Fresh Venison is some of the best red meat that you can put in your mouth. When I'm not out competing in bbq contests chances are that I'm chasing deer somewhere in Mississippi, Tennessee, or Illinois. I try to harvest 3-4 deer every year because my family loves to eat it. For me the absolute best part of the deer is the Back Strap. Back Strap is the piece of meat that runs along both sides of the back bone from the neck to the hind quarter. It is taken off the animal in one whole piece and trimmed of any silver skin. Once trimmed it can be prepared whole or cut into steaks. I like to cut it into 12” sections and cook it whole. It's easier to handle on the grill and is perfect for 4-6 servings. Here's how I prepare whole venison back strap:
First make the marinade for the back strap. It consists of:
Place the Back Strap in a large Zip Lock Bag and pour the marinade over it. Refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, but I like to go overnight if possible. The marinade needs time to penetrate the meat.
Next I make a venison rub. It consists of:
Mix all of the ingredients together well and it will keep for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Take the venison out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature. This will ensure even cooking throughout.
Next prepare a charcoal grill for direct grilling. I like to cook the back strap over a med hot fire.. enough to sear the meat on the outside but not cook it too fast.
Liberally coat the outside of the back strap with the venison rub. When the grill is ready place the back strap on the grate and set a timer for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes turn the back strap over and cook another 4 minutes. Repeat this process on all 4 sides.
After 16 minutes take an internal temp. You want to get the internal temperature to 145 degrees for rare (and venison is best served rare). If it still has a little to go, cook for an additional 2 min per side until the desired temperature is reached.
I like to eat venison on the rare-medium rare side, so I'm pulling it off the grill at 145 and allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Resting will allow the temperature to climb about 5 degrees and give the natural juices time to redistribute throughout the meat. If you cut into it too soon, all of the juices will run out and you'll have dry meat.
After resting, you're ready to eat. Slice the back strap into 1-2” serving portions. Most people will eat 2 cuts, but don't be surprised if the whole thing disappears before your eyes. I've used this technique in exotic contest several times and had great results.