Smoky and Succulent Smoked Deer Ham Recipe

Are you on the hunt for a unique and delicious BBQ recipe that will impress your friends and family? Look no further than this Smoked Deer Ham Recipe. Not only is this dish packed full of flavor, but it also provides a great opportunity to use up some of that wild game meat in your freezer.

As an assistant to a BBQ chef, I have had the pleasure of working with venison ham and other smoked venison cuts in the past. And let me tell you, this smoked venison ham recipe is truly something special. Whether you are cooking for a small gathering or feeding a hungry crowd, this recipe is sure to satisfy.

But don’t just take my word for it. Give this recipe a try for yourself and discover why smoked deer ham has become a go-to dish for meat lovers everywhere. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to prepare a mouth-watering meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds!)

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Smoked Deer Ham
Smoked Deer Ham

Are you looking for a new and unique way to enjoy wild game meat? Look no further than this smoked deer ham recipe. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also packed with delicious flavor that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Firstly, the smoky flavor of the venison roast is enhanced by the combination of butter, olive oil, and the rich aroma of onion. This helps to create a savory blend of flavors that perfectly complements the meat without overpowering it. Additionally, the careful balance of spices including fresh ground black pepper, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper added to Worcestershire sauce team up to create a dynamic flavor explosion in each bite.

One of the best parts of this recipe is how versatile it is. Whether you have access to hindquarters from small or medium-sized game animals like whitetail deer or bear, or even larger game animals like wild pigs, this recipe can be adapted to fit your needs. No matter what meat you choose to use, the process of curing and smoking will bring out its unique and rich flavors in the most delicious ways imaginable.

Finally, smoking improves almost any meat without drying it out. What’s more exciting than sinking your teeth into a perfectly smoked venison roast with just the right amount of juiciness? This recipe will show you that smoking wild game isn’t just reserved for cooked hams or roasted birds – it works beautifully on other cuts of meat too.

So there you have it: plenty of reasons why you’ll love this amazing smoked deer ham recipe! Try it yourself today for a memorable meal that everyone is sure to talk about long after they’ve licked their plates clean.

Ingredient List

 Ready to smoke this delicious deer ham
Ready to smoke this delicious deer ham

Here are all the ingredients you need to make this smoky and delicious deer ham recipe:

  • Venison ham (1 ½ to 2 pounds)
  • Butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Onion (1 medium-sized, diced)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (1 tablespoon)
  • Kosher salt (1 cup)
  • Cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon)
  • Worcestershire sauce (½ cup)

To make the cure for the venison roast:

  • Kosher salt (1 cup)
  • Brown sugar (½ cup)
  • Prague powder #1 aka curing salt (1 tablespoon)

You will also need a smoker to smoke the venison ham. This recipe uses a Bradley Smoker.

The Recipe How-To

 Slow and low is the way to go
Slow and low is the way to go

Smoking the Venison Ham

  1. Prepare the venison ham.

To prepare the venison ham, start by removing any excess fat using a sharp knife. The remaining fat can be scored in a diamond pattern to allow better smoke and flavor penetration.

  1. Cure and smoke the venison ham.

Combine 1 cup of kosher salt, ½ cup of brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Rub this mixture all over the venison ham, then place it in a plastic bag with the excess curing mixture. Keep refrigerated for 48 hours.

After curing, rinse the ham and pat it dry with paper towels. Allow it to air dry for an hour while you prepare your smoker.

Preheat your smoker to 275°F and put the meat probe in place to keep track of internal temperature throughout smoking time.

  1. Smoke the venison ham.

Once the smoker is preheated, put the ham on, and turn up the heat slightly to 300°F. Smoke the venison ham for five hours turning it once every hour.

  1. Crack Up Heat to Finish

After five hours are finished, crank up the heat to 350°F, let it smoke for an additional three hours, or until internal temperature reaches 200°F on the meat probe inserted into its thickest part.

  1. Rest & Serve

Once done, remove meat from smoker and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing into it as this will further tenderize it

  1. Enjoy!

Serve smoked deer ham warm, alongside some buttered rolls or biscuits and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A little bit of seasoning goes a long way
A little bit of seasoning goes a long way

Are you looking for some creative ways to mix up this smoked deer ham recipe? Let me share with you some scrumptious substitutions and variations that are sure to please your palate.

First, if you don’t have venison ham on hand, you can also use venison shoulder or hindquarter in place of the ham. These cuts of meat are equally flavorful and tender when slow-cooked to perfection. Alternatively, try using deer roast or backstrap as a substitute for the ham.

If you prefer a stronger smoky flavor, add ham hocks to the recipe. They are perfect for adding depth and savory taste to any smoking process. You can also experiment with different cure and smoke combinations to achieve unique flavors and taste that suit your liking.

For those who love spicy food, add some tasso ham seasoning or cayenne pepper to your marinade. It will give your smoked deer ham a fiery kick that will tickle your taste buds.

Lastly, consider trying different methods of smoking such as using a charcoal grill or wood smoker aside from Bradley smoker. Just make sure to keep track of the internal meat temperature using a probe thermometer to guarantee that the ham is cooked thoroughly without drying out.

By incorporating these substitutions and variations into your smoked deer ham recipe, you’ll take it up a notch and impress all your guests with your culinary skills. Whether you’re cooking for family or friends, these little twists will make your dish stand out from the rest.

Serving and Pairing

 The beauty is in the smoke ring
The beauty is in the smoke ring

The aroma of the smoked venison ham when it’s taken out of the smoker is enough to make one’s mouth water. But, before we dive into tasting it, there are a few serving and pairing suggestions I would like to share.

The smoked deer ham recipe would be a great addition to your holiday spread or dinner party platter. It pairs well with some creamy mashed potatoes, buttered vegetables or glazed carrots for a hearty meal. The rich and smoky flavors of the ham can also stand alone as an entrée on any meat lover’s plate.

For a lighter dinner option, thinly slice the smoked venison ham and use it on top of a fresh garden salad with ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Alternatively, serve it in a sandwich with some zingy mustard and pickles for added flavor.

If you’re looking for something more festive, pair the smoked venison ham with a nice bold red wine. A Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will complement the flavors and bring out the richness of the venison. For beer enthusiasts, try an IPA or stout beer for a satisfying hint of bitterness that adds depth of flavor to every bite.

No matter how you choose to serve it or what you pair it with, there’s no denying that this smoked deer ham recipe is pure bliss on your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 It’s all about the flavor
It’s all about the flavor

Now that you’ve mastered the art of smoking a delicious deer ham, it’s important to know how to store and reheat it for future consumption. You can use the leftover meat in various dishes such as sandwiches, soups or tacos, or eat it on its own.

If you plan to store the smoked deer ham, be sure to remove it from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, let it rest until it has cooled down before putting it in your fridge or freezer. Make sure to transfer it into an airtight container to prevent freezer burn if you choose to freeze the meat.

Reheating the smoked deer ham is a simple process that can be done using an oven, stovetop, or microwave. If you’re using an oven, preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place the ham in a baking dish with 1-2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil on top. Cover it with foil and bake it for about 15-20 minutes for every pound.

Alternatively, you can heat up slices of venison ham individually using a stovetop. Simply melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat and add your slices to the pan. Cook until they are heated through while occasionally flipping them.

The microwave is also an option for reheating smaller portions of your smoked venison ham quickly. Place the slices on a microwavable plate covered with damp paper towel and heat them up for 30-60 seconds depending on your microwave’s power.

Remember that reheated meat won’t taste quite as good as freshly made but still makes for a great way to reuse leftovers and enjoy this flavorful recipe again without compromising its original taste!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Patience is key to the perfect smoked ham
Patience is key to the perfect smoked ham

If you’re new to smoking meat, it can be intimidating to get it just right. But fear not, with a few simple tips, you’ll have a perfectly smoked deer ham that will impress all the taste buds.

First and foremost, make sure you use a meat probe to keep track of the internal temperature. Overcooked meat can be dry and tough, so keep an eye on the temperature throughout the smoking process. I recommend bringing the venison ham to an internal temperature of 200 degrees for a tender and juicy texture.

Once you remove the meat from the smoker, pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This will give your smoked deer ham a crisp outer texture and prevent it from being too greasy.

Using high-quality ingredients is also essential for making delicious smoked venison. Opt for fresh-ground black pepper, kosher salt, and Worcestershire sauce to enhance the flavor of your meat. Adding cayenne pepper can also give your smoked deer ham a bit of a kick if you so desire.

If you’re short on time or don’t want to invest in a dedicated smoker, there are still ways you can smoke meat without drying it out. One option is to use a brine solution to keep in moisture while adding flavor. You can also use a grill with indirect heat or even create your own smoker using wood chips and aluminum foil.

Lastly, don’t forget about the importance of letting your venison ham rest after smoking it. Allowing the meat to sit for at least ten minutes will help redistribute the juices and flavors throughout the meat for optimal enjoyment.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to making mouth-watering smoked deer ham that’s perfect for any occasion.


As with any recipe, the Smoked Deer Ham Recipe may raise some questions or concerns. To ensure that your smoking experience goes smoothly and you achieve the best possible results, we have compiled several frequently asked questions to address any uncertainties you may have. So, let’s dive into the common queries and find out all there is to know about this delicious venison ham recipe.

What is the best way to smoke a deer ham?

When it comes to smoking a ham, it’s all about low and slow. Setting your smoker at a temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, let the ham slowly cook for anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. To ensure the ham is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check the center of the ham, looking for a reading of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the ham is done, let it cool before removing the meat from the bone and slicing it thinly. This is key for achieving mouth-watering, juicy and tender meat.

What temp is a venison ham done at?

To start off, heat up the grill until it’s ready. Once it’s preheated, it’s time to smoke the venison roast for an hour and a half. After that, increase the heat to 275 and keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat using your trusty meat probe. Once it reaches a temperature of 180, your ham is perfectly cooked and ready to enjoy.

How do you smoke deer meat without drying it out?

One of the most important aspects of smoking meat on a BBQ grill is ensuring that the internal temperature of the smoker stays consistent at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is ideal for cooking the meat all the way through without causing it to become overly dry or burnt. To achieve this, it’s important to adjust the smoker or grill vents accordingly. Once the temperature is stable, it’s essential to ensure that the smoke coming out of the smoker is thin, white and wispy, indicating that it’s ideal for food preparation. With these key steps, you’ll be well on your way to perfectly smoked meat on the grill.

How long to smoke a deer ham on a pellet grill?

When smoking venison, it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on its internal temperature. Aim for a range of 120-140°F, with my personal preference being around 130°F. Depending on the size and thickness of the meat, this should take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours in the smoker. Once it’s done, allow the venison to rest on the cutting board for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. This will help the juices settle and ensure a more flavorful dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a unique and flavorful protein that will impress your guests, then this smoked deer ham is the recipe for you. Not only does it incorporate perfectly balanced flavors of spices and Worcestershire sauce, but it’s also a great way to utilize game meats like venison.

By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you’ll be able to produce a mouth-watering and juicy ham that will leave your taste buds yearning for more. Don’t forget to pair it with buttery mashed potatoes or a fresh salad to complete the meal.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try out this smoked deer ham recipe today and become the meateater cook you were meant to be!

Smoked Deer Ham

Smoked Deer Ham Recipe

This recipe comes from “Best of the Best From the Great Plains Cookbook”. I’m publishing it in honor of one of Zaar’s members who, sadly, has a disability making her incapable of appreciating venison. How this occurred is open to debate, as she was originally a Minnesota girl and should not be suffering so. The opinion among some is that it is a side effect of a unique, spiritual, liquid fast that she assiduously practices. It is my hope that this recipe will cure her affliction. (The long preparation and cooking times are for marinating and smoking the ham. Despite the joking description, this really is pretty good.)
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 hours
Cook Time 12 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 1 ham
Calories 1689.8 kcal


  • 1 (5 lb) venison butt, neatly trimmed.
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup soft butter or 1/2 cup olive oil


  • Mix together all ingredients, except venison.
  • Place venison in a large container with a tight fitting lid (or use self-stick cling film).
  • Poke holes with a narrow bladed knife throughout the meat and cover with the mixture of remaining ingredients.
  • Cover well, refrigerate, and marinate at least 10 hours.
  • Put on smoker and allow to smoke for 6 hours.
  • Turn over and smoke for at least another 4 hours and up to 6 hours.



Serving: 677gCalories: 1689.8kcalCarbohydrates: 74.6gProtein: 4.7gFat: 160gSaturated Fat: 69.1gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 12873.8mgFiber: 5.3gSugar: 40.9g
Keyword Deer, 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.