Tender BBQ Deer Ribs

BBQ ribs

Deer ribs

Many hunters tend to discard the ribs when you butchering deer, or worse, just hack away at the meat between and throw it into the mince (or dog food) pile. They mistakenly believe that there’s not enough meat, or it is just too much effort to turn this bony bits into a delicious gourmet meal.

With this easy recipe, you’ll realise deer ribs can be every bit as juicy and tender as pork or beef ribs.



Pat ribs dry using paper towel, making sure to remove all excess moisture and blood.

Rub generously on both sides with sea salt and your choice of dry rub. Spray a few squirts of liquid smoke, but not too much or the taste will be too overpowering.  

Deer ribs

We slow cook our ribs first in a sous vide cooker for 24 – 36 hours at 66 degrees Celsius (150F). If using this method, you will need to seal the ribs into an airtight plastic bag – either double sealed ziplock or vacuum sealed bags (we use GameSaver bags) and immerse the sealed bag into the water bath. Set the thermometer to 66 degrees. Make sure you keep the bag submerged in the water for the whole cooking time. You may also need to top up the water levels with such a long cooking time. 

If you do not own a sous vide cooker, you will need to choose another method for pre-cooking your ribs. This could be in a slow cooker with stock or liquid, in stock in a low, slow oven (no more than 140 degrees for 8 hours) or a slow simmer in liquid or stock for several hours until fork tender.

Once ribs are soft, remove from the bag, drain excess liquid and baste with BBQ sauce of your choice. We used the Heinz BBQ sauce as it was all we had in the pantry, but we would actually recommend using a better quality sauce like this Tassie Settler BBQ Whisky Sauce, or making your own from scratch. Here’s a link to some good recipes for homemade BBQ sauce suitable for ribs. 

Coat the ribs generously in the sauce and then grill on a hot BBQ plate until nicely browned. We were in a bit of a rush when we cooked these so finished them off in the oven instead of the BBQ. While the meat still tasted fantastic, the oven did dry them out slightly. We definitely recommend taking the extra time to finish off on a BBQ or hot grill plate. 

Serve with a simple coleslaw or salad to cut through the richness of the smoky meat flavours.

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