Ground venison, or deer meat, is gamey-tasting and has very little fat. Because venison is so lean, you can improve its taste and texture by mixing it with pork sausage or beef for some added fat.
Deer fat is not palatable and does not melt well, making it a poor choice for adding fat to your ground meat. On the other hand, beef and pork complement the flavor of ground venison, and contain enough fat to hold the meat together in a patty and prevent it from drying during the cooking process.
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Aim for a fat content of around 10 percent to create a juicy burger, but you'll want a higher fat content if you're making sausage.
Here's how to mix pork or beef with ground venison at home.
Things You'll Need
Ground beef or pork sausage
1. Trim the Fat
Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before handling meat, according to the USDA. Trim the external fat of fresh, cooled venison with a sharp knife. Discard the trimmings.
2. Grind the Venison
Use a meat grinder to process the meat into the desired texture. Keep the meat cold while processing to prevent an environment for bacterial growth.
3. Weigh the Meat
Weigh the ground venison with a food scale. Use this weight to determine the amount of ground beef or ground pork sausage to add.
4. Add Beef or Pork to the Venison
Add equal amounts of ground pork sausage or ground beef with a 20 percent fat ratio to the ground venison to achieve a 50/50 mixture. Use the food scale to add the correct amount.
You can also add 25 percent pork and 25 percent beef for a three-meat mixture.
Add pork tallow to the ground meat mixture if you want to increase the fat content in homemade sausage or burgers. Aim for a quantity equal to 10 percent of the total weight of the ground meat.
5. Combine the Meats
Process the meat combination with the meat grinder, or combine it with your hands, without mashing the meat excessively.
6. Add Seasonings
Mix in meat seasonings of your choice to complement the flavor of the venison, if desired. Prepackaged venison or grilling spices are available at most grocery stores.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after working with raw meat, per the USDA.
- Texas A&M University; Venison Sausage; David Wm. Reed
- “Field and Stream”; A Better Burger: Five Tips for Making Ground Venison Patties; Scott Bestul, et al.; December 2009
- Food Network; Mini-Venison Burgers Recipe; Robert Irvine; 2007
- University of Minnesota Extension Food Safety; Venison; Suzanne Driessen; November 2003