View Full Version : How to reduce the gamey taste in deer meat

09-24-2008, 12:59 PM
Guys, I have a wild game cookoff this weekend. It's a local thing for the rec department. One entry is a deer meat category. I need a quick sure fired way to kill that gammy taste prior to cooking the meat. I plan on cooking some back strap sections. What would you do to get rid of some of that wild taste? Marinade? Inject?

BBQ Grail
09-24-2008, 01:02 PM
Isn't taking the gamey taste out of game like trying to take the chicken taste out of chicken? Not a smart alec question...

09-24-2008, 01:22 PM
In my opinion, the wild/gamey taste in venison comes from the fat. You shouldnt have a lot of fat on a backstrap, maybe a little silver skin which I would remove. Remove all the fat you can if there is any present. I try to lean my deer meat out as much as possible as I am butchering, before it goes into the freezer. I would marinate with a soy sauce/ powdered ginger mixture for a few hours, then rub with quality salt/ pepper before grilling. Good luck.

09-24-2008, 01:30 PM
I havent' had deer meat in a loooooong time. Seems I remember folks saying something about marinating the meat in milk.

09-24-2008, 01:36 PM
I havent' had deer meat in a loooooong time. Seems I remember folks saying something about marinating the meat in milk.

I've heard buttermilk. Will soak up the gamey taste and even help tenderize. As far as marinating, how bout injecting or even using a vac seal bag with the marinade in it and then removing all the air so that it really absorbs it all in.

09-24-2008, 01:44 PM
I've used buttermilk, and it can help. How are you planning to cook the meat? That might help in getting some more options.

Bbq Bubba
09-24-2008, 02:09 PM
Stop shooting swamp deer......

09-24-2008, 02:11 PM
I have used thick strips of bacon wrapped around the deer and slow smoked for 12-14 hours to get rid of the gameness

09-24-2008, 02:33 PM
My wife was raised "up north" where they eat venison a lot. She always soaks it in milk. I don't think it's necessary for back straps though. As stated earlier, just remove the silver skin and the rest is very lean.

09-24-2008, 02:55 PM
I wouldn't do squat to marinate venison back strap. It's damn fine as it comes.

09-24-2008, 03:17 PM
what tn bbq said soak it in milk

09-24-2008, 03:54 PM
i plan on cooking on my BGE, using the indirect method, at a higher temp.

09-24-2008, 04:05 PM
I've used Sprite/7-UP with good results.....soak 5-6 hours, then season

09-24-2008, 04:07 PM
i plan on cooking on my BGE, using the indirect method, at a higher temp.

going plain huh? Good!

09-24-2008, 04:18 PM
any alegro product, but alegro 'game tame' is probobly the best. they also have a hickory marinade.i have used all their products with great results when i used to have to trick the wife and kids into eating wild game.

09-24-2008, 04:24 PM
We were discussing this at work this morning, but for wild goat...I was told when you are seasoning it, ie" salt, pepper, garlic, add a little instant coffee grounds to the seasonings, the amount said was 1 tsp, but for how much meat? Sorry don't know, but I would guess about 3-5 lbs

09-24-2008, 04:28 PM
you can always render down some bacon and drizzle some oil into marinade...

capri man
09-24-2008, 08:18 PM
it depends on how the deer was killed. if he/she was run by dogs it will have a bad gamey taste caused by the adrenalin flowing through the deer's blood. if he/she is shot from a stand where he/she is not excited, there is a world of difference.

09-24-2008, 08:23 PM
use a cedar plank

throw away deer eat plank

09-24-2008, 08:24 PM
i've done this with good success - cut backstrap into about 1" strips, marinade in italian dressing over night (vinegar will help tame the game) , then dust with cayenne pepper, attach a strip or two of bacon and roll into a "pinwheel", run two soaked bamboo skewers at 90 degrees to each other all the way through to hold shape and bacon on, then grill over medium direct heat. They were great!

Smokin Turkey
09-24-2008, 08:28 PM
Might not work for the recipe you are using, but when I make a deer roast for the family who doesn't like deer, I can pass it off as beef when I soak it for 24 hours in french onion soup in the refridge. Seems that the onion removes or cancels the gamey taste.

09-24-2008, 09:51 PM
I found this recipe a while back that over 542 people had rated it 5 stars. It sounded good to me, but I haven't tried it yet.

Sweet Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin

clear stars

2 lbs venison tenderloins (a single deer loin or Moose or Elk or Pork or Beef)
1/2 lb bacon[/URL]
3 cups brown sugar (http://www.recipezaar.com/library/getentry.zsp?id=352)
2 cups soy sauce
1/4 cup white sugar[URL="http://www.recipezaar.com/library/getentry.zsp?id=139"] (http://www.recipezaar.com/library/getentry.zsp?id=473) (Optional for added Sweetness)


Mix brown Sugar and Soy sauce together in a bowl. They should combine nicely into a soupy soy liquid.
Put Deer Loin in a cooking tray and pour Brown Sugar/Soy Sauce mixture over loin. Roll tenderloin over in mixture, completely covering it.
Let meat marinate in mixture at least 3 hours or overnight in fridge. It's best to marinate for 8 hours if you have the time. Also GREAT to use a Food Saver or other Vacuum device to Vacuum pack/seal the meat with Marinade. With this method, you can achieve Overnight-level marinade in just a couple hours!
Remove loin from tray, and place on a slotted bake sheet with a drip pan or aluminum foil below to catch dripping. Don't throw away marinade.
Wrap a piece of bacon around the very end of the tenderloin, securing the bacon strip with a toothpick.
Repeat this process until the entire loin is wrapped in ten or so bacon "loops." The tenderloin should look like an arm with a bunch of wrist watches on it, the watches being the bacon strips.
Drizzle remaining marinade over deer loin. You can continue to baste the loin with the marinade throughout the cooking process with either a brush or a turkey baster.
OPTIONAL - with about 10 minutes of cooking time left, you can lightly dust the top of the loin with white sugar. This creates a sweet crust on top of the bacon. Might be too sweet for some. Try doing it on just HALF of the loin to see if you like it!

09-24-2008, 10:08 PM
Ive shot whitetail deer in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.
They call them swamp bucks for the most part and their diet is basically grass and pine needles.
Down where I hunt in the grain belt.......there is a huge difference in taste of the meat.
The deer eat corn, soybeans, acorns and ive seen them come in from the pasture with the cattle and eat out of cattle feeders.
The southern deer, when cutting/butchering them we remove all visible fat and silver skin. We would grab the loins and hit them with seasoned salt and slap them on the grill.
Very mild taste and darned fine eats .
I think the wild gamey taste is based on what they eat.
Good luck on what ever you decide and let us know how things turn out.

09-24-2008, 10:37 PM
My boss has been quartering the deer and putting it in one of the large ice chests covering it with ice and sits the chest over a floor drain with the drain of the chest open. He keeps fresh ice on top for about a week (and washes the drain daily) after a week the meat has ZERO gaminess. I thought he was nuts but that is the best deer meat I have ever had. Shoot my wife said she hated deer meat because of the taste (when she was a kid) I made chicken fried steaks out of some of the deer meat and didn't tell her what it was...... Now she asks " when does deer season start".



09-24-2008, 11:25 PM
I find having another beer will cure any flavor issues

09-25-2008, 12:16 AM
I have used this method on deer liver & it works great. Cover the meat on all sides with salt, large grain salt like Kosher salt is best. Let sit for an hour or so, rinse, repeat. The 'gamey' flavor is in the blood, the blood is drawn out by the salt. Easy peasy.


09-25-2008, 09:48 AM
use a cedar plank

throw away deer eat plank

That's a recipe for duck. :-D

Juggy D Beerman
09-25-2008, 10:01 AM
The gamey taste in venison can be due to a variety of reasons. One factor is diet. Another factor is how quickly the deer was killed. These previous two points have already been posted and I agree with their arguments.

The following point has been mentioned but not defended. The major factor is how the deer was handled after it was killed. The meat needs to be cooled quickly after the kill. Letting a deer hang for over ten hours in 60ºF or higher temp is a good way to get that gamey taste. You wouldn't let a hog or beef side hang overnight in warm weather after gutting it, why would you do this to a deer?

Deer fat will also have a gamey flavor. Trim all of this from the meat that you can. There isn't much fat on the back strap like there is on the hams and to a lesser extent, the shoulders, so this shouldn't be a problem. Make sure you trim all the silver skin you can from the outside of the loin roast. This is best done by getting the meat almost frozen and using a very sharp knife to remove the skin. This trick will keep you from cutting too much meat off the roast. This silver skin that surrounds muscle groups can be very tough. One of the thicker membranes is on the back strap.

I have had good success with this recipe that Qsis posted on the BBQ Forum years ago: http://www.bbqsearch.com/bbqboard/displayMessage.asp?id=192787&keywords=marinade

If I am using the recipe as a marinade, I follow the ingredients to the letter. You can marinate the roasts or steaks for as long as overnight.

When I use this recipe as an injection solution, I omit the vegetable oil. I make up the solution a day or two in advance so the flavors can meld. I then strain the solution so that the garlic, pepper and parsley do not clog the injecting needle. I use about an ounce of solution per pound of meat and let the meat rest for about four hours before cooking.

Reserve some of the solution for later. The rub I use on venison is a combination of brisket rub and Montreal Steak Seasoning.

One thing you do not want to do with either steaks or roasts is over cook the meat. Venison is best served medium rare or medium at its highest temperature. Anything over 155ºF is going to be dry and possibly chewy. If I am cooking slow, I will remove the roast at 145º. On a fast cook, I will remove the roast at 140º. The roast gets wrapped in foil and rest for about 20 minutes before slicing. Remember that reserved marinade? Heat some of this up and pour it into the foil before sealing it.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions feel free to ask.



09-25-2008, 12:14 PM
We always soaked ours overnight in vinegar/ water solution to get rid of the "gamey" taste. I kind of like the gamey taste though.