Considerations when cooking venison

Properly store and cook venison to maximize eating experience.

Venison is often very lean in composition. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, ground venison has 159 calories with 22.5 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, and 83 mg of cholesterol in a three ounce cooked serving. This compares with 90% lean ground beef and 10% fat that contain 173 calories with 21.4 grams of protein, 9.1 grams of fat, and 71 mg of cholesterol in a three ounce cooked serving.  A three ounce serving of cooked ground beef that is 95% lean meat and 5% fat has 139 calories, 22 grams of protein, 5.1 grams of fat, and 71 mg of cholesterol.

Michigan State University Extension has a Michigan Fresh bulletin on Handling, Using and Storing Venison. This bulletin includes ways to safely freeze, thaw, can and marinate venison. If your deer hunting experience was successful this year, plan to use this information with your current inventory of venison.   

The leanness of venison should be considered when cooking it because it can lack juiciness if not done properly. It is recommended that venison is cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground venison and chops, steaks or roasts. Preferred methods of cookery include moist heat such as braising or stewing for most venison chops, steaks, or roasts. Use of marinades can also be effective in maintaining juiciness in some cuts of venison.


Venison is a healthy source of protein, and many people enjoy eating it year round.   

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