Deer back straps and deer roast?

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by alan1414, May 8, 2015.

  1. alan1414

    alan1414 Newbie

    Hello all, my brother in law gave me a few deer roasts and back straps. I never smoked deer. I'm looking for some good tips on what I should do with them to make then turn out good. Brine? Marinade? Rubs? What spices and herbs go well with deer? Any advice would be great. Thanks in advanced.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm sure someone will be along with a Butterflying of the Backstrap recipe (Steak).

    However my favorite thing to do with Venison Backstrap and Venison Hind Quarters would be "Venison Dried Beef".

    Here's some made from the Backstrap:

  3. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Oh man I love me some backstrap. I have done them numerous ways. What kind of smoker do you have? Remember that fat is not your friend when it comes to deer. Trim it all off. It's real easy to overcook a deer roast too so make sure you have a quality thermometer that you trust for the meat and the cook chamber.
  4. alan1414

    alan1414 Newbie

    I have a MES. I figured fat would be your friend because the meat is so lean. I see a lot of recipes people putting bacon around the roasts.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---Fat is your friend-----Just not Deer Fat.  Deer Fat is for Candles.

    Gotta add Beef and/or Pork Fat if you need fat for what you're doing.

    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Bear has you covered on fat. Honestly the best use for deer roast is sausage or burger. Damn good too. Ask him about his bear logs.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    The only ways we eat Venison around here any more are:

    #1   Venison Dried Beef

    #2   Ground Venison mixed with various percentages of Beef and/or Pork

    IMHO these are the only things that are actually better tasting than Straight Beef.

  8. I like to marinate it in Italian dressing then SPOG and into a smoker for a reverse sear then onto a screaming hot grill. Be careful not to over cook about med rare is as far as you can go before it starts to dry out.

    Happy smoken.

  9. Hi Alan,

    I smoke almost all of my deer. The first thing I learned is that it's leaner than you imagine and it needs to be cooked rare. There isn't enough connective tissue in it like brisket to benefit from a low slow smoke. It won't get fall off the bone moist. Think of it as a filet mignon. Take off most of the fat and silver skin that you can get off easily to minimize gamey taste. Marinate in something like a brine with acid like orange juice and lime. The acids and salt combine with any liver taste that some folks don't care for.

    Marinade (Brine)

    orange juice + lime (not too much) + kosher salt + garlic + coriander (secret ingredient) + black pepper corns + vermouth (another secret) or some red wine + if it's a big piece like a ham/roast add some Joe Dale's marinade (careful it's salty and concentrated)

    My best reviews have always come from a smoked back strap finished off on the grill. Use a good rub (lots of black pepper and coriander is what I like, and be careful with the salt in the rub. After marinading (really brining) you don't need any more salt. Smoke to about 105F then just before serving I toss the back strap onto a hot grill and finish off to 125-130FF. You can brush it with melted butter and sprinkle on more rub or brush with your BBQ sauce if you're going for BBQ style. Often I don't use BBQ sauce and it's always a big hit with the port wine sauce below.

    On the ham/roast, marinade a long time (1 1/2 hrs per lb) and take it up to 125-130F maximum internal temp, it'll coast up another 7F and you don't want it over done. I don't put bacon on my deer meat but most of my buds do and it's a great flavor enhancer.

    If you're not going for BBQ style try this port wine sauce of Emeril Lagasse's that you can make on the stove in no time. I add a little butter at the very end to help it coat the meat better and because deer meat is so lean.

    Emeril's Port Wine Sauce

    1/2 cup chopped onions + 1/2 cup chopped carrots + 2 bay leaves + 3 cups port wine (taste to make sure it doesn't taste like cough syrup). Simmer 30-40 minutes until reduced by 1/2 add a little butter. I don't bother to strain, though you're supposed to.

    I slice my back straps in 3/8" slices after it rests and slice my ham/roast a bit thinner (1/4") after a bit longer rest. Seems like guests think the ham/roast is more tender when I slice it thin rather than give them a big chunk of meat and let them do the deed. I don't know why.

    Good luck!


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