Can you eat deer meat rare?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat deer meat rare?”, and how to cook your farm-raised venison?

Can you eat deer meat rare?

Yes, you can eat deer meat rare. Since the deer meat is low in fat, its tender cuts are best served rare or medium-rare. 

More precisely, the tender cuts will need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 125℉ and the working cuts should be heated to 225℉. If you intend to serve your deer meat rare, make sure the deer meat is tested for potential diseases.

Overcooking this lean meat will make it tough and chewy. To reduce the risk of food poisoning or parasite infection, fully cook the wild deer or ground deer meat and never serve it rare or medium rare.

Cooking your farm-raised venison 

Venison cut Suggested method Approx. cooking time (rare)
Steaks and medallionsPan-fry, bbq1 minute each side per cm thickness at high heat
Stir-fry Hot pan or wok 1 or 2 minutes over high heat
Roasts Sear, then oven roast at moderate temperature15 minutes per 500g @ 180C
Diced venison Sear, then gently casserole at low temperature1 hour @ 100C
Frenched racks Sear, then finish in the oven at 180C10 minutes per 500g @ 180C

Nutrition facts 

A three-ounce serving (about 85 grams) of cooked ground venison provides the following nutrients.

Calories 159 
Protein 22.5 grams 
Fats 7 grams 
Niacin 7.9 milligrams (39 percent DV)
Vitamin B122 micrograms (33 percent DV)
Zinc 4.4 milligrams (29 percent DV)
Thiamine 0.4 milligram (29 percent DV)
Vitamin B60.4 milligram (20 percent DV)
Phosphorus 194 milligrams (19 percent DV)
Riboflavin 0.3 milligram (16 percent DV)
Iron 2.8 milligrams (16 percent DV)
Selenium 8.8 micrograms (13 percent DV)
Potassium 309 milligrams (9 percent DV)
Pantothenic acid 0.6 milligram (6 percent DV)
Magnesium 20.4 milligrams (5 percent DV)

What temperature do you smoke venison?

Ideally, venison meat should be smoked at temperatures between 220-225℉. Use a lower temperature, somewhere around 135-145℉, to serve your meat rare or medium-rare.

Tips to cook deer meat perfectly 

Before cooking, let the meat come to room temperature. For making grilled, barbequed, or pan-fried steaks of venison meat, brush each side of the steak with some oil. Sear all the sides of the larger cuts of venison meat to lock the juices inside. Then cook at 180°C/350°F for 15 minutes per 500g.

Is deer meat a sustainable source of protein?

The protein content of beef and venison is very similar. A 3-ounce serving of venison meat provides a whopping 23 g of protein. 

Deer overpopulation is detrimental to crops and landscapes. Thus, hunting deer and eating venison meat could be sustainable.

5 things you should know about cooking venison 

Do not overcook the meat 

Overcooking the deer meat will render it tough, rubbery, and gamey and nobody likes that. You should always serve the tender cuts of venison rare or medium rare unless you mix it up with a lot of fatty pork.

Use the correct cooking method 

Tender cuts can be cooked by high heat grilling, pan-searing, or stuffing and trussing. Tougher and cheap cuts need to be slathered in sauce or cooked in a stew to keep them juicy. Venison soup with veggies and sausage is a good idea in this regard. 

You can use the hindquarter cut like a steak, cut it into cubes and use them in sauces or cut it into strips for salads, burritos, sandwiches, or fajitas.

Venison is not corn-fed beef

The fat and marbling of deer meat are less than beef. Therefore, beef and deer meat cannot be swapped for each other. Deer feeds on plants, grass, herbs, acorns, etc, thus, sold at a much higher price than beef; which is fed on grains and corn.

Use dry rubs and marinades

Dry rubs use salt, coffee, or ginger to tenderize deer while. While the marinades use the acid of wine, vinegar, or lemon or lime juice to break down the protein. Unlike other marinades, dry rubs and marinades won’t make your meat mushy.

Nothing like aged venison meat

You can dry-age your venison meat at home by refrigerating it for 7-14 days consistently at 34-37 degrees. For wet aging, venison meat needs to be thawed in the fridge for up to 14 days while it is still wrapped in the vacuum-sealed packaging.

Other FAQs about Meat that you may be interested in.

Can you eat frozen meat past its expiration date?

What’s the Difference between Barbacoa and Carnitas?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat deer meat rare?”, and how to cook your farm-raised venison?