Grilling Wild Game Meat

Grilling Game Meats

The grilling of meat is "in our genes". The smell of smoke and grilling meat evokes deep-seated perceptions of hunger fulfilled. Grilled meats are very positively perceived as menu items. Lean game meats must be grilled with more care than domesticated fatty meats. There is less tolerance for overcooking. In all cases, grill only inherently tender cuts and do not cook beyond medium rare. With reasonable care, grilled game meats can become an important part of your menu.

If you are cooking any lean meat on a grill, it is wise to lightly brush or spray each side of the meat with your choice of cooking oil. Since there is almost no fat in these meats, there may be a tendency for them to stick to the grill.

We recommend cooking our venison to a rare or medium-rare temperature on a medium-hot grill.

Venison Medallions or Filets

These must be grilled with careful attention to grilling time. Depending upon the thickness, they should be left over the heat for a very short time and should be served immediately after grilling. If left to "rest", the muscle fibers will gradually firm up and the meat will be less tender. Marination of the medallions or filets prior to grilling will add important moisture to the meat as well as flavors. Coating them with oil will prevent sticking to the grill. Try to avoid turning more than once to prevent toughening of the meat.

Grilling Whole Muscles

One of the best ways to prepare game meat for more than one portion is to grill a whole muscle which is then allowed to "rest' for a few minutes and then sliced thinly and fanned out on the plate for presentation. For a medium-rare center, the meat should be removed from the grill when the internal temperature has reached 120° F. This will rise to about 130° F as the meat "rests". Grilling whole muscles also has the advantage of having a longer "holding time" than grilled individual filets. Marination can also be used, allowing a longer time for the marinade to penetrate the muscle.


Many of our customers combine filets or sliced meats with sausages for a "mixed grill". The different textures and flavorings provide a pleasing combination. Grill our sausages over medium heat until the juices just start to emerge from the casing. Our smoked sausages are fully cooked and only need to be heated through. Our other sausages are not fully cooked and require care to be sure they reach a safe internal temperature before they are removed from the heat. If desired, the sausages can be brushed with a sauce shortly before removing from the grill.

Hamburger Patties

The exception to the medium-rare recommendation is our venison hamburger patties. We recommend that venison and antelope patties be cooked closer to medium temperature. A little pink is still safe and will actually produce a juicier burger, while overcooking will produce a dry burger. Patties should be cooked over a medium-hot fire for about 5 minutes per side.