How to Cook Barbecue Deer in the Slow Cooker

by M.H. Dyer

Deer meat -- or venison -- is not only rich in flavor, it's lean and healthy. However, heavily muscled venison tends to dry out easily, and some find the wild flavor unpleasant. To temper the gaminess and increase the succulence, cook the meat in a slow cooker with a rich, tangy barbecue sauce. The results will be a dish every bit as flavorful as beef or pork.

Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Pour a bottle of your favorite commercial barbecue sauce into a resealable plastic bag. Or make a sauce using ketchup and small amounts of brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, salt and pepper, along with seasonings, such as chili powder and cayenne pepper.

Add the meat, then close the bag securely. Place the bag in a large mixing bowl to prevent spills or leaks.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the meat marinate for eight to 12 hours. Turn the bag occasionally so the meat is evenly covered with marinade.

Remove the meat from the bag and transfer it to the slow cooker. Discard the marinade.

Cover the meat with fresh bottled or homemade barbecue sauce. Add minced garlic and sliced onions to the sauce, if desired.

Cover the slow cooker and cook the meat on low heat for 10 to 12 hours. Add more barbecue sauce to cover the meat if the liquid evaporates. Don't allow deer meat to dry out because it quickly becomes tough.

Serve the barbecued venison over cooked noodles or rice.

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Items you will need

  • Bottled or homemade barbecue sauce
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped onions
  • Noodles or rice


  • Never reuse barbecue sauce once it has been used to marinate raw meat.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

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