how to cook deer ribs

If you are a meat lover, you will know that there is nothing like digging into a huge rack of sticky ribs, slathered with a tangy sauce. But do you know how to cook deer ribs? If you sometimes worry about the possibility that you might be eating too much meat, and the health issues that go with it, deer ribs are the answer. 

The edible meat that we get from games such as deer, elk, antelope, and moose is known as venison. The most popular of these is deer meat, and, with the correct preparation, it can be turned into a gastronomic delight. In this article, we will not only learn how to cook deer ribs, but we will also look at some other interesting aspects of venison in general, and deer ribs in particular.

Is Venison Considered Red or White Meat?

Like beef and lamb ( the most commonly eaten red meats), venison is red meat. But, unlike venison, beef and lamb both have a high-fat content and are therefore considered to be unhealthy if eaten frequently and in large quantities.

The fat from these meats finds its way into your bloodstream and can cause health problems such as high cholesterol and clogged arteries. Venison, on the other hand, is very lean meat. It is low in fat and is just as tasty as beef and lamb when cooked correctly.

Read Related Article: How to Make Potato Chips in the Oven without Oil – A Guide

Can Venison be Included in a Healthy Diet?

Venison is much healthier than beef or lamb, and can definitely be eaten by those who are health-conscious and follow a healthy eating plan. Venison is very high in protein. It is filled with essential amino acids and it will also help to keep your iron level within a normal range. 

It contains vitamins such as vitamin B2, which is needed to break down carbohydrates in the body, vitamin B6, needed for regulating blood glucose levels, vitamin B3, which helps to minimize the risk of heart disease, and vitamin B12, a nutrient that is necessary for keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. 

Can Diabetics Eat Venison?

Yes, diabetics can definitely eat venison safely. It is essential for people with diabetes to limit their carbohydrate intake, as the body converts carbohydrates into sugar. This raises blood glucose levels and can be dangerous for diabetics. Venison does not contain any carbohydrates and is therefore highly beneficial for those who need to keep their blood glucose levels under control.

There are other health benefits associated with eating venison. It will help to keep your cholesterol levels low, thus preventing cardiovascular disease. It contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is known to enhance cancer prevention. Because of its high iron content, it aids in the prevention of anemia. It will also help to keep weight under control and prevent obesity, because of its low-fat content.

Is it Generally Safe to Eat Wild Animals?

how to cook deer ribs

Deer meat is safe for human consumption, although there have been some concerns about the possibility of ingesting dangerous microbes when eating wild game. In uncontrolled conditions, there could be certain health risks associated with eating it. Certain animals can be contaminated with infectious pathogens. Therefore it is crucial to observe careful hygiene and sanitary routines when preparing and cooking venison. As long as you wash the meat thoroughly before cooking it, and you wash your hands after washing the meat, it is perfectly safe to eat.

Where Can I Get Deer Ribs?

A great meal of deer ribs begins with the butcher. It is important to buy from a reputable butcher. As far as hygiene safety goes, reputable butchers are regulated and will follow the guidelines, observing all regulations regarding cleanliness and safety practices. 

They will only buy their stock from known and reputable farmers and breeders, ensuring that the animals have not been exposed to dangerous viruses and diseases. 

An expert butcher will be highly skilled in cutting up the carcass into the various sections, knowing which parts are edible meat and which parts need to be discarded. 

During the first 24 hours after slaughtering, the animal stiffens. If the meat is cut off during this time, it will be extremely tough. Therefore the butcher has to hang the carcass for two to four days before cutting it up into the various portions for consumption. This will help to ensure that the meat you buy will be tender. 

How to Cook Deer Ribs

Deer ribs are highly versatile. If cooked correctly, they will have you licking your fingers and smacking your lips for more. The most popular method of how to cook deer ribs is to grill them on either a charcoal grill or a gas grill. 

For many people, their barbecue grill is a vital piece of equipment in the home. Who doesn’t love that special vibe of spending time outdoors with treasured family and friends, standing around the barbecue with a drink in hand? It is such a pleasurable way to unwind and let go of all your stress.

 A few hours spent in the garden, or on your apartment balcony, cooking up a storm on the barbecue, is a wonderful escape from it all. So unpack those deer ribs, and uncover that barbecue grill. 

What Kind of Grill is Best?

We love the unique flavors and aromas of a charcoal grill. No other method of cooking will give you that same flavor. However, a gas grill works just as well and is definitely cleaner and easier to use. 

Whichever type of grill you choose, be it either charcoal or gas, your grill should have two heat zones. This will enable you to keep the temperature steady. One side of the grill should get very hot, and produce direct heat. The other side does not actually produce heat, so the meat cooks at a much lower temperature, through indirect, or convection heat, thus giving it the smoked taste that we find so appealing.

When considering how to cook deer ribs, do not fall into the trap of thinking that if you use direct heat the meat will cook more quickly and easily. This may be so, but it will be charred and burnt.

Eating meat that has been burnt to the point of being blackened is a health risk. When food is cooked at such high temperatures that it goes black, a chemical called acrylamide is formed. This is thought to be carcinogenic, which means that it could be a cancer-causing agent.

Quite apart from the health and safety aspect, cooking deer ribs over such extreme heat will also completely ruin the flavor and texture of the meat. You should cook your ribs until they are a lovely golden color. They will then taste utterly delicious, without any of the potential health risks associated with eating burnt meat.

How to Tell if the Grill is Too Hot

One of the secrets to success with cooking on a grill is getting the temperature just right. Many high-end brand-name grills come with a built-in thermometer in the domed cover. This will give you a precise measurement of the temperature of your grill. However, we aren’t all lucky enough to own one of these.

So how can you measure temperature without a thermometer? The best tool to use to measure the heat of your grill is actually your hand. If you follow these guidelines, you will get a fairly accurate estimate of the temperature of your grill. 

When performing this test, make sure that you aren’t wearing anything that has a loose, flowing or flapping sleeve that can catch fire. Place an empty soda can on the grill. This will be your yardstick to get the exact right height, which is 5 inches. Carefully hold your hand, palm side down, over the grill, next to the soda can. (Remember to use tongs to remove it. It will get very hot.)

Hold your hand in place over the grill for as long as you can without the heat hurting you. Quickly remove your hand as soon as you start feeling pain. The length of time that you can keep your hand over the grill will tell you the temperature of the heat.

  • 2 – 4 seconds, with high heat at, 450°- 550° Fahrenheit
  • 5 – 7 seconds, with medium heat at, 350° – 450° Fahrenheit
  • 8 – 10 seconds, with low heat at, 250° – 350° Fahrenheit

Which Heat Zone is Best for Cooking Deer Ribs?

how to cook deer ribs

If you cook deer ribs using only direct heat, the juices will run out and the meat will dry up very quickly. The result will be ribs that are tough, dry, and tasteless. Not only will your ribs be completely unappetizing, but this method will also destroy all the protein and other nutrients, stripping your meal of all the health benefits we discussed earlier in this article.

If your grill has two heat zones, you are able to control the temperature that is applied to the meat. Your ribs will be soft, tender, and succulent if you start them off in the indirect heat zone.

Further on in this article, you will find recipes using different rubs to season the ribs. Some of these rubs contain sugar. Sugar burns very easily under hot temperatures. Burnt sugar will blacken your meat, which you definitely do not want. If you start the ribs off in the indirect zone this will prevent the sugar from burning.

Once the ribs are almost cooked, you should then move them over to the direct heat zone, and baste them with lashings of sauce or marinade. The sugar or maple syrup in the sauce (yes, these are wonderful ingredients and will enhance the flavor of the sauce ) will become thick and sticky, giving you those perfect ribs that you just have to eat with your fingers in order to enjoy every last scrap of meat on the bone. 

What? Eat with my fingers? I’ll bet you are thinking that is plain rude, but later on, in this article, we will talk about the etiquette and table manners that are involved when eating ribs. We will also give you a step-by-step guide for how to cook deer ribs on a grill.

The best recipes for deer ribs start with a good rub. There are many commercial varieties available on store shelves, but it is so easy and so much more satisfying to make your own. If you make a large quantity, these will keep for at least six months if you store them in an airtight jar. Home-made rubs are always nicer, and, of course, cheaper. Here are a few suggestions: (with all of these rubs, simply mix the ingredients well with a fork)

1. BBQ rub


    • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon powdered onion flakes
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ( optional)

2. Mixed-spice dry rub


    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1/2 a teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/2 a teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons red paprika
    • 1/2 a teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1/2 a teaspoon chili powder

3. Mustard rub


    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
    • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
    • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons black pepper

What Basting Sauce is the Most Delicious for Deer Ribs?

how to cook deer ribs

If you want ribs that are ultra-yummy and moist, you will need to baste them frequently when they are cooking. You will find a huge variety of basting sauces in your supermarket. You can select from these, according to your personal preference, but we actually like combining these with other ingredients to conjure up all sorts of interesting flavors. Simply place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon, then use this mixture as a basting sauce. Here are our top suggestions:

1.Sweet and sticky barbecue sauce


    • One cup tomato ketchup
    • 1/2 a cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 a cup teriyaki sauce
    • 1/2 a cup maple syrup
    • 1 heaped teaspoon barbecue spice.
    • 1 cup boiling water

2. Honey and mustard sauce


    • Half a cup of honey
    • Half a cup prepared mustard
    • Half a cup of mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon brown vinegar
    • 1/2 a teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1/2 a teaspoon dried mixed herbs
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

3. Lemon and herb sauce 

This basting sauce is not of the sweet and sticky variety, but it is very good on ribs. 


    • Freshly squeezed juice of one big lemon
    • Zest of one lemon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 a teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/2 a cup fresh basil
    • ¼ cup fresh chives
    • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 1 sprig of fresh oregano
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Rinse and dry the meat.
  2. Coat the meat well with a rub of your choice, and press it down firmly into the meat.
  3. Leave the meat to stand for at least an hour.
  4. Place the meat in the indirect heat zone of your grill and cover with the dome.
  5. Let the ribs cook gently until almost done, turning every ten to fifteen minutes.
  6. Baste the ribs generously with your preferred sauce and move them to the direct heat zone of the grill.
  7. Keep turning and basting the ribs every few minutes, until they are a lovely golden brown color.

You are now ready for a feast! But how do you enjoy your ribs without losing your dignity in the process?

Table Etiquette when Eating Ribs

Because ribs are usually sticky and gooey, and it is difficult to get all the meat off the bone, the best way to eat them is with your fingers. But there is a way to do this without looking completely unrefined, as long as you have a very sharp knife and a fork, and a good supply of napkins and wipes.

  1. Using your knife and fork, cut as much meat as possible off the bone, trimming it as close to the bone as possible. Eat this meat normally, using your cutlery.
  2. Place your cutlery neatly together on your plate, and pick up a bone between your fingers, as delicately as possible. Try to use only the tips of your fingers, and not your whole hand. But do make sure that you have a firm grip on the bone so that it doesn’t slip out of your hands and land in your lap.
  3. Hold the bone up to your mouth and bite the remaining meat off, trying not to let the edges of the bone touch your cheeks and smear them with sauce.
  4. Repeat this procedure until all your bones are clean and you have had an elegant sufficiency. In other words, your stomach is full!
  5. Using napkins and wipes, clean your hands and wipe your face.

Now that you know how to cook deer ribs and how to eat them politely, you are ready to invite your friends and go out and light that fire.

Check this Other Related Article: How to Reheat Leftover Quiche – A Guide to Store, Freeze, and Reheat


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

Write A Comment