Grilling Deer? Once You Burn, There’s No Return!

Many years ago during a cookout with family members, I pretty much stood over the grill to make sure my steak didn’t end up looking like the sole of a worn-out hunting boot.

Once you put your venison on the grill, don't overcook it!

Once you put your venison on the grill, don’t overcook it!

Fortunately, the host shared my desire for a marbled ribeye the way they’re supposed to be prepared: seared on the outside and red in the middle. That’s how I like it. That’s how steaks and such are supposed to be eaten. Similar for ducks and geese, too. Talk with any chef worth his or her salt and they’ll agree.

A steak, whether it’s beef, venison, buffalo, zebra, whale or whatever, isn’t supposed to be grilled to gray, autopsy-slab nastiness. During the aforementioned cookout, one guest exclaimed at how “that meat isn’t cooked!” and should be returned to the grill. I stated that my ribeye was perfect and she could continue eating her gray, dry steak without worrying about mine.

Here’s the thing about grilling meat: You always can throw something back on the grill to continue cooking but you can never “un-grill” something.

Secrets, Preparation Tips and Outstanding Venison Recipes, All In One Collection!

Leave some venison steaks or loins on for 2-3 extra minutes? You may end up with a boot heel. Forget about them while you’re having another beer? The charred nastiness isn’t even fit for the dog. Decide to help make a salad while the venison-cheddar brats are on the fire? Noooo!

Medium-rare doesn’t mean still-beating-heart raw. Some folks tend to skew toward the latter, barely waving a match under both sides of a steak before diving in with the fork and knife. I like a good sear on each side, though, just a few minutes at the most before flipping, and then a nice, red, warm middle with all the great venison flavor we love.

As Scott Leysath says, “Don’t overcook it.” And those are good words to grill by.

Give this super venison steak recipe a try. It’s from Buddy Shaw and in our popular “We Kill It We Grill It” cookbook available in

Portobello Mushroom and Goat Cheese Venison Burger Steak

1 pound venison burger
4 large portobello mushrooms
1 package spreadable goat cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh crushed black pepper
Favorite steak or hamburger seasoning

Place burger in a bowl with sea salt, black pepper and garlic. Blend with hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed through the burger. Form into four patties. Cut mushroom down the stem as far as possible. With a spoon, gently scrape the gills from each mushroom until all that is left is the cap. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese inside the cap, being careful to not split the sides. Place the burger patties inside the mushroom caps, tucking the edges of the burgers inside.

Cook on the grill, mushroom-side down, over low heat. While grilling, season the burger side with seasoning. When juices from the burger begin to seep to the top, flip gently and cook the burger side. When the meat is finished, place on a plate and spread another thin layer of goat cheese on top. Eat with a fork and knife just as you would a steak.

DDH_20140301Cover_113x152Don’t miss another tasty recipe of the month where you’ll find ideas on smoked meat, venison jerky, and so much more. Subscribe to Deer & Deer Hunting for monthly venison recipes, the best big buck stories, complete gear reviews, and exclusive whitetail deer hunting tips. Click here to subscribe.