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Field to Table: Elk-ahuna Burger

A Summertime Savor

Summer is in full swing, and it's officially grillin' season. If you haven't yet emptied your freezer of elk meat from last fall, then you are long overdue for a great wild-game burger.

Elk meat is extremely sought after for its taste, versatility, and health benefits. Often times used as a healthier alternative to beef, it’s considered a powerhouse of nutrition because it is high in protein and packed full of healthy vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin B12, niacin, and B6. Better yet, it is low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories.

There are two things that can make or break a good burger, seasoning and balance. Seasoning is something everyone understands but balance can refer to any component of a dish; flavor, texture, appearance, etc. This savory recipe combines the perfect balance of flavors. It hits the sweet (pineapple), salty (teriyaki), spicy (Franks mayo), fatty (cheese and bacon), and fresh (cilantro and lettuce).

So what are you waiting for? Get grillin' and enjoy!


Makes approximately five 7oz burgers.

Burger Patties

  • 26 oz Elk meat, 1” dice, cleaned of all sinew and connective tissue
  • 9 oz Bacon, 3/4” dice

Teriyaki Onions

  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Large onion, sliced 1/4” thick
  • 1/3 cup Teriyaki sauce

Franks Mayo

  • 1 cup Mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce. Any hot sauce will work, but Franks brings a lot of good vinegar.

Grilled Pineapple

  • 1/2 Pineapple

Burger Extras

  • Soft burger buns
  • American cheese
  • Cilantro. Put this in ice water for 10 minutes before using. Shake it off well before building the burger.
  • Lettuce. Baby kale was used for this recipe, but iceberg would work as a substitute.
  • Sliced bacon

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Grilled Pineapple

  1. Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple and remove the skin.
  2. Quarter the pineapple and remove the core.
  3. Slice the quarters into 3/8” pieces.
  4. Over high heat, grill the pineapple slices to achieve grill marks on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.
  5. Set aside.

Franks Mayo

  1. Mix mayo and Franks hot sauce and keep cool.

Teriyaki Onions

  1. Add oil to a hot pan followed by the sliced onions.
  2. Sauté the onions over medium high heat and stir intermittently.
  3. After 6-8 minutes, the onions should have browned and cooked down to half their initial volume.
  4. Add the teriyaki to the pan, mix well, cook for 1 minute, and remove from heat.

Cooking and Building Burgers

  1. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and grill over high heat.
  2. Cook to your desired doneness and only flip the burgers once. Be careful when moving the patties, they can be fragile.
  3. Cook the bacon slices. Grill or pan works.
  4. Crisp up the buns in a pan with some butter or use the bacon fat from cooking the slices.
  5. With 2 minutes remaining on the patties, add cheese, a layer of teriyaki onions, and another layer of cheese.
  6. Build the burger from bottom to top in this order:
  • Bun heel
  • Franks mayo
  • Grilled pineapple
  • Burger patty
  • Cheese
  • Teriyaki onions
  • Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Cilantro
  • Lettuce
  • Franks Mayo
  • Bun top
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