White Cheddar Elk Burger with Mustard Aioli

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Method: Grill

If you love burgers, you’ll love this simple recipe for White Cheddar Elk Burgers with Mustard Aioli. It’s the juiciest, most flavorful elk burger we’ve had in a long time — and it only takes 20 minutes to prepare! Topped with a thick slice of sharp white cheddar, crisp veggies, and a creamy, tangy mustard aioli. 

We love burgers of all kinds but this simple, yet sophisticated combination of ingredients truly brings out the rich, savory flavor of the elk burger without overpowering it. 

Recipe & photography by Modern Farmhouse Eats

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Easy to prepare. All you need is a handful of simple ingredients to prepare an elk burger that is delicious and healthy.

  • Juicy and flavorful. Since elk is very lean, adding a little chopped bacon or grated butter adds lots of flavor while also creating a juicy burger.

  • Delicious mustard aioli. I’m all about sauces! When it comes to elk burgers, a simple mustard aioli is the perfect compliment.

How to make a juicy elk burger.

Add fat! Ground elk is very lean, unlike ground beef, which is usually 80% protein and 20% fat. Elk has about 10% fat, or less depending on how the elk is processed.

To create a juicy burger, I like to add finely chopped bacon to my elk. The bacon cooks nicely with the ground elk, making the burgers juicy and flavorful. You won’t even know there’s bacon in the burger, except for a subtle, slightly smoky flavor! Alternatively, adding cold grated butter is also a great way to add a little fat.


  • 1 lb Ground Elk
  • 2 slices uncooked bacon (or 2 tbsp cold grated butter) 
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dill pickle relish
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp honey (or sugar)

How to cook elk burgers

Cooking elk burgers on the grill:

Grilling burgers adds a delicious depth of flavor. It will take about 8 minutes to grill an elk burger to medium doneness. 

  1. Preheat the grill over medium-high heat. If necessary, scrape the grill grates clean so the burgers don’t stick.

  2. Once hot, grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes, then flip, add cheese, and grill another 4-5 minutes. The length of time depends on how done you like your burgers and we always recommend using a meat thermometer for accuracy. 

  3. Serve on buns with your favorite toppings.

Cooking elk burgers on the stove top:

Cast irons skillets are best for frying elk burgers on the stovetop! Cast iron conducts heat evenly, allowing you to get a nice sear on the outside of the burgers while cooking perfectly on the inside.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, just use the best pan you’ve got! I just recommend avoiding a non-stick pan. Non-stick pans prevent the burgers from getting as nice of a sear compared to cast iron.

  1.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with butter.

  2.  Once the skillet is hot, add the burgers and sear for 4-5 minutes, then flip, add cheese, and sear another 4-5 minutes. Length of time depends on how done you like your burgers. As with the grill, use a meat thermometer for accuracy. 

  3. Serve on buns with your favorite toppings.

Recipe tips:

Mix in bacon or butter. Elk is a lean protein, so mixing in bacon or butter adds a little extra fat to the burgers, making them extra juicy. Bacon cooks nicely into the burgers, and you won’t even know it’s there, except for the delicious flavor! If you prefer, you can mix in cold grated butter instead.

If cooking on the stovetop, fry the burgers in butter. Frying burgers in butter adds great flavor while keeping the burgers juicy. Alternatively, you can use oil lard, or Bison Tallow

Use a meat thermometer. For a perfectly cooked burger, always use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. We love MEATER wireless thermometers for their accuracy, ease of use, and range! 

Cooking times for elk burgers:

When cooking an elk burger, here are the approximate times:
 • Rare: 4 minutes
 • Medium Rare: 5 minutes
 • Medium: 6-7 minutes
 • Medium Well: 8-9 minutes
 • Well Done: 10 minutes

If using a meat thermometer, here are the approximate temperatures:
 • Rare: 120-125 degrees F.
 • Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees F.
 • Medium: 140-145 degrees F.
 • Medium Well: 150-155 degrees F.
 • Well Done: 160-165 degrees F.

Storage & reheating

Storing in the fridge

Raw elk burgers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Cooked elk burgers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing elk burgers

To freeze elk burgers, patty the burgers then stack them together with squares of parchment paper between each burger. Place the burgers in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw the burgers in the fridge overnight before cooking as directed in the recipe.


I like to reheat burgers on the stovetop. Heat a skillet over medium heat with butter then sear on both sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, or until heated through. This will result in a burger that is well-done, so keep that in mind.

About Modern Farmhouse Eats: Rachel Riesgraf is a recipe developer, food photographer, and avid deer hunter. She grew up on a farm in Minnesota which is where she learned how to create the best homestyle recipes using only the best fresh, seasonal ingredients. Today she applies that same passion for ingredients and style of cooking as she develops easy, from scratch, comfort food recipes for the busy, modern cook. View the original recipe post on Modern Farmhouse Eats and check out more of Rachel’s tasty work!

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