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trza 12-30-2010 09:23 PM

Venison emergency!
A friend of mine asked me to smoke a few smallish hind quarters the other day. He gave them to me frozen solid, and given all the really cold weather I had it in a cooler and they were staying frozen just fine.

Over the past few days, the drain plug in my cooler loosened up and today's warm weather drained out the cold water. The meat is still fridge temp (38) but thawed out and I don't have the fridge or freezer space to store it. So I'm going to go ahead and smoke it tonight in the UDS with the picnic shoulder I was planning to do on new year's day.

Being short on research time, I'm hoping that you guys can give me an assist with my situation vs. digging through the forums as much as I normally would. In return, I will give you pr0n to look at. Sound like a deal?

Here's what I've got to work with:

2 hind quarters (bone in, est 8 lbs each)
2 layer UDS
Plenty of good lump (wicked good)
Hickory, cherry, and mesquite woods
A jar of Awesome Antler Rub from Sportsman's Table
Just about anything else in a standard kitchen
I also have some cool mustards from my wife's collection

I had originally planned to get some bacon and make a blanket for the venison, but I don't have any and the stores are closed. I hear that I could lard the meat with butter, but I am wondering if I could simulate bacon goodness by letting the fat from the picnic shoulder drip all over the venison? How about a water pan? I am worried about the venison drying out, especially when we're talking direct flame from the UDS.

I'm at a loss as to how long this might take to cook. What temp am I looking to hit, and about how long will it take?

Any other prep/cooking suggestions would be appreciated, as well.

Thanks for any help that you guys (and gals) can offer. I've never cooked venison before and I'm feeling a bit stressed about the situation.

rub it smoke it bbq 12-31-2010 07:24 AM

sounds like your on the right track!you can also wrap them through the cook, or you could play with one, inject it or maybe cut some slits in it and sprinkle rub in them put a little garlic or onion in the slits you honestly cant mess up unless you burn it oversmoke it, flavor on venison is a plus!!! good luck happy new years :-D

BBQNGA 12-31-2010 07:34 AM

My advice would be to get bacon on it ASAP, deer will dry out very quickly, cook it around 200-225 with an internal of 130. I like to rub mine in olive oil and whatever dry rub suits me at that moment, then drape with bacon, also I like to cut pockets and stick some bacon inside. Spray with apple juice every so often and it should work out

Cook 12-31-2010 08:20 AM

I would have just put ice in the cooler and cooked them on my original you time to obtain the proper ingredients.

I would not choose to lard with butter (maybe it's ok). I'd rather get a chunk'o fat, cut it, freeze it, and lard it properly.

trza 12-31-2010 02:38 PM

I'd like to thank everybody who offered a suggestion or sent me a PM on the matter. I just pulled the venison off the grill, so with the exception of cutting into the meat (it's resting), here's some pr0n for you...


Last night I started my picnic shoulder. With that out of the way, I could worry about the venison. I rubbed the non-skin side down with Butt Rub, while I prepared my pallet for today by drinking a big bottle of Chimay Cinq Cents. BTW - the floralness of the Chimay would compliment any chicken or turkey.
Pork Picnic Shoulder by trzarocks, on Flickr

This is the 2nd hind quarter that I had to deal with. I cut off all the skin, fat, and other gross stuff until I was as close to the meat as I could get without taking the meat off. I read that this will help to prevent gameyness.

Here's what they basically looked like once they were cleaned up. Sorry for the mess and blood in the pic.
Venison hind quarter trimmed up by trzarocks, on Flickr

I rubbed the deer meat down with the Sportsman's Paradise Awesome Antler Rub. It's got rosemary, lemon, salt, pepper, and garlic as the base flavors.

Given the mixed results on the butter question, I decided to go with injection. The basic mix was:

* About 1/2 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
* About 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 shot of Jim Beam Black

I prepped the UDS by using a drip pan full of water and a pale ale on the bottom rack. The top rack got the venison. Here they are, as they entered the drum:
Venison hind quarter goes in the smoker by trzarocks, on Flickr

Here is the meat as it was pulled off the UDS. Looks plenty moist to me, so the water pan/injection seem like a suitable way to keep your venison from drying out.
Venison hind quarters just off the smoker by trzarocks, on Flickr

Norm! 12-31-2010 03:43 PM

That looks delicious!

chambersuac 12-31-2010 03:50 PM

save a serving for me. Looks like you did great. Your friend should be very happy.

trza 12-31-2010 03:57 PM

I've got to roll out of the house, but wanted to give an assessment of how I did...

Overall,the flavor is really good. It's not gamey at all, but is a little stronger than say beef.

Some of the meat came out really mushy. It's definitely not over cooked, and it didn't look raw, either. Do you think that came as a result of the Jim Beam? I've never seen that in a venison injection so straying too far off others suggestions might have been the weak link in the equation.

I ended up with three gallon bags of product. One with bones, one with choice pieces,and then one of the mushier stuff. That way they can decide to use it for something else (chili or soup, perhaps?).

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