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venison soaked in buttermilk in a cast iron pan

How to Marinate and Cook Venison In Buttermilk

  • Author: Miss AK
  • Total Time: 42 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1lb. venison chops (about 46 chops)
  • 23 cups buttermilk (enough to cover the meat fully)
  • 11 and 1/2 tsp. salt (about 1/41/2 teaspoon per chop)
  • 1 Tbsp. high heat tolerant cooking fat (duck fat, avocado oil, etc)
  • 12 Tbsp. butter
  • 34 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 45 fresh thyme sprigs 
  • flakey sea salt, to taste (or just a few pinches of regular salt)
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste 
  • 1 lemon


  1. Grab a zip-top bag or bowl with a lid and totally submerge the meat in the buttermilk. Marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. 
  2. Next, once the meat is marinated, remove it from the buttermilk and PAT IT DRY. You’re going to use up a few paper towels (or kitchen towels if you’re OK with that). BUT DO NOT RINSE THE MEAT. Just be very diligent and pat the meat dry with a towel. It will be fine and actually didn’t hinder the searing process or leave a weird taste behind at all. 
  3. Next, heat a cast iron pan or grill over medium-high heat. I prefer the cast iron method so I’ll talk about that here.
  4. While your pan heats, salt the meat generously (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per chop) and pat it dry AGAIN with a towel.
  5. When the pan is hot, add the cooking fat and then add the meat to the pan.
  6. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chops. But, when you have a nice sear on one side (anywhere from 2-5 minutes) flip the meat. Then, add the butter, garlic cloves, and fresh thyme to the pan. Tilt the pan to the side and baste the meat by spooning the butter and aromatics over the chops.
  7. Once the internal temperature of the chops reaches about 115-125F, remove the meat from the pan. If you’re grilling just flip and grill on each side for 2-5 mins. You do NOT want to cook venison over medium-rare. I like rare plus. Trust me and get used to cooking it this way.
  8. Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  9. Season with some fresh cracked pepper, flakey salt (or regular salt – just a pinch) and a little squeeze of lemon. You’re done! That’s all there is to it.


  • You do NOT want to cook venison over medium-rare. I like rare plus. Trust me and get used to cooking it this way.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes + 4 hour marinade
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: venison, buttermilk, chops

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