Ground Elk fat %

GSPHUNTER

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Jun 30, 2020
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What kind fat or meat/fat do you use for ground Elk, Pork, Beef or other or nothing. And what % do you use. I have heard some guys will get 70/30 ground beef and and it to the Elk in different percentages. I know if you plan on using some of the ground for burgers you will most likely need a higher fat percentage just so it doesn't fall apart. Some say just and egg and bread crumbs. What's your take?
 

geewhiz

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Aug 6, 2020
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SW MT
In the past I have gone 10% beef suet with elk burger. Elk by itself tastes great and yes you can make a burger out of it but its very dry. In my experience, when grilling a 100% elk burger you can burn the outsides before its even done because there is next to no fat content. This year I'm going 20% beef suet.

Not a fan of pork fat
 

Blockcaver

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BC
100% ground lean elk, moose or bear. Meat keeps keeps best that way with no fat to get rancid that is of unknown previous care. Speaking from a lot of experience here.
 

Doodle

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Jul 2, 2021
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Northern California
Unless you're a master at timing your burgers, you need to add fat. I add varying amounts of other meat/fat for different purposes, but as an all purpose grind I shoot for about 70% Elk, 20% Pork fat back, and 10% pork shoulder. Cook somebody a burger of that and they'll be floored...you don't have to tell them there's a bit of pork in it! If you go this route, get pastured pork products, not costco stuff. Factory farmed pigs and pastured pigs might as well be different animals from a flavor perspective.

Don't add pre-ground meat, and don't add bread crumbs or egg; it's totally unnecessary. If your burgers are falling apart, there are a few culprits:
1) your patties are too warm - just make sure they're well chilled before hitting the grill.
2) your grill isn't hot enough.
3) your fat got too warm during grinding and started to coat the proteins in the meat - once you've got your chunks cut to the appropriate size, put them (pre-blended) back on a sheet tray and stick them in a freezer until they're about 1/3 frozen....this will help the cutting blade slice instead of smoosh the meat. work in batches to avoid getting things too warm.
4) you're adding too much water to the blend (if you're adding soy sauce or mustard whatever prior to shaping the patties).

If you like beef suet more than pork, go for it, but make sure you add some fat.

100% lean meat is crime against flavor. If I had served that in restaurants back in the day people would have walked out.
 

bobr1

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Dec 11, 2017
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I never cut my game meat with fat. Seems to defeat the purpose to me. Have made everything including sausage without adding it and turned out perfectly fine. But people can do whatever they want.
 

Broomd

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Sep 29, 2014
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North Idaho
We've been blessed with a helluva lot of elk a deer over at least the last decade, and our tastes have honed things to a pretty standard issue of elk (or deer) plus 15% of beef fat. Pork fat has a good flavor, but does spoil; beef fat is far more forgiving.
We've done 'straight elk' and it makes for dry meat, especially on the grill for burgers.
We've also used bacon, and while enjoyable, it all tastes the same at some point. We still have some deer/bacon mix from two years ago.
What we've shared here is what 90% of folks do locally with our butchers.
 

Eltigreblanco

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Jun 2, 2019
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I do not add any fat to my elk. For burgers I cook the really thin smash style burgers. They turn out great and and kids love them
 
OP
G

GSPHUNTER

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Jun 30, 2020
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282
Lots of good input guys, Thanks. If I were just cooking for me I would go straight elk with some of my ground but, The wife and grandkids prefer a little fat in the ground. So there you go.
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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N Colorado
No fat added for me.
If you want a juicy elk burger, fry up some bacon first, remove and then fry burger in the grease. Then add the bacon and cheese

I also pressure can straight elk burger. Saves on freezer space.
 

Titan_Bow

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Dec 10, 2015
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Broomfield, CO
I like to add 20% fat. If you are in a more urban area, you can go to Whole Foods and talk to the meat counter guys. They'll give you the fat trimmings from the steaks they cut. If I am making burgers, I like to add a good quality bacon into my grind. I have also added pork belly in the past. All work well, bacon makes the best burgers to me though.
 

mtnrunner260

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Aug 6, 2012
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Location
Utah
I don't add any during grinding but when cooking elk burgers on grill I will combine with chopped up bacon, feta and a dash of olive oil
 

Pacific_Fork

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May 26, 2019
Messages
424
10-15% bison or grass fed beef fat only. I get the attitude behind eating only what you kill and that’s how I live but you need fat in your diet. Wild game is too lean unless you’re eating the entire animal head to tail you should supplement other animal fats for optimum nutrition.
 
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