Why Cooking Your Venison ‘All the Way’ is a Terrible Idea

Venison burger from Venison Wisdom

You’ve had terrible meat before, right? Overcooked, gray, hard, tasteless hockey pucks that are hard to chew? Dry to the point of doing that tongue thing like Tom Hanks in “Big” when he tried caviar?

Yes. The answer is yes.

We all have had, at some point in our lives, terrible meat. The person cooking it might be the sweetest, kindest, nicest, give-you-the-shirt-off-their-back kind of person. But for whatever reason they either didn’t know how to cook or they believed all meat had to be cooked to the point of the aforementioned dry, tasteless, compressed pulpwood status.

Way back in the day I remember my sweet mother making liver and onions. She was a pretty good cook. But frying thinly-sliced liver wasn’t her forte. Ugh, it was gross. Drowning it with ketchup didn’t help. It just wasn’t good, because it was overcooked.

I’ve been told that I’m going to get a disease from eating meat that is red inside. I’ve been told that “medium rare” meat isn’t good for you. Have heard a litany of “Ugh, gross” comments when my steak or whatever is cut. I finally learned to just ignore them and let them enjoy their gray, gross, overcooked meat while I enjoyed mine.

To each his own, of course. I get that. But cooking wild game to the point of it being dry and gray? Well, you’re losing flavor and juices that make it better. Make mine medium rare, please. No sauce or ketchup required.

Sarah Olson, creator of The Magical Slow Cooker site, graciously agreed to share this Venison Chili recipe with us. Sounds great! Give it a try or use your Crock Pot or slow cooker to make your own.

Slow Cooker Venison Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: serves about 6


  • 1 pound ground venison
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Mccormick Chili Seasoning Packet
  • (1) 14 ounce can beef broth
  • (1) 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with jalapeños
  • (1) 15 ounce can black beans (drained)
  • (1) 15 ounce can kidney beans (drained)
  • (1) 6 ounce can tomato paste


  1. In a non-stick skillet set to medium heat brown the venison, while the meat is cooking season it with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and onion powder.
  2. Add the meat to the slow cooker.
  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Stir.
  5. Set the slow cooker to low for 8 hours.
  6. Ladle the chili in bowls, and top with cheese, and green onions, serve with cornbread.
  7. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker size
: 5 quart or larger