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36 responses to “Grilled Venison Loin”

  1. steve

    Hank, I read your blog all the time, have your book, and respect your opinions very much. However, we part company on this issue.

    The venison back strap is pure meat-eater’s joy when prepared on the grill. I agree with the oil, salt, and maybe pepper, but just a little bit.

    But I cannot figure out what on earth you would do with that Barbeque sauce? Put it on French Fries?

    Anyone who comes near my backstrap with steak sauce, barbecue, ketchup, or anything of the like risks severe injury!


    Keep up the good work!

  2. Sofya

    Hey Hank, I do this fairly frequently (that is, until we run out of backstraps). At butchering time and I cut mine into 6″-sections (good size for my family). It used to be that we made butterfly steaks of it at butchering time, but I didn’t like it. I now progressed to keeping as many pieces as whole as possible and deal with the fine cutting later, at cooking time, depending on what I want to do. Like you, I grill it or I also sometimes pan-sear it and then finish in the oven. My favorite way to serve is with herb butter. However, I’ve also at other times cut backstrap horizontally in half (making two flat pieces) because we do prefer all of our meat at least medium, and so it would cook faster.

  3. Sofya

    To be quite honest, I also can’t imagine barbecue sauce in this context, because I like the fresh, wild taste of meat, pure and simple. It is very common for us to grill one at the butchering party (where the whole extended family does anywhere between 8 and 12 deer in one evening a few days after the big 3-day deer camp, which I don’t participate in by the way except coming up on a Sunday afternoon, gotta give the guys time to be themselves – but at least I don’t go shopping either as other deer-hunting widows, just hunt elsewhere the opening day).

  4. Tammi

    Not everyone likes that gamey taste, so BBQ’s, Ketchup and other stuff comes in handy…….Especially with kids. I’m just sayin’. Don’t go judgin’ others. Just cause you like it one way, doesn’t mean everyone else has to.

  5. Andrew

    My wife is Brasilian, and those guys are expert on the barbeque (which doesn’t carry well into Canada, land of the charbroiled burger nuggets drowned in sauce, because Canada thinks it has good barbeque and good game cookery, which it doesn’t).

    The way they do meat like this is basically exactly how you describe it, except they cake the exterior with rock salt, then partially cook it around the sides like you do, then knock much of the salt off and slice it before finishing it on a hot grill. No sauces, just vinegary salads that suit it just lovely. And beer, of course.

    I find if I do that over a fire of hardwood, then shut the barbeque, starving all the flame and forcing it into a smolder, I get an absolutely killer result.

  6. steve

    Andrew – try that same rock salt routine with a pork loin – just don’t slice it right away.

    I do use a thermometer – but stop at 140. By the time you rest it a bit it goes right up to the required 145. It is hard to wait!

    And, as odd as this sounds, when I was totally out of ‘good’ hardwoods, I used some dry corn cobs – they worked well, just be careful of flaming embers if it is windy – another good reason to smother by cover at the finish.

    In the interests of civility, I admit to allowing barbeque sauce if it’s only pork….

  7. Feathers to Fur

    Now you’re talking, Hank! You know there the hill-man ( I refuse to be called a hillbilly. I’m from California, Damnit!) will never let go of my true love for grilled food! And back strap. Wow! I still haven’t made your bbq sauce recipe, but it’s happening soon. I hope you’re having a blast on the current leg of your book tour. I’ll look forward to duck hunting with you with when you get home.


  8. Sydney Debtson

    Hi Andrew. I think you’re absolutely right concerning the Brazilians amazing barbeque mastery. The meat that they slice, slightly raw, they name it “picanha”. Wonderfully tasty, best with beer or even better with “caipirinha”, a strong distilled spirit produced straight from cane juice, served with lime and crushed ice. But I guess you’ve already know that.
    But all in all, I guess, not sure, that they’ve learned the art of barbeque with the portuguese; last year will traveling up north in Portugal, we were invited to dinner «costeleta barrosã», a huge beef chop, tasty to the bone. Served with vegetables. But, this time, no beer or caiprinha, we drunk an exquisite Douro red wine.
    Sydney Debtson

  9. Aaron

    sounds good I do this alot instead of BBQ, I use equal parts of butter,soy sauce, and brown sugar all melted together.

  10. Dina

    Hmm… I wonder if this would work with kangaroo loin? (It’s like extremely lean beef…)

  11. Christina

    Cripes! That looks gorgeous, and as far as the BBQ sauce contention goes, I’ll try most anything once, why not? Beautifully cooked loin, Hank….I may cry 😉

  12. Peter Arnold

    Thursday noon before the afternoon flight of dove season openers our host grilled over mesquite the back strap off a muley that must have been the size of a hippo. Wow! Wow! Right up there in flavor with the best of wild duck mixed with beef. . I gave him a copy of your book, Hank.

  13. Andrew

    Steve —

    Did the rock salt on a pork loin. Very interesting result: the pork had enough water in it that the salt, while sitting above a smoky fire, solidified into a crust. I don’t think a drop of moisture dropped from the loin, and all of the juice was sealed in. Medium/low heat. The meat was incredibly moist and tender, with a nice rind on it. Really good. I cooked it over very dead and very dry diamond willow.

  14. Sprigs of Rosemary

    I have truly grown to love venison, of any stripe, cooked any way, but, of course, the backstrap, simply cooked, is my favorite. Last fall, one in our hunting group was so excited to share the bounty of his first deer in a long time, that he allowed us all to share in the backstrap, cooked on sticks over a fire. A wonderful memory.

  15. Richard

    Venison loin grilled with BBQ sauce features high in our BBQ summer days (when we get them) and for the potato side, Oven baked Jacket Potato as we call them in UK, which is the whole potato with the skin on baked in the oven, or you can wrap it in lots of foil and put on a BBQ grill

    A side of sweetcorn and salad…hmmm. Grilled venison obviously a lot more tender than beef but so much more juicy and flavoursome…

  16. dad tweed

    wow!!! That venison heart recipe is GREAT.. Even though my BBQ was having trouble getting up to temp, it turned out better than anything I’ve eaten in I don’t know how long. AMAZING!!!


    Rick Tweed
    Shelton, Wash.

  17. Debra

    1 Comment and 2 questions
    BBQ sauce goes great on a side of cooked greens

    Is the purpose of the salt coating on the pork loin to keep the moisture in? And does this make the meat really salty?

  18. Kris

    Hank, while loading up my freezer with this years deer, I uncovered a back loin from 2(gasp, how did this happen?) years ago. What would you do with this, if anything? It is vaccum sealed.

  19. Steven C

    Followed this recipe except the BBQ sauce and I used a local meat seasoning plus the olive oil and salt. WOW! Both my wife and I couldn’t believe the flavor. Absolutely mouth watering. I’ve forwarded this site to a few hunting buddies, thanks for sharing.

  20. Aaron Catlett

    WOW! Amazing recipe! We were worried how it would turn out, but end result was a mouth-watering, tender, juicy tenderloin that even our children (each under ages 5) enjoyed! Can’t wait to share this meal with other family and friends!! Thanks for posting

  21. The Sunday Night Eat Local Report | AnnieRie Unplugged

    […] I did a dry rub with RubJoeMeat. I can’t explain it. Read it on their web site if you really want to know. Trust me, though, it is a great rub for beef and for venison. I found the recipe to use for the tenderloin here. […]

  22. Co-Inky-Dinks (or Coincidences) | AnnieRie Unplugged

    […] publication tweets coming fast and furious. Just in time to see a blog I have used to find venison recipes win the individual blog award. Hank Shaw writes this blog. You should check it […]

  23. Jesse

    Thank you so much Hank Aaron Shaw. This was my first time grilling Venison and it turned out awesome. Observers were commenting that I should do this or do that but I stuck to your instructions and I wasn’t disappointed. Even more important, my wife loved it. The only modification I made was to sprinkle and rub in rock salt like I have seen my good friends the brazilians do.

    Thanks Again for publishing this. And the finger test is astoundingly accurate.

    Jesse Rhodes

  24. Zachary Adler

    This was amazing, the hardest part was letting it sit in the tin foil after taking it off the grill! The smell was amazing. Definitely worth the wait however!


  25. James Reynolds

    Just an observation on butchering that I’ve found helps with this recipe. I noticed that when cooking a whole backstrap the rear end (bigger end) always seems to dry out. I never could get the entire loin to come out “good” at each end. Now I half the loins and package the smaller ends together and the larger ends together. It makes the cooking much easier to regulate.

    Just an idea.


  26. Friday Morning Mashup 5/2/2014 ‹ Wired To Hunt

    […] Grilled Venison Loin Recipe – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook: I tried this method for grilling a venison loin, and it turned out great! You can’t go wrong with any of Hank Shaw’s recipes. […]

  27. Patrick Mauney

    I have been grilling whole chunks of game for a number of years. I say chunks cause parts of the ham can be delicious grilled whole as well. I usually marinate the meat in yoshidas gourmet sauce or some kind of teriyaki. The flavor is subtle and complements the wild game flavor. Otherwise I like to coat with herbs, sesame seeds, crushed peppercorns and oil to form a nice crust. Love this blog, great tips.

  28. Seth Alford

    Probably the best way I’ve had tenderloin period. Haha. Did exactly how you said and my wife are nothing but. Lol. Thanks for the post. Found the way we’ll be doing tenderloin from now on.

  29. The Autumn Harvest: How To Store and Cook With Winter Squash (plus recipes) | Ready Nutrition

    […] Stuffed with mushrooms, wild rice, and apple sausage, they pair perfectly with this recipe for Grilled Venison Loin from my favorite game chef, Hank Shaw, over at the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.  Trying to […]

  30. Charles Waldorf

    Made this tonight and I have to say it’s my favorite venison recipe yet. Thank you!

  31. Darrin Gulla

    Could my beef tenderloin approach work?

    Oil, S/P, Herbs d’Provence grilled

  32. Luke

    Made this for Christmas and it was excellent! Brushed a Chipotle Cherry Sauce on it that charred black while cooking. It worried me at first but the burnt crust on the outside of the meat tasted awesome with the juicy inside. Can’t wait to make it again. Will any of the muscles on the hind quarter of a deer have the same tenderness when cooked this way?

  33. Nicole

    Thanks Hank for this awesome article and recipe. We’ve dusted off the Weber in January just to try this one 🙂

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