How to Thaw Venison

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Venison Roast

Venison is a good-for-you red that has many of the same characteristics as salmon. According to Highbourne Deer Farms, venison falls below the American Heart Association Guidelines for fat, cholesterol and calories. Venison can be farmed or wild. In either case, the taste of the venison is determined more by the aging and cooking processes than anything else. Thawing out venison is not the same as thawing out other red meats. Bacteria grows very rapidly in venison when it reaches room temperature.


Step 1

Take the venison out of the freezer.

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Step 2

Store the venison on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to thaw. Storing the venison on the bottom shelf helps to prevent cross contamination with other foods. Any liquids that may escape the venison packaging can contaminate other foods that it touches, and make it unusable.


The refrigerator should be set at around 40 degrees to thaw the venison properly. This will help keep all of the natural flavors in the venison.

Step 3

Keep the venison in the refrigerator until it is fully thawed. Depending on the thickness of the venison, the thawing process may take between 24 and 72 hours.

Step 4

Remove the venison and prepare it per your favorite recipe's instructions.


Microwaving to thaw out venison is not recommended, but if you do, then prepare the venison immediately. Microwaving can make the venison a little tough and dry.


Never thaw venison at room temperature. This allows bacteria to grow, and in venison, it grows quickly.


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