Gourmet Elk Burger Recipe

Gourmet Elk Burger Recipe

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Elk is one of my favorite game meats; It’s right up there with bison and moose. So when I decided to come up with an Elk Burger recipe, I knew it had to be something special.

Let me just warn you that these Elk Burgers are not your average burgers. As a matter of fact, if you were to buy this burger at a fancy restaurant, it would probably be listed as a “Gourmet Elk Burger.”

The ingredient list might or might not be familiar to you. But don’t let that scare you. This just might end up being your favorite Elk Burger recipe!

Elk on the Menu

We are currently spending a month in our Montana home. We plan on going back and forth between Montana and San Diego until we make our final move to Montana within a year or so.

During our last stay, our neighbor, Neil, gave us a package of elk burger. I had forgotten all about it until this morning. I woke up to elk all around our bedroom windows!

Although they had been hanging around the last time my husband came up, this was my first time seeing them. I was reminded of the elk meat in the freezer and decided then and there that elk would be on tonight’s menu.

Is Elk Meat Healthier Than Beef?

According to Montanelk.com, 22% of the meat energy from elk is derived from fat, compared to 33% of beef. Not only that, but elk meat is lower in cholesterol than beef, pork, and lamb. Further, being leaner also means it’s lower in calories.

When we consider how wild game meat compares to hormone-ridden beef sold in stores, it’s easy to see that elk is the obvious choice. For all these reasons, elk meat is becoming more popular, especially with health-conscious individuals. So do what you need to do to get your hands on some elk burger and try this exotic Elk Burger Recipe soon.

Adding Fat to Ground Elk Meat

Because ground elk meat is so lean, the butcher will usually mix in some suet when processing the elk. This is done to help bind the meat together. If, however, you are grinding your own elk burger, consider getting some beef fat from your local butcher. Most butchers will give it to you free of charge, or for a reduced price.

You will want to mix in approximately 10% of cow fat with the elk meat. For example, for every pound (16 oz) of elk meat, mix in 1.6 ounces of fat. If you don’t have one already, get yourself a kitchen scale; I love mine! If you don’t want to hassle with a butcher, add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to one pound of ground elk burger.

elk burger patties on a white plate

What Does Elk Meat Taste Like?

Did you know that although people think of deer meat when they hear the word “venison” but in fact, elk meat is also considered venison? The things you learn when you do just a little research…

Elk meat really does not taste that different than beef. However, it is slightly sweeter than beef. Surprisingly, it does not taste gamey like deer meat.

Unfortunately, elk meat can be hard to find in your local grocery store. If you do find it, it will most likely be pricy. Therefore, if you have a hunter who stocks your freezer with elk meat, be sure to give them a little extra love!

Elk Burger Seasoning

So how is the seasoning for me Elk Burgers different than the average burger recipe? Let’s just say it has some of the same ingredients used in my Kofta Kabob recipe.

The truth is, when I was planning my elk dinner, I wanted to make Elk Kabobs. It then dawned on me that my Kabob skewers were back in San Diego. I morphed my elk kabobs recipe into elk burgers instead.

Some of the ingredients I used are salt, pepper, sumac, cloves, onion, and parsley. Let’s just say the end result was amazing. If you don’t believe me, just ask Scott!

Elk Burger Serving Suggestions

Because of the unique ingredients in this recipe, I don’t recommend the usual ketchup and mustard with these burgers. Instead, I would pick from the following: mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles.

I served these burgers on grilled sourdough, topped with sharp cheddar cheese. Surprisingly, it all came together beautifully! To keep with the Kebab theme, I served these burgers with Tabouli, Tasty Mashed Potatoes, or Hummus!

elk burgers on the grill
two elk cheeseburgers on a grill

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You may also be interested in the following game recipes: Spicy Game Jerky, Bison/Buffalo Burger, and Spicy Bison Chili.

3.75 from 4 votes
elk burger on sourdough
Elk Burger Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Resting Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 22 mins

Gourmet Elk Burgers that are far from the ordinary burger!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 burgers
Calories: 116 kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner
  • 1 lb. ground elk meat
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. sumac powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 T. minced parsley
  • 2 T. minced red onion
  1. Defrost elk meat if frozen, and add to a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Add all the spices.

  3. Mince parsley and onion and add to the bowl.

  4. Work all the ingredients together, using your hands, until completely blended.

  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

  6. Form meat into four burger patties. Cook over medium flame on barbecue grill for four minutes. Flip over and cook for three additional minutes. Add a slice of cheddar cheese and cook for one more minute.

Recipe Notes

The cooking time yields a medium-cooked burger. If you prefer your burger to be cooked less, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Nutrition Facts
Elk Burger Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 patty)
Calories 116 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Sodium 544mg24%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 24g48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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