How to cook venison (2024)

Julie Moberg, Michigan State University Extension -

Tis the season for deer hunting. What is the best way to prepare the venison the hunter brings home? Learn the cuts of meat and the best way to cook them for the ultimate venison meal.

This time of year hunters are taking to the woods in thesearch of their buck. Not only are they working to get the trophy rack but alsoa nice supply of meat for their freezers. Venison as a protein source is relatively low in fat,saturate fat and cholesterol. In comparison to beef, venison is lower incalories per three ounce serving. Venison is also lower in fat at 19 percentwhere beef has 29 percent fat per calories. Venison is also lower in saturatedfat at 1.1 grams and beef at 1.8 grams and is slightly higher than beef, porkand chicken in cholesterol content according to Michigan State UniversityExension.

Venison is a dry meat. To avoid the gamey taste of venison,one should trim away as much of the fat as possible. If the fat remains, thetallow tends to cling to your teeth and stick to the roof of your mouth. Becausevenison is a dry meat, only certain cuts of the meat should be cooked using dryheat methods like broiling, frying, roasting and grilling. The tenderloins,round, and loin steaks can be cooked in this manner. All other cuts of meatshould be cooked using a moist heat such as in pot roasting, stewing, soups orchili. Adding another fat source during cooking can also increase the moistureof the venison, but then adds to the fat content of the dish.

The following are some suggestions for using your venisoncuts given by the MichiganState University Extension Bulletin E-657.

  • Hind and fore shanks can be de-boned and cut into cubes forstew or ground into hamburger.
  • Round cuts are usually cut into steaks and can be preparedusing Swiss steak recipes.
  • Small tender legs can be kept whole and roasted like a legof lamb.
  • The meat can also be cubed for stew or ground intohamburger.
  • The loin and rib chops are the source of sirloin andporterhouse steaks. These cuts are generally best for frying, broiling,roasting, or grilling.
  • The shoulder is a source of pot roasts where you use moistheat to help tenderize the meat. The rump is used for pot roasts as well. Itcan also be cubed for stew or ground for hamburger.
  • The neck is best for pot roasts, stew meat, or ground meat.
  • The flank and breast contain a lot of meat which is bestused in stews, soups, ground meat, or chili.

Venison pot roast is very easy to make. Take your cut ofmeat and season the side of the meat that will be on the inside of the rolledroast. Use a vegetable soup mix for seasoning as an easy way to get excellentflavor. Roll the cut of meat into a cylinder and tie with string. Cut the roastinto the size you wish to prepare for a meal. When ready to cook, salt, pepper,and flour the outside of your roast and brown it in cooking oil. A pressurecooker is recommended for cooking this type of venison. Place the cooking rackinto the pressure cooker and add water as recommended. A one pound venisonroast will usually cook in 10-15 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. If you use aroasting pan, place the roast in the pan, cover and cook on low heat for one totwo hours. This will help to tenderize the meat in the cooking process. Formore venison recipes contact your local MSU Extension office.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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How to cook venison (2024)


How to cook venison? ›

Don't overcook it

What's the best way to cook venison? ›

Salt + heat = crispy & delicious

When roasting larger cuts, first sear all sides of the meat to seal in the juices. To achieve a medium-rare roast, cook at 350°F for 15 minutes per pound.

How do you cook venison so it's not tough? ›

so don't overcook them you want them to be like rare plus medium rare so hot and fast. and then if you have tougher cuts like large roasts to meat. you're gonna wanna raise those low and slow. so add some liquid and cook until they're really tender.

How do you cook deer meat so it's tender? ›

Tender cuts of meat are best cooked quickly in a piping hot skillet or on the grill. You can simply pat the venison dry and season with salt and pepper before cooking, or you can marinate the cut of meat for a few hours or overnight.

Do you cook venison slow or fast? ›

Venison Basics

Tough Cuts From the neck and from the shoulder of deer older than 3 years: Neck roast and chuck roast. Cooking: These cuts are best cooked slowly in moist heat, by browning first, then braising or stewing with the addition of sweetness and acidity to balance the bitterness.

What is best to soak deer meat in before cooking? ›

Soaking: The most common soaking liquids are buttermilk, saltwater, white milk, vinegar, lemon juice and lime juice. While some hunters swear by certain soaking methods to take the “gamey” flavor away or bleed the meat after processing, others don't find it all that helpful.

What seasonings go best with venison? ›

Ideal flavours for venison
  • Fruits: quince, cherries, prunes, blackberries, apples.
  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay, sage.
  • Spices: star anise, allspice, black pepper, cloves, juniper.
  • Alcohol: red wine (e.g. Grenache, Zinfandel), cider, ale. Other: chestnuts, celeriac, red cabbage, chocolate, mushroom.
Mar 7, 2016

What liquid should I tenderize deer meat? ›

Bromelain is the most common form of meat tenderizer used in America. Tiger Sauce is my favorite dipping sauce for deer meat, as the tanginess compliments the deer flavor to perfection. I've been doing the Tiger Sauce/pineapple juice combination for years, and it's remained my favorite.

Should you wash deer meat before cooking? ›

Washing deer meat

Rinsing deer meat or venison before cooking is not recommended by food safety agencies. Like other meats, washing venison can spread contamination in a kitchen.

How is deer supposed to be cooked? ›

Don't overcook or cook at temperatures above 375 F. The short fibers in wild game meat will get tough. Serve game meat very hot or very cold. Lukewarm game fat has a very greasy taste.

What are three methods of cooking venison? ›

Naturally tender cuts like loins and tenderloin take well to high heat grilling, pan searing, or stuffing and trussing and should be served rare to medium rare. Here's my recipe for how to cook Chili Cocoa Crusted Venison Loin. Tougher muscles from the shoulder, shank or neck should be braised or stewed slow and low.

How long does venison take to cook? ›

Rare13-15 minutes per 500g12-14 minutes per lb.
Medium20-22 minutes per 500g18-20 minutes per lb.
Well done25-28 minutes per 500g22-25 minutes per lb.

How do you tell if venison is cooked all the way? ›

Cook all venison thoroughly and serve hot or very cold. Venison should be cooked to at least 165° to ensure harmful bacteria are killed. The color of the meat is not a reliable indicator of when the venison is fully cooked. Use an accurate, calibrated thermometer for monitoring the cooking temperature of the venison.

What is the best way to get the gamey taste out of deer meat? ›

Soak the meat in buttermilk overnight.

Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The lactic acid in the buttermilk will tenderize the meat and draw out some of its gamey flavor. If the meat was frozen, let it fully thaw in the fridge before you start soaking it.

How does venison have to be cooked? ›

Venison behaves in many ways like beef, albeit very lean. You can cook the tender, steaky cuts of venison to the same doneness levels as you would beef, namely 130–135°F (54–57°C) for medium rare and 135–145°F (57–63°C) for medium. Hitting those temperatures just right is important for maximum enjoyment.

Do you season venison before cooking? ›

Season just before you cook. Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper just before cooking. Salt helps bring the moisture to the surface of the meat, but if you season too early the venison will dry out. Start with a hot pan, plate or grill.

Why do you soak venison in milk? ›

Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least four hours, and no more than 12, before proceeding to cook it as you normally would. The calcium in milk contains enzymes that will tenderize the meat, and the main protein in milk will neutralize the gamey flavor.

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