In our last blog, we recommended an excellent recipe for a basic, but very popular, venison brine. But making a brine is just the beginning of the overall process. You still have one more step, which is to actually cook your meat!
And as mentioned in our previous blog, tasting venison out of the smoker is one of the best ways to enjoy its unique and rich flavors. So continue reading to learn some important tips for smoking deer meat.
Ending the Brining Process
It is best to leave your venison in the brine for at least 12 hours, but no longer than 24. After that time, the salt has done its job and the seasonings have integrated into the muscle tissues. But prior to ending the long brining process, begin your culinary endeavor a few hours before by soaking your wood chips. You will need to soak 1 pound of wood chips in water for one to two hours.
For deer meat, you can use almost any common variety wood chip. It depends on your personal flavor preferences. See our blog, “Various Wood Chip Options for Smoking Meat” to review the common flavor profiles of the most popular woods. Hickory is a common choice for smoking venison. Although it can be a bit pungent with its strong, smoky taste, it ends up accenting the meat with flavors of bacon or cured ham.
After you remove the venison from the brine solution, rinse it thoroughly with water. Next, pat your cut of meat dry with a paper towel, and then season it any way you like. You can use a rub, baste, or paste!
Preparing the Smoker
After your wood chips have soaked in water for a couple of hours, you can prepare your smoker grill. Start by filling up the water pan and the wood chip box. For electric smokers, go ahead and set the temperature and allow it to heat up. For all other smoker grills, you want to achieve a consistent temperature between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add your venison to the smoker, and cook for roughly 1.5 hours per pound, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to check the water pan and wood chip box every 30 minutes to see if they need topping off.
If your smoker begins to get too hot, open the vent partly to allow a steady temperature drop. If the smoker is not hot enough, it may help to add coals to a charcoal smoker. If you are using an electric smoker, you will not likely have temperature regulation problems.
When your venison is done cooking, remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before cutting it open. Then simply enjoy the delectable flavors of smoked deer meat!
Need a Smoker?
See our blog, “Top-Rated and Recommended Pellet Smokers on the Market” for a list of highly-reviewed pellet smokers for sale. Here are some additional popular smoker grills for sale on Amazon that are well-suited for hearty game like venison: