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Need Help: Grilling Deer for Thanksgiving

Talk about Steven's television show, Primal Grill
Post Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:07 am
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
We received this e-mail recently from L.I., and hope the Barbecue Board can give him its collective advice. We recommended marinating the deer with olive oil, wine, juniper berries and other aromatics, and asked him to consider cutting the hind leg into two parts so the thinner end could be taken off the grill before the thicker end.

"Hi Steven: To add some diversity to our family Thanksgiving meal I've been assigned to cook deer meat. This is my first time and I'm not sure if I should grill, bake or smoke it. It is a hind leg with bone in that weighs about 20lbs. I know it's important to not dry out the meat while cooking, also I want the meat to have a lot of flavor. Please help me convince those first time tasters of deer meat at our dinner that wild game is great!"

What do you, think, Board?

Post Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:40 pm
bajamike560 well done
well done

Posts: 359
Location: Vancouver WA
Not cooking that large of piece of game meat myself I agree with what was said about prep. Not knowing what the person has to work with, this is how I would cook it. On my big chargriller I would get it HOT, probably 300 to 325 or so and try and keep it around there, with the lower half seperated of course.
Some kind of brine or injection with the oil blend stated before.
Have 2 or more temp probes to keep an eye on it.

OR cook it on a spit and controll the heat that way and baste it when needed,
like Steve did with the whole pig.
I like #2 idea myself IF he has the equipment to do so.

Mike

Post Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:50 am
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Like the spit-roasting idea a lot, Mike. Neither Steven nor I have much experience with game, though we do have a repertoire of flavors we like to use when we do come by a piece. Juniper berries are one of our go-to things for rubs and marinades. Also, we always assume the meat is going to be on the lean side,
and if based on actively-used muscles, tougher. So larding, injecting, bacon drapes, brining--those are good tricks to have in your bag. This advice does not always hold for game birds, though: wild duck and goose are incredibly fatty.
(Pheasant is not.)

Post Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:08 am
bajamike560 well done
well done

Posts: 359
Location: Vancouver WA
We have cooked "game" meat in the past. Bear, elk, mt goat etc but has been on the camp chef in the wood's in a cast iron skillet, mostley to go with the potatoes, egg's and mixed veg etc for breakfast. :D Or a stew or chili with dutch oven cornbread. Sorry, a bit off topic...

Mike

Post Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:18 am
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Yum! Will take you on my next camping trip. Just bought a Dutch oven, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Nancy Lou

Post Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:14 am
bajamike560 well done
well done

Posts: 359
Location: Vancouver WA
Nancy Lou wrote:
Yum! Will take you on my next camping trip. Just bought a Dutch oven, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Nancy Lou

You and anyother's are more than welcome anytime if you are in the PNW spring or fall time.
Really we are not just "camping". We also have a desert race car (baja 1000 type) that we go out and play; test and tune in the central Oregon desert area.
AND we like to eat. My friend Bruce (co-driver and smoking buddy) set's up his hunting camp's better than most mid range hotel's, even a warm shower :!:
This weekend we are cooking for about 20 or so at the game in Oregon (duck's and beavers) I do not follow sport's, just there to cook and make people happy.

Mike

Post Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:18 am
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
You sound like guys who know how to eat well and have fun! :D
Thanks for the invitation. Am sure your tailgating party this weekend will be da bomb!!!

Nancy Lou

CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5823
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Nancy Lou wrote:
We received this e-mail recently from L.I., and hope the Barbecue Board can give him its collective advice. We recommended marinating the deer with olive oil, wine, juniper berries and other aromatics, and asked him to consider cutting the hind leg into two parts so the thinner end could be taken off the grill before the thicker end.

"Hi Steven: To add some diversity to our family Thanksgiving meal I've been assigned to cook deer meat. This is my first time and I'm not sure if I should grill, bake or smoke it. It is a hind leg with bone in that weighs about 20lbs. I know it's important to not dry out the meat while cooking, also I want the meat to have a lot of flavor. Please help me convince those first time tasters of deer meat at our dinner that wild game is great!"

What do you, think, Board?


Yup - that's about right.

I've also rubbed a deer leg roast without marinating (using Steven's Lone Star Rub recipe), tossed it in the Outlaw at 325°F (with the help of a few small charcoal baskets in the MC), and smoke-roasted it with nothing much else. A rotisserie works even better with this technique.

It all depends on the deer. Some I've had are quite gamey, while others have a bit of a sweet taste that reminds me of grass-fed beef. Sometimes I'll cut a small steak off the roast and grill it for testing before the big roast even gets marinated, because this will often give you an idea of how gamey the finished product might be.

I'll let you know if I come up with anything else. My brother-in-law came back with 3 decent bucks last week. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:18 pm
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Living in suburban Ohio, I have never really had access to game meats (unless you count the deer that jumped on the hood of my car but then ran off, unharmed).
But my Minnesota relatives used to bring deer meat to family gatherings. I agree it could be really gamey. Great idea to cook a sample first and then adjust your marinade accordingly.

P.S. Your line--"scorched and naked"--always makes me laugh! :D

Post Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:53 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5823
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Nancy Lou wrote:
Living in suburban Ohio, I have never really had access to game meats (unless you count the deer that jumped on the hood of my car but then ran off, unharmed).
But my Minnesota relatives used to bring deer meat to family gatherings. I agree it could be really gamey. Great idea to cook a sample first and then adjust your marinade accordingly.

P.S. Your line--"scorched and naked"--always makes me laugh! :D


I got that off some article years ago - don't remember where, but I still love the line. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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