Cooking Tips: How to Grill the Perfect Venison Backstrap

Evan Barrett — a professional chef who hunts — reveals his secrets for grilling the perfect venison backstrap.

Cooking Tips: How to Grill the Perfect Venison Backstrap

Photos courtesy of Evan Barrett

In my home state of Minnesota, I don’t grill much during winter because it’s easier to cook inside. For me, grilling season officially begins with the warmer temps of spring. 

With this in mind, I recently read an outstanding article on the National Deer Association website by Evan Barrett, a professional chef who killed his first deer at an NDA Field to Fork event in 2021. Click here to check out his venison backstrap grilling tips. 

Here’s a quick summary of his advice.

  1. For best results — medium rare inside with exterior sear — leave backstrap in pieces at least 6 inches long (see above photos). 
  2. Olive oil helps salt and pepper stick to meat prior to cooking.
  3. Grill must be hot; oil grates.
  4. Sear backstrap; don’t move it until meat releases from grate on its own (3-4 minutes).
  5. After meat releases, flip it and sear other side (3-4 minutes).
  6. Finish cooking meat over indirect heat; remove from grill when digital thermometer, placed in thickest part of backstrap, reads 120 degrees.
  7. Rest backstrap on warm plate (uncovered) for at least 10 minutes to allow juices to settle throughout meat.

Remember, it’s easy to overcook venison; be ready to turn after 3 minutes. If you become distracted inside and don’t get back to the grill for 5 minutes, it could be too late if your goal is medium rare.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.