If you’re fortunate enough to have access to venison meat, you may be interested in learning a few different ways to cook it. Venison can refer to most kinds of wild meat, but more specifically, it’s usually deer meat. It has a taste and texture that’s very similar to beef or goat, and I want to share with you a couple methods for how to cook venison tenderloin.
This is a meat that tends to be easiest to find during hunting season, around the fall months. That’s when a lot of people will be hunting deer and then making venison meat available for sale through various markets. If you’re having trouble finding any near you, you may need to wait until that fall hunting season for venison meat to be readily available.
Venison tenderloin is a thick cut of meat that is also known as the backstrap. It’s a boneless cut that can be prepared a number of ways, and I’ll share with you a venison tenderloin recipe it’s really tasty and flavorful.
How to Cook Venison Tenderloin in Oven
- 1 pound of tenderloin venison
- Mushroom cream sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Prepare the venison by patting it completely dry and then seasoning it with salt. Make sure it is salted on all sides and then place the tenderloin into a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with paper towels or parchment paper. Cover the tenderloin with paper towels as well and store it overnight in the fridge or for as little as 4 hours.
- Let the tenderloin rest at room temperature for an hour before you cook it. Season with black pepper and then increase heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Your venison tenderloin should cook for about 30 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take the venison out of the oven and allow it to rest for five minutes before cutting it.
This keeps the juices from seeping out and prevents the venison tenderloin from losing its flavor. Then, garnish the tenderloin with mushroom cream sauce.
This method for how to cook venison tenderloin in a pan is very straightforward, and you can change up the seasonings and garnishes as you’d like, but I’ve just given you a simple recipe to start with. You can use this as a venison tenderloin medallions recipe simply by cutting your tenderloin piece into small medallion slices.
What Should the Venison Tenderloin Temp Be?
You want the venison tenderloin to come out of the oven being tender and juicy rather than dry, tough, and rubbery. How to cook venison tenderloin in oven at the right temperature? Choosing 400 degrees Fahrenheit ensures that venison cooks all the way through in about 30 minutes. You probably don’t want to increase the temperature by much more than that just to try to speed up the cooking time.
You can lower the temperature, if you prefer, for something closer to slow roasting. You will need to increase the cooking time if you lower the temperature, however. Sometimes it can be convenient to have a longer cooking time so that you don’t have to take that out venison out of the oven so soon.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin
One of my favorite things to do with venison tenderloin is to wrap it in bacon and cut it in smaller servings like that. You don’t have to cook the bacon ahead of time, and you can simply preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your tenderloin the same way I discussed above. The only difference is that you will slice the tenderloin into separate pieces before roasting so that the bacon can fully wrap around each slice.
Season the venison, wrap your slices in bacon, and then cook in the oven for 55 minutes. Make sure you use a rimmed baking pan to help catch any juices that may come out while the meat is cooking. Other than these few small changes, you will be cooking the venison tenderloin using the same method described above.
How to Make Grilled Venison
What if you want to grill venison tenderloin outdoors? You can season and prepare the tenderloin the same way that I described for the oven roasting method. Make sure you give it time to soak up the salt or any marinade of your choice for at least a few hours before you cook it. This makes for a more flavorful piece of meat.
Preheat to get grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, if it has a temperature setting. Make sure you pat the meat dry before you put it on the grill, and allow it to rest at room temperature and achieve room temperature before cooking.
Grill it on direct heat, once the grill warms up all the way. Make sure that the meat cooks on all sides evenly, and it should cook for about 6 to 8 minutes for every inch the tenderloin is thick. Check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit at least, which will give you a medium rare level of doneness.
You can cook it for longer than that, up but be careful about overcooking your meat. That can make it tasteless, dry, and rubbery.
Before you slice the meat open, be sure to allow to rest for a few minutes so you don’t lose the flavorful juices.
How to Make Venison Tenderloin In A Dutch Oven
The final method for cooking venison tenderloin that I want to share with you utilizes a Dutch oven. Here’s how you do it.
- Thaw out and dry the meat, and then season your venison thoroughly.
- Warm up the Dutch oven on the stove using medium high heat.
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in the Dutch oven and then place your roast in there to sear for about a minute on each side.
- Add in a sauce or other liquid to cook the tenderloin in (tomato paste and apple cider vinegar work well), and then put the tenderloin back into the Dutch oven cover, and then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
- If you want to add some veggies to make a pot roast, you can add in your potatoes and carrots at that point, and then cook for another hour and a half.
The Dutch oven method takes much longer, but the slow cooking ensures that it becomes a very tender and juicy tenderloin.