f you’re not grilling venison, you are definitely missing out. Cervena venison is perfect for the grill for several reasons. Unlike the hunted venison that most people are familiar with, this venison is tender and mild in flavor. That’s because the deer graze on pastures of nutritious grass in a stress-free environment in New Zealand. One of the best things about grilling venison is the short amount of time it takes to cook, which gives you more time to spend with friends and family. Read more for tips on how to grill venison and get the most flavor in every bite.
Tips for Grilling Venison
Let it Breathe
Remove the venison from the packaging and allow it to breathe. The mild funky odor is natural and will dissipate in a few minutes.
Warm it Up
Let venison come to room temperature before grilling it – just as you should with any meat. Thicker cuts - an inch or more - can sit for 30 to 60 minutes. You certainly don’t want a charred surface and cold meat left at the center.
Keep it Cold
Thin cuts can go right from the fridge to the grill. In this case, the cold center will actually keep them from overcooking and toughening up.
Pre-Heat the Grill
Always pre-heat the cooking surface. Because of its low-fat content venison should be cooked quickly over high heat.
Grease the Grill
Brush or spray the grill with oil before cooking; the added fat helps prevent sticking and drying out.
There is no need for a marinade to achieve tender texture. Our venison is so tender that brines and marinades will not do it any favors. Season only for flavoring, not texture.
Grill it Hot & Fast
Depending on the cut you are grilling, you will not need much time on the grates. A ½ inch to 1-inch thick cut should cook for only one minute on each side over a high flame.
Let it Rest
Because of its high protein and low-fat levels, venison will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat. Allow the meat to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Testing for Doneness
Venison has a naturally deep red color - much darker than beef - so you cannot rely on the color of the meat to judge its doneness. It will look incredibly rare when it is actually medium, and if it’s a pink “medium” color, it is actually well done. We suggest venison be served medium-rare to medium for optimum flavor and texture.
Resist poking holes and releasing flavorful juices to measure temperature. We like the touch test, which is easy to get accustomed to; bring your thumb and forefinger together, as in the OK sign. With your other forefinger, touch the base of your thumb. That feeling is equivalent to a rare steak. Repeat with your middle finger touching the tip of the thumb; that’s medium. Touch the ring finger to the thumb and poke the base; that’s too well done. Don’t do that to a beautiful piece of venison.