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Smoked Venison Tenderloin

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This tender marinated smoked venison tenderloin is served with a delectable pineapple, ginger, and rum sauce.

Smoked Venison Tenderloin

We normally grill venison tenderloin hot and fast, but cooking them low and slow improves the flavor! This easy recipe resulted in tender medallions of smoked meat. We love pairing these smoked venison tenderloins with a pineapple rum and Asian chili sauce.

Venison butchery

Is venison tenderloin the same as backstrap?

No, they are not the same. The backstrap is the larger strip of meat that runs parallel to the spine. It is sometimes called strip loin. The tenderloin is located directly underneath and is typically smaller than the backstrap. You can use either cut for this smoked venison tenderloin recipe, but we recommend adjusting your cooking times to accommodate the backstrap.

What is the best wood for smoking venison?

For this recipe, you can use anything from hickory, mesquite, or oak, but we recommend using a moderate smoky wood like pecan or cherry.

Smoked Venison Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 2 venison tenderloins, 1.5 pounds each
  • Pineapple-Rum Ginger Steak Marinade (doubled)
  • Pecan or Cherry wood (chips, chunks, or pellets)
  • Fresh herb of choice for garnish (parsley, rosemary, chives, etc.)

What is the best temperature for smoking venison tenderloin?

We recommend a cooking temperature between 225 to 250 degrees F. Plan on 1 1/2 hours or more for medium-rare to medium or an internal temperature of 130-140 degrees F.

Raw venison

Where to source venison tenderloin

One of the best places to source venison tenderloin is online. However, if you reside in an area where deer or elk are plentiful, you might be able to source from a local butcher specializing in game meats. You can also find frozen venison in specialty food markets.

How to make smoked venison tenderloin

Double the marinade recipe and combine according to the instructions—reserve half of the marinade to make a sauce. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
Place venison tenderloins into a large glass dish or zip-top bag. Pour the remaining half of the marinade over the meat, coating well. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap, and place into the refrigerator for 1- 1 1/2 hours.

How to smoke venison tenderloin

Preheat your smoker or pellet grill to 225 degrees F. If using a smoker, add chunks or chips 5 minutes before the meat goes on. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results.
While the smoker is heating, remove meat from the refrigerator, and let it stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
Place venison tenderloins directly onto the grill grates. Discard the remaining marinade in the zip-top bag or glass dish. Close the lid, and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours or until they reach the desired doneness. We recommend medium-rare (130-135 degrees F.) for this recipe.

Making the sauce

During the 20 minutes of cooking time, bring the refrigerated, reserved marinade to a simmer in a small saucepan for 5-6 minutes. Follow the recipe instructions to thicken the sauce as needed. Cover and keep warm. For a more refined sauce, blend it after cooking and run it through a sieve.

Smoked Venison on Fork

Serving

Once cooked, remove meat from your grill or smoker, and place them onto a cutting board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil, and rest the meat for 10 minutes.
Slice smoked venison tenderloin into 3/4″ medallions, and place them onto a platter. Drizzle with warm sauce and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Storing leftovers

Store leftover smoked venison tenderloin in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in a 300-degree oven until warmed through.

Side dish recommendations

Need a delicious side dish to pair with your smoked venison tenderloin? Try these recipes!

Smoked Venison Tenderloin

Smoked Venison Tenderloin

Tender marinated smoked venison tenderloin served with a delectable pineapple, ginger, and rum sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: smoked venison, smoked venison tenderloin, venison backstrap
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 200kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 venison tenderloins 1.5 pounds each
  • Pineapple-Rum Ginger Steak Marinade doubled
  • Pecan or Cherry wood chips, chunks, or pellets
  • Fresh herb of choice for garnish parsley, rosemary, chives, etc.

Instructions

  • Double the marinade recipe and combine according to the instructions—reserve half of the marinade to make a sauce. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
  • Place venison tenderloins into a large glass dish or zip-top bag. Pour the remaining half of the marinade over the meat, coating well. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap, and place into the refrigerator for 1- 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat your smoker or pellet grill to 225 degrees F. If using a smoker, add chunks or chips 5 minutes before the meat goes on. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results.
  • While the smoker is heating, remove meat from the refrigerator, and let it stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
  • Place venison tenderloins directly onto the grill grates. Discard the remaining marinade in the zip-top bag or glass dish. Close the lid, and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours or until they reach the desired doneness. We recommend medium-rare (130-135 degrees F.) for this recipe.
  • During the 20 minutes of cooking time, bring the refrigerated, reserved marinade to a simmer in a small saucepan for 5-6 minutes. Follow the recipe instructions to thicken the sauce as needed. Cover and keep warm.
  • Once the venison is cooked, remove them from your grill or smoker, and place them onto a cutting board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil, and rest the meat for 10 minutes.
  • Slice tenderloin into 3/4″ medallions, and place them onto a platter. Drizzle with warm sauce and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
  • Store leftover smoked venison tenderloin in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in a 300-degree oven until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 135mg | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 3mg
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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