Many of you know my story, yet many of you don’t. So here’s a quick recap…
6 years ago I found out I had an intolerance to beef, yes this is a real thing. My body could no longer digest the fat found within beef. When I ate beef I got super sick.. imagine having the stomach flu every time you ate, that’s what I was going through. I didn’t know what it was for the longest time, but once diagnosed I reluctantly gave up my red meat. I gave up steaks, trip tips, beef ribs, prime ribs, hamburgers and most of all roast beef.
I was heart broken because I was your typical meat and potatoes kinda guy. But, I did not let this horrible disorder get me down, I found another way to get my red meat fix. I started big game hunting. I was raised a bird hunter but taught myself how to hunt, butcher and cook large game. I recreated some of my favorite dishes with deer, elk, antelope and bear. One meal I never thought I would be able to recreate was roast beef.
Roast beef, sliced thin on dips, sandwiches, cheese steaks and so many other dishes, this is what I craved. I decided it’s time to change that. Campchef sent me there new Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill and I knew the first dish I had to make. Before the box to the grill was opened I had pulled a beautiful two pound whitetail roast from the freezer. I built the smoker while the whole time my mouth was watering. That night I marinated the roast in my favorite marinade I use for smoked game meats. I went to bed tasting that roast in my mind.
The next morning I got up early, took the daughter to school and hurried home, turned on the smoker to 220 degrees and got excited as I watched the temperature rise. I watched as the mixture of hickory, apple and cherry wood smoke rose to the sky. I opened the smoker and placed my roast dead center, like it was on it’s thrown! I shoved my thermometer in the meat and walked away. I let it cook and smoke for 5 hours till the internal temp read 140 degrees. I pulled the roast and put it straight into the fridge to stop the cooking as fast as I could.
After an hour of waiting I pulled the roast from the fridge and placed it on my Weston 7.5-Inch Food Slicer. I began to slice beautifully thin pieces of tender melt in your mouth smoked venison roast. After 6 years my tongue jumped for joy as memories on some of my favorite roast beef meals played over and over in my mind. Today was a great day!
So here I am ready to share my marinade and smoking recipe with you. I am not one who sits back and enjoys meals alone, I love to share and enjoy my meals with others. So let’s get into to this super simple Smoked Roast Venison Recipe
Ps. Don’t let anyone tell you smoking dries out game meats, they are wrong!
Marinade: smoked game meats
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp sea salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
• Mix all wet and dry ingredients together in glass bowl
• Place roast in mixture, turning to coat roast.
• Place plastic wrap over bowl and refrigerate for 8-12 hours
Let’s talk smoking:
Now that you’ve got the meat marinated, let’s talk about smoking it. I own one of every type of smoker on the market from charcoal to pellets and everything in between. Each one has it’s pros and it’s cons, but that’s okay as long as you know what you’re doing with temps you’ll be just fine. I prefer the pellet style smokers because of the accuracy of temperatures and the quality of the smoke. All though I prefer pellet any style smoker can and will work wonderfully.
What we need to start out with is “Wood”. What wood pairs well with red meat might not pair well with upland game birds, and the same goes for waterfowl and alike. Knowing how the woods flavor will impact your over all flavor is key.
My top 4 woods I love to use are
1. Apple:Weber 17005 Apple Wood Chunks, 5-Pound
Apple has a mild flavor, with a sweet fruitiness to it. Apple pairs great with all game meats from winged to hoofed and everything in between. It’s smoke will not over power the meat like you’ll find in other woods. It’s a staple in all wild boar recipes for me.
With hickory you’ll get a strong smoke, packed with sweet yet bold flavor. I use hickory in many of my red game meats. I don’t use it to often win my upland game birds because they tend to take on to much smoke. It does though go amazing with waterfowl.
3. Citrus: Orange & lemon
Citrus wood here in California is easy to find with our orange and lemon groves. It’s also a tree that 75% of California’s have growing in their yards. Citrus wood tends to have a medium smoke flavor with just the right amounts of tangy and sweetness. I use citrus on upland game birds, seafood and waterfowl. I avoid it on red game meat and pork, it tends to over sweeten the meat.
4. Cherry:Weber 17007 Cherry Wood Chunks, 5-Pound
Cherry is another one of those sweet mild fruit woods that complements all game meats from land and water. It has a much milder fruitiness than Apple, but still punches the smoke flavor yours craving.
Bonus: oak can be added to any of the mild smokes to add a richer depth and a traditional smokey flavor.
I avoid mesquite, and walnut when cooking with my wild game meats. Both of these woods tend to leave your meat with a very bitter earthy flavor. Since most people think wild game already has a very strong bitter and earthy taste adding more just seems to kill it. But, hey if that’s your thing, then more power to ya.
Now that we’ve discussed the woods let’s look at temps. People tend to think hotter is better while smoking meats, but again this is not the case. I was always preached at with these three words when it came to smoking meats “low and slow” and I live by those words. If you push to much heat and smoke into the meat it starts to create jerky. You began to pull all moister from the meat and in turn do the opposite of what your intending to do.
When I smoked my Venison roast I kept my smoker between 215-225 degrees the whole smoke. My meat took 4 hours and 47 minutes to reach my goal
Internal temperatures 140 degrees. What the low and slow method does is helps create a bark on the meat, thus allowing the moister to stay within the meat.
This brings me to my last point on smoking meats, an amazing thermometer. Not just one but two. You’ll want one to hang on your smoker so you know the temp and can adjust your flame accordingly but adding more heat or reducing it. You’ll want a second one to be in your meat the whole time. This way you can check the meat every hour without lifting the lid and allowing the power of the smoke to disappear.
Smoked venison roast:
1. Remove venison roast from marinade and slow to rest at room temperature until smoker has reached it preset temperature of 215-225 degrees.
2. Add meat to the middle of the rack, place thermometer in middle or largest part of meat and close lid
3. Cook until internal temperature of meat reaches 140 degrees
4. Pull meat from smoker and place directly into fridge to cool the meat and stop the cooking process
5. After one hour of cooling, remove meat and slice thin. If you’re using a knife slice as thin as you can. I prefer Weston 7.5-Inch Food Slicer for those paper thin slices
Now that’s it, I could talk for days on the subject of smoking and grilling meats, but this is a step in right direction for anyone wanted to get their feet wet. Have fun and thanks for reading and remember..
Low & Slow baby!
From Field To Plate