Things You Should Know About Cooking Venison

For all the meat connoisseurs out there, venison has become particularly popular for two simple reasons: it’s sustainable and sinfully tasty. When compared to other red meats, it is quite simply the superior option by a large margin. All it takes is embracing a few tricks and things you should know about cooking venison.

Why is venison so magical?

Even though it is one of the most sustainable options out there, you need to know how to cook venison just right to ensure that meat retains all the necessary nutrients. And this potent composition of protein, vitamins, and minerals is exactly what makes every gourmet enthusiast that relishes in the taste of meat so excited.

If cooked right, it is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B complex, while it manages to be low in cholesterol and fat. Such a healthy combo of nutrients is typically relegated to meats of free-ranging, wild animals. They consume naturally occurring elements from their surroundings and they roam freely, thus potently developing their musculature.

This is also what makes venison so sustainable. You don’t need a food-industry infrastructure that pollutes the planet, and there’s hardly a danger of overhunting since one free-running elk, deer, or moose can feed an entire family for a long time.

But how do you cook the meat just right?

‘It’s chewy,’ is a usual complaint you’ll hear about venison. However, it comes down to how you prepare it – you cannot treat it like corn beef or any other meat.

Don’t overcook

First of all, you should avoid overcooking it. That’s when it becomes all rubbery and hard to chew through. Remember that it is lean meat, very low in fat, which means that it is best served medium-rare. Also, if you leave your venison cooking for too long, it will start chelating the nutrients into surrounding moisture, be it water or fat or oil.

When it comes to oil, you should cover the meat with seasoning and don’t cover the pan. It should also be noted that venison has to be warmed up to room temperature before you throw it into the pan.

The cut determines the cooking method

But ultimately, the way you prepare venison depends on where the cut comes from. Is it tenderloin or loin? In this case, you have more elbow space for high-heat grilling sessions. You can sear it and make it sizzle but keep it rare to medium-rare.

However, if the cut comes from somewhat tougher areas, like shoulder or neck, it is more prudent to take it slow with braising or stewing. The soup, in this case, can be delicious if you are patient enough.

The nuances of rubs and marinades

Now, let’s go back to a topic of seasoning for a second. If you don’t want any pinch of spicing added to your cut of venison, that is fine, though you are missing out on a lot of fun.

First off, too much free-form seasoning can make venison all mushy and wrong. Dry rubs are a smarter option because they tenderize it just the right amount. They contain salt, primarily, but there is also an option to add coffee, ginger, and other interesting spices. As long as you know your dry rubs, you can let your imagination run wild.

Marinades, on the other hand, rely on acids that come from lemon or lime juice, vinegar or wine. The goal is to denature the proteins in venison and have the ultimate tender medium-raw cut on your plate.


The basics above can see you through if you haven’t got experience with cooking venison. Of course, you’ll easily stumble upon whole tomes dedicated to the sublime philosophy of preparing venison, so if you find the guide above useful and the act of preparing venison joyful, this is all only a taste of wonderful culinary adventures to come!

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