The Best Ways to Cook Deer Back Straps

The backstrap of a deer makes a tender, healthy and delicious meal. Grilling, broiling and roasting backstrap are some of the best ways to prepare this cut of meat. If you don't enjoy the "gamey" flavor of this meat, try a venison backstrap marinade and soak your meat overnight.

The backstrap off a deer makes a tender, healthy and delicious meal. (Image: Максим Крысанов/iStock/GettyImages)

Grill It Up

Backstrap is best when it's been grilled, due to the combination of the lean, firm meat and the distinctive grilled flavor. Backstrap can be grilled over gas, charcoal or wood. Preparation is simple and starts with removing any fat or membrane from the meat, then rinsing the meat under cold water.

Next, slice the meat lengthwise into three strips, and season it with your favorite spices. Salt, black pepper and garlic powder are best if you want to keep it simple and bring out the flavor of the meat without losing any of that unique venison flavor.

If you're concerned about carcinogens that can occur with grilling, consider marinating your venison first. This helps limit the formation of carcinogens, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Broil Butterflied Backstrap

If you don't have access to a grill or the weather does not permit grilling, broil backstrap in your oven. While you won't get the grilled taste, you will still get the blackened edges and a slightly crispy crust on the meat, depending on how long you leave it in the oven. Remove any fat or membrane from the meat, then rinse the meat under cold water.

This method involves making a butterfly cut, which is done by slicing the backstrap against the grain, into 2-inch slices, then cutting each piece down the middle without going completely through. Leave 1/4-inch uncut, and unfold the pieces.

Brush with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Broil the meat for six minutes on each side, flipping the meat and brushing it again with olive oil halfway through. This will cook the meat medium rare, so check it and cook it longer if you prefer your meat medium or well done.

Roast in a Saucepan

Roasting in a saucepan works best if you want to cook the venison with a sauce or broth. After removing fat or membrane and rinsing the meat under cold water, season it and slice it into chunks, sear it in a saucepan on top of the stove, then cook it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continue roasting until the meat's internal temperature is a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, which requires approximately 20 to 25 minutes per pound of meat. While the meat is cooling, use the same pan and the venison drippings to create a sauce to pour over the backstrap.

Marinate to Mask "Gamey" Flavor

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, marinating your venison is a good way to cover up its "gamey" taste. If you're looking for a simple method, but don't want to sacrifice flavor, use your venison backstrap marinade shortly before grilling.

Use your favorite seasoning mix, and cut the meat into strips or chunks. Marinate the strips for at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator, then grill the backstrap to your liking.

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