Wow burgers

by Andrew Rochon | July 29, 2020

Wild turkey

I like to sear this burger as it helps lock in the juices and adds some great flavour. I suggest using garlic aioli and Dijon mustard as condiments.


For patties (makes 2)

• 3⁄4 lb ground wild turkey breast
• 1 egg, beaten
• ¼ cup panko
• 1 tbsp Cajun spice
• 1 tbsp chopped chives
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp canola oil For cranberry cream cheese
• 1 tbsp of cranberry sauce
• ½ cup cream cheese for assembling the burger
• 2 brioche burger buns
• 1 cup coleslaw
• ½ avocado, sliced


1. Mix ground turkey, egg, panko, Cajun spice, and chopped chives in a bowl.

2. Preheat oven to 375 F.

3. Form patties and season both sides with salt and pepper.

4. In an oven-safe pan, heat canola oil and sear patties for 3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.

5. Transfer pan to oven and cook patties for an additional 8-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 F.

6. In a bowl, mix cranberry sauce and cream cheese.

7. Spread cream cheese on top of turkey burger and top with sliced avocado and coleslaw.

To bind or not to bind

When it comes to game burgers there are two schools of thought: purists enjoy game meat just the way it is, and binders add ingredients to amend their ground game. I’m part of the second school. I like to enhance the flavour and overall finished product using different binding agents. Since game has a tendency to be much leaner than store-bought meats, using bread crumbs, egg, ground pork, or a combination of these ingredients helps prevent the burgers from falling apart and keep them nice and juicy.

Smoked venison

wow burgers smoked venison burger

This burger is a staple in our household. The smoky flavour is incredible and your neighbours are sure to be drawn to your place by the aroma! Feel free to switch up the toppings to suit your taste.


For patties (makes 2)

• 3⁄4 lb ground meat (mix 70% venison to 30% pork)
• 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp Frank’s RedHot sauce
• 2 tbsp Montreal steak spice

For assembling the burger

• 2 sesame seed buns
• 2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
• ½ hot house tomato, sliced
• 1 large kosher dill pickle, sliced lengthwise
• ¼ red onion, thinly sliced


1. Combine ground meat, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and Frank’s RedHot sauce in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Form burger patties and season each side with Montreal steak spice.

3. Turn pellet smoker to “smoke” setting and let it heat up for 10 minutes.

4. Smoke patties for 15 minutes, then remove them and set the smoker to highest setting (approx. 450-500 F).

5. Return burgers to smoker and cook for five minutes each side or until internal temperature of patties reaches 155 F.

6. Turn off heat and top each patty with Havarti cheese. Place buns on grill and close lid.

7. Place burger onto bun and top with tomato, dill pickles, and red onion. Dress with your favourite condiments.

Bbq bear

wow burgers BBQ bear burger

This classic burger is an instant hit. If peameal bacon isn’t an option, try strip bacon instead.


For patties (makes 2)

• 3⁄4 lb ground meat (mix 70% bear to 30% pork)
• 1 egg (beaten)
• 1 tbsp garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp onion powder
• 1 tbsp smoked salt
• ½ tbsp cracked black pepper
• ¼ cup hickory-flavour BBQ sauce

For assembling the burger

• 2 slices aged cheddar cheese
• 2 slices peameal bacon
• 2 leaves Boston bibb lettuce
• 2 ciabatta buns


1. Mix bear meat, egg, garlic, Dijon, onion powder, smoked salt, and cracked black pepper.

2. Form burger patties. Heat BBQ to medium-high heat.

3. Grill burgers for 5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Brush with hickory BBQ sauce.

4. Grill peameal bacon for 1 minute on each side. Turn off grill.

5. Add cheddar cheese to burger, and toast bun.

6. Place burger on ciabatta bun and top with peameal bacon, Boston bibb lettuce, and your favourite condiments.

Top 10 condiments

Thou shalt have your burger your way! I’m a firm believer that everyone has the right to dress their burger as they like, but if you’re looking for inspiration, here’s my list of go-to condiments.

• Ketchup
• Yellow mustard
• Dijon mustard
• Green relish
• Chow Chow relish
• Miracle Whip
• Mayonnaise (yes, there is a difference)
• Sriracha
• BBQ sauce
• Garlic aioli

Andrew Rochon is OOD’s food editor.
You can follow more
of his
culinary adventures
on Instagram: @wilderness_chef

Originally published in the July 2019 edition of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine.

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  1. Ken Maronets wrote: Andrew. Thanks for your great recipes. Being retired has allowed me more time to cook and enjoy game and fish. Your recipes allow me to take dishes to a higher level. Ken Maronets