Marinated and Grilled Venison Backstrap – Running To The Kitchen

Recipes for cooking deer backstrap

An easy recipe for venison waist marinated overnight and grilled to perfection the next day, resulting in a tender, juicy, and incredibly tasty venison strap.

Perfectly roasted venison strap cut into slices and served with a ramp pesto.

I’ve been getting more and more into the wild game lately


In case these moose burgers weren’t proof enough, digging up the backstrap of venison from the depths of the freezer, I thought I should share this incredibly simple method of marinating and grilling that we’ve been enjoying recently.

First of all, I have to say hello to my brother for giving me this deer leash to begin with.

He also gave me the roast I used in my Instant Pot venison roast recipe, but if you know anything about the backstrap, you know that parting with that deer cut is a completely selfless gesture.

The deer back strap is a coveted cut.

Many compare it to a filet mignon from a cow and once you’ve tasted it (as long as you cook it correctly), you’ll see why.

This grilled waist recipe respects venison with its absolute simplicity.

The star of the show is really the tender and juicy back strap simply highlighted with crispy grilled edges and nuances of the sweet balsamic and garlic marinade.

Quick and simple marinated for the back leaster of venison poured over venison in a plastic bag.



Backstrap is a term typically used when referring to deer, elk, elk and other wildlife

. It is the length of the back

on the back of those animals.

Some think that the back strap and the spine are the same, but in reality they are not.

The loins are two strips of meat under the back and behind the ribs. This is what would really be comparable to beef filet mignon.

This image is useful for visualizing the difference between the two.

So while it’s actually not the same as the loin, the back strap is still considered one of the most tender cuts of meat in a deer.

Deer strap marinated in a plastic bag overnight.


There are many opinions on this question out there.

And, while there are many ways to cook the back leash of the deer, including smoking, using a dry massage, scorching in a pan (like my pan duck recipe), and Grilling, I am partial to this recipe for its ease and consistent results.

Personally, I think a simple marinade before grilling is the best-tasting venison back strap.

It’s faster than smoking and much less messy than the pan.

The results are comparable between the three methods, so why not take the easier route?

Some people will use this coveted cut of meat for recipes like venison stroganoff, but you won’t catch me doing that.

Backstrap deserves a solo performance. Masking its innate tender taste with creamy sauces seems wrong.

Two pieces of grilled venison back strap on a cutting board.


For this easy venison marinade you will need the following ingredients:


  • virgin olive
  • oil

  • balsamic vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • maple

  • syrup
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chopped ginger

Beat all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Place the back strap in a sealable plastic or silicone bag and pour the marinade into the bag.

Seal the bag, squeeze out excess air and massage the marinade into the venison a little.

Place the bag in the refrigerator with the vension flat and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

If you have time to leave it overnight, even better!

The marinade is a combination of sweet and savory.

It’s similar to my marinated tempeh recipe and just like that recipe, when cooked, the marinade forms a crunchy sweetness around the venison that blends perfectly with wild play.

Deer is often labeled as a “gamey” tasting. This marinade will erase any trace of that.

Between the cuteness of the back strap and the taste of the marinade, this venison strap recipe

is the recipe to turn any venison skeptic into it.

Grilled venison strap recipe and sliced on a cutting board with pesto on one side.


STRAP Once the venison has marinated and is ready to roast, remove the meat from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature.

Preheat an outdoor grill to about 500°F.

Using tweezers, remove the back strap from the bag and place it on the grill over direct heat.

Grill for about

5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature of the deer reaches about 120-135°F.

Remove from the grill and place on a cutting board to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Easy recipe for marinated, grilled and sliced deer on a pesto cutting board.



marinade and cutting, the most important factor in a tasty end result when it comes to venison is the temperature at which you cook


Deer should almost never be cooked beyond

the medium.

And honestly, the medium is pushing it. It would even go so far as to say medium-weird.

I always pull my venison at 125°F maximum.

With a break of 10-15 minutes, that will result in the pinkish-red center you see in these photos, a medium-weird/borderline cook.

Keep in mind that, as with any meat, it will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat source.

That’s why I like to suggest an internal temperature of 120-125°F with a solid rest period.

If you’ve eaten venison and thought it was tough and playful and looked gray, it was overcooked.

I’m sorry you had to experience that. Now you know better!

If you don’t have a good instant-read digital thermometer, it’s a kitchen tool that’s worth every penny. They don’t even cost that much. I use this one which is like $15.

Grilled venison back strap cut into a plate with grilled vegetables on one side.


To keep this meal easy, grilled summer veggies (using a grilled vegetable mat!) are a great accompaniment.

Grilled green beans and grilled artichokes are also a great choice if the zucchini and mushrooms on display don’t appeal to you.


happened to pick up a simple ramp pesto from the farmers market the week I made this venison waist recipe that was delicious spoonful on top of every slice of meat.

Any pesto is a great accompaniment to this dish. From the zucchini pesto to the sun-dried tomato pesto used in the flank steak in that recipe, there are so many variations that will go well with venison.

For a starch, roasted pesto potatoes or this eye-catching purple sweet potato puree are delicious options.


parsnip fries or jicama fries would also be great for a steak and potato chip vibe.

And if you’re someone who loves mushrooms with red meat like me, air fryer mushrooms are just what we need!

Rare grilled venison leash cut into slices and served with pesto and vegetables a la la  grill on a plate.

If you don’t have venison on hand, this marinade

and grilling method can also be used with beef or lamb with wonderful success. If you’re


lucky as I am to get the coveted venison strap or hunt it yourself, I hope this simple marinated and grilled back strap recipe convinces you not to overdo it.

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to tender, buttery, and tasty venison. Don’t overcomplicate things!

Looking for another easy venison recipe to try, check out my venison dumplings. They are baked, frozen wonderfully, and probably more accessible, as ground venison is a little easier to get.


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