Mastering the Art of Reheating Venison: Maintaining Flavor Without the Gamey Taste

How to reheat venison (without it tasting gamey)

Venison, when cooked properly, can be a delicious and flavorful meat. However, reheating venison can be a bit tricky, as it can easily become dry and gamey if not done correctly. In this article, we will explore different methods for reheating venison to ensure it stays tender and flavorful.

Methods for Reheating Venison

When it comes to reheating venison, there are several methods you can choose from:

1. Reheating venison in the oven

Reheating venison in the oven is a simple and reliable method. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Allow venison to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Place the venison on a foil-lined tray and place in the oven.
  4. Cook for at least 30 to 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches about 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

2. Reheating Venison in a Pan

Reheating venison in a pan is a quick and easy method. Follow these steps:

  1. Heat a skillet over high heat.
  2. Allow venison to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Add a small amount of butter or olive oil to the pan.
  4. If desired, season the venison before adding it to the pan.
  5. Sear meat on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  6. Brush the top of the meat with butter for added moisture.
  7. Allow the venison to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

3. Reheating venison in a sous vide

Sous vide is a French cooking method in which food is cooked in a water bath at a precise temperature. Here’s how to reheat venison in a sous vide:

  1. Set your sous vide machine to about 55 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place the venison in a vacuum-sealed bag and clip it to the side of the pot.
  3. Simmer the venison for about an hour.
  4. Just before serving, sear the meat on both sides in a hot pan with butter or oil.
  5. Allow the venison to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

4. Avoid reheating venison in the microwave.

It is not recommended to reheat venison in the microwave as this can result in tough and unappetizing meat. The microwave does not cook the meat evenly and the texture may suffer.

Ensure proper reheating

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to ensure that your venison is reheated properly. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it is safe to eat. You can use a food thermometer to check the temperature.
Alternatively, you can use the hand test as a general guideline. Press your index finger into the fleshy area just below your thumb. The firmness of the meat should be similar to the following:

  • Thumb to middle finger: medium-rare
  • Thumb to ring finger: medium
  • Thumb to little finger: good

Remember not to overcook venison, as it can become tough and dry.

Proper storage of venison

Proper storage of venison is essential to maintaining its quality. Here are some guidelines:

  • For short-term storage (up to one week), wrap venison tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • For longer storage (up to one month), wrap venison in freezer paper, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Place in the coldest part of your freezer.
  • For long-term storage (six months to one year), consider using a vacuum sealer to remove all air from the packaging. Alternatively, you can pack venison in freezer-safe containers or bags, making sure to remove as much air as possible.

If thawing frozen venison, do so overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Avoid thawing at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth.


Reheating venison doesn’t have to result in dry, gamey meat. By following the proper methods and ensuring that the meat reaches the proper temperature, you can enjoy tender and flavorful reheated venison. Whether you use the oven, stovetop, or sous vide, be sure to maintain the quality of the meat. Proper storage techniques also play a crucial role in preserving the flavor and texture of venison. With these tips in mind, you can confidently reheat venison without sacrificing its deliciousness.


Can I reheat venison more than once?

It is generally recommended that venison not be reheated more than once. Each time you reheat the meat, it has the potential to become drier and lose its flavor. It is best to reheat only the amount you intend to consume to avoid excessive reheating.

How long can I store cooked venison before reheating?

Cooked venison can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days before reheating. Be sure to store it properly in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to preserve its freshness.

Can I freeze cooked venison for later reheating?

Absolutely! Cooked venison can be frozen for later use. Pack it tightly in freezer-safe containers or wrap it in freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. Frozen cooked venison can be safely stored for up to 3-4 months.

What is the best way to prevent venison from drying out during reheating?

To prevent venison from drying out during reheating, it is important to use gentle reheating methods and avoid overcooking. Whether you use the oven, stovetop, or sous vide, be sure to monitor the internal temperature closely and remove the meat from the heat as soon as it reaches the desired temperature to avoid overcooking.

Can I add marinades or sauces when reheating venison?

Absolutely! Adding marinades or sauces can help enhance the flavor and moisture of reheated venison. If desired, you can brush the meat with your favorite marinade or sauce before reheating or drizzle it over the meat after reheating for added flavor.

Is it safe to reheat venison in the microwave?

It is generally not recommended to reheat venison in the microwave as this can result in uneven heating and potentially tough and dry meat. It is best to use alternative methods such as the oven, stovetop, or sous vide to reheat venison to ensure consistent and delicious results.