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Juicy Elk Burgers

Juicy Elk Burgers

Wondering how to make an elk hamburger not taste like a dried out hockey puck? Look no further. Miss Allies Kitchen shares a secret to keep the patties from drying out. The key? Folding in cold shredded butter to the patty will keep the burger moist and delicious. Since elk meat is so naturally lean, adding fat will keep it tasting delicious even through the cooking process. 

Adding fat will keep the burger from drying out, however, don't forget the most important piece to good tasting game meat. How the meat is handled in the field takes first seat when determining the quality you'll achieve. Getting the meat cooling as quickly as possible, hanging the meat in a temperature controlled environment for at least 4 days, and grinding your meat twice will all help prior to cooking the prized protein. 


  • 1 lb. ground elk meat
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. (very cold) grated butter, divided*
  • 4 slices Pepper Jack cheese (or cheese of choice)
  • 4 hamburger buns (I recommend brioche)
  • For serving – spicy mayo or Allie's Whole30 special sauce, lettuce, tomato


  1. Preheat a grill, cast iron skillet or flat top over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the ground elk to a bowl with the salt and pepper.
  3. Shape the meat into 4 evenly sized patties.
  4. Add a quarter of the grated butter to the center of each burger and fold it in half. Shape into a disc again, making sure all of the butter is now in the inside of the burger. Repeat for each burger. 
  5. Place the burgers on the grill and grill for about 4 minutes per side or until they’re medium temperature (140-145F). During the last 2 minutes on the second side, add a slice of cheese to each burger. 
  6. Serve with any desired toppings on a bun. 


*You might want to grate your butter ahead of time and store in the fridge right until you need it so that it stays firm.