Blackened Venison Backstrap

The key to blackening is to use a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, and screaming-hot heat. Restaurants that serve blackened meats and fish keep a white-hot skillet over a burner at all times.

I highly recommend that you open the doors and windows and provide as much ventilation as possible. Done properly, there’s plenty of smoke.

Adding insult to smoke, when you blacken a hunk of meat, you’re actually burning the peppery spices that coat the outside. Inhaling hot, peppery smoke might cause watery eyes and a burning throat.

If you have a high-BTU outside burner and a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, that’s ideal.

If I haven’t scared you off, proceed with caution.

Blackened Venison Backstrap

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: big game recipes, venison recipes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 8-ounce backstrap steaks, butterflied
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Blackening Spice Rub

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp each, ground oregano, ground thyme and cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp each, ground black pepper, ground white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 8 thick slices tomato
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley leaves, minced


  • Coat steaks with melted butter. Combine rub ingredients, and coat meat evenly. Save extra spice mix for blackening fish, game, beef or pork at a later date.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for at least 20 minutes. Place steaks in pan, and cook about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. NOTE: Provide adequate ventilation, and do not breathe smoke or fumes.
  • Place two tomato slices on each plate. Set meat on tomato. Top with a tablespoon of sour cream, and sprinkle parsley over.


NOTE: Provide adequate ventilation, and do not breathe smoke or fumes.

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