going to try deer tenderloins today

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by tasunkawitko, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    forgot that i had these, and found them while rummaging around for a pizza yesterday.

    have never smoked something like this before, so will combine methods i've learned with new ideas. will be smoking in charcoal-fired ECB with a combination of cherry, appple and maple.

    i was thinking of butterflying the tenderloins and stuffing them with something, say chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil or maybe bacon. would prefer to use sun-dried tomatoes but don't have any left.

    i have no bacon to wrap it in, so will brush with tomato-infused olive oil that i have been saving from home-made sun-dried tomatoes; then will apply my normal rub (durkee's st. louis style) that i use for ribs, then smoke, brushing with the olive oil now and then and mopping with a dr. pepper/soy sauce/olive oil mop to keep from drying out.

    haven't gotten started yet, but will soon, so if any suggestions come in, i will take them seriously.
  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One thing... don't over-cook! Of course you knew that. I don't care for blood on my plate so I go to 145-ish, but if ya like rare...fine. They have been frozen long enough to remove any parasite worries I take it.
  3. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    richtee - these tenderloins have been frozen for about a year, and i noticed that thanks to my vacuum sealer, good packaging, good trimming while butchering and good care in the field, they smelled as fresh as they did when i cut them out of the deer last fall.

    i've got a total of four tenderloins, two from a young mulie doe and two from a 2-yr old whitetail buck. this reuslts in two being slightly larger than the other two, but it should all be good. shooting for an internal temperature in the 145-degree range as i am not too fond of blood on the plate, either!

    ok, i've prepared the tenderloins by brushing them with the tomato-infused olive oil and sprinkling rub on them. i threw them in on the bottom rack of my ECB with cherry/maple/apple wood chips. on the top rack, i tossed on some polish-style sausages that we had in the fridge. with these, i simply brushed with mustard and sprinkled on the rub.

    they've been on about an hour or so now, the smoking temperatures were a little too low, but the charcoal is fully lit now and temperatures are approaching normal. i've had good smoke throughout the process, so there should be a good smoke ring.

    just finished brushing on a little olive oil and then applying the dr. pepper/soy sauce mop. will report later.
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Rich. Tenderloins don't need much time. I rarely smoke even Pork Tenderloins, just turning them on the grill a few times. I have a venison one in the freezer also, so looking forward to your results.
  5. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    this tenderloin project seems to have turned out pretty well. i pulled them off right when the little ones were done and the big ones were about medium well. good smoke ring and flavor all around, sliced them in haf tried a little slice and they were very moist and tender and tasted delicious, so olive oil must have done the trick.

    decided on the spur of the moment to shred/pull the meat and make sandwiches. had enver done this before with pork or any other meat. the meat pulled and shredded very easily and was quite good! the best part was the outer bark (mr. brown) was able to integrate with the inner meat that was more bland and flavor the whole very nicely.

    next time i might try a marinade of some kind for the meat as flavor penetration was minimal. all-in-all, this was a good success, though!
  6. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That sounds wonderful![​IMG]
    Was the venison a tenderloin or a back loin (backstrap)?
  7. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    >>>Was the venison a tenderloin or a back loin (backstrap)?<<<

    cowgirl - this was what is technically called the tenderloin, which as you know runs underneath the backbone and ribs. up here, some people call THIS cut the backstrap, and others call the loins (the larger cuts above the ribs and backbone) backstrap, so it tends to get confusing. kind of the same way sometimes a 4-point buck can be a 4-point, an 8-point, or even a 10-point, if the brow tines are counted.[​IMG] makes things interesting!

    here's some q-view -

    i took the tenderloins off the smoker and set them in foil for a few minutes in order to let the juices flow back where they belong. they looked REALLY good:


    as usual, the dark color is a result of the soy sauce used in the mop. the shine in this case comes from the tomato-infused olive oil that was brushed on periodically:


    opening the middle of one of the larger ones showed that there was a nice-yet-shallow smoke ring and that they had cooked to just the right temperature. texture was very tender and the meat was juicy and had good venison flavor, but the seasonings and smoke flavor did not penetrate well, possibly due to the lack of fat content and shorter cooking time:


    because of this, and because i'd never done it before iwth any meat, i decided to shred/pull the tenderloins and make BBQ sandwiches. the meat shredded very easily and tasted great on buns with a little home-made BBQ sauce; also, the strongly-smoke-and-seasoning-flavored outsidegot to mingle with the less-flavorful inside, distributing the taste throughout:

  8. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Mmmm, those sure are tenderloins! Bet they tasted wonderful!! Thanks for the Qview TasunkaWitko.[​IMG]
  9. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    cowgirl -

    they sure were good. i had some left over in tupperware in the fridge. my dad dropped by and i made him a sandwich out of it. he tried it before i could get a little sauce on there, and said, that it was so good as-is, he didn't need any sauce.

    from what i understand, that's quite a compliment in q-world! :)
  10. big game cook

    big game cook Smoking Fanatic

    nice. those we call the catfish loin. the locker here BEFORE i learned to do all my own meat processing stamped that on them. it just stuck. those are very tender and often need no knife to remove them from the game animal. a well placed finger will fish them right out. ive got several sets of them still. and season is approaching.

    looks like steak sammy time for me too.[​IMG]

    last evening i grilled a set of chuck "venison" tenders for dinner. the lil strip on the front shoulder along the shoulder paddle bone. about 3/4 the length of the tenderloin and same diam, roughly.
  11. daboys

    daboys Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those really look good. Nice job!
  12. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    BGC - pleased to make your acquaintence! i've done my own deer all my life except once, when i was living in a place that had no room or place to hang the deer. no offence to the place that did the meat, but i made sure i made arrangements next year to keep doing my own. they did a good job, but i just didn't feel like i ahd completed the hunt; i am sure you understand.

    this wasn't a normal cooking procedure for this ultra-tender cut, but it sure turned out good. on the chuck tender, i know the cut you are talking about and may have to try that in the future.

    if you're interested in cooking big game and fish, please drop in at my place. we've got some good ideas there and could always use more![​IMG]

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