Ultimate Venison Grilling Guide!

If you’re grilling up this lean game meat, it’s important to know the right cooking times and temperatures before you get started. Venison can go from undercooked to overcooked very quickly. Refer to our cooking times and temperatures chart for grilling venison.

Grilled Venison Internal Temperatures

To check grilled venison for doneness, we recommend using an instant-read thermometer to ensure you get the right temperature every time.

Venison Steaks

Most folks prefer venison steak when it’s cooked rare or medium-rare, 145 to 150 degrees F. At a higher temperature, the meat can get very tough.

Venison Roasts

Cook roasts low ‘n’ slow, until the meat is tender. How long that takes will depend on the size of your roast and how hot you keep the grill. We’ve given a general guideline below.

Grilled Venison Cooking Time and Temperature Chart

Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.
Saddle or Leg Roast
6 to 7 pounds Indirect Medium 25 to 30 min./pound 145 F (63 C)
3/4-inch thick Direct High 4 to 5 min./side 145 F (63 C)
1 1/2-inch thick Direct High 6 to 7 min./side 145 F (63 C)

Grilled Venison Preparation

Just like beef, venison should be grilled over direct heat if you have steaks, and over indirect heat for tougher cuts like saddle or other roasts.

What about the “gamey” flavor? Experienced hunters dispute that there even is such a thing, and argue that by dressing your kill properly, any “gamey” flavor is eliminated. Still, venison flavor will vary from animal to animal based on their diet — the same way grass-fed beef tastes different than corn-fed beef.

Marinating the meat before cooking is a common technique — this adds flavor to the meat (masking the “gamey” flavor, if any) and also helps tenderize it. Check out Emily’s Marinated Venison Steaks for a starter marinade recipe.


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