This is the way to get a flavorful, tender and juicy venison roast. Using the slow cooker is the easiest way to make perfect venison roast every time.
Making this slow cooker venison roast is the WAY to cook a venison roast. It’s so easy to do! This is literally a get-up in the morning, set it and forget it kind of recipe. At the end of the day, you’ll have a cozy, protein packed recipe filled with veggies that celebrates the beauty of your deer harvest.
The reward of starting this recipe in the morning pays off 10 fold when you tuck into a juicy, tender piece of deer meat with potatoes, carrots, and plenty of gravy. I couldn’t love this recipe more if I tried.
What’s the best way to cook venison roast cuts?
Cooking venison roast cuts is pretty straightforward. However, in my years of venison cooking, I have kissed a few frogs. When you have a roast, especially if it’s from the shoulder or neck, it has lots of connective tissue. If cooked improperly, the connective tissue remains rubbery and unpleasant.
In comparison, if cooked appropriately, venison roast can be fall-apart tender. The way to achieve this result is by cooking it low and slow. Or, low temperature over a longer period of time. In my experience, the easiest and best way to ensure a perfect result is to use your slow cooker. I also use it in this slow cooker venison stew recipe.
You can use a dutch oven to make this recipe, if you choose to do so, cook at around 285-300F for 3-5 hours, or until the meat is falling apart. But, I find that the most foolproof way to make venison pot roast is to use the crock pot or slow cooker.
Why does my venison always come out tough?
If you find that your roasts always come out sort of rubbery, dry or hard, it’s likely because you’re not cooking long enough and at a low enough temperature. If you’re using a slow cooker you want to cook your meat on low for 8-9 hours, or until falling-apart tender. Cooking on high won’t yield the same result. If you’re using another recipe, you can use your oven but don’t go above 350F. If your roast has been cooking for 2-3 hours and still isn’t tender, drop the temperature of the oven and cook longer.
So, how do you cook venison roast so it’s tender?
The best way that I’ve found to make sure a venison roast (bone-in or out) tender is to cook it in the crockpot or slow cooker on low for 8-9 hours, or until it is falling apart. If you cook it on low you won’t dry it out.
Please note that I don’t recommend cooking this on high for 4-6 hours. It’s not going to be as juicy and tender. If you’re in a hurry I’d really recommend planning another day to make this when you can set yourself up to have it cook all day or overnight while you rest.
Tips for creating the best ever deer roast
Even if you choose to cook your pot roast in a slow cooker (as I recommend) there are a few steps you can take to make sure your meat is transformed into a fabulous meal. If you follow these steps, which are included below in the recipe printout, you’ll have a wonderfully flavorful and juicy deer roast on your hands.
1. Sear the meat on all sides first
First in order is searing the meat on all sides in a large skillet. Use a fat with a high smoke point like duck fat, avocado oil or clarified butter/ghee to fry in. This adds both flavor and texture.
2. Add plenty of aromatics and seasoning
I love a blend of plenty of onions, garlic cloves, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste are also added for depth of flavor. Ingredients can be simple but also impactful and majorly flavorful. You won’t need canned soup or seasoning packets here.
It’s a good idea to taste a bit of the cooking liquid an hour or so before serving so you can add additional salt or black pepper to the crock pot and stir it in before you serve.
3. Acid is important
This is one of my most talked-about tips, but adding acid to a venison dish is very important for balancing out the rich flavor. Here, I like to use balsamic vinegar.
4. Use quality or homemade stock
My venison stock recipe is perfect for use here. If you don’t have homemade, choose a good quality beef stock or bone broth. This adds a rich silky texture to the finished gravy.
I also like to be able to control the sodium level so homemade or unsalted broth is best.
5. Layer the carrots and potatoes on top so they don’t get soggy
I like to pile the potatoes and carrots on top of the roast so they steam in the slow cooker and don’t overcook. It works perfectly, even for such a long cook time. No one wants soggy vegetables!
If you don’t want to add the potatoes, this is also fantastic served over mashed potatoes. Choose your own adventure!
Once made, I do like to make a little gravy by whisking in a cornstarch slurry to the drippings from the bottom of the slow cooker. Strain that into a saucepan and reduce for about 10 minutes over medium high heat and you’ve got a wonderful, easy, cozy, and sort of fancy meal! Use your whisk to make sure it is nice and silky.
Serving, Storage & Freezing of Venison Roast
I like to serve venison roast on a large serving platter with a sprinkling of fresh parsley, thyme and black pepper. You can serve it alongside a side salad or vegetables, I like green beans here. It’s never a bad idea to add some bread or rolls to the table. Let everyone dig in family style!
I’m one of those people that thinks venison roast or pot roast is better the next day. To store it, just pack it into an airtight container (I like these glass ones) and it keeps for about 3 days in the fridge.
I don’t love freezing and thawing the vegetables in this recipe, but the venison roast meat works wonderfully when frozen in a vacuum sealed bag. Our vacuum sealer is my BEST friend during hunting season. Once you have it in an airtight bag or container, pop it in your freezer and it will last about 6 months.
Put this venison roast recipe on your meal rotation list – it’s perfecto for a busy weekday OR special enough for a cozy weekend meal, just like this crazy popular venison stew. You can always check my Pinterest for more recipes, too!
If you’re interested in checking out how many calories, carbohydrates, grams of fat, fiber, cholesterol & more are in this recipe, you can check that out in the nutrition card below.
For more modern & delicious venison recipes, check out my bestselling cookbook, Venison Every Day!Print
Slow Cooker Venison Roast Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: French American
- 3–4lb venison roast (shoulder or neck is best, bone-in or out is fine – see notes)*
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 Tbsp. high heat tolerant cooking fat (duck fat, avocado oil, clarified butter/ghee)
- 1 and 1/2 cups venison stock or beef stock*
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large, yellow onion, cut into large pieces
- 1 lb. baby yellow potatoes
- 4–5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch, arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- Remove your roast from the packaging and dry thoroughly with a paper towel to remove any liquid or old blood. Then, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt all over the meat.
- Heat the oil/fat in a large skillet over medium-medium high heat and sear the roast on all sides until brown. If you go to flip the meat and it’s sticking to the pan, it’s not ready to be flipped. When a sear forms, it will release from the skillet.
- Once seared all over, remove the roast from the skillet and place it in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Pour in the stock or add frozen stock to the bottom of the slow cooker. Then, add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, thyme, parsley, pepper, half of the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Rub that all over the meat the best you can.
- Then, add the onions, carrots and potatoes on top. Sprinkle on the remaining salt and garlic.
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8-9 hours, or until falling-apart tender*
- When you’re ready to serve, remove the meat and shred it on a board. Toss the veggies in the juice and move them to a platter to add with the pulled venison roast. You can halve the potatoes if you like.
- If you want gravy, mix the cornstarch (or tapioca or arrowroot powder) with a bit of the strained pot drippings to make a slurry. Then, add the rest of the drippings and the slurry to a small saucepan and reduce over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Serve & ENJOY!
- This recipe works well for a variety of roast cuts. A shoulder or neck (my favorite) roast is best if you have it, even better if the bone is still in. This really is the best way to work with shoulder and neck roasts – you need to cook them low and slow to break down the connective tissue to get them tender. If you use a bone-in roast, I like to save the bone to make a batch of venison stock/broth. You can use a hind leg roast cut but know that they can be used for other purposes such as pastrami or corned venison if you’re feeling creative
- Note that you need 1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid for this but you can change up what you use. If you’d like to get creative, try adding in both wine and stock or beer and stock for different flavor profiles.
- You can try cooking this on high for 4-6 hours if you’re in a time pinch but I never get as tender results as I do here. Please note that I strongly recommend planning around a 8-9 hour cook on low heat.
Keywords: roast, venison, slow cooker, crock pot, pot roast
This post was originally published in May 2022 and has been updated to provide a better reader experience.