When tasked to gather barbecue venison recipes from Outdoor Channel stars, I had to stop and ask myself this question: What exactly is barbecue? The responses I received from the stars were expected – a variety of delicious recipes that would encompass grilling, smoking, slow cooking and lots of barbecue sauce.
I have always used the term “barbeque” loosely, though I would never admit that to a pitmaster. And, depending on my mood and the day of the week, I might spell it differently, too. So there was my dilemma. What is barbecue? Is it only reserved for Southern barbecue, the method of cooking meat slowly over indirect heat? Is it anything that involves smoke? Is it all-encompassing to include anything cooked over a fire and outside? Can one simply pour barbecue sauce on meat and call it barbecue? And what about those Aussies who are always throwing “shrimp on the barbie?”
Some in the Carolinas insist that the term “barbecue” may only apply to pork. If that were true then it would obviously throw this whole post out the window.
Thankfully, research saved me. “Barbecue Defined” by Meathead Goldwyn, professional food writer, judge and “Barbecue whisperer,” is a lengthy yet entertaining article.
“Cut out the snobbery and get your facts straight,” Goldwyn wrote. “Barbecue around the world is far too complex and wonderful to be oversimplified … Barbecue is a big word that encompasses grilling and many cooking methods.” It is also a smoky flavor achieved by the act of barbecuing or using a sweet, ketchup-based sauce.
“[It] is the oldest cooking method probably first practiced by Homo erectus in Europe, Asia, or Africa. These proto humans threw meat onto hot coals.”
Ah – throwing meat onto hot coals. There is no cooking method as ancient and primitive, just as there are few human experiences as primal and fundamental as hunting. The first meat barbecued was no doubt wild.
So turn up the fire, and kick off your weekend and the 2015 hunting season with these tasty barbecue venison recipes from the Outdoor Channel stars.
Smoked Venison Sriracha BBQ Ribs with Celery Root Slaw
Recipe by Gregg Ritz, Hunt Masters
Inspired by wild game chef Chris “Koz” Kozlowski, of Orchard Street Chop Shop in New Hampshire, this venison BBQ rib recipe is used by “Hunt Masters” TV show host Gregg Ritz. (Photo courtesy of Gregg Ritz)
- 5 pounds of venison Ribs
- Venison seasoning blend (see below)
- 1 cup of apple wood shavings
- 1 Sriracha barbecue sauce recipe (see below)
- 1 celery root slaw recipe (see below)
Venison Seasoning Blend:
- 1/2 cup of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup of black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
Method: Mix spices and sprinkle heavily on meat.
Sriracha BBQ Sauce:
- 3 sheets of bacon
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons of garlic, chopped
- 2 quarts of ketchup
- 2 cups Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 quart of molasses
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 quart of Sriracha
Render bacon and add onions and garlic, sauté until soft. Add all remaining ingredients, except Sriracha and simmer on low for 2 hours, adding water, if needed. Add Sriracha 5 minutes before pulling it off the stove. Makes approximately 5 quarts.
Celery Root Slaw
- 8 pounds of celery root
- 3 carrots
- 2 1/2 cups of mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 cups of cider vinegar
- Celery Seeds, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- White pepper, to taste
- Onion powder, to taste
- Dill, to taste
Shred vegetables on mandolin. Mix seasoning and liquids. Add vegetables and mix thoroughly. Makes approximately 1 gallon.
- Season venison well with seasoning blend. If you have time, wrap the ribs and let the seasoning sit overnight.
- Heat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap ribs and place in smoker, adding wood shavings periodically. Smoke for approximately 2 hours then remove from smoker. Take some BBQ sauce and water down with about 25 percent water, and then spread liberally over ribs. Wrap tightly with foil and place back in the smoker for 4 more hours.
- When time is up, pull ribs out of the smoker and check for doneness. Meat should be falling off the bone. Put some celery root slaw on the plate, then cut and slice ribs and lay on top. Lather with hot Sriracha BBQ sauce.
Crush BBQ Buck Burger
Recipe by Lee & Tiffany Lakosky, Crush
A culinary masterpiece, the Crush BBQ Buck Burger is one of Lee and Tiffany’s favorite venison recipes. (Photo courtesy of Lee and Tiffany Lakosky)
- Ground Venison
- Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 onion, sliced
- Applewood-smoked bacon
- BBQ sauce
- Pretzel roll
- Salt and pepper
- In a bowl, combine ground venison and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce. Mix with salt and pepper. Grill to taste and top with Monterey Jack cheese until melted.
- In a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven, top bacon slices with a drizzle of maple syrup and black cracked pepper. Bake until crispy.
- Meanwhile, in a pan over high heat, caramelize one sliced onion in butter until soft and browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble all onto a warm pretzel roll. Top with additional BBQ sauce and enjoy!
Slow-cooked Elk Roast
Recipe by David and Karin Holder, Raised Hunting
When they have it available, David and Karin Holder, of “Raised Hunting,” like to slow cook elk roast. (Photo courtesy of David and Karin Holder)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours (depending on size of the roast)
- Elk roast
- 2 cups of water
- Soy sauce, to taste
- Teriyaki sauce, to taste
- BBQ sauce
- Place roast (frozen or thawed) in slow cooker. Add 2 cups water. Add soy and teriyaki sauce to add a little flavor. I don't measure; I just use instinct here on the amount needed. Cook roast for 2-3 hours in the slow cooker.
- Remove roast from slow cooker and trim off any fat. Slice roast to desired thickness and pour BBQ sauce over.
Mountain Man Venison Ribs
Recipe by Laramy “Sasquatch” Miller, Sasquatch Mountain Man
Here is a BBQ recipe mountain-man style!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
- 1 rack of venison ribs
- 2 tablespoons of garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons of ground sage
- 2 tablespoons of black pepper
- 1/2 cup of room temperature butter
- Aluminum foil
- 1 bag of charcoal
- Dig a pit in the ground approximately 2ft x 2ft x 3ft deep. Empty the bag of charcoal into the hole and light.
- Coat the rack of ribs with soft butter. Mix garlic salt, ground sage and black pepper together in a bowl, then rub generously on the ribs and wrap them in aluminum foil at least twice. The ribs should not be exposed.
- By now your charcoal should be ready (the briquettes should be white). Remove half of the briquettes and place them outside the pit. Place the ribs fat side down on top of the coals. Carefully place the remaining briquettes evenly on top of the ribs. Fill in the pit with ground and let cook for 3-4 hours. After, carefully dig up the ribs, and you are ready for a mountain man-size feast.
Mrs. Marsha’s Teriyaki
Recipe by Michael Hunsucker, Heartland Bowhunter
This is actually a recipe from a family friend, Marsha Flynn from Central Dakota Lodge, an outfit that we hunt with in North Dakota. I use this for any wild game: deer, duck, goose, etc.
- Bacon slices
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of water
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Half a small onion
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (or fresh)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger powder
- Except the venison and bacon, place all other ingredients in a blender and barely puree until mixed. Experiment with fresh ginger if you have it. I also use fresh garlic whenever possible. Taste the marinade periodically while mixing. Once, I added mustard, but couldn’t tell if it made a big difference. If you don’t have a blender, then chop onion and garlic by hand.
- Cut the venison into chunks. Place all marinade ingredients in a sealable plastic bag and marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, but preferably 24 hours. You could also save some marinade and drizzle it over meat after cooking.
- Soak your toothpicks in water for 30 minutes. Cut bacon into halves or thirds and wrap around the venison chunks and secure with a toothpick. Grill it over a medium to medium-high heat, and watch it carefully. The bacon will flame, but it sears beautifully. Drizzle reserved marinade over the meat, if you have it. If using this marinade for duck, take the duck off at medium, still a little red, or it will be too dry.
Recipe by Mark Drury, THIRTEEN
Serve while hot and you will find the flavor is literally amazing! To my taste it's the best venison that I've ever eaten! Enjoy!
- Venison (tenderloin, loin or steaks)
- Dale’s Seasoning marinade (Original or Reduced Sodium)
- Start with any amount of venison; it could be backstraps, inside tenders or steaks. Any steak thickness will work, but I've had my best results with steaks cut to about 2 inches in thickness. I leave the inside tenders whole, however. Make sure to remove any tendons or fatty material. Soak in water 12-24 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times.
- Marinate your venison in Dale’s Original Seasoning or Dale’s Reduced Sodium Seasoning for 4 hours.
- Pre-heat a smoker to 215 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the meat on a rack and smoke to an internal meat temperature of 165 to 175 degrees. Depending on the amount of meat you are smoking, this usually takes 60-90 minutes. I use cherry wood for the first 30 to 45 minutes with heavy smoke and then just allow the meat to finish out to temperature.
Recipe by Keith Mark, Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventure
This is a great way to use deer meat. We also make this same recipe in a loaf pan and bake in 350-degree oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes as a meatloaf. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds of ground venison
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 2 slices bread (cut into pieces without crust)
- 1/2 cup of Heinz 57 sauce (or favorite BBQ sauce)
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Shape into 6 to 8 patties. Cook on grill for approximately 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Brown the buns on grill, too.
MeatEater Venison Ribs
By Steven Rinella
Grilled MeatEater Venison Ribs (Photo courtesy of “Game & Fish”)
Here’s the best way I’ve ever found to do venison ribs, a cut of meat that is often underutilized or simply ground into sausage meat. It’s based on a recipe stolen from Steven Raichlen’s very excellent The Barbecue Bible, though my brother Matt added a couple of key steps to make it the perfect preparation for summertime wild game grilling.
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
For preparation and cooking instructions, please visit the Game & Fish website.
South Carolina BBQ Sauce
By Hank Shaw
(Photo courtesy of "Petersen’s Hunting")
My favorite BBQ sauce comes from South Carolina. It’s a yellow, mustard-based sauce that is made of 100 percent awesome. Even if you are a partisan of other styles of barbecue, give this one a go. You might be surprised.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 onion, grated
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard (the kind you get at the ballpark)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard (like Coleman’s)
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- Salt to taste
For more sauces and marinades, please visit Petersen’s Hunting.