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Over 50 of the Best Venison Recipes

Venison is such versatile and healthy meat. It’s much leaner than beef and is a great alternative for red meat in any recipe. I’ve gathered 50 of the best venison recipes to inspire you to use this delicious meat. 

Historically, “venison” meant any wild game meats, today it’s used mainly to mean the meat from antlered animals such as deer, elk, caribou and moose. It’s important to know that the meat from each of these animals will taste a little different, even though it’s all called venison.

venison stew in a red dutch oven on table

Where to get venison

Hunting season for deer (and other antlered animals) is the late fall and winter. Each state has it’s own regulations for hunting, so before you go out and try to get your own deer (even on your own property) make sure you’re aware of and are following your state laws. 

If you’re not a hunting family but know others who are, let them know that you’d be willing to take any extra venison off their hands. Sometimes hunters need to thin the deer population on their property and need to harvest more than their family needs. It’s a blessing to them when someone is willing to take the meat.

In some states, it’s possible to purchase venison from specialty butcher shops and online but most don’t allow the commercial sale venison. While Texas doesn’t allow the sale of whitetail deer meat, it does allow the sale of non-native venison that has been ranch raised.

venison jerky pieces on wooden cutting board

Tips for Cooking Venison

As a general rule, venison is much leaner than beef and there are a few things to know if you’re not experienced cooking venison. 

  • Remove all visible fat. Much of the gamey flavor in venison is in the fat, so removing the fat will give you more mild flavor. If your making something that needs more fat, like venison sausage, add pork fat to the mix.
  • Don’t overcook or cook at temperatures above 375 F. The short fibers in wild game meat will get tough. Venison is best served medium-rare with an internal temperature of about 135 degree Fahrenheit
  • Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking.
  • Oil the meat not the pan. Brush meat with oil before putting it in the pan. 
  • Baste very lean cuts with fat while cooking. Covering with bacon strips acts a a self-baster. 
  • When stir-frying, keep the meat moving to avoid overcooking.
  • After cooking let venison rest for 15 minutes to let the juices disperse evenly. Be sure to cover the meat while it rests.
  • Canning is a great way to preserve venison because the meat turns out super tender once cooked under pressure. There’s a whole chapter on canning wild game in my book, Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond.

Delicious Venison Recipes

There are so many different ways of cooking venison! You'll love these delicious easy venison recipes for ground venison, venison backstrap, venison steak and much more!

Venison Preserving Recipes

Freezing isn't the only way to preserve venison. Venison is fantastic when canned and dried as jerky.

Venison Backstrap and Tenderloin Recipes

Venison backstrap is super versatile; it can be grilled, wrapped in bacon, or even cooked in a skillet on the stovetop.

Venison Roast and Steak Recipes

Slow cooker venison roast or on the grill you can't go wrong with venison roasts and steaks. 

Venison Stew Recipes

Venison is most tender when it's cooked low and slow, which makes it a great stew addition. Just add a loaf of crusty bread and you'll have a classic comfort food for cold nights.

Ground Venison Recipes

Ground venison is super versatile, you can make anything from tasty burgers to delicious stroganoff with it.

What is your favorite way to prepare venison?

collage of venison steak, canned venison, venison stew, and venison jerky

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