Wild Recipes

Smoked Moose Burger with Pomegranate Caramelized Onions

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A highly stacked pile of syrupy sweet caramelized onions is already the perfect topping to a hearty wild game burger, but the addition of tangy and sour pomegranate molasses to the caramelization process creates an audaciously unexpected burst of flavor. 

Proper onion caramelization is slow but worth the invested time. To maintain focus, I often find myself creating different shapes with my sliced onions in the pan. I will move the onions from one side of the pan, creating a small mound, and then after a few minutes work towards the other side of the pan and watch as the mound evolves into a star or square. It’s not probably the best caramelizing form, and definitely not a technique taught in culinary school, but it keeps me on the task of stirring the onions for the required low heat and extended cooking time method of onion caramelization. Once the onions are broken down after their long trek through the slow cooking time, the pomegranate molasses is added and a creates a tangy coating on the onions. The blending of the onion sweetness and sour pomegranate is a unique balance with the savory flavors of the smoked burger.

Rounding out the experience of the smoked moose burger is a slice of nutty, buttery gruyere cheese and a kick of spice with fresh arugula. Enjoy! 

Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes
Also Works With: Venison, Wild Pig, Elk, Bear

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Smoked Moose Burger with Pomegranate Caramelized Onions

Recipe by Lindsey Bartosh
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Course: Wild RecipesCuisine: American


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  • 1 lb ground moose meat (fat added either during the grinding process or a tablespoon of unsalted butter inserted in patty center)

  • Montreal steak seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

  • 4 slices smoked gruyere cheese

  • Arugula

  • 4 buns


  • Preheat smoker to 500 degrees. Make sure pellets are filled with your wood of choice. I used cherry wood for this burger.
  • To caramelize the onions, preheat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over low medium heat. Add the sliced onions to the skillet, stirring to coat the onions in the oil, and let slow cook for 10 minutes. Be sure to stir often to keep the onions from sticking or burning. This is a slow process, so keep the heat low.
  • After ten minutes, add the tablespoon of salt to the onions and continue cooking onions 10 additional minutes.
  • Finally, add the pomegranate molasses and cook the onions for the final ten minutes.
  • While the onions are caramelizing, form the moose patties. In a large bowl, mix the ground moose meat with the Worcestershire sauce and Montreal steak seasoning. I add the steak seasoning slowly to meet my personal taste preference. For a pound of burger it usually ends up around a tablespoon of seasoning.
  • Form the patties and place on the preheated smoker. Smoke burgers for 15-20 minutes. Melt cheese on patties is so desired.
  • To plate the burgers, add a patty on the bun, place fresh arugula on patty, and pile on the pomegranate caramelized onions. Enjoy!

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Lindsey Bartosh

Lindsey Bartosh lives in southeastern Utah where she spends her time hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. She runs a website, huntingandcooking.com, and also a weekly radio show about seeking, pursuing, and processing wild game.

2 thoughts on “Smoked Moose Burger with Pomegranate Caramelized Onions

  • Kirk Pederson

    The smoked moose burger looks amazing, but I have one question. The directions say to set the smoker at 500 degrees. Is this correct? My Masterbuilt has a max temp of 275, and I haven’t seen many recipes that call for a smoker temp that high. 500 seems more of a grilling temp. Thanks for any response.

    • Hi Kirk! You are correct that it is more of a grilling temperature than a smoking one. It doesn’t result in a flame kissed burger like a charcoal or wood grill would and it cooks a little slower than a grill would. I guess I called it smoked because it is hit with smoke for the 25 minute or so cooking time. I used a Green Mountain smoker, similar to a Traeger, and the max temp on it is 500. Does that help answer the question? I’m not totally sure I addressed it. 😊


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