Friday, December 17, 2010

Smoked Venison

When I cleaned out the freezer the other day, I removed a couple of venison front quarters just to do something with them and get them out of the freezer. I talked with my deer-hunting cousin, who suggested grinding into burger and Cowgirl Jeanie who advised she often smokes them whole. Since this required the least effort, I decided to give it a try.

I basically used Jeanie’s methodology and first marinated them for a day in Wickers Marinade and Baste (she uses Dales) – I have Wickers I need to use.  I flipped them a few times.

I removed them from the marinade rinsed them well, covered, and put them back in the fridge. I’d planned to smoke them that day but wasn’t feeling well so I put it off a day, but when I awoke to very cold, snow, and wind with a prediction of more throughout the day, I decided to wait another day – it was still in the low 20’s, but at least it was sunny.  The cooking day started at 8*.

I used a different rub on each one of them and covered in bacon to provide some fat while cooking.

I cooked them at 275* to an internal of around 135* - depending on where I checked – pulled them, wrapped in foil, and stuck in a pre-warmed cooler for about an hour. Here it is finished and then carved.

It was moist, very tasty, not gamey, and I could eat venison on a regular basis, although this part has a lot of different muscles and silver skin. It wasn’t tough but did have a chew to it – perhaps similar to a sirloin or round steak. Since I don’t hunt, I believe I’ll just stick to the loin or burger should folks want to give it to me – of course no one wants to give away their loin (backstrap in deer-speak). I’ll cut off some of the nice pieces for use in other dishes and the pups will get the rest of it.
Here’s my plate and the Caesar salad was made using the recipe recently posted by Katherine over at Smoky Mountain Café. Our anchovy paste was pretty old, so we used a tin of anchovies and we both thought it could have used a little more – it was a little short of the 2 tbsp called for in the recipe. We both thought it was very good and would definitely make it again.

I basically smoked the deer today because I was running the pit anyway to do a cold weather survey of it, and glad I did, as it is quite a bit different than in warm weather.  I have probes stuck thru wine bottle corks and stationed at various places in the smoker.

I’m smoking prime rib for our Christmas dinner, and offered to cook some for my friends, since I’m running the pit anyway. I ended up with orders for two cows worth of bone-in choice rib roast and I don’t want to mess up anyone’s Christmas dinner because I did’t know what my pit was doing.

Have a great day and thanks for visiting Almost Heaven - Arctic South.



  1. Wow, that looks so good! I have only had venison once and it was pretty good.
    And smoked prime rib for Christmas? YUM...can I come to dinner???

  2. That pit looks like the Command Center at NASA. I bet that rib roast is going to be wonderful! I'm threatening to do a big decadent piece of meat for Christmas Eve. Haven't made a final decision.

  3. Would I love to have a smoked prime rib for Christmas dinner. What a treat! Your smoker is a lot more complicated than I would have thought. I had to laugh when I saw all those thermometers. Looks like rocket science to me.

  4. Larry, that smoker looks mighty high tech... better you than me. ;)

    We too like game as long as it doesn't taste "gamey". Friends gave us some elk steak that we need to saute soon but only in a little garlic and evoo.

  5. Larry that looks great! The shoulder definately has more connective tissue to mess with than a hind quarter. When I smoke one I let folks whittle off pieces for tacos or fajitas.
    The backstrap have to be my favorite! :)
    Looks great Larry..

  6. The deer meat looks very moist. I have cooked deer steaks several times and had trouble with them being dry. So now I usually will only make chili or stew with deer meat.
    I would love your smoked prime rib for our Christmas dinner!

  7. Oh My Gosh.... I saw that deer leg ---and all I could think about were the sweet little deer which I see out on our golf course fairway... Poor little deer!!!! ha ha (Don't know why I feel that way --since I don't care much at all about where beef or pork or chicken come from)... ha

    HOWEVER, I have had venison --and do like it... SO--I'll quit whining about poor little Bambi.

  8. Wish I could put in an order for smoked prime rib. You have a big responsiblity on your shoulders, but from the looks of the "lab" I'm sure you can handle it. Have a great Christmas. We will be traveling soon and I'm not sure I'll have another opportunity to vist.

  9. That is the first time I have ever seen anyone smoke a front shoulder. I used to have a whole rear quarter smoked. It was just like ham when it was done. I have yet to attemp it myself. I need to find a fresh road kill deer so I can experiment on it. Sounds gross but I have a few police friends that will call me when they come across one that has maybe only been hit in the front section and the rears and straps are ok. they issue a special permit and free meat is yours. Like the thermometers. My wife doesn't understand why i need multiples for one smoker.

  10. The thermometer shot had me laughing. I've had two or three working at once but not that many. Then again, I don't have the capacity that your smoker has.


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