Not only is Michael Waddell, also known as the Bone Collector, an amazing hunter, he’s also a pretty great cook. In this video, Waddell, with a surprise cameo from his friend Blake Shelton, cooks up some venison backstrap and gives viewers some terrific tips for wild game cooking.
Cooking wild game isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. Waddell breaks down some of his top tips in this video to prove just that.
Tips for Cooking Your Wild Game
- Soak your game in ice water the night before.
If you’re perplexed by why you should soak your game, you’re not alone!
Believe it or not, this simple step not only keeps your meat from tasting too “gamey,” it also helps to keep you safe. Adding your game to a cooler full of ice water allows it to drop quickly to the proper temperature. It also helps to drain any remaining blood. Be sure to allow it to rest in the water for 12-24 hours.
- Make sure to remove all the fat.
There’s some game out there that tastes better with the fat on, specifically buffalo in Waddell’s opinion. Mostly it just gives the meat a slightly bitter taste so it’s best if you trim it all off. A smaller knife is the easiest way to get between the fat and sinew and the meat itself.
- Don’t go crazy with seasonings.
If you want the best flavors of the meat to shine through, be sure not to overwhelm it with heavy seasonings or marinades. It can be fun and delicious to experiment with flavors. However, it’s not necessary and you can often get a better taste without all that. In this video, Waddell cooks up his venison with a little olive oil, some salt and pepper, and just a pinch of his favorite dry rub.
- Consider the cut.
While Waddell mentions that many people enjoy cooking up the entire backstrap, he says he prefers cutting them into ½ inch to 1-inch slices so you can better control the cook and the sear. They cook faster though, so you’ll want to be sure to keep an eye on them for the entire cook!
- Don’t overcook your meat.
Waddell suggests cooking these “almost like tuna.” You want to sear each side pretty well, but you’re still looking for a lovely pink color in the center. This gives you a tender and delicious bite every time.
Armed with these tips for cooking your wild game, head out into your backyard and get to grilling up your latest harvest!