BBQ FAQ: Venison

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[How about a barbecued venison recipe?]

Jim Moore--

I've only been smoking venison roasts for about two seasons now so I'm no expert at it, but here's a few things I've learned or observed.

Most important - Don't overcook the meat or it will be as dry and chewy as a poorly cooked brisket.

When I didn't use a rub the meat tended to get a hard and crispy exterior that I didn't care for all that much. It also would stop the smoke penetration into the meat. The rub kept the outer part pliable and yielded, IMHO, a much better product. So don't overcook the meat.

Smoked Venison Roast

Southern Dry Rub

  • 1/4 cup black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup paprika get at beer supply store
  • 1/4 cup corn sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ground

Defrost the roast if frozen. Sprinkle on rub. Rewrap and put in refrigerator for several hours (preferably overnight). When ready to smoke, take out of refrigerator, sprinkle on more rub, and let it sit for an hour.

Get smoker ready and up to 200F. Smoke (I use hickory or mesquite) for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours per pound. Take off, let rest for fifteen minutes, slice, and eat up. Best venison roast I ever had.

Pat Lehnherr--

Here's a rub recipe I posted some time ago for venison. When I created this recipe, I wanted a rub that would complement the smoke but not hide the venison flavor, so it's fairly mild as rubs go. I used cherry wood to smoke it and highly recommend it if you can get it. If you don't have access to that, I would guess that oak or pecan would be good. I wouldn't use mesquite as I think the smoke flavor from that would overpower the venison flavor.

Venison roast is extremely lean for barbecuing, but it can be done. I'd go with a higher than normal temperature, maybe 300F or so. Unless you got an old mossy horn, it's already tender enough and you don't want to dry it out. I don't recall the time it took, so watch it closely. If I had to guess, I'd say 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size, but that's only a guess.

Pat's Venison Rub

  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons sumac berries ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons basil

This turned out great but wasn't quite right. The sumac berries were awesome! They have a tart but mild flavor. I found out about these while perusing a Penzey's catalog (414) 574-0277 Click here to go to Penzey's Web site. I bought the sumac berries out of curiosity and use them regularly now. The rub does need another flavor, though I think I could get rid of the basil. Next time I'll try a little coriander or thyme and some white pepper. I also plan on creating a version of this rub for chicken.

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