This might be my new favorite way to prepare my deer loins. Super simple, and the combination of spices is endless. We are simply placing a dry rub — a combination of various seasonings and spices — on a venison loin, then cooking it at a very high heat for a short period of time. This creates a crust on the meat which seals in the juices. By “short” time, I mean 5 to 11 minutes, depending on the size of the loin.
When I process my deer I cut each loin, also known as “backstraps”, into thirds. So each cut of loin is from 7 to 10 inches (depending on the size of deer). This recipe is also much better using a young deer (fawn) or doe. For big bucks or an old doe, you probably want to try a different recipe using a marinade. This recipe simply seals in the venison’s natural flavors and the crust not only keeps the meat moist and juicy, but add the desired taste through the use of spices. It doesn’t change the natural flavor of the meat. My point is, if you have a “gamey” piece of meat to begin with, this recipe probably isn’t the way to go.
Okay, down to business — the rub. The dry rub can literally be one of thousands of combinations of recipes. You can try to experiment and create your own rub, like we did here. OR you can start trying the hundreds of available rubs that are already on the market and available at your local grocery store. Unless you have a LOT of deer loins to experiment with, I suggest you try the latter. Here are some fantastic rubs:
– GrillMates Sweet and Smoky Rub by McCormick. In fact, McCormich has a lot of great rubs, but this is basically a cinnamon-chopotle-brown sugar based rub that is outstanding.
– In Northern Illinois, Berkots Grocery Stores has Reicherts Prime Rib rub. This is a salty rub that we use for our rib roasts and it also works well on loins, if you like a “salty” flavor. There are are also several varieties including a Chicken BBQ rub that is outstanding on our chicken (but I plan to try it on a loin very soon).
– If you like a lot of pepper, then a Montreal Style Seasoning is the way to go. It’s a pepper-based rub, that has some kick.
– If you like a mesquite, wood, BBQ flavor then A1 has a Sweet Mesquite Dry Rub. Haven’t tried it but looks amazing based on the ingredients.
If you want to try this custom recipe that has a nice flavor but a lot of kick, here it is:
SPICY BBQ RUB
– 1⁄2 cup paprika
– 1⁄4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
– 1⁄4 cup sugar
– 2 tablespoons mustard powder
– 1⁄4 cup chili powder
– 1⁄4 cup ground cumin
– 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
– 1⁄4 cup garlic granules
– 2 teaspoons spoons cayenne (this adds the kick)
– combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly
– prepare the deer loin by trimming all fat, silver skin and tallow off
– let loin stand in a “draining bowl” like a microwave steamer bowl. This let’s the blood drain from the loin. This is important: let the loin come to room temperature before seasoning.
– place the dry rub in a bowl, and roll the loin in the rub, coating it well on all sides
– remove the loin and place in a baking pain that has a rack. This is also imporant, to keep the loin raised and not sitting in the bottom of a pan.
– Insert your meat thermometer into the loin, then place the pan in a preheated oven at 450 degrees.
– cook until the meat temperature reaches 115 to 118 degrees. Depending on the size of loin, this should only take about 6-9 minutes.
– remove the pan from the oven, and place a piece of tin foil over the loin and let it “stand” for at least 15 minutes. This is incredibly important! If you cut into the meat at soon as you remove it, the juices will drain out onto your cutting board. By letting it stand, this gives the juices time to permeate the loin evenly.
– after standing for 15 minutes, remove the loin form the pan, place on the cutting board and slice and serve
In order to nail this recipes, you absolutely MUST do these:
– raise meat to room temp before rub and cook
– only cook until internal temp is 115-118. This is for a medium-rare serving. If you don’t like meat cooked medium-rare, then venison is not for you. Sorry.
– let meat STAND for 15 minutes. If you cut into to soon, the juices will run out and your meat will be dry