Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

If you’re a fan of a thick succulent steak, then don’t be shy, try venison steak. Much like any type of meat you plan to cook there are a few steps that you’ll have to memorize in order to create such perfection. But once you’ve got the grips of it you’ll be cooking this fine, gamey steak like a pro. Your family and friends will love it, and perhaps the next time you crave venison steak, you’ll cook it on open fire. A good marinade, followed by a very hot grill, pan or oven, plus not overcooking your meat, are the key elements in this process.

What Is Venison?

You may have heard of the delicious venison as a substitute to other meat and steaks, but are you wondering what Venison steak is exactly? Venison is a word referring to the meat which is usually the muscles and organs obtained from a deer. Like beef venison can be split into different categories like roast, sirloin, tenderloin and ribs. It can also be ground and cured to make venison sausages, burgers and jerky.

What Does Venison Taste Like?

When describing the taste and texture of venison meat, the words used are rich or earthy. Since the deer would have spent most of its life enjoying acorn, sage and herbs, you’ll find hints of those flavors scattered around the meat. Venison is also considered less juicy and succulent when compared to beef, but its smoother and firmer. Much like lamb, it responds well to minty, spicy and autumnal flavors.

What is the Best Way To Cook Venison Steak?

Venison steaks are best cooked to medium-rare and left on a covered plate to keep warm. Abandoning the steaks on the grill for too long to cook, or to keep them warm will result in very dry meat.

How Can You Tell When Venison Steak is Done?

Venison has a natural deep red color that is actually much darker than beef, so you can not rely on the color of the meat when assessing its doneness. Venison will appear strangely rare when its actually medium, and if it looks like a pink medium color then its actually well done.

Can You Cook Venison Steak in the Oven?

Normally venison steaks are best cooked over a grill or out in the open, beneath the stars and a thick venison steak hovering over an open flame. But for this recipe there are two requirements, first you’re going to need a heavy oven-proof pan, and a 1 inch thick cut venison steaks. Any thinner the steaks will cook so quickly that the meat will taste too dry, and we don’t want that.

Cooking Perfect Venison Steak in the Oven

  1. About an hour before you plan on eating, take your venison steak out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
  2. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven and set the temperature to 450° F
  3. Using a paper towel, blot any surface moisture and blood off of the steak. Rub both sides of the meat with canola or vegetable oil. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper over the venison steak, pressing the seasonings into the meat with your hand
  4. When the oven reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove the hot pan to a stove-top burner set to medium-high.
  5. Place the steak in the pan and sear one side quickly for no more than 30 seconds. Flip the steak and transfer the pan back to the oven. Cook for about 2 minutes per side for medium rare, but no longer than 3 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the steak to a plate. Let the meat rest for about five minutes before slicing. You can use this time to deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine, or stock to make a quick, and deliciously easy pan sauce.

There are many ways of cooking this type of gamey meat, each with a flavorful outcome that is enough to impress you and your family. There are lots of ways of cooking venison steak, you can coat the meat with a delicious marinade before cooking, so that the meat can emerge with potent flavors that’ll have you smacking your lips appreciatively. You can eat venison steak with your favorite meals, slip it into a cheese burger, have it with rice, make your favorite dipping sauce to go with it, the list goes on.

Marinating Venison Steak

When planning to marinate your venison steak it is important to choose an acidic marinade with bright flavours like vinegar or citrus. A perfect example of a good marinade is one that has plenty of red wine vinegar, lemon and salt. These 3 flavours not only work with the gamey flavours of the meat, toning it down attractively, but they also tenderise the meat and help to break down the some of the tissue so that its buttery soft after you cook it.

If you’re knew to eating venison meat, then you might want to ease into it, as it’s completely different from beef. So using a marinade can help with the flavors, and perhaps next time you’ll decide to cook fresh venison steak out in the open.

With venison steaks you’re going to want to marinate the meat for at least 3 hours, or overnight for best results. If you’re working with beautiful steaks from the tenderloin or loin/backstrap, you may not need a marinade if your meat is cooked to perfection. But if you’re familiar with deer steak, you don’t have to stick with a marinade, a little salt and pepper can go a long way!

How to Avoid Gamey Taste of Venison Steak?

Truthfully, the gamey flavor of the deer is a matter of opinion, Venison eats a variety of wild foods for its diet. It munches on grass and other wild edibles which simply enhances the flavors. Of course it is much different from grain-fed beef, but sometimes trying different meat is better. And the flavors of the venison steak can be enhanced with a few simple tricks. Here are a few effective ways to disguise the strong flavors of the meat:

  • Remove the silver skin and fat
  • Age the meat
  • Use a marinade

Remove the Silver Skin and Fat

To avoid the off putting flavors that some people complain of, you can remove the silver skin fat off of the meat. The more fat that is left behind, the more potent the flavors of the deer are going to be present. Sometimes the simplest way to make a venison steak is to sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, and toss it on the grill. Once you’re used to the flavors, you’ll love venison steak so much that you’ll be making it more often than beef.

Age the Meat

Another trick is to make sure the meat has aged properly, let the meat hang out in the open, allow the air to circulate around the meat for 18 to 21 days, but you must make sure that the temperature remains between 34 to 37 degrees. A great way to do this is by placing your venison meat inside a walk-in cooler, or spare fridge, of course if this isn’t possible then you can tenderize your meat with water, salt and lots of seasonings, bearing in mind that this won’t age your venison.

Use a Marinade

Marinate your venison steak in a marinade, which will give the proteins a bit of time to denature which helps with the flavors. It can also enhance the flavors of the steak, removing the off-putting textures and flavors that are unpleasant to others.

Marinated Venison Recipe

To add lots of great flavour to the venison, try this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 4 – 4 ounce venison steaks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Aminos or soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Dollop of butter

Method

  1. Whisk together olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, coconut aminos, garlic, black pepper, thyme, and parsley in a bowl lined with a paper towel, this will absorb any old blood whilst your venison steak defrosts, and creates a more palatable taste.
  2. If you’re marinating your steak, add your venison to a zip-top bag or a bowl with a lid. Also make sure that your steaks are cut 1 inch thick, but this method can work with a thinner cut steak, just make sure you alter the cooking time.
  3. Pour your marinade all over the steaks and make sure everything is coated. Marinate for at least 3 hours, but up to overnight for a really tender, flavorful steak. If you aren’t fond of the natural taste of venison then opt for a longer marinating time. The acid will develop the flavor so that its more pleasing to eat.
  4. Once you’re ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and let them come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before you cook, this will ensure even cooking.
  5. Pat the steaks dry, wiping off the marinade, but do not rinse them off. If you haven’t used a marinade, pat them very dry and season them all over with salt and pepper.
  6. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, about 400-500° F.
  7. With your marinated venison steaks, add them straight onto the grill and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Monitor the internal temperature of the steaks, you’ll need to pull them out of the grill once they reach 117-125° F, for a rare plus or medium-rare steak. It’s very important not to overcook venison.
  8. Once the steaks are cooked remove them from the heat at once, and let them rest for at least 10 minutes before serving or slicing.
  9. Season with some crystal salt, and black pepper, with a light squeeze of fresh lemon.

Szechuan Venison Steak Garlic Sesame Pak Choi and Rice Noodles

Let’s try an Asian dish with our Venison steak, by now you’re probably comfortable and in love with the gamey, earthy flavors that emanate from deer steak. Why not treat it like any other meat you’ve eaten and make a whole meal, combining different foods that’ll come together beautifully to create an extraordinary flavorful meal. Marinate the the venison steaks overnight with these delightful Asian flavors, and you’ll have yourself a quick meal to cook the next day.

Marinade Ingredients

  • 200 ml soy sauce
  • 50 ml sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 green or red chilli
  • 4 tablespoons of crushed Szechuan peppercorns

Main Dish Ingredients

  • 4x venison steaks
  • 2 heads pak choi
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice noodles (can be purchased pre-cooked)
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 50 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 50 ml light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

  1. Marinate the venison steak overnight in the marinade ingredients
  2. Take the steaks out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. Place a heavy bottomed griddle pan on the heat and allow it to get smoking hot.
  3. Wash the pak choi in cold water and drain.
  4. Cook the steaks on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes for rare and leave it on a warm plate to rest for 6 minutes
  5. Whilst the steaks are resting start to cook the pak choi: Heat a wok or frying pan over medium heat and add some sesame oil, add half a teaspoon of chopped garlic and ginger. Let it heat for a minute taking care that it doesn’t burn because it will go bitter. Add the pak choi and cook for a further minute or until its tender.
  6. Cook the noodles according to the packaging instructions and then drain. Once they’ve drained add salt and pepper, some sesame oil, chopped spring onion and coriander.
  7. Put the noodles and pak choi on a plate, slice the steak an serve on top with the dressing.

Can You Eat Deer Meat Right After You Kill it?

Fortunately for the deer meat hunters out there, you can eat it right after you’ve killed it. Start by cleaning the animal right away, skin it, cut it into major pieces and then put it into a fridge for a few days or up to a week.

Venison Burger Recipe

If you’ve recently caught a deer, and have a lot of it’s meat laying in your freezer, then you might want to experiment with all kinds of dishes to have with this rich, earthy meat. Venison is very lean meat, so mixing it with a bit of pork mince can give your burgers a bit of added juiciness that will make a delightful meal for you and your family.

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion
  • 300g of venison minced
  • 100g of pork mince
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • A handful of parsley leaves chopped
  • Groundnut oil
  • 4 thick slices of dolcelatte
  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of English Mustard
  • 2 handfuls of watercress
  • 4 toasted brioche-style buns

Method

  1. Peel the onion including the first layer, keeping it whole. Grate it on the rough side of a box grater. Squeeze out most of the onion juice and discard, then drop the pulp below.
  2. Add the venison, pork, Worcestershire sauce and parsley. Season really well then mix them together
  3. Form them into 4 burgers, flattening them out so that they are bigger than the buns, as they will shrink whilst cooking. Oil the burgers on both sides then season again, with lots of pepper.
  4. Heat a large heavy frying pan, add the burgers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Add the cheese to the top and cover it with a lid or baking sheet to create some steam and melt the cheese. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard and spread it over the bottom of the toasted buns. Add some water cress and top with a burger and a bun on top.

Serve this with your favourite French fries, or roast potatoes, for a tasty treat.

What Goes Well With Venison Steak?

Amongst the few foods that pair wonderfully with deer meat include sweet potatoes, without a doubt sweet potatoes will pair incredibly well with the meat. Carrots, baked beans, mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing, mushrooms, green beans or asparagus, cheesy broccoli or cauliflower.

Oh, Deer!

Venison steak cannot be compared to regular beef, because of it’s rich naturally rich flavors, marinating your meat before cooking it can help first time tryers to ease into the flavors and textures of the meat. And for feasts, try making your favorite sides to compliment the heartiness of this scrumptious steak.

FAQ’s

Can You Cook Venison Like Steak?

Venison steaks should be cut thicker than normal steaks (at least 1 inch thick) so that it can cook well without burning completely, eliminating its natural potent flavours.

How Do You Cook Venison So It’s Tender?

Grill the Venison steak over a hot fire to ensure that the meat is cooked quickly. Turn the steaks one time and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. This will ensure that the steaks are cooked no more than medium-rare, leaving them tender, with a pink juicy center.