5 Simple Steps to Smoke Deer Meat
Hunting deer is a sheer pleasure on its own. I am sure a lot of you guys out there will resonate with me on this. Of course, it does take a bit of an elbow grease and guts, but I can do it any day of the week. The closer I get to deer, the farther I am from people. While hunting, I am not fixated on people, things, or objects. I leave all my worries to fate to enjoy my hunting endeavor. Frankly speaking, the aftermath has always been great for me. The journey from the field to the plate has never left me unimpressed. Sometimes, I am treated like a combat warrior returning home with the deer loaded on the back of my truck.
The thing that I have realized over here is that both hunting and cooking requires a certain degree of expertise. Of course, the learning curve with hunting can be literally endless. On the other hand, cooking can offer rapid delight with its short learning curve. If you haven’t smoked deer meat yet, you can consider this as your lucky day because I am about to show you how you can go about smoking deer meat without throwing an arm and a leg. So, forget all the emerging dilemmas associated with cooking deer meat. Believe me; it won’t suck. What I am going to show you is a complete blueprint from start to finish. So, let’s press on.
5 Steps to Smoke Deer Meat
1. Trimming the Meat
First and foremost, it’s recommended that you trim off all the excess fat. Unlike most meats, fat is not a good thing on deer meats. So, make use of a sharp knife to peel off the fat. The spine and the hams store the most fat. Also, you will find some fat inside the rear body cavity. So, go ahead and shoot for these areas. Keep in mind commercial deer processors won’t take the time to remove the last bit of surface fat. So, it’s up to you to bone out the meat. Goes without saying, keep the meat as clean as possible.
2. Brining the Meat
Here’s what I firmly believe, all tasty meats have to go through brining. You might want to reread this if you don’t brine your meat. Believe it or not, you are missing out on a lot. Brining ensures moist and juiciest cooked meat ever. So, it’s worth the extra steps and hassle. The best part is that there are many ways to brine meat. The basic ingredients are salt and water. Other ingredients can be combined to contribute to the taste and flavor such as brown sugar, pepper, rosemary, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, etc. Get the mixture ready, and add meat to it. Allow the meat to sit in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
3. Preparing the Smoker
Now, the meat should be ready to turn over a new leaf. With brining done, most of the tedious task is taken care off. So, prepare the smoker for cooking. Once you have taken the meat off the fridge, rinse it off nicely and set it on a plate. Basically, let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In the meanwhile, soak the wood chips in water. This is crucial as well because we want the wood chips to last longer and produce sufficient smoke. Once done, get ready to fire up the smoker.
4. Cooking the Meat
Set the grill up for indirect heat because direct heat can cause more harm than good. It can make the meat tough. Who wants a chewing gum quality meat? The ideal temperature that you would want is 250-300F. Make sure to check the temperature under the hood every thirty minutes to ensure that nothing is going wrong. My apprehensive wife checks the temperature every 10-15 minutes. Don’t be like her because frequent checkups will increase the cooking duration.
5. Temperature Adjustment
If you find the temperature high, open the vent halfway. This will allow more air to the coal. If you find the temperature to be too low, get ready to add more charcoal. Keep adjusting the temperature because you want it to stay between 250-300F during the entire cooking process. If the smoker stops generating smoke, add more damp wood chips to the fire. Your best bet would be to allow approximately 1.5 hours of cooking for every pound of meat. You can also keep an eye on the internal temperature of the smoker to accurately gauge if the meat is done or not. If the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, you should know that the job is done.
Remember, even if the internal temperature is a few degrees off, it can affect the quality of the meat. The moisture and tenderness would be off to a certain extent. So, don’t take temperature monitoring lightly. Once the smoker attains the desired temperature, remove the meat from the smoker and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. Yes, that much clock ticks are necessary. You don’t have to be aware of the exact minute and second. But, that’s a ballpark timing. Almost everyone reading this might have already guessed it. I couldn’t help but mention over here. Now, it’s finally the moment for you to enjoy the delicious meat.
Hopefully, this cooking method might have appealed to all you guys out there. Since you have taken the time and effort to read the entire post, stop looking backward, and look forward! By bedtime, you might almost forget about it. So, try it out once, and you will surely be hooked. Agreed, there could be nothing at stake for you. But, it will reveal an oversight that could keep you away from impending deer meat cooking experience. By cooking deer meat in the fashion described above, you will have moist, tender, and amazingly tasty meat. Furthermore, the cooking process is a 14-year old job. For the most part, it’s damn easy. Hopefully, you will enjoy it as much as I do!