All of that hard-earned venison shouldn’t just be saved for dinners and special occasions. Sometimes we forget that it makes great sandwiches — smoked venison being one of our all-time favorite sandwich stuffers.
Hot-smoking venison — much like you would a ham — is a great way to turn a chunk of venison into sliceable meat for sandwiches. The process starts with brining and finishes with hot-smoking the meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Brine Recipe and Smoking Techniques
Brining, also known as salting, is the process of curing meat in a bath containing highly concentrated salt. This process removes moisture from the meat and enhances curing, which will be completed by the heat and smoke to come. Here’s a classic brine recipe to get you started.
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 4 cups water
Combine all ingredients and whisk vigorously to dissolve and mix the solids. Make more brine as needed, in the proportion listed above. Cover the meat and soak in the refrigerator for 24 hours. It’s also good to inject brine directly into the meat on thicker cuts, where the brine just can’t soak all the way in on its own. Note: If you’re making a large quantity of brine, here is the ratio to use: 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup packed brown sugar per gallon of non-chlorinated water.
Position your smoker so that the bottom air vent is opposite the wind direction so that wind will not penetrate the unit. This will help maintain an even temperature.
Leave the top vent open during smoking to let steam rise and release from the unit. Enjoy!