During the summer, we try to avoid using the oven. Without an AC unit, it heats up the house way too much! Thankfully, living in Montana, we get lots of cool nights! As long as we plan, we can keep the house pretty cool if we just open all the windows at night and close everything up in the morning (and don’t use the oven all day). We figure if Jethro isn’t panting, it’s cool enough!
That leaves us eating cereal (usually just for breakfast), salads, wraps/sandwiches, and whatever we can throw on the grill. So we eat LOTS of burgers during the summer! (Warning: I’ll be posting several elk burger recipes in the next couple of months.)
Since we don’t add beef/pork fat to the ground meat, once we form the patties, they can get pretty soft and crumbly. Early on, we would mix an egg and some bread crumbs in our burgers to help them hold together. It seemed when we grilled them, they would just fall apart when we flipped them over. One day (out of laziness), we decided not to add the egg and bread crumbs…and the burgers turned out perfectly!!! It really wasn’t the lack of those ingredients that helped; rather, the key to perfect, lean, elk burgers is flipping the burgers early. Don’t wait until the first side looks completely done to flip it because that is when the meat will stick to the grill too much causing the burgers to crumble. Instead, flip each burger when it is about half way done (and the exact timing will depend on the hotness of your grill). So then you flip each one, cook the second side until it is half way done, flip it back again to finish that first side, and then flip one more time to finish it off.
Roy loves his hamburgers juicy…even a bit pink inside. But we found that with the elk burgers, they taste best when they are completely cooked through (but not too dry). Others may disagree, but that’s the way we like them!
And we also like our burgers most when we have a cold IPA with them!
- 1 pound ground elk meat
- 2 heaping Tbsp diced green chiles
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ heaping tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ tsp hot sauce
- Extras: cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, etc.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Shape into 4 patties.
- Place on grill, flipping frequently.
- Top with desired extras.