Grilled Venison Steak

What is it about us outdoors people that just can’t get enough of the outdoors?

At any cost, we just want to be outside, and that includes cooking also.

At the first glint of good weather we’re firing up our grills, heck I’ve seen guys firing up their grills almost knee-deep in snow.

Grilled Venison Steak

So, this brings to a staple, a classic, an all-time favorite if you will…. Grilled venison steak

Just like venison burgers, everyone has their own recipe, or their way of doing it, but here’s mine. And hopefully, with a few tips you may find helpful.

Venison Steak Cuts for Grilling

The most important part of this recipe is the meat, most cuts of venison will work here but some are better than others.

A thicker cut of steak will perform better than a thinner cut on the grill because of the high heat used.

Bone-in cuts will require a little extra attention to ensure an even cook.

There are 3 cuts of venison I prefer using for grilled steak, while you can make steak from many other cuts, these are my 3 go-to cuts for grilling.

Grilled Venison Steak
  • Backstrap – The backstrap will give you the biggest cuts of steak for grilling. Unlike the tenderloin, it’s easier to get sizable medallions from the backstrap.

    I like to cut backstrap medallions to about 3 inches thick from an average size deer, then pound them gently with a meat mallet until they are around 2 inches thick.

    This will give you a wider 2-inch steak. Another option is to butterfly the steak. This will give you an even wider steak.
  • Tenderloin– As the name suggests, the tenderloin is the most tender cut of meat from a deer. This cut is often cherished, and used for select recipes. For me, there are definitely some tenderloins going on the grill each year.

    Being such a tender cut means that the tenderloin is a more difficult cut of venison to cook.

    If you want to grill venison tenderloin steaks, which I recommend you do, you have a few options.

    The easiest option and your best chance of an even cook is to grill the whole tenderloin and slice it into steaks after grilling it.

    This will leave you with juicy steaks, but less of a char, as only the rim will be seared after you slice it.

    The harder option but my preferred method is to slice the tenderloin into steaks before grilling.

    If you’re confident in front of a grill you won’t have a problem, but if you are less experienced there is a strong probability of overcooking the steak.

    You can leave the rib bone in when butchering to make a tomahawk steak. Not only will it make the steak look fancier, but it will also act as a temperature regulator.
  • Flat Iron – Last on my list of version steaks worth grilling is the flat iron. This is perhaps one of my favorite venison steaks, and one definitely worth grilling if you know what you’re doing.

    The thing about the flat iron, is you need a sizable deer to get even a small steak, and then you need to cook it with utmost care because it’s so thin.

    But what you get in return is in my opinion the most favorable venison steak of them all. Ye, tenderloins, and backstraps are great, but the flat iron is better.

    Not only is it tender like the other cuts, but it has more flavor, being a bone cut, it’s also exceptional when grilled.
Grilled Venison Steak

How to Grill Venison Steaks

While you can use any type of grill for grilling venison steaks, I highly recommend using a charcoal grill. It doesn’t matter which charcoal grill, we all have our favorites.

I use the Akorn jr grill because I travel a lot and I can take it with me on hunting and fishing trips.

It’s just hard if not impossible to beat the flavor a charcoal grill can impart on venison, or any wild food for that matter.

If you don’t have a charcoal grill, you can still make these steaks, but they will just lack that little bit of extra flavor.

For all of the cuts above, with the exception of the whole tenderloin you can use a single-zone heat distribution system.

Honestly, I also do this for the whole tenderloin and rest it on a wooden block, but I like my steak rare.

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  1. Get your grill hot, real hot. These steaks are not like the big fatty Wagyu beef steaks you see on Youtube.

    No, they’re better, but harder to cook, but if we didn’t like a challenge we wouldn’t be hunters. I like to aim for about 500F on the grill. This cook is gonna be fast.
  2. While the grill is heating up generously oil the steak. Again, we don’t have the benefit of ingrained fat.

    Be sure to use a high temp oil, my go-to is usually avocado but any high temp oil will do.
  3. Season the steak. You can use any dry seasoning of your choosing or you can use the recipe below. Don’t use dry herbs as they will just burn leaving a bitter taste.

    If you want to use herbs you can apply them at the end. I like to work the seasoning into the steak filling every crevice between the fibers.
  4. Place the steak on the grill. Don’t be in a hurry to turn it, let it release naturally from the great before trying to turn. It’s ok to turn the steak a few times, but let wait for the release first.

    I usually cook for about 2 minutes per side, but this will vary according to your grill temperature and steak thickness.

    if you’re not sure how long to cook the steak I recommend cooking by temperature.
  5. Once the steak is cooked just shy of your desired temperature remove from the grill and rest on a wooden block.

    The steak will continue to cook a little further as it rests, which is why you don’t cook it fully on the grill.
Grilled venison steaks

Grilled Venison Steak

Simple yet tasty venison steak from the grill
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 steaks see note 1
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper whole
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp high temp oil see note 2


  • Get your grill to about 450-500 f
  • Remove the steak from the refrigerator and pat dry
  • Add all of the dry ingredients to a mortar and work into a powder
  • Generously rub the oil all over the venison steaks
  • sprinkle the dry rub over the steaks and pat them into the meat
  • Lay the steaks on the grill and cook until it releases from the grate (approx 5 minutes per side) see note 2
  • Remove the steaks once both side have been cooked to your desired temperature and rest on a wooden block.
  • Cover the steaks loosely with foil while the rest. Rest for about 5 minutes


  1. This grilled venison steak recipe works for most types of venison steaks. I have used it on backstraps, tenderloins, and flat iron steaks. The rub works well on them all and all of these steaks are similar in thickness.
  2. Cooking steaks takes time to learn the degree of cook by eye. I suggest if you are new to cooking steaks, especially venison steaks, to use a meat thermometer for best success

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