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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Smoked Venison Shoulder Roast

Say cheese!

The oldest is an avid hunter and that would be his biggest hobby.  This year, we lucky enough that he dropped off a three pound venison shoulder roast for me to do with what I pleased.  Around here in Pennsylvania, the deer are very lean.  So, for the most part, people have the meat made into sausage, bologna, and jerky.  The meat can be that dry if cooked improperly.  The only way I have heard of people cooking a roast is by marinading in cheap red wine and garlic, then slow cooking in a crock pot.  Sure, the meat is tender, but it is not a roast.  There has to be a better way.

I asked around and was pointed in the direction of this recipe from Oakridge BBQ.  I followed it step by step.  No changes.  Here is how it turned out.

First, I made my brine and chilled thoroughly.  While the brine was chilling, I washed and dried my roast, then peppered generously with my tenderizer all over on both sides.

Once the brine was chilled, I put the roast in the brine, then let sit covered for about 40 hours.

On the day of smoking, I fired up my smoker and brought to a temperature of 375 F.  While the smoker was warming up, I removed the roast from the brine, rinsed thoroughly with water, and patted dry.

Look at how the venison had absorbed the brine and turned a nice dark color.  I could see this was headed in the right direction.

For seasoning, I used Oakridge BBQ's Venison and Wild Game Rub.

The ginger and lemongrass were nice complements to the chilies, garlic, and onion in this rub.  Lemongrass can be off putting to those not accustomed to the flavor.  But, this was a nice balance.  Not to assertive.  I rubbed both sides of the roast and allowed to sit until the rub had liquefied and formed a nice paste.

The smoker had stabilized at 375 F by now, so I added two six inch hickory splits to the ash pan and placed the roast on the top rack.  You don't want to over cook venison, so I was shooting for 140-145 F.  After one and a half hours, the internal temperature had reached 145 F.  So, I brought inside, wrapped tight in foil, and placed in the freezer to stop the cooking and chill the meat down for slicing.   Here is a picture before wrapping.  I am loving that color and the smell was intoxicating.

I let rest in the freezer for about two hours.  Then, I removed and sliced.

The rub added a nice bark to the outside.  The flavor from the brine was definitely noticeable throughout the roast.  It added a slight sweet BBQ flavor that was balanced out nicely by the Oakridge rub.  Overall, each bite started sweet and spicy and finished with a hint of ginger and lemongrass.  The meat itself was juicy and tender.  I was quite impressed with this recipe and so was the oldest.  I might consider trying this recipe on some other cuts of venison.

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Was it still gamey? I am sure you did a stupendous job but I am just not used to that flavor. Our friend keeps us in elk and it is pretty mild. Oakridge makes some quality rubs.

  2. Looks delicious Bill! Congrats to your oldest on the successful hunt!

  3. Thanks guys. It really was tasty.

    Chilebrown. It was not gamey at all. The brine took care of that.

    Jeanie. Thanks. Scott was lucky this year and bagged 3 over rifle and archery seasons.