Broken Arrow Ranch Free-Range Venison, Antelope, and Wild Boar Meat
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How to Cook Venison


Some people tell me that they don't like venison. I contend that they just haven't had the pleasure of enjoying properly harvested and prepared venison. We have been harvesting wild deer and antelope since 1983 and have developed proven techniques to produce high-quality, clean tasting venison. Customers and hunters frequently ask us for guidance on the best way to prepare various cuts of venison.  This article should help shed some light on where the cuts originate, how to cook them, and why they should be prepared that way.

Processing Chart: Venison Cuts

Processing Chart: Where do venison cuts come from on the animal?

How to Cook Venison

There are basically two ways to cook venison:

1) A little for tender cuts
2) A lot for working cuts

Tender cuts of meat come from muscles that were not heavily utilized during the animal's life and, therefore, contain little connective tissue. These areas include the back and some leg muscles, when properly trimmed. Tender cuts of venison should be prepared using quick cooking methods to a rare or medium-rare level of doneness (internal temperature of 130° to 140° F). If it is prepared past medium-rare too much moisture will be cooked out causing the meat to become dry and tough.

Working cuts of meat come from muscles that were vigorously used by the animal and, therefore, contain a lot of connective tissue. These cuts also contain more flavor than tender cuts. Areas for working muscles include the shoulder and leg muscles. Working cuts of venison must be cooked for a relatively long time at a low temperature (220-280° F) to allow the connective tissue to breakdown. Once this happens you will get a fork-tender, flavor packed piece of meat.

Below are some recommended cooking methods for the various cuts of venison.

Recommended Cooking Methods for Venison

 Cut
Broil
Sauté/ Pan Broil
BBQ Direct
Roast
Braise
BBQ Indirect
Other
Boneless Loin (Backstrap)
x
x
 
 
 
Tenderloin
x
x
 
 
 
Sirloin
x
x
 
 
 
Noisettes
x
x
 
 
 
 
Boneless Leg Filets
x
x
 
 
 
Kabobs
 
x
 
 
 
 
Tender Morsels/Stir Fry
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cutlets
x
 
 
 
 
Fry
Chop Ready Rack
 
 
 
 
 
Stew Chunks
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chuck Roast/
Shoulder Roast
 
 
 
x
 
Ribs
 
 
 
 x
 
Osso Buco/Shanks        
x
   
Hamburger Patties
x
 
x
       
Ground
x
x
         
Chili          
x
 
Sausage
 x
 x
 
 
 
 Steam

 

Explanation of Cooking Methods:
Broil: Cooking quickly with direct exposure to radiant high heat, usually from above the food.
Sauté/Pan Broil: Cooking quickly in a small amount of fat in a pan on the range top.
BBQ Direct: Cooking quickly on a grill at medium-high temperature.
Roast: Cooking with a dry heat, usually in the oven, without added liquid. Cooking temperatures vary.
Braise: Cooking by browning first, then slowly cooking in a small amount of liquid. See our Braising Tips.
BBQ Indirect: Slow, indirect cooking on a grill at low temperature (200-250° F) while making provisions to avoid moisture loss. See our Smoking Tips.
Fry: Cooking by immersing coated/battered meat into hot oil.
Steam: Cooking in a covered pan with about 1/2" of water over medium heat. Steam the sausage at a low simmer (not a boil) until cooked.