Smoked Venison Roast

Smoked Venison Roast

Since deer season is now open here in Missouri, I thought I’d do a smoked venison roast on my Weber kettle grill to demonstrate how you can turn out some top-notch roast deer with basic equipment which most everyone has.

First we need to build a brine. If you don’t know what a brine is, let me explain. A brine is not a marinade. It may seem like a similar technique, however there is one huge difference. A marinade uses an acid to tenderize and flavor the meat. A brine on the other hand uses a strong salt/sugar solution to push moisture and flavor into the meat by way of diffusion and osmosis. To make a brine, you’ll need a large non-reactive stock pot, like stainless steel and enough space in your refrigerator for this pot to set for about 24 hours, a gallon of water and some other very simple ingredients. Here’s my Oakridge BBQ Venison Brine recipe:

Put one quart of the water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients to the hot water and stir to combine completely. Once the brine powder/bbq sauce/rub are fully dissolved, pour the mixture into the remaining 3 quarts of COLD water which should be in your large non-reactive stock pot. Let this mixture cool fully in the refrigerator before you add the meat. Since I had two roasts, I doubled the recipe.  (Click on thumbnails to see larger image)

Now, we need to get our deer roasts out and trim them up. For this, I am using a Sirloin roast and a Sirloin Tip roast. I let them thaw out in the fridge for about 4 days before I started this project.  You want to try to remove as much fat and connective tissue as you can.  Remove any thick sinewy silver skin, however the thin sliver skin is OK to leave on.  You can score it with a sharp knife if you like.

Thawed Deer Roasts:

Smoked Venison Roast

Trimmed Deer Roasts:

Smoked Venison Roast

Once you trim them all up, carefully drop them into your brine, cover with a tight fitting lid, and place them back in the fridge. Let them set in the fridge for 24-48 hours, no less and no more.

Smoked Venison Roast

After time is up, your roasts will look like this.  Set a baking rack inside a sheet pan and dust them liberally with Oakridge BBQ Venison rub while you get the fire ready.

Smoked Venison Roast
Smoked Venison Roast

I always use 100% hardwood lump charcoal with white oak and hickory chunks in my Weber kettle and never use lighter fluid to start it. A charcoal chimney and a wad of newspaper is all you really need, but I like to use my turkey burner to kick things up a notch…

Set your grill up so that the coals are on the sides and put a drip pan in the middle. Weber calls this the “Indirect Method.” You’ll only need about half a basket of coals on each side.  If you use too much, you’ll burn you meat.  After you’ve lit your charcoal well and dumped it into each basket, place about 3-4 chunks of white oak and hickory on top of the coals.  Do not pre-soak them!  You want them to coal up and not smolder.  You’re shooting for a grill temp of between 350-400 degrees.  Any cooler and you’re roasts won’t turn out right.  For an average sized deer roast, plan on about an hour to an hour and a half total cooking time.

Put your roasts right in the middle on the rack above the drip pan and close the lid, and leave it closed. If you have a remote probe digital thermometer, put it in and let it tell you when they’re done.

Smoked Venison Roast

Once the roasts reach your desired internal temperature (I shot for 140*), take them off the grill.  Do not overcook them.  Venison becomes very dry if overcooked, and don’t forget about carryover cooking, as your roasts will climb an additional 5 degrees on average AFTER you remove them from the grill.  Once removed from the grill, wrap in several layers of plastic wrap and let them rest for a minimum of ONE HOUR. Then, if you must eat them right away, dig in. Otherwise, it’s actually best to chill them overnight in the fridge before you slice them. This helps the meat to draw juices back into itself and firm up so you can make nice clean and thin slices.  After an overnight chill, your roasts should look like this:

Smoked Venison Roast
Smoked Venison Roast

And will slice up like this…

Smoked Venison Roast
Smoked Venison Roast

Time to dig in and enjoy.  Could somebody please pass me the horseradish?…

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13 Responses to Smoked Venison Roast

  1. Saturday I read all the instruction on how to prepare and cook my two deer roasts ( both big…one at 4 lbs and the other at 5.5 lbs. ) I had plans to also smoke my 14lb beef brisket. Being the rebel that I am, I didn’t use the brine. Instead, I rubbed the deer roasts liberally with my rub, then took several large slivers of the fat I trimmed off the brisket, sliced at least 4 deep slits across the top of the deer roasts, jammed the fat deep into those slits, and pinned them in place with tooth picks. To finish, I sprinkled a bit more rub on top.
    I cooked them along with the brisket at 225 for six hours, then removed and wrapped all three roasts tightly in foil after I added a broth made of unsalted beef broth, Worchestershire sauce, and some barbecue sauce. I finished in the oven at 225 until the deer roasts internal temp reached 145 and the brisket, 190.
    That deer roast came out absolutely perfect!!! Super moisture, texture, and deep flavor! No brine needed!!! 🙂 Total cook time for all three roasts was 12 hours.

  2. Bob says:

    Wife bought me an electric smoker, have two back straps, ordered your rub but not here yet, can’t fine a recipe for the temp for the smoker. As you know, the straps are tapered so I don’t want to dry them out, could use my weber but want to learn the technic of smoking. Any suggestions on temp and approx. time.

    • Hi Bob, my favorite way to prepare venison back straps is to grill them over indirect heat at a higher temp (around 325º-375º). I think they turn out much better when cooked at a higher pit temperature than typical smoking temps (225º-250º). But, regardless of pit temp, you never want to overcook them. Venison backstraps are best served medium rare, finished to an internal temp between 120º-125º, then rested under a tent of aluminum foil for 15 minutes before serving.

  3. OakridgeBBQ says:

    Yes, it can be done that way. However, I like the results from the hotter/faster cook better. Try to ramp up your temps as high as you can and you'll be fine.

  4. OakridgeBBQ says:

    Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I should be able to smoke this at 225 degrees till the internal temp gets to 140 right? It would just take longer.. I just made a smoker (~250 is it's max temp), have never smoked before, and am going to do this recipe with two deer roasts I have in the freezer..

    • I did just this very thing Saturday/Sunday! I also cooked my brisket at the same time! Trim up your brisket first and save some of the thin slivers you get off of it…cut three or four deep slits across the top of those roasts and jam that fat down into it. Apply your rub and then take larger pieces of your brisket trimmings and drape and pin with toothpicks or wrap with string. I cooked mine along with my brisket…a six hour cook on the smoker and then finished in the oven and removed when the internal temp reached 145-150. When you transfer the roast to your indoor oven, make sure you wrap the roasts tightly with foil and add a broth ( unsalted Beef broth will do! ) Keep that oven temp at 225. My roast came out competition perfect!!!

  6. Greg says:

    This tastes awesome and is so easy. I used a cookshack electric smoker with 2 oz of apple wood. Removed roast at 140 degrees, wrapped in saran wrap and promptly placed in fridge overnight. Tastes better than any high quality london broil I have eaten! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Greg says:

    I made this last weekend and it turned out awesome. I only have an electric cookshack smoker so I used that with 2oz of Apple wood and smoked to 140 degrees – roast was 1.5-2 pounds. I swear this tastes better than any high quality london broil I have ever had and its so easy to make. Highly recommended!

  8. BBQ Smoker says:

    I really love to eat Venison. And the regarding way of the exotic recipe really makes me crazy about it. As the features about how to roast Venison. The existing one by one information and regarding pictures are awesomely looking just great to understand this one. Thanks for sharing some of classy features in the same source. It's truly exceptional.

  9. Oakridge BBQ says:

    Thanks for commenting! Be sure to stop back by and let us know how they turned out!


  10. Kemp says:

    I appreciate you posting this. It sounds very easy to do based on your description and pictures. Two roasts are coming soon and this might be a good solution in getting one of them cooked. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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