How to Tenderize Deer Steaks

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Tenderize deer steaks to make them more flavorful.
Tenderize deer steaks to make them more flavorful. (Image: Succulent Wrapped Flank Steak BBQ image by Andy Dean from Fotolia.com)

Deer meat steaks may need tenderizing before cooking because venison meat is often “gamey” in taste and can be tough. Pound the steaks with a meat mallet and then marinade them in a mixture that contains acidic ingredients. The acidity in the ingredients will break down the muscle fibers in the meat to make it easier to chew.

Things You'll Need

  • Wax paper
  • Cutting board
  • Venison steaks
  • Meat mallet
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Small bowl
  • Wire whisk
  • Small container (with lid)
  • Plastic zipper bag (gallon size)
  • Frying pan
  • 1-2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • Meat thermometer

Place a sheet of wax paper onto the cutting board. Place a venison steak on the wax paper and cover the venison with another sheet of wax paper.

Pound the venison steak with the meat mallet until it is roughly twice the original size. Cut the steak into smaller pieces after you pound it, if you desire. Repeat this process with each venison steak.

Combine 4 tbsp. of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste in the small bowl. Mix the marinade ingredients well with the wire whisk. Remove ½ cup of the marinade and put it in a small container in the refrigerator.

Place the pounded venison steaks into the plastic bag and pour the marinade over the steaks.

Seal the bag almost all the way and remove as much excess air as possible from the bag. Zip the bag closed completely.

Place the bag into the refrigerator and marinade the steaks for at least eight hours.

Remove the bag from the refrigerator and take the steaks out of the bag. Discard the marinade.

Pour 1 to 2 tbsp. of oil into the frying pan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the deer meat steaks to the hot oil and fry them for three to four minutes.

Flip the steaks over to the other side and pour the reserved marinade over the steaks. Cover the frying pan and cook the steaks for three to four minutes or until they reach approximately 130 degrees F. Cooking the deer meat to higher temperatures will dry the meat out and make it tough.

Tips & Warnings

  • Examples of acidic ingredients include vinegar, lemon juice and tomato juice.

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