Lumberjack Elk Smash Burgers

By Gabby Zaldumbide

If you love the crispy burger patties regularly shlepped out of your favorite fast food joint, this wild game burger recipe is for you. The burger patties you end up with taste best when stacked 2-3 patties high. And the fattier your grind, the better. In this recipe, the meat cooks on a dry cast iron, so it relies on the fat content in the meat to cook. It won’t work well with a 90/10 blend or pure ground venison. Stacked up in between two toasted brioche buns, these burgers won’t disappoint!

Ingredients & supplies

  • 2 lbs of 80/20 ground elk (or deer)
  • PS Seasonings Lumberjack spice blend
  • Salt
  • Brioche buns, toasted
  • Two metal spatulas, preferably ones without any holes

Toppings

Preheat a cast iron to a very hot temperature. These burgers should cook in seconds so that cast iron needs to be hot! If not, the burgers won’t fry in their own fat, they’ll steam. 

While the cast iron is heating up, shape the meat into 1/4 lb balls. Be careful not to handle the meat too much; the warmth from your hands will begin to melt the fat.

I cooked the bacon while I was waiting for my cast iron to preheat, too. When it was done, I browned the onions in the bacon grease. I set both aside to use as toppings later.

Once the cast iron is preheated, set a ground elk ball onto the cast iron. Smash it with one spatula while pressing down on it from the top with the other one. The additional pressure helps them flatten out and cook evenly. If you only have spatulas with holes in them, some meat may come through the holes and cause them to lose shape (which I learned the hard way).

As each burger is cooked, hit it with the Lumberjack seasoning to taste. Stack as many as you want on a toasted brioche bun and layer on the toppings. Top them with your PS Seasonings Blue Ribbon barbecue sauce and serve with a side of tater tots (or baked mac n cheese, or good ol' french fries). Enjoy!