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BBQ Venison – Healthy and Flavorful!

Venison is one of the most underrated game meats and if you haven’t tried it before give yourself a treat.

It is becoming increasingly popular as a healthy choice for red meat-eaters. The health benefits include the fact that Venison meat contains only one-sixth of saturated fat compared to Beef. It also contains more minerals and vitamins per serving than beef.

In the States, venison is classed as any type of meat sourced from the deer family. This includes Caribou, Antelope, Reindeer, and Elk. You don’t have to be a hunter to source good quality Venison. Many online shops now offer free-range, field harvested venison.

Backstrap and Tenderloin


The tenderest deer steaks are the backstrap and tenderloin. This compares to a Beef Ribeye and fillet. This is a tender cut which is mostly free of sinew. Most backstrap and tenderloin are best-grilled whole and then slice before serving

When you are grilling a backstrap from a larger animal like elk or moose then it is best to cut and grill as individual steaks.

Leg steaks

These are generally a tougher cut of venison meat. There will be more sinew and connective tissue in the steak. The thicker the steak the better. They should be at least 1 inch thick. If the steak is sliced to thin it will probably require marinading before grilling.

The connective tissue that is found on the outside of the steak will often shrink faster than the meat when you grill it, resulting in the steaks curling. To prevent this make a few cuts under the outer connective tissue layer. This will allow your steak to stay flat when grilling.

Marinades for Venison

A good quality piece of venison steak does not require any marinade. Generally, backstrap or tenderloin fall into this category. Any deer that were raised on alfalfa or corn will also fall into this group.

Backstrap usually only needs a marinade if it came from an older animal or a rutting buck. There should be no need to marinade the tenderloin.

All leg steaks, flank, and cubes of meat used in kebabs should first be marinated.

This is a simple marinade that’s perfect for venison. It will tenderize and flavor.

Venison Marinade

3 medium-sized backstrap venison loins

¼ cup olive oil

3 pressed cloves of garlic

¼ cup of soy sauce

¼ Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

In a bowl whisk all the ingredients ( Except the Venison ) together.

Rinse the Loins in cold water and place in a ziplock bag.

Add the marinade to the bag. Allow marinating for at least 1 ½ hours.

Remember to pat your venison steak dry after removing from any marinade.


Grilling the venison steak

A whole Backstrap on the grill.

There are no special tricks to grilling venison steaks. The method is the same as grilling beef steaks.

After removing from the fridge salt the venison lightly. Allow it to reach room temperature. ( up to an hour)

Clean your grill and wipe down the grates.

Using a little paper towel pat the steaks dry. Place them on the grill. Grill for 3 minutes then turn to grill for a further two to three minutes.

Turn the steak once and grill until done. A good guide is an internal temperature of 130-140 degrees F. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, with a squeeze of lemon juice if you’d like.

What to serve with your grilled venison.

There is no doubt that sweet potatoes go with any venison dish. Carrots and earthy mushrooms also complement the venison.

If you want to serve a sauce as well it is best to go for a slightly sweet sauce. Sauces made from Plum, Cranberry and Blueberry compliment most venison dishes.


Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 ½ cup fresh Blueberries
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • ¾ cup Chicken or Veal stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon cold butter
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place ¾ of the blueberries (reserve a few for decoration), red wine and the stock in a pot and bring to the boil Simmer for ten minutes until the berries have softened.

Push the sauce through a fine sieve and remove the seeds and pulp.

Return the sauce to the pot add the honey. Boil until the sauce has reduced by about half and thickens to a smooth sauce.

Serve alongside the venison decorating with a few whole blueberries.


The next time you fire up the grill surprise your friends with a Venison Barbecue.


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