Brining Venison?

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Feb 13, 2006
Chillicothe MO
Ben and I have decided to christen the new smoker this weekend by doing a couple of deer roasts. Normaly we soak a deer roast in a couple of changes of water to get all the blood out and help with any gamey taste (though when your eating these corn fed MO deer there's hardly any gamey taste anyway). So my question is has anyone ever brined venison? I figure as long as were soaking them anyway why not do a brine on the last change of water and help keep the meat extra juicy. Any advice will be appreciated.
Hey Lady J ( its me Ben) I dont have advice but I will comment on these corn fed N\c Missouri deer, they really do taste very good--as long as you are eating a young one or a doe. The bucks here really are not good for anything but summer sausage or the like. I too have wondered about brining. I hope we get some advice. Man i am hungry already!!!!!!!
Brineing is good, and if you have meat from an older deer it helps to remove the gaminess. You might want to iject some brine into the roast too. I'd brine for at least 3-4 hrs. but I wouldn't go over 24 hrs.

Maybe we can get Dacdots or srmonty to weigh in on this topic.
Well, kids, here's my take on that whole deer roast thingy. First, I have never smoked a venison roast. But I have oven and spit roasted many. This summer I will be doing several deer roasts and a moose roast or two by smoke. Here is what I plan to do.

By soaking in water to remove the gamey flavor you are also removing valuable other flavors and actually drying out the meat! Aside from a gentle water rinse, the colder the better, I would not soak a venison roast in water for any length of time.

You could inject a bit of a brine into the meat but do not over do it. I would then pin on thick bacon strips , leaving about an inch or more space between strips.

Prepare a mop of:

1 1/2 cup orange juice
3 fl oz honey
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
1/4 tsp ground clove
a dash or two of worcestershire (Optional)
a dash or two of soy or teryaki sauce (Optional)

Then just follow your instincts! Perhaps, where you indicate that you have several roasts, you could try several different methods at the same time!
You can try out my experiment before I get to it!
Thanks for the tips monty. The last deer roast we did, which turned out amazingly well, was soaked overnight then rubbed with mustard and seasoning mix (Lowery's Steak 'n Chop) then I pinned very thick and fatty bacon on top. It turnned out very flavorful and juicy so this time we'll give this method a try so we have a comparison. We'll let you know how it goes.
Hope it goes well, Lady J! Venison is very lean to begin with and I have found over the years that by cooking it in a moist environment it does very well! The mop I suggest not only adds flavor but also helps to form a moisture retaining bark. Initially the fat from the bacon is absorbed and by the time the bark starts to form the moisture and flavor are sealed into the roast.
Thank you for your vote of confidence, Brother David! Hope all is well with you!
Ben and Lady J ....and Brother Monty and Brother David,

I have had great success smokin venison and moose roasts. I did not brine, however(as Ranger would say) I did lay them out flat and throw them in a marinade for an hour and a half. Marinade consisted of Salt, Garlic salt, ground pepper, and water.
After soaking I layed out flat again patted dry, applied another helping of garlic salt and pepper, tossed in a few strips of bacon rolled up and tied. Then with toothpicks coverd the ends with more bacon. Rubbed the outside with (sorry Dutch) more garlic salt and a bit of cinamon(dont ask why, but it was good) Proceeded to smoke away with a bit of apple and hickory...and boy ill tell was the best roast ive had...truly awesome
Sas- there may be such a thing as too much salt but never ever can there be too much garlic!! :P
Well we had great success with the deer roast this weekend. We did end up brining and it was a definate improvement on the last time we did a deer roast (which was excellent so that tells you how good this one was). I decided to brine afterall because in a conversation with my Dad on the subject of soaking wild game it seemed the best thing to do. I tend to head his advice on all matters pertaining to meat as he has his docterate in meat science. Anyway he told me that "soaking in plain cold water is not going to pull moisture out of the product. It will not pull flavor out of the product, but there may be some characteristics (including microbiological) on the surface of the meat that would impact the flavor that could be partially rinsed away.
Soaking in a brine would pull "free" water out of the product because of the difference in sodium gradient between the water and the meat. However, unless you soak it for a LONG time, the salt concentration in the water would have to be extremely high to impact the moisture of the product. When you cook it, allot of the "free" water will evaporate any way. The flavor in any meat product (with no spices) is in the fatty acids in the meat. I don't know if its so much pulling flavor out as it is pulling the blood out and adding salt flavor to the meat which would mitigate the "wild" flavor. Most people don't like an intense "wild" flavor so that's why they soak it.
One positive thing is that the soaking in salt will have a bactericidal effect, which if the product isn't cooked well, could be an issue on product that comes from an animal killed in the wild, gutted while hanging in a tree, carried on somebody's back to the truck, and driven 50 to 300 miles to somewhere that its refrigerated. If it's 20 degrees out, that's not such a big deal. If it's 50 or 60 degrees out, that could be a bigger issue."

Well after all the debate was done we soaked the roast in a couple changes of clean water and then into a brine overnight. The brine was 1 qt. water per pound of meat, 1/4 c. kosher salt, 1/2 c. sugar, 3 Tblp. of rub spice mix. The next morning I patted dry the roast and cut a few long, shallow slits in the top that I then stuffed with a cheap, fatty bacon. Then I slathered on some mustard and added a roasted pecan rub. Then onto the smoker till it reached 165. We will most definatly be doing this again. And I was so impreased with how the brine helped the flavor that I will be brining all of my deer roasts from now on.
Lady J,
I smoked a deer roast yesterday and followed your directions. The roast turned out to be truly the best we have ever eaten. My youngest son and wife (who are not too crazy about deer) declared it to be outstanding! Thanks for the recipe. (I brined the roast over night in the frige.)
before my smoking days and when i still hunted i wouldn't hang the deer like most people did i would fill my utility sink downstairs with cold water and ice and a bag of tender qwik,and change the water and brine every 24 hours for 2 or 3 days never had a problem and it was some of the best tasting deer meat i have ever had
I did a venison loin. Used Buckboard Bacon mix and followed the directions. You have to really rinse it or it will be too salty, then smoked it wrapped on bacon. It turned out very good flavored like a ham, but a darker color.

Happy Thanksgiving all!  I followed J's recipe (pretty much)  with a moose roast as my contribution to the family dinner today.  24hr in the brine, 12 hours in the smoker to get 165 deg.  Super great flavor, but a little dry. 
just got an MES 40 from the in laws yesterday...

did you "smoke" the whole time? Or did you put enough wood chips in to smoke for say 1-2 hours then the remainder just smoke free at low temp? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads