3 Best Methods for Cooking Tender Venison Backstraps

Do your venison steaks always turn out dry? You're probably employing an inefficient technique in the kitchen. Here are the three best methods for ensuring consistently juicy venison backstraps while cooking. Plus, a delicious balsamic vinegar marinade for venison.

My first few times preparing venison, I always overcooked it because I was using the wrong cooking method and thinking of it as beef. If you read this article, you won't make the same mistakes.

Chef in modern farmhouse kitchen.

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Why Do Does a Deer Have Backstraps

Backstraps, or venison, come from the area of the deer's back that runs parallel to the spine. Some people even mistake them for meat tenderloins.

These aren't quite as tender as a tenderloin, but they're still among the best cuts of deer.

Backstraps would be equivalent to what we call ribeye in beef and loin in pork. The tenderness of these two cuts of meat makes them among the most sought after.

How do you recommend cooking deer backstrap?

Cooking venison backstrap is a debatable topic among venison fans.

Some people prefer it seared, others prefer it grilled, and still others insist that it must be smoked. Next, based on extensive study and personal experience, I will reveal my three favorite methods for cooking juicy backstraps.

Venison backstraps seared on the stove.

Some things should be kept in mind when cooking venison backstrap in order to keep it moist and tender regardless of the method used.

  1. Instead of cooking game right after it's been processed, a hunter should give it a few days to rest.
  2. If frozen, thaw completely in the fridge rather than microwaving.
  3. Marinate for at least 24 hours in a spice blend or my venison marinade recipe (below).
  4. Do not overheat

These four measures will help prevent your backstrap from drying out and becoming tough.

The Best Three Ways to Prepare Venison Backstraps

When it comes time to prepare dinner, the best ways to cook deer backstrap are:

  1. Searing
  2. Grilling
  3. Roasting it after a dutch oven sear

These give you the most say over the cooking process, ensuring your meat is cooked to perfection every time.

Now I'll tell you how I prefer to prepare venison backstraps.

Recipe for Marinated Venison

A simple venison marinade recipe using ingredients I always have on hand is my go-to for any of these cooking methods. My beef steak seasoning is a slight modification of this recipe.

Venison marinading.

To season 2 pounds of venison backstraps, combine:

  • Amount: 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Three Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Minced garlic equaling 2 teaspoons
  • Balsamic Vinegar, 3 Tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons
  • 2-tsp. of honey mustard
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

When everything is mixed well, lay the backstraps in a shallow dish and cover them with the marinade.

Marinate the meat for a full day in the fridge by turning it over once and reapplying the marinade every 12 hours.

Marinated venison backstraps.
  • 3.0 ounces of olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce, 3 Tablespoons
  • Ingredients: 2 tsp. of garlic, minced
  • Balsamic Vinegar, 3 Tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons
  • 2-tsp. of honey mustard
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper
  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  2. Marinate the meat overnight in a shallow dish.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 24 hours.
  4. During the last 12 hours, flip the meat and coat it again with the marinade.
  5. The remaining 12 hours must be spent refrigerated.

Fast and Flavorful Recipes for Venison Backstraps

Here are some of my favorite recipes using deer backstraps.

The ease and flavor of stovetop venison backstrap recipes is why they are my go-to. Also, my Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill is a wintertime staple for me.

I highly recommend this article if you're looking for some of the technical details on how to sear venison backstraps. For someone like me who had never cooked venison before, I found it to be an invaluable resource.

Use the above recipe as a marinade for your backstraps before preparing them in any way. Then, you can either grill it or sear it in butter. In conclusion, the oven is another viable option for cooking venison backstrap.

Broiled Backstraps of Venison

To sear it on the stove, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Spreadable butter should be heated over moderate heat.

While you're making the butter, let the marinated backstrap come to room temperature.

Remove from marinade and pat dry to get rid of any extra liquid. For searing, nothing beats this. Sear the backstraps in the hot butter until a nice crust forms on each side.

Searing venison on the stove.

Depending on the thickness of your meat and how hot you cook it, each side should take no more than three to five minutes. Use a meat thermometer to determine when the backstrap is done cooking instead of trying to guess.

When you take meat off the stove, it will continue to cook for a while. The term for this is residual cooking.

Once the internal temperature of your meat reaches 125°F to 130°F, take it out of the pan. After resting, the temperature will rise by 5 to 10 degrees and reach the final setting.

You should give it at least 5 minutes to rest after you've taken it out. Because of this, the meat retains its natural moisture and tenderness.

  • (4 Tablespoons) Butter
  • Gold-Plated Venison Shoulder Straps
  • Recipe: Marinade for Venison
  1. Use the marinade recipe from this article to season your venison backstrap medallions for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Take meat out of marinade and dry it with paper towels.
  3. Butter should be melted over a moderate flame.
  4. Sear the backstraps in the hot butter until a nice crust forms on each side. 4-7 minutes total
  5. Take meat off the grill between 125 and 130 degrees.
  6. Hold off serving for 5-10 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 Quantity Per Serving: Sixteen-ounce backstrap
Nutritional Value Per Serving: Calories: 200

Be sure to check out my pork tenderloin recipe if you're a fan of similar cuts of meat. The whole family loves it.

And if you subscribe to the blog, you'll receive all of these delicious recipes in your inbox.

Backstraps of venison on the barbecue.

Grilling venison backstrap is my second-favorite method of preparation.

Cooking venison backstraps on the grill is very similar to preparing them in a pan on the stove. To grill the meat, however, you should not remove the marinade before cooking.

Cook for three to five minutes per side on a hot grill.

Take it off the grill between 125 and 130 degrees, as indicated by your meat thermometer. Don't rush the serving; give it 5 minutes to settle.

  • Succulent backstraps of venison
  • Seasoning for marinating venison
  1. Cook some venison backstraps in my venison marinade, which you can find here:
  2. Buttermilk can be used to marinate meat before cooking.
  3. Cook the backstraps for three to five minutes on each side on a hot grill.
  4. Take out when the temperature inside reaches 125°F to 130°F.
  5. Wait 5 minutes to allow the juices to re-constitute.
Yield: 4-6 Quantity per Serving: 4-6
Cost Per Serving: Calories: 200

Given that we are based in Michigan, a grilling session in the winter can be frosty. So, I've been grilling all of our meats using the Ninja Foodie Indoor Grill. I have successfully prepared salmon, chicken breasts, pork chops, and venison in it.

Ninja Foodie Indoor grill

The smart thermometer that is built into it is what I like most about it. You select the temperature at which you wish to cook, and it provides you with step-by-step instructions, such as when to turn your meat and when to remove it to rest. Your meat won' be overcooked thanks to the residual cooking time taken into account.

It has worked wonderfully with sensitive meats like venison. It can be prepared in a wide variety of ways, including air-frying, baking, roasting, broiling, and drying.

Grilled venison backstraps

Look at all those tasty juices. Because of that, it will be incredibly juicy and tender.

Baked Backstrap of Venison

Here, we will discuss oven-ready venison backstrap recipes. It reminds me a lot of my slow-cooked venison backstrap recipe.

Deer backstrap is best cooked however it's most practical for you to do so. On a nice day, firing up the grill is a breeze. To add flavor quickly, try searing. However, backstraps of venison are delicious when baked in the oven.

Top 3 Ways to Cook Moist Venison Backstraps

Deer backstraps can be seared in butter or olive oil for 1–2 minutes on a hot stovetop, as described above. After that, cook it for 7-10 more minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit in an uncovered dutch oven or cast-iron skillet.

It takes more time in the oven to reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees for thicker cuts of meat. Take the backstraps of venison out of the oven and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

What Seasonings Pair Well with Venison?

First-time venison eaters frequently express apprehension about the meat's "gamey" flavor. While venison does have a distinct flavor, it can be mellowed by using spices that pair well with its natural fattiness.

Venison backstraps with salad.

My go-to spice combinations for venison include rosemary, sage, shallots, garlic, salt, savory, and a variety of peppers.

Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and fennel can be used to give meat new and exciting flavors.

Parsley is another great addition to any garnish.

If you soak venison in milk, what happens to it?

The above spices are just a few that can help mask the venison's natural gamey flavor.

Delicately masking the meat's natural gamey taste can be accomplished by soaking it in milk or buttermilk.

Make sure the bowl is large enough to accommodate the venison backstrap and then soak it in milk for at least 12 hours. Then, cover it with milk (or buttermilk).

Cover and chill for at least 12 hours. Removing the meat from the milk and giving it a good rinse before cooking is the first step in preparing it.

For venison backstraps, what is the optimal cooking temperature?

When cooking venison backstraps, temperature is the most important factor.

Never cook a venison backstrap at a temperature higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Final internal temperature should be between 130 and 135, indicating medium rare.

Since venison is so easily overcooked, a meat thermometer is essential when preparing it.

Avoid venison backstrap if you're a purist who won't eat meat unless it's cooked to your liking.

Top 3 Ways to Cook Moist Venison Backstraps

Steaks made from deer meat are dry and tough if cooked any further than medium. It took me a while to adjust to the pink center, but cooking them this way results in delicious, tender meat.

Do you have any suggestions for a side dish to go with venison?

When serving meat as the main course, I prefer to keep the accompanying sides uncomplicated. My favorite foods are garden salad, fresh bread, and asparagus. A sweet treat now and then isn't bad for you either.

fresh bread in a kitchen.

Repurposing Leftover Venison

In the unlikely event that you have any leftover venison (which is extremely rare in our house), here are a few of my favorite ways to repurpose it.

  • After being thinly sliced, it can be served cold atop a garden salad. In fact, the incredible taste is enhanced when served chilled.
  • Reheat in hot butter and slice into 1-inch rounds. Since this is a method of cooking, you should only leave it in the pan for about 30 seconds on each side. If you try to reheat it at this point, you'll end up overcooking it.
  • Use it for steak tacos after slicing it thin and letting it come to room temperature.

Seeking additional options for evening meals

The only way I ever make dinner is with a quick and easy recipe. In the event that it takes more than 30 minutes, throw it away.

The following are some of my favorite family dinners, and they're all simple enough to make on a weeknight. And if your family only eats venison for red meat, keep in mind that most beef recipes can be easily adapted to use venison instead.

Communicate Frequently

We appreciate your visit to the blog today. Have fun with the venison backstraps.

Aaron suggests smoking a backstrap the next time we make it. One of his interests is smoking meat, and we've never had venison. Let me know, and I'll report back on the outcome.

If you like the recipes here, you should subscribe to the blog.

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