Smoking a deer shoulder

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delaware smoker

Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 2, 2006
I've got a 1/4 of a deer shoulder in a brine.The brine is made up of,pickling salt,sugar,couple of basil leaves,crushed peppercorn and some berries[the name of the berries,seem to have escape me].I got this recipe off of the net.It said to brine overnite.I plan on smoking this tomorrow,my only day off of work.The butcher that cuts up my deer,said to use plenty of fat. I plan on making slits in the meat,and putting bacon in the slits.I will wrap the meat with bacon,and baste during the smoke.Any idea about how long this should take?I guess the shoulder is about3-5 lbs.What temp.should I shoot for?I'm thinking about using pecan for the smoke.Any suggestions or ideas will be welcome.
Delaware- For most meats I shoot for an internal temp of at least 140-145 degrees unless it's pork butts that I'm going to pull or shread and then the internal temp is around 200 degrees. For wild game I would recommend at least 165 degrees intrernal temp.
I agree on the 165 degrees, because its wild game and not USDA inspected. Since you are putting slits in the meat I would try and coat the meat with a yellow mustard and dryrub coating to help seal these holes. You don't want all the juices to leak out. Some apple and hickory might be a good combo to add to the pecan.
I harvested 7 deer here in the state of Nebraska last year for my family and not an ounce of meat goes to waist. We smoke/ barbeque our hind quarters from the knee to the pelvic girdle as a whole hind quarter. Brine also includes ginger in it along with other listed ingredients like earlier recipes as well. Marinade for around 8 hours and then pat dry. We slow cook it with indirect heat from coals and use apple wood chunks from the neighbor's apple orchard and pull the meat at 158 degrees internal temp. This still comes up another 5 points or so after it comes off the heat internal temperature and provides meat between medium and medium rare depending on how close to the bone and hip you get which becomes thicker meat. We eat most of our venison at medium rare in my family as it still maintains juicy and tender quality. Those are my two cents for my first ever non-introduction post.
We do alot of deer shoulder roasts and man are they good. Your headed in the right direction with the brining and bacon. I've done this two different ways. One is to use the slits and then coat with mustard and rub. the other is to rub first then top with bacon. We get good results either way but I prefer the bacon in the slits, less hassle trying to pin all those strips in place. Most of the time we use oak and hickory for the wood but maple and pecan have also given us some great venison. Let us know how it turns out. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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