Venison is commonly known as deer meat but can refer to many types of wild game, including moose, elk and caribou. Smoking venison differs slightly from smoking other meats because wild game is typically much leaner than the flesh of domesticated animals. This means venison can dry out faster and produce tough, smoked meat unless it is marinated before smoking and basted frequently with a mopping sauce during the long cooking process.
Things You'll Need
Hickory wood chips
Marinade to taste
Mopping sauce to taste
Salt and pepper
Place the cleaned venison in a deep casserole dish and cover with a marinade. The ingredients for a marinade are entirely a matter of personal taste, but good marinades typically contain a weak acid such as red wine vinegar to tenderize the meat, and olive or sesame oil to add flavor and keep the food moist. Good spices for a venison marinade include thyme, rosemary, garlic, tarragon, bay leaves and cloves.
Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate the marinating venison for at least 24 hours before ready to smoke.
Soak 2 to 3 cups of hickory chips for two hours before ready to smoke.
Preheat the electric smoker and add the wood chips either to the firebox at the bottom of the smoker or place the chips in a metal bowl and set to one side on the cooking grate. Wood placement depends on the type of electric smoker being used.
Adjust the smoker temperature to 200 F.
Place the venison on the cooking grate and close the smoker, adjusting the top and bottom vents to circulate the smoking hickory chips throughout the meat.
Prepare a mopping sauce for basting the venison during the long smoke. A basic mopping sauce of brown sugar dissolved into cider vinegar will add sweetness to the smoke, while the cider vinegar tenderizes the meat and keeps it moist. Baste the venison once an hour, using the time to turn the meat over.
Check the temperature of the venison each hour while basting. The meat is fully smoked and ready to eat when the internal temperature reads 165 F with a meat thermometer.