Making Venison Delicious - Bacon Burgers

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I shared my tip of making venison delicious for everyone - as jerky a few months ago.  I have discovered another way to make even liberal voting, tree hugger, Hillary supporters love whitetail venison and ask for more.  You can use this for just about any game meat too.

When you butcher your whitetail (yes you CAN do this yourself) don't worry about making butcher's cuts into loins, chops, and roasts.  Just concentrate on keeping the meat chilled, clean, and free of all contact with what is inside the stomach and intestines.  Once your deer is skinned and gutted, go ahead and give it a quick rinse to wash away loose hair, blood, or any stray dirt speck.  Then just begin to cut the meat off the bones and remove all the fat that you can.  You don't want the fat.  This is what holds that 'gamey' flavor that non-hunters by and large find unpleasant (and so does my family).  Just debone the meat and trim the fat off putting the rest into gallon sized freezer bags.  Just get as little air in as you can and close the bag, pop it in the freezer and wait until you are ready to make hamburger at any point in the next year or so.

You can use one of those antique hand grinders, but it is well worth the price of getting an electric meat grinder.  For the price of paying a butcher to process just one deer - you can get this tool that makes every deer in the next decade easy to process.  It will save you money.

Take your gallon freezer bag out and let your venison thaw or at least semi thaw enough so that you can cut it easily.  I like leaving the meat semi frozen when I start working with it so that it is stiff and easy to handle.  If there is blood in the bag when it thws, pour it off and rinse the meat before you start to cut it into strips small enough to fit it in your grinder.  Again remove any fat or unpleasant gristle that you find.  It is not worth saving an ounce of questionable meat and making the full five pounds taste bad.  Throw away anything you have doubt about and grind the clean, good, lean meat.

Set up your grinder and begin making ground meat.  Now for the secret weapon.  For every gallon bag of venison (about 5 pounds), work in one pound of bacon.  Any bacon you like is fine. Run a strip of bacon through the grinder between venison strips.  Then massage the ground meat until that delicious salty, pork fat has mixed well with the lean ground venison.  

You have just custom blended bacon burger.

Fill quart sized freezer bags and refreeze the portion that you don't want to use soon.  Save some out - you will want to try this.  

Grill up some bacon burgers and try them like your favorite beef, or bake a bacon laced meat loaf.  Throw on some Johnny's seasoning salt, Montreal steak rub, or whatever your favorite grilling spice is.  WOW you will not be disappointed.

I served this to my extended family the last two weekends.  Everyone asked for more and my Hillary voting, city living sister said it was the best bacon burger that she had ever had.  My mom said it was the best hamburger she ever had.  With the price of ground beef topping $3 per pound, you just made your wife happy by cutting $100 off the summer grocery bill too.  Well done my friend.  Well done indeed! Go enjoy the sweet taste of success.


Retired2hunt's picture

  An excellent quick and easy


An excellent quick and easy recipe.  Just was lucky enough to get my Mule Deer Doe and just picked up some bacon at the grocery store so I will try this recipe this weekend.  My deer burger is plain and not cut with any pork fat already so the bacon will add a great flavor.  I'm certain it will be great!  Thanks for the recipe and tip.


ManOfTheFall's picture

This is a very interesting

This is a very interesting tip. I may ask my amish butcher to try this for me. It sounds like it will be very good. Thanks for the tip.

groovy mike's picture

a few more cooking tips

Here are the links to the jerky recipes I mentioned:


arrowflipper's picture

Great tip

Great tip Groovy Mike!  First of all, you are absolutely right about the electric grinder.  You can grind it by hand with an old fashioned man-powered grinder but a good power unit is a whole lot easier.  You are also absolutely right about getting as much of the fat and gristle off the meat before processing or eating it.  Most of the wild flavor in game meat comes from the fat and/or gristle.  I keep NO fat on my game meat.  Some may think I'm wasting meat, but I am just way too picky to leave that fat on there.  When you get a package of meat from my freezer, it is PURE meat.

I am excited to try your recipe.  I usually add pork shoulder to my ground venison but I like the idea of trying bacon.  Venison by itself is much too lean and dry.  The bacon adds the needed fat content to your burger.  This brings me to a question.... we've always heard that pork needs to be cooked a lot longer than other meat.  Does this mean that you have to cook your venison burgers longer when it has bacon in it?  Lots of people, in my opinion, cook their venison too long as well.  For some unknown reason, people are afraid to eat rare or semi-rare wild meat. 

How many times do you run your venison through the grinder?  Like you, I like to grind my venison when it's semi-frozen as it tends to grind much easier.  But I also do a double grind on my deer meat so I get any of the gristle that I might have missed.  One of the big reasons I NEVER take my wild game to a butcher, is that it is not cost affective for him to spend the time getting all the fat and gristle off the meat.  They are on a time crunch and just cut it up as quickly as possible. 

Hey Mike, I like the use of "Johnny's" on my wild game.  Where in the world did you hear of such a fantastic seasoning salt?  And by the way, the pictures of your burger make my mouth water.  Thanks for the tip SMONY.  (Sir Michael Of New York)

groovy mike's picture

Johnny's is the best

I just got a package from Johnny's seasonings in the state of Washington.  I bought their steak season ing - WOW is THAT ever good - very much like Montreal seasoning but better; lemon pepper spice for poultry, Hunter's blend (I'll use that on venison), and 3 pounds of Johnny's signature spice blend that I put on EVERYTHING including grilled vegetables.  A good friend named Klifferd shared this sercet with me.  He is one smart campfire cooker.  I grind teh venison just once then mix by hand to make sure that the bacon mixes through the lean meat.  Unlike you I like all my meat well done.  I don't even want to see pink inside so I have no problem cooking my bacon burgers :)  Try the bacon - you won't go back to pork shoulder!

groovy mike's picture

My dear sweet wife says

My dear sweet wife says that I'm a bum for not giving her all the credit for coming up with this brilliant idea.  So here it is - a foot note for the record that it was all her idea.  She is the inspiration behind all good things to eat that come through our kitchen.  What can I say, she is brilliant, talented, creative, has a cook's intution and deserves all the best things in life, which of course is why she stays with me - or maybe she just loves my bacon burgers!

 It all works out.  I may do some prep work with the knives,  grinder, and slicer - but she is the real cook around here.  We make a wonderful team.  I love to hunt.  She loves to cook.  And I love to eat.  Its a win:win no matter how you look at it.  And besides, I love her.