How-To Guides

How to cook venison burgers

A great way to introduce your family and friends to the rich and earthy flavours of deer meat. Venison burgers can often turn out too dry and tough because of venison’s natural leanness. The trick is to add a little bit of fat to your venison burger mixture.

Swaledale combines a ratio of 20% outdoor-reared pork shoulder and 80% coarsely-minced fallow venison shoulder to produce a juicy burger that bounces with flavour. The fat makes our burgers succulent and ensures our generously-sized venison patties maintain their patty shape.

How long do venison burgers take to cook?

Venison burgers are a crowd-pleasing addition to any summer barbecue, but can be grilled or pan-fried just as easily to celebrate the arrival of the wild game season. You don’t want to cook your burger past medium (we recommend medium-rare). A meat thermometer is the most effective method for cooking your venison burgers to your desired doneness — aim for an internal temperature of 54°c for medium-rare.

Grilling your venison burgers over medium-high temperature will take around 6 minutes. If pan-frying them over medium-high heat, approximate timings will be 2 minutes on each side for a beautifully crispy and golden brown venison patty.

Venison burgers are far more delicate to handle than classic beef burgers, so we recommend using a griddle or cast iron skillet over grilling it on wire grates to help keep your patty firm and together.

How to cook venison burgers in a pan

1.   Take your venison burgers out of the fridge, remove them from the vacuum packaging and pat dry any moisture. Place the patties on a plate and let them come up to room temperature.

2.   Heat a griddle or heavy-based frying pan until smoking hot. 

3.   Generously season both sides of the burgers with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper, like you would if cooking a steak.

4.   Add the venison burgers to the pan, one or two at a time depending on the size of your pan, and press down with a spatula.

5.   Cook for around 3-4 minutes in total, turning once. Only flip your venison burgers once a golden-brown crust is visible and the patty naturally releases from the pan. If using a thermometer, cook until the internal temperature reaches 54°c. If adding cheese, then place a slice of cheese on top of the patty after you flip.

6.   Remove the burgers from the pan and leave to rest for 2 minutes.

Top tips

  • If preparing a venison cheeseburger, add the cheese to the burger with a minute to go. Blue cheese works fantastically with venison burgers — try a tangy stilton, gooey gorgonzola, or something like Roquefort that’s sharp but not too intense.
  • Adding a few rashers of streaky smoked bacon adds fat and a smoky twist to your venison burger.  
  • Brush melted butter over the inside of your buns. Super soft brioche buns, with their rich flavour, are the perfect partner for venison burgers. Place the buns face down in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes until crispy, and a nice char has formed.