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How to cook venison

cooking venison meat in a skillet frying pan with chopped herbs on top
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Wild Venison

Are you lucky enough to have access to wild venison meat but not sure how to cook it perfectly?

We all want to eat tender, juicy venison meat that taste amazing!

Wild venison is one of my favorite meats to cook and eat. I cooked many different pieces of venison over the years and I worked out the best ways to cook wild venison to achieve tender, juicy and flavorsome meat every time.

Best news? Its not that hard.

I will explain in the next few minutes how to cook different cuts of venison for the best result.

Venison refers to the meat of a deer. It is a great wild meat option for a self sufficient life style. Because it’s a larger animal, if you learn to cook all the different cuts of the deer you can feed your family for a long time with good quality wild, organic meat from just one animal.

Dead deer on the forest floor with a rifle on top of it
3 deer legs with skin on hanging up in a cool room

Read more about hunting for food here

How to prepare venison

Cooking healthy venison recipes at home is easy. Venison meat is versatile, tasty and quick to prepare. My favorite and best ways to cook venison is described in this article.

hunters meat cooked and sliced with creamy peppercorn sauce. Boiled potatoes and brussel sprouts on a white plate

Venison is a versatile wild, organic meat it tends to have a finer texture and be leaner than comparable cuts of beef.

Venison loin and fillet on a white plate with rosemary sprigs
  • Clean the venison meat up by taking off any sinew or connective tissue.
  • Always cook the meat from room temperature. Bring the venison out from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
  • Season well and rub oil on the meat rather than pour oil in to the pan before cooking
  • Venison cooks fast. Be careful not to overcook it.

Different cuts of venison

A meat hunter takes good care of the meat and very little goes to waste.

The main cuts we use are back straps, fillets, steaks, schnitzel, roasts, diced and mince (ground meat). Venison heart is also a delicacy and should be cooked like a steak and the liver is also good to cook and eat.

Premium, fresh, organic food

How to cook venison. The different cuts

Great roasts from the back legs and shoulder.

they can be cooked whole or broken down to individual muscles for excellent mini roasts

How to cook venison roast

  • Season last minute – adding salt to the meat too early draws moisture out and can make the meat dry.
  • Sear the meat in a hot pan until golden brown all around, only add small amount of oil to the pan
  • Finnish the roast off in the oven until medium rare 52-54 degrees C
  • Slice against the grain and serve

A meat thermometer is helpful if you not confident to know the cooking temperature by touching the meat.

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Awesome Steaks from the back legs and loin

The back legs shall be broken down to individual muscle groups first. Slice the individual muscle or loin against the grain in to steaks.

Cooking venison steaks is quick and easy. Suitable for a mid week meal.

I cooked up the ultimate hunter gatherer surf and turf last week.

Venison steak and sauteed paua (abalone) in garlic butter. It was Devine!

Venison steaks with sauted paua in garlic butter and vegetables on a white plate

How to cook venison steak

Venison steaks cooking in a cast iron skillet pan
  • season last minute – adding salt to the meat too early draws moisture out and can make the meat dry.
  • Add the venison steak to a smoking hot pan (cast iron pan is the best), the meat should sizzle when it touches the pan and only add small amount of oil – this is to brown and caramelize the meat and give it a nice coating without stewing it
  • near the end of the cooking add butter and lower the temperature. Baste the venison meat with the melted butter. This makes the meat incredible juicy.
Venison steaks resting on a white plate
  • cook the meat medium rare 52-55 degrees C. Over cooking it can result in dry meatrest the dear steak for half of the cooking time.
  • Allowing the venison to rest gives the flavorsome juices time to transfer throughout the meat, for a juicy and tender result

Amazing venison casserole from the shoulders, neck and brisket

Diced venison makes for really good casseroles and curries.

Tender pieces seared first then gently cook at low temperature. About 1-2 hours at 100 degree Celsius

venison stew on a white plate with steamed rice

Recipe for my venison stew here

Terrific mince (ground meat) from the shoulders, neck and brisket

Venison makes excellent lean mince suitable for burgers, meatballs, Bolognese sauce, sausages and more

Anything you can make with ground beef you can also make with ground venison.

Use your usual recipe with no modification for venison when making Bolognese or venison chili. You’ll just end up with a slightly leaner, tastier version of the dish.

When making venison sausages you want to mix the venison meat with ground pork and extra fat to prevent them from being dry.

Venison meatballs are delicious. I use 2/3 of venison mince and 1/3 pork mince for best result. You can do the same ratio with venison burgers for yummy moist burger patties.

You can make deer burgers with 100% venison too, just make sure not to overcook them, keeping them slightly pink in the middle about 60 degree C internally then add melted cheese on top and mayonnaise and chutney when building the burger. It will be tasty and juicy that way too.

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Flavors that pairs well with venison

garlic, thyme, rosemary, red wine juniper berries, bay leaves, black pepper, red and black currant, dark plums


Venison is a red lean meat, low in both fat and overall calories compared to other common red meat. It is a healthy and nutritious option. Premium, fresh, organic meat and good for you.


Cooking and eating wild food is environmentally friendly, nutritious, free ranged and organic. It’s the most obvious step towards a self sufficient life. But best of all more flavors and nutrition!

Animals raised in their natural habitat will be healthier and happier than animals found in factory farms. It’s premium, fresh, organic food!

Cooking up and eating your hunted meat is very satisfying and the best, healthiest and most sustainable way to eat and enjoy meat.

My experiences

First venison experience

One of my first memories of wild venison meat is from when I was growing up in Sweden.

My brother hunted deer from an early age with my uncle . I remember them coming back home with deer after an early morning hunt.

They set up a butchery like operation in our garage after the animal had been hung for the appropriate time.

Everyone in their hunting team got together and helped butcher the deer. Inside the kitchen the wives were busy packing, mincing meat and making burger patties and meat balls.

It was noisy, busy and lots of fun!

This was a great tradition that I have continued on to my family now.

last venison experience

Venison is my favorite of all the wild meat. It’s so versatile and tasty. It’s the wild meat I cook the most. I prefer it over beef and I substitute any beef recipe to venison instead.

In fact I cooked venison tacos last night for a quick and easy dinner. Just sauteed strips of venison marinaded in Mexican rub served in a soft tortilla, sour cream, home grown lettuce, tomato, grated cheese and topped with home made salsa Verde and fresh coriander from the garden. Simple and delicious!

two venison soft shell tacos on a white plate
best experience

my partner is the hunter in my family now. I love coming with him for a hunt whenever possible. Help to carry the meat out, assisting with the butchering, processing and packing the meat.

The times when I have been part of the hunt and the entire meat journey from the stalking to the plate. I know exactly where the animal was shot and every step of the venison’s journey to my plate.

Me with a rifle on a hill with a shot deer and my german shorthair pointer dog

That’s my ultimate food experience. The meat simply just taste better!

worst experience

A bad venison is hard to come by.

I hear people say that they find venison strong and gamey or tough.

I can only remember once I tasted a strong flavored venison. It was a mature buck shot in the middle of the rut.

That can quite easily be avoided and not a good excuse not to eat venison again.

The only time I had slightly tough venison is when its been overcooked. Venison is a lean protein and it’s best served pink for juicy tender result.


One of the ways to ruin deer meat is to overcook it. I like my steaks rare to medium rare and my burgers just over medium, about 60C internally.

Cook the meat from room temperature rather then fridge cold for juicy, tender and evenly cooked meat.

You like eating healthy, locally sourced, organic food.

Hunting and cooking your own wild meat is the best way to guarantee yourself premium, fresh, organic meat all the time. Not much can beat serving up fresh hunted meat for family and friends!

Follow these tips for easy and foolproof ways and recipes to cook wild venison and get the most out of your hunted, free ranged meat!

Wild food such as venison meat is healthy, natural, sustainable and it taste delicious! With food prices increasing it makes sense to start hunting and learn too cook all parts of the animal.

venison schnitzel with roasted potatoes and rosemary sprigs

Try my families favorite Venison schnitzel recipe at home. I’m sure you will love it!

You can read more about My food journey and how to be self sufficient here

Black bean venison chili in a blue bowl with coriander leaves on top
Black bean and venison chilli with rice in a white bowl plate. Sour cream and fresh coriander leaves on top.

Try my Black bean venison chili recipe using diced or ground deer meat

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Blogger, foodie, mum, gardener, qualified chef. I'm passionate about food, cooking and being food self sufficient. I hardly ever by fresh food. Instead I grow, gather, fish and hunt. The blog is about what I do on my lifestyle block and my recipes.

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