Tender, juicy, flavorful venison backstrap that is marinated then pan seared or grilled until nicely browned on the outside and lightly pink on the inside. Super easy to make, melt in your mouth venison recipe without the gamey taste!
Venison doesn't have to taste gamey! I love this venison backstrap recipe because the marinade adds so much flavor while helping to remove gamey flavor. After marinating, there are two great ways to cook backstrap: pan seared and oven finished or grilled. When cooked properly to the right internal temperature, venison backstrap is so tender and juicy. You're going to love it!
Venison Backstrap, Loin & tenderloin.
Venison backstrap is also known as venison loin and runs the length of the deer's back, along the spine.
Venison backstrap/loin are not the same cut of meat as venison tenderloin. Venison tenderloin is a cut of meat under the backstrap between the ribs and the rump.
Is venison backstop tender?
Venison backstrap is a very tender cut of meat, as long as it isn't overcooked. When cooked properly to medium-rare or medium, venison backstrap is tender, juicy and flavorful.
Heck, even if you do cook venison to medium-well, it'll still be tender, just not quite as tender and juicy.
This recipe calls for marinating the venison backstrap, which also helps to tenderize the meat even further and add tons of flavor.
How to get gamey taste out of venison.
If your venison is freshly harvested, you can soak the backstrap in buttermilk for a couple hours or overnight to remove the gamey flavor and draw out the blood. Once you remove it from the buttermilk, give it a rinse.
If the venison isn't freshly harvested, there is no need to soak it in buttermilk. Simply add the thawed venison to the marinade and let sit for up to 24 hours. Marinating venison will help to remove any gamey flavor while simultaneously adding lots of great flavor!
Best way to cook deer backstrap.
There are two common methods for cooking deer backstrap, also known as venison backstrap:
- Pan seared and oven finished venison backstrap
- Grilled venison backstrap
I enjoy both methods, but I more commonly pan sear and oven finish my venison backstrap. This gives you a really nice sear, locking in all of the juices.
When cooking venison, like most meat, you should use a meat thermometer to ensure you don't overcook the meat, which causes it to become tough and dry.
Pan seared venison backstrap: Heat an oven-safe cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil or butter. Sear the venison in the hot skillet on all sides until nicely browned and caramelized on the outside. While you're searing the venison, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer the oven-safe skillet with the venison backstrap into the preheated oven. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare to medium. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Grilled venison backstrap: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the backstrap for 6-8 minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer reads 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare to medium. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
One important tip when it comes to cooking meat is that you'll want to account for the fact that the meat will continue to cook once it's removed from the heat source. The residual heat left in the meat will continue to cook the meat and the temperature will continue to rise 5-10 degrees. So if you want the venison backstrap cooked to medium (135 degrees F.), remove it from the heat source at 130 degrees Fahrenheit and let it rest for 5-10 minutes until it reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Perfectly seared venison backstrap recipe.
My favorite way to sear venison backstrap is in a cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat, add a big drizzle of olive oil and place the backstrap in the hot pan.
Let the backstrap sear until a nice brown crust forms. If the venison is sticking to the pan, then it hasn't seared long enough - let it continue to sear until it releases. Sear on all sides of the backstrap, including the short ends. To do so, stand the venison up in the pan using tongs.
The best internal temperature for venison backstrap.
I highly recommend using a meat thermometer when cooking meat to ensure you don't over cook the meat, resulting in dry, tough meat. For venison backstrap, here are the temperatures for degree of doneness:
- Rare: 125 degrees F.
- Medium-rare: 130-135 degrees F.
- Medium: 135-140 degrees F.
- Medium-well: 140-145 degrees F.
- Well: 145-150 degrees F.
I like to cook venison backstrap to around 135 degrees F. It's still pink and juicy in the center, but not raw, and browned around the edges.
Why should you let meat rest.
Cooking meat draws all of the juices to the surface of the meat, so when you cut into the meat without letting it rest, all of the juices will run out, leaving you with dry meat.
So, the trick is to let cooked meat rest for 5-10 minutes after it's removed from the heat to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in tender, juicy cuts of meat.
Venison Backstrap Marinade.
- Olive oil.
- Soy sauce.
- Lemon juice.
- Balsamic vinegar. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
Let the backstrap marinate for at least 4 hours or ideally up to 24 hours, flipping over halfway through to ensure both sides get marinated.
This is wild game marinade is also a great marinade for beef.
What to serve with venison backstrap.
If you make this venison backstrap recipe, I would love to hear from you! Please rate the recipe below using the stars or leave a comment. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of the food you created and tag me at Modern Farmhouse Eats! I love seeing all the pictures! 😊
Marinated Venison Backstrap
- 1 pound venison backstrap
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 2 garlic clvoes, minced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Mix together the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish or a ziploc bag. Add the backstrap and place in the refrigerator. Marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, flipping halfway through.
- 30 minutes before you're reaady to cook, remove the venison from the marinade, rinse off and pat dry. Place on a plate and allow to come to room temperature.
Pan seared and oven finished:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat an oven-safe cast iron skillet or staineless steel skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the backstrap and sear on all sides until a nice, brown crust forms, including the ends by using tongs to stand the backstrap in the pan.
- If using an oven-safe skillet, transfer the skillet with the backstrap to the preheated oven. If your skillet isn't oven-safe, transfer the backstrap to an oven-safe dish with a little olive oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 130-135 degrees F. for medium-rare. Keep in mind that the meat temperature will continue to rise once removed from the heat. Transfer the backstrap to a plate and loosely tent with tinfoil for 5-10 minutes before slicing. While resting, the temperature will rise about 5-10 degrees bringing it closer to medium doneness.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the backstrap on the hot grill and cook for 6-8 minutes, then flip and continue to cook another 6-8 minutes.
- The backstrap is done when a meat thermometer reads 130-135 degrees F. for medium-rare. Keep in mind that the meat temperature will continue to rise once removed from the heat. Transfer the backstrap to a plate and loosely tent with tinfoil for 5-10 minutes before slicing. While resting, the temperature will rise about 5-10 degrees bringing it closer to medium doneness.