Smoked Deer Hindquarter
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Posted on Monday Feb 28, 2011 at 4:52 PM  
I did this about 3 years ago. One of my neighbors was a deer hunter, and gave me a couple hindquarters.

First, I had to cut the leg at the joint, so it would fit into my smoker, and later, my oven.

I brined the meat overnight to add moisture. My typical "basic brine" is 1 qt of water to 2 T salt. I think I had to do 3x that ratio to get enough liquid to cover the meat. Be sure to use a non-reactive container.

That morning, I removed the meat from the brine, patted it dry, and rubbed it down with my BBQ rub (see that recipe). I put the meat back into the fridge, uncovered, until my smoker was ready, about 2 hours later. You really want to let meat to be smoked sit like that overnight, to develop a "pellicle", a sticky coating over the meat. The pellicle helps capture the smoke and transfer it into the meat.

Anyway, I fired up my smoker about an hour after I got the meat back into the fridge. I'm a "log burner", in that I only fire my smoker with wood, usually a 50/50 mix of pecan and oak. I get my fire going with one charcoal chimney of lump hardwood charcoal. Once that is burning good, dump the coals into the firebox, and put a few small logs onto the coals. Shut my smoker up, leaving exhaust and intake wide open. Give it a while to come up to heat and let the fire catch good.

I typically smoke meat at 225 - 250 degrees F. I have several thermometers on my smoker to monitor cooking temp and hotspots. Once the smoker is ready, I put the meat in, close it up again, and just keep an eye on the fire and the temp.

I smoked the venison just like I do pork butt. I gave it 5 hours of smoke, then removed the meat, wrapped it in plastic wrap, then in foil, and put the meat into the oven at 250 degrees F for 4 hours.

I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I thought it smelled "weird" when I was working with the raw meat. I guess I haven't worked with venison enough to know what's normal and what's bad. Well, the end product was pretty darn good! It tasted exactly like pork butt. My kids ate it like there was no tomorrow!

I served it like I always do, pulled (ripped apart and off the bones, pretty easy if it's done right), served on cheap, nutritionally worthless white hamburger buns, with BBQ sauce to squeeze over as desired.
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