Every deer camp has enough knives to carve up a deer, yet marginal cuts are often left over. While they can be excellent in stew, spaghetti, and other dishes, it’s venison burger that’s the real treat. All you need is a grinder and seasoning, and you’ll have enough burgers for the whole gang. You can also sear it for great tacos, chili, or meat sauce. Electric grinders, like the ones offered by The Sportsman’s Guide, range in price from $60–$107 and are perfect for any hunting camp, with the size depending on the amount of meat processing you’ll do. If you consider the price of buying burgers at a local restaurant, the grinder will pay for itself the first time you use it. And once you learn how easily venison is transformed into burger, you’ll use it time after time. Since venison gets more tender with age, why not let your group’s deer hang in cold temperatures and process them in bulk? In this way, a grinder and other processing tools really save money. A grinder operates as easily as a coffee maker: Plug in the machine, put meat in the top, and ground venison comes out of the bottom.
For the best results, here are few tips:
- Trim the meat thoroughly, removing fat, sinew, and gristle so that you have pure red meat going into the process.
- Don’t hesitate to grind bacon, sausage, or beef tallow with the venison. Although this dilutes the incredible low-fat benefits of venison, it provides more fat and moisture to the burger.
- With a grinder, you can put the cheese on the inside of the burger by grinding the two together.
- Don’t forget the seasonings. Our camp chef added three eggs and a batch of seasoning to a dozen large burgers. He didn’t like onions, but they add flavor to any prepared meat.
- Don’t overcook. Heat them at a setting no higher than medium. If you prepare burgers on the grill, cook just past rare, place them in foil off the grill, and allow them to sit for at least five minutes. The burgers will continue to cook and the juices will be sealed in.