How to Use Venison In Your Favorite Recipes

Not everyone grew up learning how to cook venison, and the idea of cooking venison can seem intimidating. Don't be afraid! It's easy if you understand a few simple differences between cooking venison and other much fatter red meats.

Low Fat Content

The only real difference is the lack of fat. This gives venison a tendency to "dry out" quicker as there is no grease in the meat to baste it as it cooks. As the cook, you simply ensure that the natural moisture of the meat is not lost by using moist cooking methods and not overcooking the meat.

As a rule of thumb, you can substitute Broken Arrow Ranch venison in almost any of your favorite beef, lamb, or pork recipes.

Dry Cooking Methods - For Tender Cuts

If the recipe uses a "dry" cooking method (grilling, broiling, etc.) you should reduce the cooking time, cook the meat less well done than you might otherwise, and baste the meat while cooking.

Venison has no "marbling" (streaks of fat separating the meat fibres) so it does not seem as tender as fatty beef. In fact, lean beef without the marbling is less tender than venison. The secret to tender venison is proper cooking. If it is a choice cut of venison that is naturally tender (the loin or choice leg cuts) the best cooking method is broiling, grilling, or sautéing rapidly to cook the outer surface while leaving the interior rare to medium-rare. Sliced across the grain, it will be tender and juicy.

Never expose sliced venison (or even whole roasts) to the drying effect of air for very long. Venison should be sliced immediately before serving. Leaving it sliced on a platter for even a few minutes can allow it to dry out. If necessary to slice it in advance, cover it with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.

Moist Cooking Methods - For Less Tender Cuts

If the recipe uses a "moist" cooking method (stewing, braising, boiling, etc.) simply follow the recipe as written.

A less tender cut (roasts, stew meat, or round steaks) should be cooked long and slowly using a moist cooking method. If you stew or braise venison and it's not tender, it's just not cooked long enough. Allow more cooking time than you might expect to allow the meat to tenderize. Cooked adequately, the meat will be fork tender every time.