How to Cook Venison Ribs

Raw venison meat marinated in spices
Venison ribs sit in a bowl with a dry rub on them. (Image: Kondor83/iStock/Getty Images)

Deer ribs often get discarded because hunters don't know how to cook them. The ribs are large and have a lot of connective tissue. The ribs are also very lean, but brining or marinating adds needed moisture. Venison is a good source of niacin, iron, vitamins B12, B6 and riboflavin. It is also lower in fat than beef and has higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats.

Marinating the Ribs

Step 1

Trim the ribs of fat and membranes.

Step 2

Slice through the ribs with a hacksaw, cutting them into 3 strips of ribs. Cut each strip into pieces of three or four ribs each.

Step 3

Prepare a brine using 1 cup each of sugar and salt per 1 gallon of water. Heat the water until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add herbs and spices, such as whole peppercorns, mustard seeds, fresh or dried thyme, oregano and rosemary, to flavor the brine. Chill the brine in the refrigerator. Alternately, use a venison marinade recipe made from apple cider vinegar, orange juice or lime juice. Flavor it with dried oregano, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. If you to parboil the ribs before cooking, skip the marinating step and season the ribs after boiling.

Step 4

Cover the venison ribs in brine or marinade. Soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the ribs from the brine and rinse off the salt. Pat them dry with paper towels.

Oven Roasting

Step 1

Place the ribs in a roasting pan. Season them with salt and pepper to taste and rub them with vegetable oil or melted butter. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the ribs with the roaster lid or foil.

Step 2

Bake the ribs for 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices or melted butter.

Step 3

Increase the heat to 400 F and remove the lid or foil when the ribs are tender. Roast at 400 F until nicely browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Pressure-Cooking Venison Ribs

Step 1

Place the rib portions in the pressure cooker with just enough water to cover them.

Step 2

Close the pressure cooker and heat it until a steady stream of steam escapes. Place the weight on the pressure cooker and cook at 10 to 15 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Bring the pressure down quickly, following your manufacturer's instructions. Remove the ribs from the cooker and allow them to cool.

Step 4

Rub the ribs with your favorite dry rub mixture or coat them with barbecue sauce. Grill or broil them at high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the ribs and sauce begin to brown.

Parboiling and Grilling Venison Ribs

Step 1

Cover the ribs pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer the ribs for 1 hour.

Step 2

Heat the grill to medium-high heat.

Step 3

Coat the ribs with dry rub or barbecue sauce. Grill the ribs for approximately 20 minutes, turning once, until the ribs are browned.

Slow-Cooker Venison Ribs

Step 1

Parboil the ribs covered in water for 30 minutes to remove as much fat as possible.

Step 2

Place the ribs in the slow-cooker and cover them with a commercial barbecue sauce or a flavorful liquid such as apple cider or beer.

Step 3

Cook the ribs on the high setting for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Step 4

Remove the ribs from the slow-cooker. If you cooked them in a liquid other than barbecue sauce, season them with salt and pepper or a dry rub. Place them on a broiler pan under high heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the ribs and sauce are lightly browned, turning once.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw

  • Salt and sugar

  • Water

  • Spices and herbs

  • Roasting pan

  • Paper towels

  • Ground pepper

  • Vegetable oil or melted butter

  • Basting brush

  • Meat thermometer

Tip

Venison meat can appear pink inside even when it is cooked properly. Use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature has reached 160 F if there is any doubt. Ribs become fork tender at temperatures around 180 F.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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