Venison backstraps are the most prized pieces of meat on a deer. And for good reason. Learn how to cook a venison backstrap with my favorite dry rub today!
- Venison Backstrap: The backstrap I used was right at 2 pounds.
- Cooking Oil: Both olive oil and canola oil are my top choices. However, you can use whatever oil you have on hand.
- Dry Rub: For the dry rub, we are using a combination of sea salt, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, dried rosemary, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, and just a touch of turmeric powder.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Trim away any excess silver skin.
Make sure the meat is fully defrosted before starting. Trim away any excess silver skin missed during processing.
It by no means needs to be perfect, but any thick pieces will not cook away and tend to be tough and chewy. Thankfully, the backstraps clean up pretty nicely.
Step 2: Combine the dry rub ingredients and prepare the backstrap.
Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl.
Note: I do have a marinade near the end of this post if you would prefer to go that route.
Next, gently drizzle the oil over the top of the backstrap and coat the meat generously in the dry rub.
Step 3: Cook the backstrap.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Then, on the stove, heat up a large cast iron skillet; I use a 12″, which fits the backstrap perfectly.
Add in a few splashes of cooking oil. When the oil starts to smoke, Add the prepared backstrap to the center of the skillet and sear each side for about a minute or so per side, being careful not to char the meat.
After the final flip, transfer the skillet to the center rack and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the desired internal temperature has been reached.
To check the internal temperature, you’ll need a digital thermometer. Probe the thickest part of the meat, and you are looking for a medium rare temperature of around 130°F, according to northamericanwhitetail.com.
Step 4: Let it rest and enjoy!
Once your venison backstrap is cooked just right, it’s time to let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving or serving so the juices are reabsorbed into the meat.
This ensures that you get the juicy, tender, and delicious venison you were hoping for!
Venison Backstrap Marinade
Maybe you don’t like dry rubs, or you’re just trying to get rid of some of that gamey taste. Either way, here is a pretty simple marinade to try. (or check out this recipe here)
For the marinade, add 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to a gallon freezer bag.
Place the backstrap in the bag and let it marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
When preparing venison backstrap, some of the most commonly asked questions are how long to marinate, what temperature to bake at, and how long to cook for.
With these simple tips, you can learn how to cook the perfect venison backstrap every time.
Generally, it is recommended to marinade for at least 8 hours in a flavorful liquid such as apple cider vinegar or other acidic marinades.
For baking temperatures, I’ve had the best luck between 375 and 400°F, and baking times can vary depending on size; between 10 and 20 minutes should be sufficient.
Allow the backstrap to rest after baking before slicing so that the juices can settle back into the meat.
The backstrap is the meat that runs along either side of the spine and should not be confused with the tenderloin. This is often the most prized cut of meat from a deer or elk.
Properly packaged uncooked venison should easily last for an entire year in the freezer. Never refreeze thawed meat.
Store leftover venison in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Warm in a small skillet until heated through.
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Helpful cooking tools
Venison Backstrap Temperature Cooking Chart
- Rare 125°
- Medium-rare 130°
- Medium 135°
- Medium well 140-145°
- Well done 150-155°
Just note that the meat will continue to cook even after being removed from the oven.
I like to pull it out of the oven at about 130° as it will usually read 5-10 degrees higher after resting.
Cooking tips and variations
Use your favorite premade rub if you don’t want to make your own dry rub. Chef James dry rubs are some of my favorite blends, including their five pepper blend that brings the perfect amount of heat.
A digital thermometer is your friend. Trust me, if you don’t have one, get one. You don’t want to go cutting into the backstrap to check if it’s done. I’ll probe it multiple times while on the stove and while the backstrap is in the oven baking.
Stuff the backstrap for a unique variation! You can check out this stuffed backstrap recipe here for a recipe you won’t forget.
Why you will love this recipe
Not only will this recipe result in perfect, juicy venison backstrap every single time — it’s also incredibly easy to prepare!
Plus, the venison dry rub and baking steps are super simple and straightforward. The end result is a delicious backstrap you can serve as the star of your next dinner or for a unique snack. Enjoy!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this recipe. While I love cooking these venison loins, I do have plenty of venison recipes that call for the not-so-tender cuts of meat. You can check out this venison stew or my favorite venison burger recipe for ideas.
If you made it and loved it, let me know how it turned out by leaving a review or a comment below!
For more great dinner favorites, check out one of these recipes below.
- Venison Medallions or Venison Tenderloin
- Garlic Butter Ribeye
- Slow Cooked Round Steaks
- Pan-Seared Beef Heart
- Smothered Round Steaks
- Restaurant Style Fajitas Texanas
Dry Rub Venison Backstrap Recipe
- 1 venison backstrap approx 2 lbs
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon each of ground black pepper, smoked paprika, dried rosemary, garlic and onion powder.
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper if you like it a little spicy
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Combine spices in a small bowl and mix well.
- Prepare the backstrap by drizzling it with 1 tbsp of oil, then generously coating it with the dry rub.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat with the remainder of the oil.
- Once the oil starts to smoke, sear the meat on all sides—approximately a minute per side.
- Transfer the skillet to the center rack of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the desired doneness has been achieved using an instant thermometer.
- Remove it from the heat to rest for 10 minutes before enjoying it!