Poblano and Cheddar Elk Burgers with a Flavorful Twist

Poblano and Cheddar Elk Burgers with a Flavorful Twist

It is not often enough that people send me pictures and stories about what they are cooking on the grill.  I love to hear about what others have grilling and especially when they add some local flavor to the fire.  Jeremy and I knew each other two decades ago while living in Vermont’s rural Northeast Kingdom and attending Lyndon State College.  It was a pleasant surprise to hear that he had also been living in the rocky mountains for some time and working in Boulder Colorado.

Recently, Jeremy made this poblano and cheddar elk burger with a flavorful twist and I thought it looked fantastic.


2 lbs elk

1cup cheddar

3 strips of bacon minced to a paste

2 tablespoons sweet mesquite posse

1 tablespoon prepared dry rub

1 teaspoon chili powder

6 roasted poblano chilies cleaned and chopped

Panko breadcrumbs


bbq dragon big green egg

Getting the coals hot with the BBQ Dragon

Start by making your bacon paste.  Put three strips of bacon in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Put the mostly frozen strips of bacon on a cutting board and cut into fine pieces over and over.  As the bacon warms up and the pieces continue to get cut a paste like consistency will form.  When added to the elk, it will bring additional flavor and moisture to the burgers.  The bacon paste goes into a large mixing bowl with the cheddar, chilies, and rubs.  The dry rub used here was a combination of sweet and heat with nuances of ground chills and brown sugar. The sweet mesquite posse seasoning is the same one I get from Costco.  Mix all the ingredients together well and then add your elk meat.  I prefer to mix the elk with the other ingredients by using my hands because I feel all of the spices and flavors get distributed more evenly in the meat than any other method.  Adding the panko breadcrumbs is where you need to make a bit of a judgment call.  You probably want to add at least a cup of the breadcrumbs to absorb some of the moisture from the poblano chilies and add body to the burger, but you do not want the breadcrumbs to take center stage.  Grill over raised direct heat until meat is cooked thru.

With the brightness that the poblano chilies add to the cheddar elk burgers, Jeremy recommends a Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe, New Mexico to wash it down with.  I could not agree more.  See this and other tales from the grill over at Grilling Montana.

Poblano and Cheddar Elk Burgers with a Flavorful Twist

grilled crab cake



IMG 1844 768x1024 Grilling Montanas Grilled Crab Cake Recipe

Crab cakes can easily be made on the grill picking up lots of flavor from the charcoal

Grilled Crab Cake Recipe

1 can Jumbo Lump crab or fresh crab if you can get your hands on it

1 egg

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

12 ritz crackers crushed fine

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Sriracha (or less based on your preference)

Combine all ingredients except crab, panko, and cracker crumbs in a large bowl.  Whisk all ingredients together until you get a smooth wet mixture.  Be sure to have the mayo and egg well incorporated.  Fold crab meat into wet mixture taking care not to break up the lump crab as best you can.  Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs and cracker crumbs on to mixture and fold again.  Repeat with remaining crumbs.  Form cakes with delicate care and try not to over handle.  Bake at 350 until golden brown 20-25 min.  Baking on parchment paper is not a bad idea.  Also cooks fantastic on a grill over indirect heat.

DSC 0370 1024x680 Grilling Montanas Grilled Crab Cake Recipe

What is so great about making crab cakes on the grill is the delicious flavor they develop.  Using the BBQ Dragon will keep your crab cakes in the temperature zone you want so they are crispy and flavorful.

Check out more fun recipes for on the grill here-