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Venison Recipes for Big Game Season

Could one of these venison recipes replace your turkey this Thanksgiving?

While Thanksgiving might be all about the turkey, fall is big game season! This means you and/or the hunters in your family may be rushing through dinner to get to the tree stand. Whether you are anticipating a freshly bagged buck or have a freezer stocked, here are some venison recipes to try this season.


Before we dive into these venison recipes, it is important to know that each cut of venison is unique and lends itself to best to different cooking methods and preparations. Let’s look at the cuts of venison and the suggested cooking methods.

Loin & Tenderloin

  • Filets/Steak
  • Chops
  • Kabobs

Neck, Shoulder & Shank

  • Roast
  • Stew
  • Soup
  • Braise

Leg & Rump

  • Steak
  • Stew
  • Braise
  • Roast
  • Kabobs


  • Soup
  • Stew

It is important to match the cut of meat to the cooking method and preparation to ensure that you are getting the best depth of flavor and texture from the venison. We’ve compiled a list of venison recipes for you to try this hunting season. The recipes are based on the cut of venison and can be cooked at home or in your RV kitchen and are guaranteed to make everybody happy campers!

Venison Recipes: Cuts of Deer

Venison Recipes: Loin & Tenderloin

The loin and tenderloin are considered prime cuts; they are the most flavorful and naturally tender cuts of venison. These cuts can be cooked via high heat grilling or pan searing and should be cooked medium-rare to medium with internal temperatures ranging from 130° to 135° F.

Marinated Venison Steaks

This Marinated Venison Steaks dish adapted by Sam Sifton is a recipe from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. It’s a simple twostep recipe that could easily be prepared at home and marinated as your drive to your destination to be cooked in your RV or at your campsite. It is delicious and deserves to be a fall staple. It could even provide some competition for the classic Thanksgiving turkey. Turkey or venison, here’s how to successfully host an RV Thanksgiving dinner.

Grilled Venison & Bacon

We already covered all the best ways to cook outside the RV, so you know there’s normally a grill available at the campsite, attached as part of your RV’s outdoor kitchen, or accessible as a portable electric grill. You’ll need one of these for our next recipe: Grilled Venison Steak and Bacon. This recipe takes a little bit more prep work as you wrap the venison chunks in bacon, but you can enlist your friends and family to help because well…bacon! You can grill these individually as the recipe calls for or you could modify the recipe to make kabobs.

Venison Backstrap Steaks with Mushroom Cream Sauce Recipe

If you love mushrooms, this is the venison recipe to try! For this Venison Backstrap Steaks with Mushroom Cream Sauce recipe you will season your venison steaks (loin or tenderloin) to your liking and sear them in a buttered cast-iron skillet. You will then use these delicious pan drippings to sauté the garlic, a chopped onion and mushrooms before drowning them in heavy cream to create a heavenly gravy. Yes, please!

Venison Schnitzel

This Venison Schnitzel recipe is an honorable mention for us as it is not conducive to easy RV cooking, but you can take and process the game in camp and cook the fresh venison at home. The venison steaks will be dredged in flour and breadcrumbs which can get messy but is oh so worth it!

Venison Recipes: Hindquarter

Hindquarter cuts, such as sirloin, bottom round, top round, eye of round and the shank, are versatile and can be cut into steaks, cooked like a loin cut or slow cooked. These cuts of meat can be substituted into most venison recipes.

Venison Roast Recipe

This Venison Roast recipe is the epitome of simple and easy with only 10 minutes of prep time! Because it calls for shelf stable ingredients, you could easily make this in your RV or onsite at your RV camp. This recipe uses a slow cooker and is truly a set it and forget it meal.

Venison Stew

Stew is unquestionably the quintessential fall food, and this is the perfect recipe for a hearty family meal. This Venison Stew recipe is gluten free, dairy free and paleo. And it’s packed with veggies and fall-apart tender venison. We recommend cooking this stew in a Dutch oven, as you know we love campfire Dutch oven recipes!

Chicken Fried Venison

Here is another recipe to make at home after you’ve had a bountiful hunting harvest; this recipe for Chicken Fried Venison recommends using steaks from the hindquarters. The venison steaks are pounded flat and tenderized before being dredged in batter, fried and blanketed with country gravy. Can gravy ever be wrong?! This recipe makes our country hearts happy.

Venison Recipes: Neck, Shoulder & Shank

These cuts are from naturally tougher areas and should be cooked slowly with braising or stewing. The flank steak and crosscut shank are considered the least tender cuts but, when prepared correctly, can be meltinyourmouth tender.

Venison Shanks, Juniper & Redcurrants

Jamie Oliver elevates venison to the next level in his recipe for Venison Shanks, Juniper & Redcurrants! This recipe calls for juniper berries, redcurrants, fresh rosemary, and red wine. This savory dish is perfect for a date night dinner or a special meal to celebrate bagging a trophy buck.


Braised Venison Shanks with Garlic

If red wine isn’t your thing, here is a recipe for Braised Venison Shanks with Garlic, which calls for white wine and pairs with garlic and lemon zest to deliver a lighter, more mellow flavor pairing. This recipe needs a side dish to soak up the sauce; we recommend mashed potatoes, because you can never go wrong in the fall with mashed potatoes!


Venison Osso Buco

This dish is inspired by the classic Italian dish of braised veal shanks but is next level when the meat is substituted for venison shanks. Braised in red wine and beef broth with herbs, this Venison Osso Buco recipe delivers robust flavor and deliciously tender venison.


Tips to Remember When Cooking Venison:

    • Venison fat is different than beef fat, and it does not taste great.
    • You should trim away the fat and silver skin before following venison recipes.
    • Remember, venison is lean. Take caution not to overcook.
    • Marinate, Marinate, Marinate! But do not oversalt the meat as it will dry the venison out.
    • Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking it.
    • Oil the meat, brushing each side with a little bit of oil before grilling or pan-frying it.
    • After cooking, let the venison rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to evenly disperse.

We hope you enjoy the big game season and these new venison recipes! If you are planning a camping or hunting  RV trip in the future, here are some make ahead meals for your trip and easy campfire dinners. If you are looking to make your RV dreams come true, the staff at Juniata Valley RV can show you some of our most popular models. And seasonal campers can browse our fifth wheels for sale in Pennsylvania.

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How to Host an RV Thanksgiving Dinner

Guide to Successfully Host an RV Thanksgiving Celebration

Celebrate with an RV Thanksgiving this year at your favorite fall campground! Why leave your southern vacation destination when you can host a beautiful family dinner in your camper? From essential prep to the best advice other RVers have to offer, here’s everything you’ll need to consider when you host an RV Thanksgiving dinner.

Clean Up & Prep for Hosting Thanksgiving

RV or traditional home, cleaning up is essential before guests arrive for Thanksgiving dinner. Make sure you give your RV a good scrub down and all your fall decorations are in order! One important consideration in your RV is space. This means, before you go on your Thanksgiving shopping trip, you should clean out your fridge and pantry. Get rid of all the expired food and make room for a three course Thanksgiving feast. You’ll need to store lots of ingredients and plenty of leftovers in your RV fridge.

Consider RV Thanksgiving Cooking Methods

We already covered all the best ways to cook outside the RV. Now, it’s time to decide whether you want to cook your turkey in the RV oven, haul a smoker to the campsite, or challenge yourself with an in-ground oven. There are tons of creative ways to cook Thanksgiving dinner, especially the turkey.

Take Advantage of Outdoor Space

Even the biggest RVs only offer a limited amount of space. When you’ve got the grandkids coming to your RV Thanksgiving, there likely isn’t a ton of space for everyone to unbuckle their belts at the booth dinette. There are two ways to take advantage of outdoor space – as a prep station or as a dinner table.

Winter at a southern campground means comfortable weather all season long. When you host Thanksgiving at a campground, we recommend setting up work and prep stations outside. This can mean using an outdoor kitchen, or a simple foldable table, as space to prepare your favorite pies and casseroles.

If you need more seating than the dinette offers, we recommend holding your RV Thanksgiving dinner outdoors. Enjoy fresh air and cool weather with your warm turkey and stuffing. Setting up tables outside means there will be more than enough room for everyone in the family to spread out and dig in.

Cook Thanksgiving Dinner in Advance

Even if you don’t completely cook your dishes, we recommend preparing everything in advance. This way, you’ll have less work on Thanksgiving Day and can spend more time with your family. Pies, casserole and stuffing are all great options to start preparing in advance. These can be safely stored in your freshly cleaned-out fridge, ready to pop in the oven on Thanksgiving.

Share the Work

Hosting an RV Thanksgiving is stressful! One way to lighten the workload is asking your guests to contribute. This might mean asking your guests to come early and help with prep. Or, it could mean asking your family and friends to bring fully prepared dishes. Assign your family members different casseroles and desserts. This way, you can focus on deep frying a delicious turkey!

If asking friends and family to contribute won’t work, you can always have your RV Thanksgiving dinner catered! Some restaurants and grocery stores offer Thanksgiving dinners to go, so all you have to do is heat up your meal.

Make Just Enough Food

Sure, we all love a leftover Thanksgiving meal, but in an RV too many leftovers can quickly take over the limited space. Think about how many people you plan to have at Thanksgiving dinner and make just enough food. Most recipes online will tell you how many the meal serves, and some can be automatically adjusted when you enter the number of people you plan to feed. If there’s no automatic adjustment, make some quick cooking conversions and you should be good to go!

Smaller portions and limited leftovers will help you save space both before and after Thanksgiving dinner. Even after you’ve cleaned out your fridge and pantry in preparation, space is sure to be limited if you plan to cook all or most of the meal yourself. If you want to make the most of your RV kitchen, the staff at Juniata Valley RV can show you some of our most spacious floorplans. And seasonal campers can browse our fifth wheels for sale in Pennsylvania.

Woman cooks in an RV kitchen.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner in an RV doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Plan your dinner in advance, take advantage of all the space your campground offers and ask friends and family for help. And make sure, whatever you do, to leave room for dessert!

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