Venison Steak Recipes – Grilling Tips And Tricks
Introduction to Venison
Venison is simply deer meat. The best venison steaks come from the tenderloin and backstrap of the animal. These are equivalent to beef filet mignon and ribeye steaks. The cuts of venison meat are extremely lean. The tenderloin and backstrap cuts are also generally free of sinew and very tender. You should marinate venison steak to add moisture because this type of steak does not have any fat.
Your marinade will add flavor, tenderize your meat and help keep your steaks moist. You can purchase venison steaks at your butcher. Ask them to cut your steaks a minimum of one inch thick or one and one-half inches whenever possible. You need to cook venison steaks whole although they are delicious if you cut them into medallions once cooked. Venison steaks can be grilled, roasted, braised and stewed.
The best way to good your steaks is on maximum heat on your charcoal grill. This will seal in the juices to ensure your meat is tender and juicy with an excellent flavor.
Venison Steak Recipes
There are numerous venison recipes that include marinades or toppings to add a special flavor. You can use any venison marinade but we have included three of our favorites below.
For our Chimichurri recipe you will need:
- Two cups fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- Four cloves garlic (minced)
- One teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Black pepper (to taste)
- One teaspoon oregano (finely chopped)
- Two tablespoons lemon juice
- Four tablespoons red onion (minced)
- One teaspoon sage (finely chopped)
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Four tablespoons tomato (minced with no skin)
- Two teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
Coat the bottom of a bowl with olive oil. Add all of your ingredients and mix well. Let the bowl sit for two to three hours. Stir your mixture occasionally. Serve with your lamb steaks.
Another excellent venison steak recipe is smoked cherry sage butter. You will need:
- Four cloves garlic (minced)
- One-eighth cup dried cherries (chopped)
- Eight tablespoons butter (salted)
- One-teaspoon pepper
- One tablespoon fresh sage (minced)
- One-half teaspoon salt
Season your venison steaks with the salt and pepper. When you are ready to place your steaks on your grill, mix all of your ingredients in a heat-proof shallow grilling pan. Put the pan on your grill at the same time as your venison steaks. Dip your steaks into the mixture right before they are done but do not get any of the cherries or garlic on your meat. You only want to coat them with your butter mixture.
When you are ready to serve your venison steaks, place a spoonful of your cherry smoked sage butter on each one. The taste of your venison mixed with the cherries will be sensational.
Our final venison steak recipe includes a Worcestershire sauce marinade. This also works for venison loin recipes. You will need:
- Three-quarter cup Worcestershire sauce (your favorite brand)
- One cup of soy sauce
- Salt (remember soy sauce has a high content of salt)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- One-third cup brown sugar
- One teaspoon onion powder
- Two tablespoons melted butter
- One teaspoon garlic powder
- Five dashes of your favorite hot sauce (or to taste)
Mix together your Worcheshire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, hot sauce, brown sugar, onion powder and salt and pepper in a bowl. Take a one-gallon ziptop bag and place your steaks in the bag. Pour your marinade all over your steaks. Push out all of the air and then make certain your bag is sealed. Pro Tip: Place your bag into a large bowl in case your bag becomes damaged in any way. You do not want your bag leaking marinade all over your refrigerator.
Leave your bag in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour. Overnight is best whenever possible. Every once in a while, more your bag around to ensure all parts of your venison steaks are sitting in your marinade. Once your meat is fully cooked and has been rested, coat it with your melted butter, let it sit for three to four minutes and then serve.
Pro Tips: If you have a large, fairly flat pan, place your venison steaks one at a time on the bottom. Make sure all of your venison is lying flat. Pour your marinade over your steaks ensuring they are completely covered. This will make certain your marinade has a chance to evenly work through all of your meat. Always allow your venison steaks to reach room temperature before you place them on your charcoal grill.
If you are marinating your steaks in a bowl or a plastic bag, rotate your meat every few hours to ensure the portions that are bent are marinated as well. We do not recommend cooking your venison steaks past medium or they will be much tougher to chew. It is important to remember your steaks will continue to cook for a short period of time once they have been removed from your grill.
We do not recommend using a strong deer steak seasoning. A lighter marinade will add a lot more flavor to your meat without overwhelming the flavor. Be careful not to oversalt your meat as this will also detract from the flavor.
Grilling your Venison Steaks
You will need four venison steaks cut one to one and one-half inches thick. This will be between two and three pounds. If your venison steaks are too thin, they will dry out much easier. You will be cooking your meat using high, direct heat. Your fire needs to be very hot to get the appetizing crust and grill marks on your venison steaks. This is all you need to do for most venison steaks.
If you have been lucky enough to find venison steaks two inches thick or more, you will need to finish cooking your meat on a cooler section of your grill. You can create a cooler space by clearing out the burning wood or coals under an area or leaving one burner off. Once your grates are nice and hot you need to clean them. Use a high-temperature oil such as canola cooking oil.
Use a grill brush or paper towels to brush on the oil. This will help prevent your venison steaks from sticking to your grates. Pro Tip: Do not use an excessive amount of oil or you may cause a flare-up.
The internal temperature of your venison steaks is much more important than how long they have been cooking. You can cook thicker steaks for seven or eight minutes and they may still be medium-rare. You need to use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat in the middle. This is the only way you can be sure your venison steaks are cooked the way you like them.
The internal temperature will vary according to the way you like your meat. Follow the guide below.
- Rare: Internal temperature of 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-Rare: Internal temperature of 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium: Internal temperature of 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-Well: Internal temperature of 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well Done: Internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more
If you do not enjoy meat that is not medium-well or well done, marinating your venison steaks and ensuring you purchase the thickest cut possible is critical to help stop them from drying out. We recommend trying these steaks cooked medium before you cook them further. Your steaks will keep cooking even after you have taken them off of your grill.
Once you have finished cleaning and wiping down your grates with vegetable oil, it is time to place your venison steaks on your grill. Use dry paper towels to pat your steaks dry then coat them with a very thin layer of vegetable oil. Place your steaks on your grill. Let them cook undisturbed for two minutes. Use barbeques tongs to rotate your venison steaks ninety degrees. This will provide you with cross-hatch grill marks.
Grill your meat for another two minutes. Using your tongs, turn over your meat and continue cooking until you have reached your desired internal temperature. Remove your steaks from your grill and place on a cutting board. Pro Tip: Grind some fresh black pepper over your meat and squeeze on a little fresh lemon juice to enhance the flavor of your venison.
Always allow your venison steaks to sit for five to ten minutes before serving. If you skip this important step the juices will not have time to flow through your meat. When you cut into them, the juices will run out and your steaks will be dry. This step is critical when you are grilling any type of meat. Now you can serve your new venison steak recipe and enjoy.
The Beauty of Grilling Venison
We hope you thoroughly enjoy our grilled venison steak recipe. Remember to purchase your steaks a minimum of one inch thick and even thicker if possible. We believe you will enjoy one of the marinade recipes we have included. You can serve your venison steaks choice of sides for a delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is venison steak?
Venison is the meat of deer, but it can also refer to antelope in South Africa. Much like beef or pork, the venison meat can be cut up into several different types of steaks and roasts. You can make venison jerky, chili, soups, stews, or grill the steaks like you would a beef steak.
What is the best way to cook venison steak?
Venison is a lean meat, so it’s not as forgiving as a fatty beef ribeye or strip steak. It’s easy to overcook venison, resulting in dry, tough, chewy meat. We recommend marinating the venison steaks for at least an hour (or as long as overnight). Then, we grill them over high heat on a gas or charcoal barbecue until the reach a medium-rare or medium temperature.
How long do you cook venison steaks for?
The length of time you’ll need to cook your venison steaks largely depends on the thickness of the steak. Most 1-inch thick venison steaks cook for two to three minutes a side, which is enough time to cook them to a medium-rare temperature. The best way to know when your steak is done is to use a meat thermometer. We’ve provided cooking temperatures in the article above.
Is it okay to eat deer meat medium-rare?
In our opinion, the best temperature for venison steaks is medium-rare. When you go to higher temperatures, you risk the steak releasing too much moisture, drying out the meat. If you don’t feel comfortable eating medium-rare deer meat, feel free to cook it to medium.
What seasoning is good on venison?
We prefer using lighter seasonings on venison so we don’t cover up the flavor of the meat itself. Most green herbs go well, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram. Juniper berries are also a popular choice for seasoning. Check out our marinade recipe above for a full list of ingredients.