Grilling Times For Venison

Just like beef, venison should be grilled over direct heat if you have steaks, and over indirect heat for tougher cuts like saddle or other roasts.

What about the “gamey” flavor? Experienced hunters dispute that there even is such a thing, and argue that by dressing your kill properly, “gamey” flavor is eliminated. Still, venison flavor will vary from animal to animal based on their diet—the same way grass-fed beef tastes different than corn-fed beef.

Marinating the meat before cooking is a common technique—this adds flavor to the meat (masking the “gamey” flavor, if any) and also helps tenderize it. Check out Emily’s Marinated Venison Steaks, above, for a starter marinade recipe.

Venison steaks: Most folks prefer venison steak when it’s cooked rare or medium-rare, 145 to 150 degrees F. At a higher temperature, the meat can get very tough.

Venison roasts: Cook roasts low ‘n’ slow, until the meat is tender. How long that takes will depend on the size of your roast and how hot you keep the grill. We’ve given a general guideline below.

See our collection of Venison Recipes.


CutMethodHeatTimeInternal Temp.
 Saddle or Leg Roast — — — —
 6 to 7 pounds Indirect Medium 25 to 30 min./pound 145 F (63 C)
 Steaks — — — —
 3/4-inch thick Direct High 4 to 5 min./side 145 F (63 C)
 1 1/2-inch thick Direct High 6 to 7 min./side 145 F (63 C)


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