It’s easy to cook a venison steak so that it’s juicy, you just need to follow a few rules. A good marinade, a hot grill or pan and not overcooking is key.
- about 1 and 1/2 lbs of venison steaks, at least 1 inch thick – here I’m using 4, 6oz. venison tenderloin medallions, you could also use medallions from the backstrap/loin (sometimes called chops)
- 1 batch All-Purpose Venison Marinade or acidic marinade of choice (you’ll need about 1/2 cup marinade – see below*)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- optional – extra lemon for serving
- Remove the steaks from their packaging and put them on a plate or in a bowl lined with a paper towel. This absorbs old blood while defrosting and creates a more palatable taste.
- If you’re marinating your steaks, add your venison to a zip-top bag or a bowl with a lid. Again, this recipe works best with steaks that are at least 1 inch thick, but you can use this method for a flank steak or a thinner cut, just alter the cooking time.
- Pour your marinade all over the steaks and make sure everything is coated. Marinate for at least 3 hours, but up to overnight for really tender/flavorful steaks. If you aren’t fond of the natural taste of venison, opt for a longer marinade time, the acid will develop the flavor so that it’s more pleasing to you.
- When you’re ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and let them come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before you cook (this is safe to do, it ensures even cooking).
- Pat the steaks dry, wiping off the marinade, but DO NOT rinse them off. If you haven’t used a marinade, pat them very dry and season them all over with salt and pepper.
- If you used my marinade recipe, there’s no need to add more oil for the grill. If you didn’t mariante, a drizzle of olive oil is nice for grilling. I like to pierce my steaks with a fork all over to further tenderize them (see the photo in the post), but this is optional.
- If you’re using a grill to cook, preheat it to medium-high, about 450-500F. If you’re cooking in a pan, preheat a well-seasoned cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it’s very very hot.
- Place the steaks on the grill or in the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side (this will depend on steak thickness), but keep an eye on the internal temperature. You want to pull the steaks at 117-125F for a rare plus/medium-rare steak, it’s very important not to overcook venison.
- Once the steaks are cooked, remove them from the heat source at once and let them rest for at least 10 minutes before serving or slicing.
- Season with a bit more salt (flakey salt if you have it) and pepper if desired and a light squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!
My All-Purpose Marinade Recipe:
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
3 garlic cloves, minced and smashed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
- Prep Time: 10 minutes + 4+ hour marinade
- Cook Time: 14 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Grill/Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 6oz. serving w/ marinade
- Calories: 288
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 1247 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 1 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 51 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: venison, steak, deer, wild game, grill