Are you looking for a delicious smoked venison recipe? My wife and I normally never went for venison because it has a gamey aftertaste and is tough to eat, but once we figured out how to prepare it properly, we crave venison every other week!
In this recipe, I’m going to show you how to deal with both of those problems, so be sure to follow along with my recipe so you can enjoy your venison the right way!
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Smoked Venison Recipe
Venison is a delicious game recipe and is a lot simpler to prepare than most people think and can be prepared using ingredients bought from the supermarket.
I’ve nutted out the easiest way to get rid of that gamey taste, while making it juicy and tender, so when it comes out of the smoker, it tastes delicious.
This recipe can be used for all parts of the venison, loins, quarterhind or rump. I
What You’ll Need to For Smoked Venison
What Temperature to Smoke Venison At
Venison needs to be smoked at 250°F.
What Internal Temperature You Need to Reach for Smoked Venison
The internal temperature of smoked venison needs to be 120°F.
How Long to Smoke Venison
The venison needs to be in the smoker for about an hour.
How to Store Leftover Smoked Venison
Put the venison in an air tight container and it can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
Best Wood Chips for Smoked Venison
People say different things about what the best wood chips to use are for venison so I guess it purely comes down to taste and preference. Some people like to use sweet and light wood chips, like alder, cherry or pecan.
I like using something heavier because I like the different flavor it adds to the meat.
I’ll use either a Walnut, Oak or Hickory. These are medium-intensity wood chips.
If you’d like the venison to be of a stronger flavor chuck in some mesquite, it will make the venison taste bolder. I wouldn’t use it because it’s just not my preference.
How to Prepare Venison
Preparing game meat is half the job of smoking your venison.
First, you want to make sure your venison is sitting at room temperature. Always pat the meat down dry before working with it.
Then you want to make sure there is no silver skin on the venison.
It doesn’t render down nor does it crisp up, it actually adds nothing to the meat, and it has an uncomfortable texture, so trim all of that off first.
What Brine Is Best to Use for Venison
A simple brine I use is water, sugar, salt, and lemon juice. That will absorb a fair chuck of that gamey taste but also allows the meat to retain moisture so it comes out of the smoker ready to eat.
What you can do as well is add Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves and let that marinate overnight.
The other thing you can do, and this is if you really want to kill that gamey taste is to actually inject the meat with the brine.
If you’ve got a huge loin or hindquarter, and you want to make sure the whole chunk of meat will be brined, use a injecting needle.
For my rump steaks I just let them soak in a tray. They’re small enough, they had soaked up all the brine sufficiently.
It is true that you can never have to much brine in the meat.
Let it brine between 12 – 24 hours. Do not let it brine for longer than 24 hours.
After you’ve take it out ready for seasoning, ensure you pat it down dry.
Why Use Yellow Mustard on the Venison?
I put yellow mustard on my venison to hold the rub onto the meat. I don’t use a lot but I find it helps to hold the rub in place.
If you want to give this a go, I just use a knife and butter it on my piece of meat. Expensive mustard isn’t necessary nor do you don’t need to use a lot of it.
When you’ve coated it, go ahead and sprinkle your rub.
Funnily enough, mustard also tenderises the meat. (Who knew?) And when the venison is done smoking, the taste of the mustard practically vanishes.
What you’re left with is a thin crust, like crispy lamb skin and the seasoning and more or less remained on the meat.
It’s a great extra step to experiment with, because you can’t really go wrong with it.
What Is the Best Cut of the Venison to Smoke
Like, lamb or beef, venison has different cuts that are different in texture and some parts are better for smoking than others. The best part of the venison to smoke is the rump, loin or backstrap.
Backstraps (or loins) are the part of the meat that runs down the length of the deers back and is very tender when smoked properly and low in fat.
The only downside to the backstrap as you may have guessed is that it can be easy to over cook, but just keep an eye on it like you would a chicken breast, and it will come out tender.
If you’ve had it brining thoroughly, it should retain some of that moisture as well. The loin is long and generally medium to large in size, so a couple of them is great for feeding large gatherings.
I’ve used the rump steak for this recipe because it comes in steak size pieces and is easier to handle, has lots of fat running through it and is similarly tender like the loin.
How to Smoke Venison
Step 1: Preparing Your Venison
Prepare the venison meat. Slice off any silver skin. Silverskin is the white connective tissue layer on the outside of many cuts of meat.
Cut the inedible membrane away prior to marinating to allow for full penetration of flavors and to prevent the meat from curling when cooked.
Step 2: Brining Your Venison
Whisk together the brine ingredients. Place venison in brine overnight about 8-12 hours.
Strain then pat dry.
Step 3: Seasoning Your Venison
Apply your meat rub. You can use a thin layer of yellow mustard to help bind the spices to your meat.
Step 4: Smoking Your Venison
Smoke at 250°F until the internal meat probe hits 120°F for about 1 hour.
Step 5: Searing Your Venison
Then sear your meat on all sides for 1-2 minutes. Open up the flame cover on your Pitboss navigator to get a nice sear. (Try not to overcook your meat at this stage as it’s easy to do).
If your smoker can’t reach high enough temperatures to sear the meat, then complete this step in your kitchen with a frying pan. The final temperature should be about 130°F for medium rare.
Step 6: Let Your Venison Rest and Serve.
Then rest for about 20 min. Then serve
What to Serve With Smoked Venison
Below are some of the side I like to have with venison
Looking for More Game Recipes?
- 1 Pellet smoker
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 2 tbsp bbq rub
- 1.7 lbs Venison rump
- Prepare the venison meat. Slice off any silver skin. Silverskin is the white connective tissue layer on the outside of many cuts of meat.
- Cut the inedible membrane away prior to marinating to allow for full penetration of flavors and to prevent the meat from curling when cooked.
- Whisk together the brine ingredients. Place venison in brine overnight about 8-12 hours.
- Strain then pat dry.
- Apply your meat rub. You can use a thin layer of yellow mustard to help bind the spices to your meat.
- Smoke at 250°F until the internal meat probe hits 120°F for about 1 hour.
- Then sear your meat on all sides for 1-2 minutes. Open up the flame cover on your Pitboss navigator to get a nice sear. (Try not to overcook your meat at this stage as it’s easy to do).
- If your smoker can’t reach high enough temperatures to sear the meat, then complete this step in your kitchen with a frying pan. The final temperature should be about 130°F for medium rare.
- Then rest for about 20 min. Then serve
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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