As a wild game chef, I’ve been cooking perfect deer backstraps for many years now, and chances are you’re using the wrong method to make your backstrap. As a newbie wild game chef, I would always overcook my backstraps. Over the years, I’ve learned the best ways to make deer backstraps without much struggle.
I’ll share the three best ways to cook the perfect deer backstraps without treating it like beef. You’ll also learn about a deer backstrap and why it’s good meat.
After marinating the venison, remove the meat from your refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature. Ensure to preheat your grill to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Grilling deer backstrap is a straightforward process, like cooking on the stovetop. Unlike cooking on the stovetop, grilling allows you to leave marinade on the meat instead of wiping it.
After placing your backstrap on the grill, cook for around five minutes. Always use a meat thermometer to monitor your backstrap. You can also soak your meat in buttermilk, which will add flavor and tenderize your meat.
Remove the meat from the grill after it reaches 125 degrees. Remember that the most crucial factor to a tasty backstrap is the temperature you cook it to. Unlike other types of meat, you should never cook deer meat past medium. A 15-minute rest will result in a pinkish-red center with a medium cook. The tough and grayish backstrap is probably overcooked.
Place at least four tablespoons of butter into a skillet to sear your meat on the stovetop. As you prepare your butter, allow the backstrap to sit at room temperature. After taking the meat out of the marinade, it’s time to remove excess marinade. Place your backstraps into the skillet if your butter is hot. Next, sear your meat on all sides, ensuring it forms a nice crust.
Depending on the meat thickness, you’ll need around five minutes to sear each side of your backstrap. It’s advisable to use a meat thermometer rather than monitoring your backstrap. Your backstrap will continue cooking even after removing it from the heat. Remember to remove the backstraps after the pan reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you remove your backstrap from the pan, allow it to rest for five minutes, allowing the meat to stay moist and tender.
To make small cuts of deer meat, consider using a processor. Small pieces of meat will only take two minutes of sear time to produce tender pieces. Cut thick slices of meat to increase the chances of becoming moist.
3. Searing Deer Backstraps in Dutch Oven
Although grilling and searing are convenient ways to make deer backstraps, most people consider cooking backstraps in the oven an excellent alternative. Start by searing your deer backstraps in olive oil or butter.
Afterward, place the backstraps in the oven for 10 minutes. You must increase the baking time, especially if you prefer large cuts of meat. Preferably, the oven temperature should reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
The backstraps should rest for around ten minutes before serving. However, you can always increase this time, especially if you want the juice to reabsorb, enabling a more tender and juicier cut.
What Is the Backstrap on a Deer?
A backstrap is a large cut of meat found on a deer’s spine. Backstraps are often confused with tenderloins, but the latter are smaller and found in the abdominal section below the spine. Backstraps are categorized into Longissimus capitis, Longissimus cervicis, and Longissimus dorsi.
Longissimus is the largest muscle and makes up the erector spinae muscles. These muscles are crucial as they help deer lean backward and to the side. In addition, the muscles allow a deer to jump and reach ridiculous heights within seconds. Backstraps muscles also provide stability while controlling movement in a deer.
In most animals like deer, backstraps muscles are tender because they don’t carry much weight like shoulder or a haunch. After skinning a deer, it’s straightforward to remove the backstrap.
Because backstraps are exterior muscles that run along the spine, you won’t find any internal bones. You only need to insert your knife at the backbone, specifically where the ribs meet the spine. Always cut close to the spine, as you may leave meat behind. Making perpendicular cuts is the best way to remove backstraps from a deer.
How Good Is Deer Backstrap?
Backstrap is the most tender part you’ll find in a deer. People also love backstraps because it’s lean, versatile, and one of the healthiest meat. Research by the United States Department of Agriculture shows that a 3.5 portion of a backstrap has around 150 calories. Deer backstraps have almost 30 grams of fat per 3.5 portions of meat.
Deer backstraps also have crucial nutrients such as zinc, potassium, and iron.
Is Backstrap Good Meat?
Yes, backstraps make excellent steaks and are popular for their high nutrient content. The flavorful meat is also easy to cook and has low-fat content, making it one of the most prized cuts of meat. Backstraps are ideal for soups and stew, but you must know how to make them properly.
How Do You Cook a Deer Backstrap?
Because backstraps are tender and straightforward to cook, the best way to make them is using the sous vide method, so you’ll have complete temperature control.
Start by taking your deer backstrap from the fridge and placing it at room temperature. That ensures the backstraps cook fully in the middle. Use spices and ensure the meat is fully coated on the inside. The goal here is to have a nicely done and seasoned backstrap. Once you sear the meat pieces, cook them and ensure they reach your preferred doneness level.
Once the oven reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit, cover the backstraps with foil for ten minutes. Finally, slice your meat and enjoy your fully cooked backstraps.