How to Make The Juiciest Elk Burgers


Learn how to make the juiciest elk burgers so you can use up the ground elk meat you have. Really simple tips and tricks will make these the best burgers ever.

juicy elk burgers with lettuce, tomato and cheese cut in half on a wood and slate board with a white background

Working with the wild game meat you have on hand is actually really fun. Learning how to make the juiciest elk burgers is a great place to start because they’re so simple and easy to throw together for burger night. All you need to do is add a bit of extra fat and the right seasonings.

This post has been sponsored by The Honest Bison. All thoughts and opinions remain my own, and I’m proud to partner with brands I know and love.

burgers with lettuce, tomato and cheese made from on a wood and slate board with a white background

People tell me all of the time that they have NO earthly idea what to with all of the wild game meat they have in the freezer. Whether you’re a hunter, know a hunter, or you’re trying to eat higher quality protein, it can be daunting to cook with something other than beef or chicken. These elk burgers and my trusty venison burger recipe are the best ever.

For more on my venison and wild game burger tips, check out this video:

burger ingredients on a white board

I promise you wild game tastes so much better than storebought meat. That’s why I created the 4 Best Wild Game Burger Recipes. Grab the FREE download and try them! There are recipes for elk, venison and bison included.

But back to this elk burger, how do you make them so the meat isn’t gamey and dry as a hockey puck? I’ve got you, friend!

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Use elk that’s been processed properly.

raw elk burger on a white plate with butter in the middle on a white plate

It’s important to use elk meat that has been processed properly. A big reason meats like venison and elk can taste gamey is because they aren’t handled properly in the field.

That’s why I love getting my elk from The Honest Bison. They ethically source bison, elk and venison. Since they holistically raise the animals with their ranch partners they’re able to sell the meat all over the USA. You know you’re getting a piece of meat that was handled properly, which is why my meat never tastes overpoweringly gamey when I use theirs.

If you’d like to learn more about properly dressing animals in the field, this is a great resource.

Add fat to get a juicy burger.

raw elk burger on a white plate
an elk cheeseburger with a bite out of it on a board.

This tip may surprise some people. I actually fold cold, grated butter into my ground elk meat.

Before you freak out – it’s less than a tablespoon per patty. And I always use grass fed butter, or you could use ghee for a dairy free version.

What this trick does is distribute fat all over the meat making each bite succulent and juicy. TRUST ME ON THIS.

How to Make The Juiciest Elk Burgers

You can’t overcook elk burgers!

You can’t overcook elk because it doesn’t have enough fat in it. Make sure to pull your burgers when they reach an internal temperature of 140F-145F – that’s medium. It will keep cooking a bit. If you like your meat more rare, go for it, just make sure you’re being safe!

Don’t forget to get my Venison Burger Recipe or pre-order my new cookbook, Venison Every Day!


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this post was originally published in June 2019 and was updated in June 2022.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>