Have you made venison steak before? Was it tough, maybe gamey? Or is this the first time learning how to cook venison steak?

Whether you’ve been cooking wild game meat for years or trying it out for the first time, this marinated venison steak recipe is made just for you. It is out of this world, delicious, juicy, and tender!

Medium rare venison steak, sliced on a cutting board with a cast iron skillet.

I have had the opportunity to polish my venison steak cooking skills over the years, using every method from sou vis to the barbeque pit.

And while I have made everything from deer roasts to backstraps, there is nothing quite like a pan-seared venison steak.

Below, you’ll discover the best way to cook venison steak and how to make a simple venison steak marinade using ingredients found in most kitchens.

How to cook a venison steak

Prepare your marinade

  • Step 1: Gather up your defrosted steaks (if not fully defrosted, that’s ok), and transfer them to a one-gallon ziplock bag.
  • Step 2: Add a few splashes of soy sauce, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and ground pepper, and finish off with a pinch or two of rubbed sage.

The measurements are not an exact science, but I will have the amounts listed below in the recipe card.

  • Step 3: Press the air out of the bag and seal it off.
  • Step 4: Use your hands and work the sauces and seasoning around the steaks, then lay them flat in the fridge.

Let that marinade for the day, at least for an hour, or all day! Feel free to flip the bag over halfway through.

Resting venison deer steaks in a shallow ceramic dish.

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Prepare your steaks

Now for the cooking of the steaks. Pull the steaks out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking.

  • Step 1: Remove the venison steaks from the marinade and bring them to room temperature.
  • Step 2: Add oil to a 12″ cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high. When the oil starts to smoke, add the steaks.
  • Step 3: Sear for no more than one minute before flipping to the other side. After the first flip, feel free to pour the extra marinade over top of the meat.
  • Step 4: Continue to flip the meat every minute for a total of 4-6 minutes.

Top Tips: After the first flip, reduce the heat down to medium; deer steaks generally don’t take up much room on the skillet, so it tends just to keep getting hotter and hotter.

The last thing we want to do is burn the sides!

Pull the tender venison steaks off the skillet as soon as the desired “doneness” has been reached and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with your favorite sides, or check out the sauteed mushroom and onions recipe below!

Steak cooking tips

The process for cooking venison steaks is actually very similar to making beef steaks; think quick, high-heat sear on the stove.

But unlike beef, venison steaks are incredibly lean, so to keep it from drying out or becoming chewy, it must be cooked perfectly, i.e., medium-rare to medium, and no more.

Now, there are other options; this recipe just happens to be my favorite. Keeping the internal temperature in mind, you can do a butter baste method, which is great if you don’t want to marinate.

Otherwise, cook it low and slow like I do my round steak, cook it in gravy, or mix up the marinade a little bit and serve it up as fajita meat!

Today, we’ll be making the latter.

Related: The Best Marinated Moose Steak Recipe

Sliced deer steak with fresh parsley springs.
sautéed mushrooms and onions on venison steaks.

Optional venison steak toppings

While the meat rests, I like to spruce up my marinated venison steak with some sauteed mushrooms and onions.

Follow the instructions below, and you can have these toppings ready by the time the meat is done resting.

  • Slice three baby Bella mushrooms, 1/4 of a yellow onion, and about a tablespoon of green onions. For a little extra kick, dice up 1/2 a jalapeno.
  • Add the veggies and two tablespoons of cooking oil to a small cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and any other special seasonings that suit your fancy.
  • Occasionally stir, and let it cook until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Top the steaks and serve immediately.

Other sides that go great with venison steaks include a side salad, garlic parmesan Brussel sprouts, and roasted bacon and squash.

Tips for cooking the perfect venison steak

Never overcook! This is a lean meat, and if it’s overcooked, it’s going to end up resembling jerky more than steak. Which, hey, maybe that’s not all bad! Jk.

Marinading is your best friend. The marinade, if nothing else, adds SO much flavor to the meat when it’s done.

But, more importantly, the soy sauce helps break down the tough proteins so you can enjoy a tender steak.

You can also try this balsamic steak marinade as an alternate option.

Plenty of heat serves more than one purpose. We all love a beautiful sear on our steaks. But the high heat sear provides more than just looks.

Venison steaks, while lean, can be quite juicy, and searing your venison steak on high heat will help lock in those delicious juices.

Resting is mandatory. We all know resting your steak is ‘good.’ But why? An experiment by serious eats revealed that just 10 minutes of rest time gave the liquid in the steak time to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, resulting in little to no juices spilling out when cutting into the steak. As a result, a more flavorful steak.

Frequently asked questions

Is venison steak better than beef? Venison will typically have less fat, along with more vitamins and protein per ounce than beef.

How do I get rid of the gamey taste in venison? Soaking in a marinade will not only help tenderize venison, but it will also help absorb some of the gamey flavors.

Look for acidic marinades, such as ones with vinegar, lemon juice, or lime, for best results.

How do I make my deer meat juicy? Resting is key for any juicy steak. Other methods of keeping deer meat juicy include searing it on high heat and not over-cooking.

So go out and enjoy yourself a delicious deer steak!

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post and give this recipe a shot!

If you ended up making a deer steak, please leave a review below!

And if you love expanding your cooking repertoire, allow me to suggest a few additional recipes you may like to try!

Medium rare venison steak, sliced on a cutting board with a cast iron skillet.

How to Cook Venison Steak

Laura Ascher
The most amazing venison steak recipe with a simple and delicious marinade.
4.54 from 65 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4



  • 4 deer steaks
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce substitute coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage


  • 3 baby Bella mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp of green onions sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno diced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp each pepper paprika, garlic powder


  • Marinate the steaks in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and sage in a ziplock bag for 1-8 hours.
  • Add oil to cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • When oil starts to smoke, add steaks.
  • Flip steaks every minute. Note, reduce heat to medium after the first flip.
  • After 4-6 minutes, check the internal temperature with an instant thermometer. When the desired temp has been reached, remove from heat and let the meat rest for 5 minutes.
  • Saute veggies with oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add in red wine vinegar with the seasonings, occasionally stirring until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Top the steaks and serve immediately.


According to the UMN, venison steaks should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (medium-rare)
The meat will continue to cook even after being removed from the heat.
Tried this recipe?Mention @castironskilletcooking on Instagram
This website provides approximate nutrition information based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands, measuring methods and portion sizes per household. We recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer.

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  1. The steak was very good. Should maybe have taken out of the pan at 130 ? Was more like medium when ready to eat(?). The veggies were spectacular! I drizzled a little Balsamic Vinegar Glaze over them just before removing from stove!

4.54 from 65 votes (65 ratings without comment)

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