Wild Game Grilling Guide

By Kit Perez
Posted in #Hunting
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Wild Game Grilling Guide

December 26th, 2019

4 minute read

‘Tis the season for hunting, and there’s nothing better than being able to fill your family’s freezer with fresh meat. Venison, elk, and other wild game doesn’t always cook as easily as your standard beef ribeye, however, and sometimes taking your prized meat from field to table isn’t as tasty a result as you had hoped.

There are thousands of recipes for wild game out there, and many hunters have their own secret ingredient or process that ensures great results. For me, it’s often a combination of homemade marinades and a Traeger woodfire grill.

If you’ve got some venison and want some tasty recipes for cooking it, then read on.

Marinade for Venison

If I’m looking to do something simple, I go with a basic all-purpose marinade that lets the smoke flavor and the venison’s own taste shine through.

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed, or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Juice from half a lemon (or about 1/3 cup of bottled lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

Mix the ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag and add your venison steaks. I leave mine in there for about two hours, then grill.

On my Traeger, I started the grill on “smoke” with the lid open until the fire was established. It usually takes between three to five minutes on mine. Set the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and preheat it for ten to fifteen minutes.

Sear the steak two to three minutes on each side, and you’re done. Slice and serve.

Wild game meat is an excellent addition to your diet, particularly when you have a good recipe! Image: Jeremy Keith

Game with Mixed Berry Sauce

This sauce works with deer, elk, or even antelope. Grill your meat as usual but serve this sauce either drizzled over it or on the side.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blackberries, blueberries, or huckleberries (feel free to use two or even all three to make up the two cups)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped, or a very small amount of red onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (bonus points if you use a berry-based one but it’s not necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup red wine (use the wine you’re drinking, not the cheap stuff called “cooking wine”)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Put one of the tablespoons of butter into a saucepan on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the shallot or onion, and stir until they’re soft and translucent. Add the berries and keep stirring while they cook down but don’t let them burn; turn down the heat if you need to. Once the berries have softened, add the rest of the ingredients but leave the remaining tablespoon of butter out for now. Keep stirring as the sauce cooks, about five more minutes. You can mash the berries if you want but it’s not necessary.

Once the sauce has thickened slightly, remove from heat and pour it through a fine mesh strainer if you don’t want the berry skins and seeds. Put the sauce back in the pan and add the last tablespoon of butter.

Bacon-wrapped venison tenderloin, done on the stove in a cast iron pan.

Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin

I’m a huge fan of venison tenderloin and an even bigger fan of bacon, so the marriage of these two amazing foods is the perfect combo. Even if you don’t have a Traeger, you can do this one right on the stove. Bonus points if you’re using a cast iron pan.

I don’t typically marinate if I’m using bacon, but you certainly could use the all-purpose marinade from above.

It’s pretty simple: I wrap the tenderloin in thick cut bacon, pin it with toothpicks, and sear it on all sides while basting with butter until the bacon is done. It nets me a perfectly tender, juicy, medium rare piece of venison.

The Traeger runs on wood pellets, and several varieties are available to complement what you’re cooking.

Wild game doesn’t need to be dry or overcooked. It can be juicy, succulent, and bursting with flavor. Whether you’re using a Traeger, a gas grill or even your kitchen stove, your next hunt can put truly amazing food on the table.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Kit Perez

Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a deception/intelligence analyst, author, and homesteader. Basics of Resistance: The Practical Freedomista, Book 1, her book co-written with Claire Wolfe, is available on Amazon. She lives in the mountains of western Montana where she raises dairy goats and Kune Kune pigs in a constant push toward total self-sufficiency. Kit also serves as an EMT on her local fire department.

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