A good venison chops recipe will minimize the toughness and gaminess of the deer meat. If you find your venison chops are too gamey or tough, you can follow this guide to enjoy flavorful deer chops on the grill or in the oven.
Venison Chops Recipe Tips
Deer are a popular game animal. Their diets are a lot different than that of cattle and chicken, where farmers can control what they eat. As a result, deer meat is often more gamey than commercial meats.
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To help reduce the gamey flavor in the meat, the University of Minnesota has the following tips when preparing venison meat for baking, grilling or cooking in general:
- don't overcook the venison
- use fat when cooking, particularly on leaner cuts of meat
- serve the venison very hot or very cold
- baste the venison when cooking in the stove or on the grill
- use strong spices and herbs to help mask the flavor, such as rosemary or thyme
- use a marinade to add flavor and help tenderize the meat
- tenderize the meat with a tenderizer, or by cutting small slits in the meat
- remove any remaining hairs from the meat
If you follow those steps, the deer meat will have better flavor, be more tender and not get as tough when you are baking the venison in the oven. However, you may want to consider getting a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches a safe level without overcooking the meat.
Safety When Cooking Venison
Like other meats, you need to make sure you cook your venison thoroughly. This means you need to make sure the internal temperature reaches a certain level. According to the USDA, venison chops should reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This cooks the chops to a medium-rare doneness.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends following standard food safety measures to help keep you safe. The four steps you should take when handling venison include:
- thoroughly wash your hands, and all surfaces that come in contact with the venison meat
- keep the venison separate from other ingredients until it is ready to bake
- whether you do deer chops on the grill or venison chops in oven, make sure to cook it to a minimum of 145 F
- refrigerate cooked chops immediately following a meal and keep uncooked meat chilled
Finally, the CDC has issued a warning to hunters and their families about a disease called brucellosi. Brucellosi is a bacterial infection common in wild game meat, such as deer. A person can get brucellosi from handling raw meat from deer, or from other animals killed in the wild. The CDC recommends following safe field dressing rules when harvesting deer, and that you cook the meat thoroughly before eating.
Venison Chops Recipe
Venison chops in the oven are relatively easy to make. For best results, you should use a marinade that adds flavor, fat and acid to tenderize the meat.
When preparing the venison chops, start with your favorite marinade. This can be a homemade marinade or store bought. In general, the stronger the marinade's flavors, the better it is for the chops.
Once you pick the marinade, place the venison chops in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the chops and cover the bowl with either a towel, plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Finally, place the chops in the refrigerator overnight.
When you are ready to make the chops, preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove the chops from the marinade and discard the remaining sauce. Spray a cookie tray with non-stick spray, and place the chops on the tray, leaving some space between them.
Finally, place the venison chops in the oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the venison chops reach 145 F internal temperature.
Remove the chops from the oven and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving. You can serve the chops with rice, a salad or other side dishes.
- University of Minnesota: "Cooking Venison for Flavor and Safety"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):"Four Steps (Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill) to Food Safety"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Hunters Risks"
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): "Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart"
- foodnetwork.com: Venison