Crafting the Perfect Pheasant Burger

How to Craft the Perfect Pheasant Burger

I was over at my dad's house for dinner the other night before trap, and we decided to get a bit creative with some of the pheasant we shot this past season. He's been wanting to try making his own version of pheasant burgers for some time now, and we finally figured we'd give it a go.

A quick note on these before we get started. Ask anyone that has cooked pheasant on the grill before, and they'll tell you that they tend to dry out quite a bit if you don't cook them absolutely perfectly. For this reason, you will want to add a bit of fat content to the burgers. We personally like to use thick-cut pepper bacon from the deli, but you could also substitute it for something else if you'd like. Anything pork is a good option for this.

One other note before we get started, when my dad & I cook we don't really measure anything. We just throw it all in there and see how it turns out. Next time we make these, I'll actually try to get some ballpark measurements for you.

Ingredients for 4 Burgers:

  • 2-3 Pheasant, Breasted & Ground [See Upland Hunter's Pick for the Best Meat Grinder Here]
  • Thick-Cut Pepper Bacon, 2 slices chopped up to mix with burgers, 4 slices to wrap the burgers
  • 2 Slices of Bread, broken into small pieces 
  • 1/2 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Egg
  • Horseradish 
  • Worcestershire Sauce (be sure to make comments about how hard "Worcestershire" is to say - this is critical)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chopped Celery 
  • Pepperjack Cheese (Optional - we're in Wisconsin so some sort of cheese is actually required)


Put the ground pheasant, chopped pepper bacon, bread, onion, celery, egg, horseradish & Worcestershire sauce (again noting how hard it is to pronounce) into a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Once this is done, go ahead and make these into burger patties. I highly recommend making them quite thick, as they'll be easier to grill this way.

Once you have the patties ready to go, go ahead and throw them in the fridge for about 25 minutes or so (or you can throw them in the freezer for shorter if you're in a hurry). This will help the burgers stick together a bit better.

After the burgers are chilled, go ahead and wrap those slices of pepper bacon around them - holding them in place with toothpicks. Throw these babies on the grill, preferably a low, slow heat since we made them thicker. Once they're getting close to done you can throw the cheese on them & finish them off.

Pull them off the grill, and enjoy! The only thing that was missing from our meal was a nice cold beer, but like I said we had to shoot trap later that night!

Hunter's Tip: If you're freezing your birds before cooking them, be sure to vacuum seal them so they don't get freezer burnt & compromise the quality of the meat. You can read  about The Upland Hunter's favorite vacuum sealers here.

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