Deer steak has a reputation for being tough and dry, however they can be every bit as juicy and succulent as beef. Although slow, moist cooking is often recommended for deer steaks, broiling the steaks in the oven gets the job done quickly before the meat has time to dry out. The most tender candidates come from a young animal, particularly one taken in the fall, rather than after a hard winter. The best candidates for oven-broiling are cuts taken from the less-exercised loin area of the animal.
Preheat the broiler to the highest temperature, usually about 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rub the deer steak with fat such as cooking oil, bacon fat or butter to prevent sticking. Sprinkle the steak lightly with sea salt.
Heat a broiler pan or cast-iron skillet in the oven for about 5 minutes, then place the steak on the hot pan.
Place the pan on the oven rack so the meat is 3 to 5 inches from the broiler. Cook the steak on one side until it begins to brown, then flip it and cook the other side. As a general rule, allow approximately 6 to 7 minutes per side for a 1-inch steak.
Remove the pan from the oven. Hold the steak with tongs, and insert a meat thermometer into the side of the steak. Return the pan to the oven if the meat doesn't register at least 145 F. Watch the steak carefully because overcooked deer meat quickly becomes dry and tough.
Transfer the steak to a serving plate, and let it rest for 3 minutes. Season the steak with freshly ground black pepper, then serve.
- Making the Most of Your Deer; Dennis Walrod
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- University of Wisconsin Extension: USDA Revises Recommended Cooking Temperatures for all Whole Cuts of Meat to 160 Degrees
- West Virginia University Extension: Venison Fact Sheet: Cooking Venison
- Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images