The next time you bring home a deer (or elk or moose), make Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Venison Backstraps. The flavor of the venison backstraps wrapped in crispy bacon, seasoned perfectly, and smoked on the pellet smoker is nothing short of amazing.
This is one of my favorite venison recipes. This year, my husband and daughter brought home an elk, a deer, and a moose. Last year, they put two elk and a deer in the freezer.
That's a lot of meat (we share it with our parents and friends). I have made backstraps using this recipe so many times already this year. Even last year's deer meat backstrap that was in the freezer turned out amazing.
It is tender, flavorful, and downright delicious. Like gourmet delicious. If you have a venison loin, make this recipe.
Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Venison Backstrap
Flavorful. The combination of smoky bacon and venison is so delicious.
Easy. This is an easy recipe, but it looks and tastes like a fancy restaurant dish.
Relive the adventure: Enjoy the taste and retell your hunting adventure.
Venison backstraps. Any venison will work for this recipe. The pictures in this recipe are of elk backstraps, so they are larger than deer backstraps. We used one backstrap and cut it in half so it was easier to manage.
Bacon. I used four strips of bacon for each backstrap. You could make a basket weave as I did in my Pellet Grill Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, but I find it easier to just wrap individual bacon slices. For a deer backstrap you will use less bacon. You could also use thick-cut bacon instead, but it might take longer to cook, and you might need to crisp bacon under the broiler in your oven.
Seasoning. My Smoked Chicken Rub made with brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, and Roasted Garlic and Peppers seasoning is delicious on venison. For this blog post, I just used La Grille Wild Whiskey smoked BBQ rub for something different. Feel free to use your favorite dry rub.
See the printable recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and quantities.
What internal temperature to cook venison to?
The USDA recommends cooking all venison, round, rump, loin, to an internal temperature of 160°F. This is because we don't know what the animals were exposed to. Read this great article in Outdoor Life for more information if you are interested.
However, I personally do not follow that advice and cook my venison to an internal temperature of 145°F. Some wild game chefs will cook their venison to 125-130°F. I will leave the choice up to you.
Step 1: Preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees F. Trim any silver skin off of the backstraps.
Step 2: Generously apply your favorite BBQ rub to the backstrap. Flip it over and season the bottom as well.
Step 3: Wrap bacon slices around each of the backstraps. I used four bacon slices for each piece. Secure the bacon with toothpicks.
Step 4: Carefully place bacon-wrapped backstraps directly on the grill grate of the pellet smoker, seam side down. Close the lid and smoke for 90 minutes, turning the meat over halfway through. The backstrap is done when the internal temperature measured with a digital thermometer in the center of the roast reaches your desired temperature. For me, that is 145 degrees F.
Step 5: If you like, brush barbecue sauce on the last few minutes of cooking time. Remove from the grill, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Trim off any silver skin or fat before preparing the venison meat. This helps remove the gamey flavor.
Use regular cut bacon. It cooks evenly and crisps up nicely.
Don't skimp on the seasoning. Sprinkle it on the outside of the bacon for even more flavor.
Use a meat thermometer to watch the temperature so you don't overcook it. Aim for a temperature between 130-150°F.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a venison backstrap (deer loin)?
A venison backstrap is a tender cut of meat that comes from the top of the deer along each side of the spine. The backstrap is similar to the loin section in beef or pork.
Is venison tenderloin the same as venison backstrap?
Venison backstrap and venison tenderloins are different cuts from a deer. The backstrap is along the spine and is larger. The tenderloin, smaller and even more tender meat, is found inside the abdominal cavity below the spine.
What wood pellets are best for smoking venison?
I like to use pecan wood as it is mild and not overpowering. I also like to use cherry, apple, oak, or hickory.
Can this recipe be made in the oven if I don't have a smoker?
Yes, you can cook it in an oven, though it won’t have the same smoky flavor. Roast it in a 275-degree F oven until it reaches the desired internal temperature.
How do I avoid a gamey flavor in the venison?
Trimming the sinew and silverskin will help you avoid a gamey flavor.
What sides pair well with bacon-wrapped backstrap?
If you tried this Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Venison Backstrap recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thank you! 🙂
Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Venison Backstraps
- Pellet grill
- 25-30 Toothpicks
- Meat Thermometer
- 2 whole venison backstraps 2-3 pounds each
- 2 tablespoons La Grille Wild Whiskey Smoked BBQ Rub or your favorite BBQ rub
- 8 slices bacon
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Trim the backstraps to remove any silver skin. Pat dry the venison backstraps with a paper towel.2 whole venison backstraps
- Sprinkle dry rub over the backstraps, front and back.2 tablespoons La Grille Wild Whiskey Smoked BBQ Rub
- Wrap each backstrap with bacon, just barely overlapping the pieces. Secure each piece of bacon on both sides with toothpicks.8 slices bacon
- Place the bacon-wrapped backstraps directly on the grill grates of the pellet grill. Close the lid and smoke for 1 hour and 30 minutes, flipping over halfway. The backstrap is done when the internal temperature reaches your desired temperature. For me, that is 145 degrees F.
- Carefully remove the backstrap from the smoker, tent it with aluminum foil, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
👩🏻🍳 Meet The Author
Meet Jeri, a self-taught home cook with over 40 years of cooking experience who decided to start a second career as a full-time food blogger. She is the recipe creator, writer, photographer, and creator of Winding Creek Ranch. Her mission is to make your life easier by sharing delicious recipes your family will love.