Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap) Recipe

Are you tired of the same old boring recipes for your outdoor grill? Me too. But fear not, because I’ve got something special for you – a Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap) Recipe that will knock your socks off and leave your taste buds begging for more.

Now, I know some folks might be hesitant when it comes to trying venison, but trust me, this recipe will change your mind forever. It’s juicy, tender, and flavorful beyond measure. And what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than by cooking up a delicious meal that was hunted or obtained from a trusted source?

Plus, this recipe is incredibly easy to make, and requires only a few simple ingredients. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or just starting out, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends.

So let’s fire up that grill and get started on this mouth-watering Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap) Recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap)
Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap)

Are you in the mood for a juicy, flavorful cut of meat that’s sure to impress your dinner guests? Look no further than this grilled venison tenderloin (backstrap) recipe. Not only is it easy to prepare, but it’s also packed with delicious flavors that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

One reason you’ll love this recipe is that it features venison backstrap, a lean and protein-rich cut of meat that’s perfect for those who enjoy hunting or want to switch up their usual meat choices. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good barbecue dish? This recipe allows you to showcase your grilling skills and impress your friends and family with a mouth-watering meal.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its use of bacon, apple cider, and olive oil. The bacon adds a smoky flavor while the apple cider gives a hint of sweetness, and the olive oil ensures maximum moisture retention during grilling. These ingredients work together to create a succulent texture and unforgettable taste that will make you want to lick your plate clean.

So whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or simply looking to try something new with your trusty grill, give this grilled venison tenderloin (backstrap) recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 The star of the BBQ show – grilled venison tenderloin!
The star of the BBQ show – grilled venison tenderloin!

Venison Backstrap – The star of this recipe, this cut is the tenderloin that runs along the backbone of a deer. It’s lean and tender, with a slightly sweet flavor.

Bacon – This adds a layer of smoky flavor and keeps the backstrap moist as it cooks.

Olive oil – Used to brush the sides of the backstrap to ensure full coverage. The oil helps keep moisture and prevent the venison from drying out.

Apple cider vinegar – Adds tanginess and tenderizes the meat.

Barbecue sauce – A classic grilling ingredient that adds sweetness and smokiness to the dish.

Optional: Balsamic vinegar – Adds more depth to the flavor profile.

Optional: Cream cheese – For a stuffed backstrap variation.

Optional: Pellet grill or Traeger grills – To add a rich, smoky flavor to the backstrap.

Note: When cooking wild game, it’s important to clean and trim any excess fat or membranes off the meat before cooking. Also, make sure to soak the venison in milk for 3-4 hours before cooking to remove any gamey taste.

The Recipe How-To

 Who needs steak when you can have perfectly grilled venison?
Who needs steak when you can have perfectly grilled venison?

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, we can start cooking! This Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap) is a recipe that takes a little time to prepare, but the result is well worth the wait.

Steps to Follow

  1. Preheat the grill to 500°F.

It’s crucial to get the grill temperature right for perfect results. A hot grill will sear the meat and lock in its moisture, creating a juicy and tender backstrap.

  1. Brush olive oil on both sides of the venison backstrap.

This will ensure full coverage of oil on all sides and help keep moisture to prevent venison from drying out. Allow it to rest for about 3 minutes.

  1. Place the backstrap onto the grill grate and let it cook for 6-8 minutes per side.

This time will vary depending on your grill, but usually, Traeger grills are perfect for this recipe, as they give accurate temperature control and quick searing. Use a timer or watch as this helps to have an idea when to turn the backstrap.

  1. While grilling, baste with a mixture of apple cider and olive oil.

Brushing with basting mixture will add extra flavor while also keeping it juicy and tender.

  1. Sear by turning every after minute until medium-rare doneness is reached (8-10 minutes).

Venison tenderloin should be cooked until medium rare because it has less fat than beef, and overcooking may make it dry and tough.

  1. Let your venison backstrap rest for at least five minutes before slicing.

    Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making sure each slice is as tender and flavorful as possible.

  2. Serve immediately with sides of your choice and enjoy!

    Grilled venison backstrap pairs well with barbecue sauce or any sauce of your choice, bacon-wrapped venison stuffing with cream cheese, smoked venison or stuffed venison makes an excellent complimentary dish.

Now that you know how to make this delicious grilled venison backstrap recipe, fire up your grill or pellet grill or charcoal grill and put your hunting skills to use. You can also cook up plenty of variations by trying other substitutions like balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider or adding different seasonings like garlic if you want some additional flavor to your meat.

Substitutions and Variations

 The ultimate backyard feast: grilled venison tenderloin.
The ultimate backyard feast: grilled venison tenderloin.

When it comes to grilling venison backstrap, there’s certainly no shortage of variations and substitutions you can make to perfectly suit your taste buds. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Barbecue Sauce: While this recipe calls for apple cider as a marinade, you can also switch things up by using your favorite barbecue sauce. Remember that different sauces have varying levels of sweetness and tanginess, so make sure to adjust accordingly.

– Bacon: For those who love bacon with everything, why not take it to the next level and wrap your venison backstrap in bacon before grilling? This will add a crispy texture and some extra savory flavor.

– Stuffing: Another delicious option is to stuff your backstrap with cream cheese, garlic, or even diced jalapeños for a bit of a kick. Trust me, once you try it stuffed, you’ll never want to cook it any other way.

– Pellet Grill: If you’re lucky enough to own a Traeger grill or any other pellet grill, this recipe will be even easier for you! Just follow the recipe exactly but cook it using the pellet grill instead. This will enhance the smoky flavor without requiring extra effort on your part.

– Charcoal Grill: If you prefer cooking over charcoal instead of gas or pellets, simply light up the grill and let it heat up until the coals are white-hot. Proceed with the recipe as written but using charcoal instead.

– Venison Roast: Instead of cooking individual backstraps, consider making a larger venison roast on the grill for parties or gatherings with friends and family. The same marinade and seasoning will work wonders with a larger cut of meat!

These substitutions and variations can truly elevate a simple venison backstrap recipe into something extraordinary. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what works best for your taste preferences!

Serving and Pairing

 Meet the king of the grill – venison backstrap.
Meet the king of the grill – venison backstrap.

When it comes to serving grilled venison backstrap, simplicity is key. You want to let the rich flavor of the meat itself shine through without overpowering it with complex flavors.

One great option is to serve the backstrap on a platter with a side of fresh green vegetables or a simple salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. The acidity of the dressing will nicely complement the bold flavor of the grilled venison.

If you want to add some sweetness, consider pairing it with roasted sweet potatoes or grilled peaches. The sweetness of these sides will complement the meat’s savoriness in a beautiful balance.

I personally love to serve this dish family-style by slicing up the backstrap into thin pieces and letting everyone take as much as they like.

And what about beverages? A red wine can enhance the flavor experience of the venison backstrap. A lighter-bodied Malbec or Pinot Noir are great options that won’t be too heavy on your palate. If you’re into craft beers and want to pair that with grilled venison, an IPA always goes well because of its bitter hoppiness.

Overall, serving and pairing options with grilled venison backstrap can vary depending on your personal taste preferences. Just remember not to overcomplicate things – sometimes simplicity is key!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The classic BBQ dish gets an elevated twist with venison tenderloin.
The classic BBQ dish gets an elevated twist with venison tenderloin.

Let’s be real, the best part of grilling is indulging in leftovers. Luckily, this Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap) Recipe holds up well in the fridge and freezer. Here are some tips on how to make-ahead, store, and reheat your venison backstrap.

If you’re making this recipe for a big event or party, you can always marinate the venison backstrap and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to grill it. Just make sure to leave it in its marinade until you’re ready to cook it. You can also wrap it well in plastic wrap to prevent air from getting in and drying out the meat, especially if you have leftovers.

When storing cooked grilled venison backstrap, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. For longer preservation, store it in your freezer for up to six months. Be sure to package it well and remove all excess air with a vacuum sealer or freezer bags.

When reheating leftover venison backstrap, avoid putting it directly into a microwave as it will overcook the meat and dry it out. Instead, place the leftover backstrap on a grill or oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 minutes per side or until heated thoroughly. Just be cautious not to overcook it as you don’t want to dry out your tender and juicy venison.

With these helpful tips on how to store and reheat your grilled venison backstrap recipe trauma, you won’t have to worry about wasted leftovers or dry meat ever again!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Your guests won't know what hit them with this tender and flavorful grilled venison.
Your guests won’t know what hit them with this tender and flavorful grilled venison.

If you want to impress your friends and family with the perfect grilled venison tenderloin, then follow these tips to ensure an unforgettable meal.

Firstly, Always preheat your grill to a high temperature before adding the backstrap. This not only sears in the flavor but it also helps to keep the meat tender and juicy. For perfect medium-rare, grill for six to eight minutes per side. The Traeger grills work best for this recipe as they provide consistent heat and smoked flavor throughout the cooking process.

Secondly, marinade your venison backstrap in apple cider or balsamic vinegar with olive oil and any of your favorite herbs or spices overnight. Not only does this add extra flavor to the meat, but it also breaks down any tough fibers, resulting in a more tender and juicy cut of meat.

Thirdly, Why Soak deer backstrap in milk? Soaking your deer backstrap in milk overnight can help neutralize any gamey taste that some people find off-putting. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference in taste.

Fourthly, brush olive oil on all sides of the backstrap to ensure full coverage. This oil helps keep moisture within the meat and helps prevent it from drying out during cooking. Additionally, clean grates are essential when grilling venison; lay the venison on a clean grill grate for best results.

Lastly, let your cooked venison rest for at least three minutes before slicing into it. This allows juices to redistribute back through the meat, keeping every bite tender and juicy. Remember that a successful grilled venison tenderloin takes time and patience but with these simple tips, you’ll achieve fantastic results every time!


As with any recipe, there may be questions that come to mind during preparation or after completion. To help you out, here are some frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers for this grilled venison tenderloin (backstrap) recipe.

Is venison tenderloin the same as backstrap?

When it comes to deer meat, there are certain cuts that are highly sought after. The backstraps, for instance, are the sizable muscles that run alongside the spine on both sides of the animal, while the tenderloins are much smaller and can be found inside the abdominal area, beneath the spine and backstrap.

What is the best way to cook deer Backstraps?

To keep the moisture locked in and prevent venison from drying out during grilling, I recommend lightly brushing extra virgin olive oil on both sides of the backstrap prior to cooking. Flip and grill each side for about 3 1/2 minutes, ensuring the meat forms a nice crust, then flip once again and grill for an additional 3 minutes. For optimal flavor and tenderness, I suggest cooking to a medium-rare or rare level.

Why do you soak deer backstrap in milk?

If you find that freshly hunted venison can have an overpowering taste, there’s a helpful trick to soften that strong flavor. You can soak the deer backstrap in buttermilk for a few hours or even overnight to draw out any blood and remove that “gamey” taste. The acid in the buttermilk also helps to make the meat more tender.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this grilled venison tenderloin recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves to barbecue and enjoys the rich and slightly gamey flavor of venison. With a few simple ingredients like olive oil, bacon, apple cider, and barbecue sauce, you can create a delicious and mouth-watering meal that will impress and satisfy your guests.

Whether you prefer cooking on a pellet grill or charcoal grill, this recipe will work perfectly for you. It’s easy to prepare in advance by marinating the venison overnight with your favorite spices and herbs. And if you’re looking for something different, why not try stuffing the backstrap with cream cheese or wrapping it in bacon?

With just a little bit of effort and some patience, you’ll be able to serve up perfectly cooked venison every time. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – you won’t be disappointed! And who knows, it might just become your new go-to recipe for hunting season or backyard barbecues. Happy grilling!

Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap)

Grilled Venison Tenderloin (Backstrap) Recipe

This is a great recipe for backstrap. I found it on another cooking site and decided that it needed to be shared with the Zaar. It takes about 5 hours of marinading time. These also work well as an appetizer.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Wild game
Servings 16 pcs
Calories 1172.3 kcal


  • 2 lbs venison tenderloins, cut into 2 inch chunks (backstrap)
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 1/2 lbs thick sliced bacon
  • 2 (12 ounce) bottles barbecue sauce, your choice


  • Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish, and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Remove, and pat dry. Discard apple cider, and return venison to the dish. Pour barbecue sauce over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 more hours.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Charcoal is best, but if you must, use gas. Remove meat from the refrigerator, and let stand for 30 minutes, or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon, and secure with toothpicks.
  • Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot, and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready. Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, 15 to 20 minutes. The slower, the better. Dig in, and prepare to want more!



Serving: 824gCalories: 1172.3kcalCarbohydrates: 25.6gProtein: 71.9gFat: 86.1gSaturated Fat: 27.5gCholesterol: 156.6mgSodium: 2946.3mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 7.3g
Keyword Easy, Meat, Wild Game
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.