6 Wild Game Grilling Tips

Summer means fun, sun, and barbecue. Check out these 6 wild game grilling tips to ensure your backyard buffet will tickle the taste buds.

Hunters and anglers across the country spend countless hours and dollars to fill tags and freezers every year.

Those full freezers mean full stomachs and summer grilling season is one of the most rewarding times of the year for the successful outdoorsman.

With these six grilling and preparation tips you'll be sure that your rewards don't become spoils.


Wild game has a reputation for drying out when its prepared over an open flame. One of the easiest and most diverse ways to combat this problem is through flavor and moisture-inducing liquid marinades.

A vacuum sealer provides the most efficient means of introducing a marinade to your favorite elk or deer steak, but a storage bag and 12-24 hours in the refrigerator will accomplish the task just as well.

Single ingredient marinades like your favorite soda or microbrew can infuse unique flavors into your fall bounties.

Dry Rubs


Seasoning a big game backstrap can be a touchy endeavor. Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper can be all that your fall bounty requires, but too much salt will leave you chewing on a dried out ruined piece of protein.

Likewise, a sprinkle of smoked paprika or ground sage can compliment the natural flavor-filled meat medallions you worked so hard to bring home, but use caution when applying dried spices because too much will mask the flavor of the meat itself.

For that great caramelized crust, try adding a pinch of dark brown sugar to your spice mix, the sweetness will be relatively unnoticeable and the crust will help lock in desired moisture.



Knowing your grill temperature is key to producing a brag-worthy finished product. Game meat will char much more quickly than beef or pork due to the lack of natural fat content.

A quick sear on the main grill surface, roughly a minute per side if your grill runs hot, and then a move to finish on the top rack will help seal in the much desired moisture.

With lower temperature surfaces try lightly brushing your steak with an extra virgin olive oil, this will help keep the meat from sticking to the surface and simultaneously will introduce a healthy fat to an already healthy protein.

Combination Technique

Wild game is a sponge for introduced flavor and fat. Wrapping your deer steak or elk medallions in cured bacon is a go-to grilling practice.

First, the bacon will provide a complimentary fat content to keep your game meat moist and will provide a melt-in-your-mouth quality all grill masters aspire to attain. Second, and perhaps the most diverse, the flavor cure of the bacon you use will infuse your game meat cut of choice with the a unique flavor profile.

Applewood smoked bacon pairs particularly well with deer tenderloins. I mean, everything is better with bacon.


Venison Parmesan Burger

Brad Smith

What summer barbecue is complete or can even call itself a meal without burgers? The majority of big game meat is processed into burger following a successful season, and during processing your choice to introduce fat into a grind can determine your summer flavors.

Cutting your wild game with beef suet, arguably the most common practice, will provide a relatively blank canvas to work with during the summer months. To define a flavor profile try mixing pure ground game meat, no fat introduced during processing, with your favorite bratwurst sausage.

Jalepeno or pepper jack brats will elevate an already tasty burger to addictive status, be sure to discard the casings when you mix the two meats together.


This is a two-for-one tip for grilling your summer catch. Grilling fish with their heads on provides the grill master with a built-in timer. Watch the eyes as you grill; when they transfer from clear to cloudy, you will know your catch is cooked to perfection.

To ensure moisture and flavor in your pursuit of pescatarian perfection, fruit is most definitely your friend. Slicing lemons, limes, or oranges and stuffing the fish or setting them on top of fillets wrapped in aluminum foil will ensure your catch of the day is as pleasing on your plate as it was on the end of your fishing rod.

With these grilling tips and tricks at your disposal, you are sure to be the talk of the backyard barbecue on your block. Happy summer and happy barbecuing!