These caribou burgers are packed with extra beef tallow and seasonings to make them super juicy and flavorful. Caribou meat can be a little bit “gamey” because it is a wild animal, but with all the incredible flavors in this recipe you wouldn’t know!
This recipe is a result of a collaboration between me and Candace at Northern Nomad Outdoors & Yoga in Whitehorse, Yukon. She supplied the ground caribou meat, and I developed the recipe 😊.
Please keep in mind that Candace, as an Outfitter, practices ethical selective harvest hunting. This means not shooting the first animal they see as well as going for the older males that are on their way out. This promotes the increase of population, not a decline. Outfitters are stewards of the land, conservationists and wildlife managers. It is important to Candace and I that we respect and make use of the whole animal – a term many call “nose to tail” eating. An example of this is using both the bones from an animal to make bone broth, and the extra fat to make tallow or lard.
Recipe substitutions and variations
Ground caribou meat substitutions: Instead of ground caribou meat, this recipe also works with ground moose meat or any other wild game such as bison, elk or sheep. If you don’t have access to wild game, you can of course also use lean ground beef.
Egg substitutions: Instead of using 1 egg in this recipe, add an additional 1 tablespoon of flour. This will help the burger stick together and not fall apart when you are frying it, or eating it for that matter!
Gluten-free flour substitutions: Instead of using gluten-free flour, you can swap it out for regular wheat flour, bread crumbs or any other flour of your choice. It would also work with starches such as tapioca starch, cassava flour, potato starch or cornstarch.
Garlic powder substitutions: Instead of garlic powder, you can use 3 fresh diced up garlic cloves.
Onion powder substitutions: Instead of onion powder, you can swap it out for half a medium onion.
Beef tallow substitutions: Instead of using a little beef fat to make sure you get a juicy burger, you could also use pork lard, coconut oil, olive oil, butter or any other oil or fat of choice. You could also add 8 oz ground pork (1/2 pound) for the same effect.
Gluten-free bun substitutions: I used gluten-free buns for this recipe, but you can also use regular wheat flour hamburger buns or a lower carb keto friendly bun.
Recipe pairing ideas
This recipe is mostly about the actual caribou burger patties, but it’s a good idea to dress them up with your choice of condiments! Here are some suggestions. These are the same toppings that you see in the burger photos for this recipe.
- Hamburger bun (sliced in half, buttered and then fried on low to medium heat on the stove).
- Sliced tomato
- Diced up red onion (or white onions)
- Condiments: Mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup
You can also add extra flavors, starting with your favorite burger spices. I went with simple paprika, garlic and onion powder. You could also add hot sauce, cayenne, herbs, or even mustard and ketchup right in the patty itself. Making great food means starting with well seasoned meat!
Lastly, who can forget the cheese! A double cheeseburger is one of the finest things in life, so feel free to top these patties with your favorite cheese (dairy free or regular) and stack them!
Serve your burgers with truffle fries or onion rings for that classic backyard BBQ feel. A fresh salad with some garden greens, cucumber, red onion, and avocado is also nice. Top it with a little homemade salad dressing!
Tried my caribou burgers?
Please leave me a rating and review below, and post a picture of the dish to Instagram and tag me at @foodsnfeels 🙌
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Juicy Caribou Burgers
Caribou burger patties
- hamburger buns
- butter (vegan or regular)
- Red onion
Caribou burger patties
- Remove the packaging on your thawed ground caribou meat and put it all in a large mixing bowl.
- Add all remaining wet and dry ingredients to the bowl with your caribou meat.
- Press roughly 7 to 8 burger patties in a hamburger press. If you don't have a hamburger press, you can also form them into burger patty shapes with your hands.
- Heat a cast iron pan on low to medium heat and add some additional beef tallow to the pan so that the burgers don’t stick.
- Add your caribou burger patties to the pan and cook for roughly 4 to 5 minutes.
- Using a flipper, flip your burger patties and fry on the second side for roughly 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through.
- While your burger patties are cooking, heat a second pan on low heat. Cut your hamburger buns in half and butter the inside of both pieces. Place each bun face down in the pan and fry until the bottoms are getting crispy and starting to brown.
- Assemble your burger with your buttered and toasted hamburger bun, the caribou patty, lettuce, sliced tomato, diced red onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup. Enjoy!
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