Are you ready for an exotic dish? This time, let’s try the unique taste of venison. Venison originally referred to an animal that had been killed on the run, but nowadays it’s used to identify deer meat.
Although there are places where deer still live abundantly, in other areas it’s hunted and so venison is only available in the hunting season. If you can’t find it very often, you will spend for it. Compared to other meat, venison is expensive.
But this is your lucky day, as we are going to learn how to smoke venison. It is not that complicated. Are you ready to start? It’s smoking time! It’s often said that venison needs that little bit extra to boost to its taste and, just as importantly, the meat must be cooked correctly. So let’s do the prepping and find out.
What You Need For This Short Tutorial
- Venison – this lean, tender meat is great for smoking.
- Knife – use knives that are specially designed for trimming meat.
- Wood chips.
Simple Steps On Smoking Venison
For the best-tasting venison, you’ve first got to make your favorite brine mix. Brining the meat the right way before smoking is the secret to achieving a perfect taste. It removes that natural “gamey” tang without losing the original essence of the meat.
Before brining, you need to first trim off all the connective tissues and fat as much as you can. If you use a sharp knife that’s designed for this, it will make the job a lot easier and faster. You can slash a ligature of silver skin, but remember to never cut the meat.
If you are familiar with smoking other types of meat, you should have your own brine recipe by now. Since venison is a lean meat, it’s essential to preserve as much of the natural juice as possible. If not, you will end up with dry meat. Brining is a technique that helps you to retain the juice.
- The brine’s saltiness breaks down certain proteins in the meat and makes it tender.
- The brine solution penetrates into areas of the meat that lack flavor, moisturizing it and making it full of flavor.
There is a video at the bottom of this article on how to make the brine recipe for smoking venison.
Dip the meat into the brine mix, ensuring it is entirely coated. Then put it in a container and let it stand in the fridge for an average of 12 hours. This will be enough time for the meat to fully absorb the brine solution.
It is recommended that you use a stainless steel pot but do not to let it stay there for longer than a day.
Soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours to get the most smoke. Drain the chips before putting them on top of hot coal. Let it heat for a few minutes until it produces smoke before putting the meat on.
It’s time to take out the venison from the refrigerator. Rinse it well to get rid of the excess brine and dry with paper towels. If you have already prepared your preferred spice blend, rub it into the deer meat until it is fully coated.
There are two things to do when using a manual smoker, which I’m using right now. Fill the pan with water and the chip box with wooden chips. Step #3 explained how to do the wooden chips. If you are using an electric smoker, you can turn it on, set the appropriate temperature and start heating it up.
Everything’s prepared, so let’s start smoking the meat. During the smoking, check the temperature every half an hour or so, if you feel it’s necessary. You will also need to keep an eye on the wood chips and water in case they need replenishing.
- The suitable temperature for this should range from 250 to 300 F.
- Open the vent a little to lose some heat if it gets too hot or add more coal and chips if the temperature is too low.
- Continue smoking for an average of 1.5-2 hours or until the meat attains an inner temperature of 140 F.
- Remove the meat from the smoker and let it stand for less than 30 minutes before cutting it.
You have just learned the basic way of smoking venison meat. There are lots of variations that you can choose from, such as smoking venison wrapped in bacon to add flavor and tenderness. Whatever your recipe is, never overcook the meat.
Venison is super lean, so the longer you expose it to heat, the dryer it becomes.In case you need to know how to make the brine for venison meat, here’s a video clipping that shows you how:
- Use dense hardwoods when you choose wood chips for your smoking. They contain sugar and stay longer in the smoke box. Apple or pear wood also result in a softer taste.
- Wrap the venison meat with plastic after rubbing in your favorite spices and letting it to stand in the refrigerator for an hour. This is just enough to let the flavor be absorbed by the meat.
- After removing the meat from the smoker, immediately wrap it in foil. This will help to retain its juice before cutting.
- The neck and shoulder part of the venison is the most flavorful meat. It has more connective tissue that breaks down and adds flavor to the meat during the smoking process.
- A trick that you can use to remove the silver skin easily is to put the meat in the freezer for at least half an hour before trimming.
- A quick way to let the meat absorb the flavor is to inject your preferred solution into it. It saves a lot of time!
- If you like your meat to have a beautiful color after smoking, rub it all over with oil.
As they say, smoking venison is an art. It takes passion to cook a tasty deer recipe, but my love of cooking is passion enough for me. Practice makes perfect and art blossoms through experience!
If you consider smoking venison a challenge, then you will be up for it. Now you know the basic steps, it’s time to make it happen. How to smoke venison? It’s your turn to pass on these simple steps by sharing this article with your friends!