Add new life to old coffee grounds with this earthy rub for smoked venison roasts. The rub is also great on any other dark-fleshed game, beef, and pork. (Try this Coffee Rubbed Goose Breast recipe)

Done right, a smoked venison roast is moist and tender, like a beautiful medium-rare beef roast. The biggest difference between a steer and a deer is the fat content. To make up for the lack of fat, I’ve added a little bacon. Nothin’ wrong with a little bacon. 

If your smoker has a water pan, use it. If not, place a foil pan of water on one of the lower racks. Keeping the meat moist while smoking will expedite the cooking part and add moisture to the finished roast. 

Coffee-Rubbed Venison Roast

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: big game recipes, venison recipes


  • 1 3 to 5 pound venison roast silver skin removed
  • 6 to 8 strips uncooked bacon

The Rub

  • ¼ cup ground coffee new or used
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika


  • Combine rub ingredients. Rub into roast. Wrap with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove plastic, and allow to air dry for 30 minutes.
  • Arrange bacon over the top of the roast. Place in a 225-degree smoker for 3 hours. Remove bacon, and continue to smoke until the internal temperature is about 165 degrees. Let me rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing thinly.

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