Although many patriots choose to celebrate the 4th of July holiday weekend with good ol' American hamburgers, the burger most likely gets its roots from Hamburg, Germany, where ground meat was mixed with onion and other ingredients before being cooked and served much like steak. It wasn’t until German immigrants in New York and Chicago started selling the meat from food carts during the Industrial Revolution that some forward-thinking individual sandwiched the patty between bread slices to make it easier to eat, creating the hamburger Americans embrace today.
Burgers can now be found in almost every American restaurant, from fast food to fine dining. This nation eats approximately 50 billion hamburgers a year. Around here, we like to do our part to keep those numbers up, mostly with burgers made from venison.
We call this version the All-American Double Bacon, because the only thing more American than a good burger is bacon. The double-bacon part comes from not only a bacon topping, but bacon ground with the venison to form a patty with enough fat to hold together on the grill and still be nice and juicy when served.
We go with about a 75% venison to 25% bacon mixture for our grind, but you can adjust it up or down to your liking. For the best burger texture, I like to double grind, both times through the large plate on our Magic Chef grinder. The bacon in our grind comes from the ends and pieces left after slicing the EQ Cured Bacon we make ourselves. You can also find ends and pieces at some groceries and most butcher shops, or you can just add regular sliced bacon to the venison as you grind.
"When making the patty, the less handling the better. Just form it enough that it holds its shape on the grill. Too much pressing and squeezing makes for a dense and chewy burger that just isn’t that appealing."
When it comes to burger size, I prefer a patty in the 1/2-pound range, but you can size them to your liking. When making the patty, the less handling the better. Just form it enough that it holds its shape on the grill. Too much pressing and squeezing makes for a dense and chewy burger that just isn’t that appealing.
For seasoning, I go with the guys from Letterkenny, “S&P is the choice for me.” Salt and pepper are the only seasonings you’ll need for this burger. Don’t apply them until you are ready to put the burgers on the grill.
2 pounds venison
8 ounces bacon for the grind
2 slices cooked bacon per burger
Salt and pepper
Your favorite burger toppings
Start with the large plate installed on your grinder. Grind the venison and bacon at a more or less even rate so that the bacon is pretty equally dispersed throughout the meat. Transfer the meat back to the grinder and run it through one more time.
Gently form the patties into your desired size. Salt and pepper both sides, and use your thumb to make an indention in the center of the patty to help the burger hold its shape as it grills. Transfer the patties to a preheated grill. We go with 350 degrees on our Traeger, but medium-high should work on most gas grills, and a nice bed of gray coals is perfect on a charcoal grill.
Grill 6 to 10 minutes per side, depending on grill temp and desired doneness. The perfect burger for me has a nice pink center. Just before the burgers are finished cooking, top each patty with a slice of your favorite cheese. Let the burgers rest a few minutes before you plate them up.
For toppings, we go traditional with these burgers. Two slices of cooked bacon, lettuce, a slice of home-grown tomato, a few pickles, and mustard, ketchup or mayo as desired.
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