savory flavors.

You can use garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and many others depending on what kind of burger you want.

elk burger recipe2

How Do You Cook An Elk Burger?

The first step when cooking an elk burger is to make sure it has enough fat.

You want about 1/4 cup of beef tallow or lard per pound of lean ground meat so that the patty can stay moist while being cooked on the grill.

Next, season the mixture with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, thyme, sage, rosemary, and other spices that complement your favorite barbecue sauce.

After seasoning the ground meat, shape it into four equal sized balls.

Then roll each ball between two pieces of wax paper until they form a smooth round disk.

The process helps keep the moisture from escaping as well as prevents the inside of the patty from drying out too quickly.

Next, set up your grill by heating it to medium-high heat.

Once the fire has heated up, place the hamburger disks onto the grate and let them cook for 2 minutes before flipping them over.

Cook them for another 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how thickly cut your burger is.

When done, remove them from the grill and serve immediately.

You can also use a cast iron skillet instead of a grill if you prefer.

Just be sure not to overcrowd the pan because this could lead to burning.

Also, remember to let the burgers rest at least 5 minutes after removing them from the grates.

If the burgers are still warm, you can wrap them in foil to help them cool down faster.

What Is The Best Way To Cook An Elk Burger?

To start off, let’s talk about what makes this particular type of burger so special.

Unlike beef or pork, elk has virtually no fat in its muscle tissue.

As such, it tends to dry out very quickly if not cooked properly.

The trick here is figuring out how to get the most flavor into every bite without drying up the meat.

One surefire method is grilling.

The key is to keep a close eye on the burger as it cooks.

Overcooking can cause the meat to become tough and chewy, while undercooked meat may be too lean and lack flavor.

To help keep things in check, we recommend using a thermometer to ensure the temperature stays at 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 Celsius) throughout cooking.

This will also allow you to gauge doneness by feel alone.

The outside should be nicely browned with just a hint of pink inside.

Another way to make sure these burgers stay moist is to use a cast iron skillet.

Not only does this give the meat a nice sear, but it keeps it from sticking.

If you want to go all-out, try topping the patty with some caramelized onions before putting them in the oven to finish cooking.

This will add even more flavor and texture.

You could also top the finished burger with some fresh herbs like rosemary or sage.

This isn’t the only time you’ll see elk on menus across America either.

It’s often paired with other meats like venison or buffalo, making it one of the most versatile game animals around.

Now that you understand why people love eating elk, let’s take a look at how to prepare the dish itself.

How Do You Know When An Elk Burger Is Done?

When cooking an elk burger, it is important to make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature before cooking begins.

If your ingredients are cold, they will not properly mix with each other and can lead to tough burgers.

Once you begin to prepare the burger mixture, keep in mind that you should be able to shape the patty into a ball without having it crumble apart.

You want to avoid this because if the burger does break apart during preparation, there will be extra fat left behind which could result in a greasy mess.

It also makes it easier to flip the burger as well.

The next thing to consider while preparing the elk burger is how long you need to cook it.

The ideal time depends on what type of grill or pan you use.

However, most people recommend cooking the burger until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 C).

To test the temperature, place a thermometer in between two slices of bread so that the hamburger doesn’t touch either side of the thermometer.

After five minutes of resting, remove the burger from the heat and let sit for another few minutes before serving.

If the burger has cooled down too much after testing, simply reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Alternatively, you may choose to finish off the burger by placing it directly onto the hot grates of your barbecue.

elk burger recipe3

Grilling Tips

  • Do not overcrowd the grill.
  • If you crowd your grill, it won’t get enough heat to evenly brown the burger.
  • Instead, turn the burger only once.
  • Use a clean brush and oil the grate where you plan to put your burger.
  • Not only will this help prevent sticking but it will add a nice layer of flavor to the burger.
  • For medium-rare burgers, leave them alone for about 5 minutes.
  • For slightly charred burgers, allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Remember to always check the doneness by inserting a knife into the middle of the burger.
  • When the juices run clear, the burger is ready to eat.

What Are Some Toppings That Go Well On An Elk Burger?

When it comes to topping your elk burger, there are endless possibilities.

You could add fresh onions or peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, pickles, hot sauce, cheese, bacon, etc.

The options really are endless.

Some people like to keep things simple and stick with just one type of topping while others love to mix and match different kinds of ingredients in their burgers.

For example, if you were serving this at a party, I would suggest adding some sliced red onion and green bell pepper to the patty before cooking it.

Then after grilling it up, top it off with some American cheese slices and ranch dressing.

You can put anything you want on your burger.

That’s what makes them so fun to make and eat.

If you don’t feel like making your own seasoning blend, you can always use store-bought stuff instead.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

  • 1/4 cup chopped pineapple (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato (fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (finely grated)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Dash salt & freshly cracked black pepper


  • Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and stir until combined.
  • Serve immediately on a bed of arugula salad greens.

Fried Pickled Okra

  • 12 oz.
  • frozen okra pods
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Cut each pod into 4 pieces.
  • Mix eggs, flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper thoroughly.
  • Dip okra pods in mixture, allowing excess batter to drip off.
  • Deep fry in vegetable oil heated to 375 degrees F until golden brown.
  • Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Spicy Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish


  • In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients except for scallions.
  • Mix well by hand.
  • Add scallions and stir gently to incorporate evenly throughout dressing.

What Sides Can You Serve With An Elk Burger?

The main ingredients in an elk burger are ground beef and elk.

However, there are numerous ways you can add other flavors into your dish so it isn’t just about taste alone.

You can also use different types of cheeses such as cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

They both complement each other perfectly when paired together.

  • Cheese
  • Spirulina powder (optional)
  • Cranberry sauce (optional)
  • Horseradish (optional)
  • Bacon bits (optional)

You can even pair your elk burger with a side salad if you want something lighter.

There are several recipes out there for salads that include all sorts of vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, tomatoes, onion, and peppers.

Some people prefer their greens lightly dressed while others like them fully dressed.

How Many Elk Burgers Can You Make With This Recipe?

This recipe makes eight small burgers which should feed four people easily.

If you want to serve these at a larger gathering, just double up on the ingredients and freeze half of them.

Can This Recipe Be Doubled Or Tripled?

The number of elk burgers you can make depends on how much meat you have available.

If you only have one pound of meat in total, then it would take two pounds of beef (or equivalent) to create four hamburger patties.

However, if you had three pounds of elk steak, that could yield nine burgers.

You should always use fresh ingredients when cooking so there won’t be any leftovers from this recipe.

The best way to cook elk steaks is by grilling them directly over an open flame using hot coals.

Alternatively, you may roast these meats at 350°F for about 30 minutes before adding them to the pan.

Once cooked, remove the elk steaks from the grill and allow them to cool down completely.

Once cooled, finely chop up each piece into small pieces before mixing them together in a bowl.

You now just need to add some seasoning to give the mixture its desired texture.

For example, if you want to go for something very traditional, try sprinkling it with salt and pepper.

On the other hand, if you prefer something a little bit spicier, feel free to season the mix as you see fit.

To get started making your elk burger patty, place approximately 1/4 cup of the chopped elk steak in a large bowl along with 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs.

Mix all the ingredients well until everything has been coated in the breadcrumb mixture.

Next, take half of the mixture and form it into a ball shape.

Place the ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten out the ball into a thin disk.

Repeat the same process for the remaining portion of elk burger mixture.

When both portions of dough have been formed, roll each section of dough into an even circle.

Use a sharp knife to cut each round into six equal slices.

Next, carefully press the center of each slice onto an oiled baking sheet and repeat the process for the rest of the elk burger mixture.

Bake the elk burger patties in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.

After the baking time has elapsed, remove the elk burger patties from the oven and let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

elk burger recipe

Elk Burger Recipe

Elk burgers are made from 100% lean beef with a little bit of fat added in during grinding.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Elk Burger Recipe
Servings: 2
Calories: 195kcal


  • 1 Grill
  • 1 Skillet


  • 1 lb elk burger meat
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Lettuce
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Ketchup
  • 1 Mustard


  • Elk burgers that you buy frozen should be given an overnight thaw in the fridge.
  • Make 2 to 4 elk burger patties out of the burger (depending on how large you want your burgers).
  • Elk patties should be seasoned to taste and formed into flat, round patties.
  • Add a lot of frying oil to the skillet. Heat the grill or skillet to a medium-high setting.
  • Reminder: To prevent elk burgers from sticking to the grill, oil each patty before grilling.
  • Each elk burger should be put into the skillet.
  • Make flat with a spatula.
  • Burgers shouldn’t be moved or flipped until the underside develops a caramelised brown crust.
  • On the first side, prepare to the desired temperature (timing will depend on size and thickness of your burger).
  • The second side of each elk burger should be cooked to the proper temperature (timing will depend on size and thickness of your burger).
  • I start with around 3–4 minutes per side for a half-pound burger and check after that.
  • The FDA advises cooking ground beef until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  • Elk burgers should be taken off the grill or griddle and served with desired toppings.



Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1869IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
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