We’ve gathered some tips for learning how to make the best homemade seasoning rubs for venison, turkey, and other wild game.
So you’ve killed the deer, field dressed and butchered it, and processed the meat into convenient, individually-wrapped steaks and slabs that you will eat over the course of the next year.
By all accounts, the hardest parts of the process should be over. However, the next question, that of how you will prepare and serve the meat as a meal, is worth just as much consideration as any other part of the deer hunting equation.
After all, what’s the good of hunting and processing your meat if you don’t know how to prepare it well for a delicious meal?
Luckily for you, you don’t need to be a natural chef to turn venison or any other type of wild game into a tasty dinner table treat. With recipes all around the web and occupying real estate in virtually every deer hunting book on the market, it is easy to master the preparation of the meat.
Regardless of how you cook your deer, however, whether you prepare it as simple steaks, dry it for jerky, or drop the pieces into a stew, you are going to want to make sure that the meat is seasoned prior to preparation, so as to allow for maximum flavor.
One of our favorite homemade wild game rubs comes from the hunting/fishing enthusiasts at Field & Stream. Using simple ingredients like salt, pepper, paprika, brown and pure granulated sugar, crushed juniper berries, cayenne pepper, and a range of other spices and seasonings, this delicious dry rub brings out the best flavors – both salty and sweet – from virtually any kind of wild game. You can view the recipe – which can easily be cobbled together in 10 minutes or less from ingredients that you probably already have in the kitchen – along with application and grill instructions, on the Field & Stream website.
As the above recipe hints, dry rubs can be derived from virtually any mixture of spices and seasonings, so if you have a spice you are particularly fond of, search around for a recipe or just skip the instructions and see if you can create your own secret dry rub recipe.
Many hunters have these go-to, unwritten recipes that they have perfected over years of venison preparation, and coming up with your own seasoning recipe can actually be one of the most enjoyable parts of the hunting experience. You shot this deer and butchered it with your own bare hands; you might as well continue the do-it-yourself nature of it all and invent your own seasoning mix.
However, if you want to stick to tried-and-true formulas, the Internet is loaded with them. A seasoning rub of salt, pepper, lemon, and dill has proven delicious for wild turkey, while some mixture of beef stock, red wine, and olive oil – along with the usual spices and seasoning dry rub – can turn a venison roast into a delicious, restaurant-quality feast.
Ultimately, the key to finding the perfect seasoning and preparation methods for your wild game is to decide what you like. If there is a spice or seasoning that turns you off, don’t use it. If you have high cholesterol and need to avoid salt, try to find a seasoning that doesn’t require it.
With so many hunters out there inventing their own seasoning recipes, you will undoubtedly be able to find a few online that you are interested in testing out.