We’ve talked about roasting venison before – so you know it’s not my FAVORITE cooking method. The main reason why, is that I’ve never been a huge roast fan, whether it’s beef, pork, or venison. What I’ve come to realize over the years, is that a roast is less about the meat itself, and more about how you dress the finished product: au jus, gravy, horseradish, etc.
Having learned that lesson, I find myself roasting my venison more often.
Now, we all know that venison is very lean, and can get super dry and tough when overcooked. That fact alone scares many people away from roasting their venison. It also leads to venison creating very little of its own au jus when roasting – so you should plan on having some other type of condiment to complement your roast.
There are three main ways you might roast your venison: in the oven, on the grill, or sous vide.
I’ll use the oven if I HAVE to.
I’ll use sous vide on roasts that are inconsistent in shape, or I know are from a super tough deer (see the sous vide method here).
I’ll rotisserie it on the grill if I want the best flavor.
I only use one cut when I rotisserie roast my venison: the sirloin tip. It’s a nice perfect football shape. It’s consistent in size and large enough for nice sandwich slices (or however you want to cut it). The only problem: it’s perfect for making corned venison (see how to corn meat here)! Corned venison is one of my favorite foods – and you only get two sirloin tips per deer – so that’s my little personal dilemma.
You can certainly use other roasts. The top and bottom rounds will work great too, but because they are flatter, you may need to either roll them or fold them before tying to get a nice “tube” shape.
- venison sirloin tip
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- mustard powder
- olive oil
Use some cooking twine, and tie the roast up. This doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to hold the roast together as it cooks. About six feet of twine should work. A simple method:
Find the mid point of the twine. Lay one end of your roast over it. Wrap the twine around, pull tight, and tie a square know. Flip it over, wrap the twine around, and repeat – making sure you have an inch or two of space between each loop.
Take the tied roast, and rub the olive oil all over the outside. Next, take each of your spices, and give a GENEROUS coat all the way around. I usually coat one side, flip it, and hit the other side, then rub it into any areas that may have been missed.
You don’t need a fancy grill. As long as it has a mounting spot for a rotisserie, you are set. I use a basic CharBroil. As for rotisserie sets, all you need is a basic one (they usually run about $30), but even more complete units are only about $45.
So now we are at the hard part: cooking it. We want the grill between 250° and 300º. Being a grill, it WILL vary! I can accomplish this on my 4 burner by putting the two outside burners on high (ish), and leaving the middle two burners off. This has the added benefit of not having direct heat on the roast itself.
Once the grill is at temperature, slide roast on the skewer and lock the forks down, and pop it on the rotisserie mount and turn it on. Put a piece of foil under the roast – this helps further dissipate any direct heat.
You HAVE to keep an eye on the grill temperature. If it shies to far in one direction or another, you’ll need to fix it.
Try not to open the grill box more than needed. Letting the heat out on a low temp box can really add to your cooking time.
At about an hour, check the temperature of the roast, near the center with a meat thermometer. I find it takes between an hour and a half to two and a quarter hours for most of my venison roasts (3-5 lbs). Check the temperature about every 10 minutes after that. Take it out when it hits 135º to 140º, or whatever your doneness preference is.
Take it off the skewer and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. If you are making sandwich slices, wrap it in foil and toss in the fridge overnight. Slice it up the next day… hmmm, just in time for lunch!
Rotisserie Roast Venison
Use a basic rotisserie and your grill for one of the easiest and best tasting ways to roast venison.
- 2-4 lb venison roast Sirloin tip is the perfect shape, but you can tie up other rump roasts like the top or bottom round to get a nice cylindrical shape.
- olive oil
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- mustard powder
- any type of rub optional: instead of the above spices, try your favorite rub. If there is a rub you use on your steak, it will work great here!
Pre-heat the grill, all burners on high.
Tie the roast up. Cut a piece of twine about 6 ft long. If your roast is a flatter cut, roll it into a tube. If it's thicker, once you start tying it, it should "round" up.
For an easy tie up, find the middle of the twine and place under one end of the roast. Wrap it around, pull it tight, and make a knot. Flip the roast, wrap the two ends of the twine around, and tie another knot, an inch or so away from where you first placed the twine when you started. Flip it over and repeat till you make little loops an inch or so apart across the whole roast. If you pull the twine nice and tight with each loop, you should end up with a nice round tube shaped roast.
Rub the tied roast with olive oil, and rub on your spices.
Take a square of aluminum foil a little bigger than the roast. Fold up an inch or so on each side, and pinch the corners to make a drip tray/heat deflector.
Put the roast on the skewer of the rotisserie, tighten the forks, and put it on the grill.
Place the drip try you made under the roast, and turn the rotisserie on.
Close the grill. Turn off the burners directly under the roast. Adjust the burners on either side of the roast till the temperature settles between 250 and 275. I find with a 4 burner grill, with the two center burners off, and the two side burners at about 3/4 full (medium high), it settles in to the perfect temp.
Wait an hour and check the temperature of the meat. You are shooting for 135 to 140.
If it's not done yet, check it every 10 minutes till it hits your preferred doneness level.
Take it off and let it rest for 15 minutes (uncovered).
Eat it right away, or if your are slicing it for sandwiches, wrap it in foil, and refrigerate a few hours or overnight, then slice.
Serve with any jus collected during the rest/slicing phase!