Discover the delectable art of grilling venison backstrap to perfection with our easy-to-follow guide and savor the mouthwatering flavors of this lean, tender meat.
As the weather warms up, it’s time to fire up the grill and try something new. If you’re a fan of game meat, then venison backstrap is a must-try on your grilling menu.
It’s lean, tender, and packed with flavor that will leave your taste buds wanting more. But how do you grill this prized cut to perfection? In this article, we’ll share our expert tips on how to grill venison backstrap like a pro.
So grab your apron and let’s get started!
Selecting the Right Venison Backstrap
When it comes to grilling venison backstrap, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial. The backstrap runs along the spine and is a long, cylindrical muscle that’s prized for its tenderness and flavor.
When choosing your venison backstrap, look for a piece that’s deep red in color with little to no visible fat or connective tissue.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to wild game meat, make sure you know where it came from and how it was handled before purchasing. Venison should be harvested ethically and processed properly by a reputable butcher.
For those who don’t hunt or have access to wild game meat, farm-raised venison can also be found at specialty markets or online retailers. Just make sure you choose high-quality cuts from trusted sources.
Cleaning and Trimming the Backstrap
This step is crucial as any remaining silver skin or fat can affect the texture and flavor of your meat.
Start by rinsing the backstrap under cold water to remove any debris or blood. Then, pat dry with paper towels.
Next, use a sharp knife to carefully remove any visible silver skin from both sides of the meat. Silver skin is a thin layer of connective tissue that can be tough when cooked and should be removed for optimal tenderness.
Trim off excess fat as well but leave some on for added flavor during cooking. Be sure not to over-trim as this will result in dry meat.
Marinades and Dry Rub Ideas
Marinades are a mixture of acidic liquids, oils, herbs, and spices that help tenderize meat while adding extra flavors. On the other hand, dry rubs are a blend of seasonings that you apply directly onto your meat before grilling.
When it comes to marinating venison backstrap, keep in mind that this cut is already tender and flavorful on its own. Therefore you don’t want to overpower it with strong marinade flavors.
A simple combination like olive oil with garlic powder or soy sauce with honey can do wonders for enhancing its natural taste.
If you prefer using dry rubs instead, try mixing together some salt (preferably kosher), black pepper (freshly ground), paprika (smoked if possible) along with any other herbs or spices according to your preference such as thyme leaves or cumin powder.
Prepping Your Grill
Start by preheating your grill to a medium-high heat of around 375-400°F. This will ensure that the backstrap cooks evenly and develops a nice sear on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside.
Next, use a wire brush or scraper to remove any leftover debris from previous grilling sessions. You can also use an onion cut in half with tongs as an alternative cleaning method.
Once your grill is clean, lightly oil the grate using vegetable oil or non-stick spray to prevent sticking and help achieve those beautiful char marks we all love.
Grilling Techniques for Venison
Grilling is a great way to cook venison as it imparts a smoky flavor and creates those beautiful grill marks that make for an impressive presentation. However, grilling can also be tricky as the lean meat can easily dry out if overcooked.
To avoid this, start by heating up your grill on high heat and oiling the grates with some vegetable oil or cooking spray. Then place the backstrap on the hot grill at an angle of 45 degrees from direct heat source for about 2-3 minutes per side until seared nicely.
Next step is moving them away from direct heat source (indirect zone) where they will continue cooking without burning or drying out too quickly until reaching desired doneness level which should take around another 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of cut and temperature preference.
Remember not to flip them too often – once every few minutes should suffice – so that they develop a nice crust while retaining their juiciness inside.
Monitoring Cooking Time and Temperature
Venison is a lean meat that can easily dry out if overcooked, so keeping an eye on the internal temperature is crucial. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness – medium-rare should be around 130-135°F (54-57°C), while medium should be around 140-145°F (60-63°C).
Avoid cutting into the backstrap too often as this will release juices and dry out the meat. Instead, use tongs or a spatula to gently press down on it – if there’s some give but still feels firm, then it’s likely done.
Remember that cooking times may vary depending on factors such as thickness of cut or outdoor temperatures. It’s always better to rely more heavily upon checking internal temperatures than relying solely upon cook times in recipes.
Overcooking can result in a tough, dry texture, while undercooking can lead to health risks. So how do you determine when your venison backstrap is cooked just right?
The best way is by using an instant-read meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching any bone or fat.
For medium-rare doneness, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C). For medium doneness, aim for 140-145°F (60-63°C), and for well-done doneness, aim for 160°F (71°C) or higher.
If you prefer not to use a thermometer, there are other ways to check if your venison backstrap is done cooking. One method involves pressing on the center of the meat with tongs or a spatula – it should feel firm but still have some give in it if it’s rare; slightly firmer but still yielding if it’s medium-rare; even firmer with less give as you move towards well-done.
Proper Resting and Slicing Techniques
This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensures that every bite is juicy and flavorful.
To properly rest your grilled venison backstrap, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil or a clean kitchen towel for about 10 minutes.
This will allow time for the internal temperature of the meat to stabilize while keeping its warmth.
When you’re ready to slice, use a sharp knife at an angle against the grain of each piece of meat. Cutting against rather than parallel with muscle fibers makes sure that each slice remains tender instead of chewy.
How to Serve Grilled Venison Backstrap
This will help ensure that each bite is tender and juicy. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil or a pat of butter on top for added richness.
Another great way to serve grilled venison backstrap is with a side dish that complements its bold flavor. Roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes are an excellent choice as they bring out the natural sweetness in the meat.
If you’re looking for something lighter, try serving your grilled venison backstrap over a bed of fresh greens with some sliced avocado or cherry tomatoes on top. The acidity from these ingredients helps balance out the rich flavors in the meat.
Delicious Side Dishes
When it comes to venison backstrap, there are plenty of options that will enhance its natural flavors and make your taste buds sing.
One classic pairing for venison is roasted root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. These veggies add a touch of sweetness that balances out the gamey flavor of the meat perfectly.
Another great option is a fresh green salad with tangy vinaigrette dressing or a creamy potato salad with bacon bits. Both sides provide contrasting textures and flavors that pair well with grilled meats.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try grilling up some seasonal vegetables like zucchini or eggplant alongside your backstrap for an extra burst of smoky flavor.
Wine Choices for Venison
A full-bodied red wine is an excellent choice for grilled venison backstrap. Look for wines with bold tannins and deep fruit flavors like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Malbec.
If you prefer a lighter red wine, Pinot Noir can also be an excellent option as it has earthy undertones that pair well with game meats. If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing your grilled venison backstrap with a spicy Zinfandel or even a fruity Merlot.
Remember to serve your chosen bottle at room temperature and let it breathe before serving alongside your perfectly grilled venison backstrap.
Storage Tips for Leftovers
Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality and safety of your food. To store leftover venison backstrap, let it cool down first before placing it in an airtight container or wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap.
You can keep the meat in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze it for longer storage.
When reheating leftover venison backstrap, make sure to do so thoroughly until heated through and steaming hot (165°F). Avoid reheating more than once as this increases the risk of bacterial growth.
By following these simple tips on storing leftovers properly, you can enjoy your grilled venison backstrap even after its initial serving without compromising its taste and quality.
What is the best way to cook deer backstraps?
The best way to cook deer backstraps is to place them on a hot grill, cook for 3-5 minutes per side, and remove when the internal temperature is 125-130 degrees, then let rest for 5 minutes for juices to reconstitute.
How long do you cook backstrap of a deer?
To cook a deer backstrap, grill it for approximately 5 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 120-135°F and then let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Should you soak deer backstrap before cooking?
Yes, you can soak deer backstrap in buttermilk before cooking to reduce the gamey flavor, draw out blood, and tenderize the meat.
What temperature do you cook venison backstrap to?
Cook venison backstrap to your desired doneness level: 125°F for rare, 130°F for medium-rare, and 135°F for medium.
What marinades or seasonings work well for enhancing the flavor of venison backstrap?
Marinades or seasonings that work well for enhancing the flavor of venison backstrap include red wine, olive oil, various herbs, garlic, and onion.
Are there any specific grilling techniques to ensure the tenderness of the deer backstrap?
Marinate the deer backstrap before grilling and use indirect heat, turning it occasionally, to ensure tenderness.
What are some side dishes or sauces that pair well with grilled venison backstrap?
Some suitable side dishes and sauces for grilled venison backstrap include roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and red wine reduction or berry-based sauce.