How To Cook An Elk Burger To Perfection

For burger lovers, there's nothing more satisfying than the smell of a patty charring on a grill. While beef is the primary base for most typical burgers, there is a variety of wild game meat that will up your burger game. Among the leaner of these meats is elk, an ideal patty for its low fat and high nutrient contents. Similar in texture to beef with a taste considered mild to slightly sweet without the gaminess typical of bison or venison, elk is rich in iron, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin B-12. To cook an elk burger to perfection, it's a simple matter of adding fats like butter to the meat first, keeping the final serving temperature 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and making sure not to exceed a medium level of doneness to avoid drying out the burger.

Preparing an elk burger comes down to balancing out the fat content and keeping the spices simple to allow the flavor of your elk meat to stand out. Because elk meat is so lean, the biggest tip for making a juicy elk burger is to add in the fat before the meat hits the grill. Using butter or ghee (clarified butter) is recommended to get the most flavorful and juicy patty. Another important step is refrigerating your patties for at least 15 minutes before cooking to give time for the fats to solidify.

More tips for making the best elk meat burgers

The best elk burger patty is one that is moist, juicy, and complemented by a variety of thoughtful sides. First, be sure you're getting your elk meat from a reputable, ethical source, and verify that the meat has been processed properly to ensure the safety and taste of your food. Keeping your seasonings simple with a basic combination of salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powders will allow the flavor of your meat to take center stage. Sharp cheeses like cheddar or chèvre will make great pairings with grilled elk burgers.

If you're changing up your standard burgers with wild game, why not try something new with your side dishes? Consider different options for refreshing green salads or any variety of vegetable fries that reach beyond the usual potatoes. A playful pasta salad or cowboy caviar would also make an excellent accompaniment to freshly grilled elk burgers. Once you have your elk burger game on point, there's no limit to the fun and flavor you will enjoy.