By Mark Kenyon
Next time you’re frying up some bacon, don’t throw away that grease! That is, if you want to enjoy some epic venison burgers this spring and summer.
Yesterday, my culinary genius of a wife discovered a new trick to make our venison burgers even better than we imagined they could be. How is that? By adding preserved bacon grease into our venison burgers before grilling them.
Bacon grease does two things for your burgers. First, it acts as a binder to keep your burger patties together better and, secondly, it adds some really, really great flavor. Here’s how we did it…
Preserving Bacon Grease
The first step in this process is to preserve your bacon grease. This is a great piece of knowledge to lock away for other purposes than just making bada$$ burgers too. After cooking up some bacon, you’ll have a healthy amount of bacon grease at the bottom of the pan. And by “healthy amount”, I mean “a lot” – not that this grease is healthy. It most certainly is not, but I don’t care. It tastes way too good to think about silly things like calories or saturated fat.
So, once you have that grease in the pan you’ll next want to run it through a fine strainer, which will capture any small bits of bacon still present. Once this is taken care of, pour the clean bacon grease into a mason jar or other small canning container and once it has cooled a bit, seal it up and store it in your refrigerator. Eventually, the grease will solidify and acquire a consistency kind of like a white butter. This concoction can now be spooned out and used in any kind of recipe that might usually call for some kind of oil or butter. It will add an excellent flavor to just about anything. That said, in this case we’re using it for burgers.
Using Your Preserved Bacon Grease In Venison Burgers
Now that you have your preserved bacon grease, whenever you’re next going to make burgers it’s time to bust that can back out. Scoop out about one tablespoon of the grease and warm it up in a pan or bowl. You want the grease to return to a liquid state. Once that’s done, make sure it’s cooled back down to room temperature and then mix it into your thawed venison burger with your hands. And that’s it!
Your burgers will now hold together better while cooking AND they’ll have that rich smoky flavor of bacon infused into each bite. Sound good? It is.
On a related note, if you’re looking for other venison burger ideas, you may want to try our Summertime Stuffed Venison Burger recipe. It’s deadly.