Smoking meats is the in-thing to do these days, and that’s not relegated to mainstream beef and pork.

While deer don’t offer as large or fatty briskets, we save the brisket for the Camp Chef pellet grill anytime we harvest a large whitetail – or better yet, a mule deer, elk, or any other similar-sized wild critter. This cut of meat is naturally tougher but also has less fat than its farm-raised counterparts. So a low and slow smoking with careful tending is necessary. 

But the results are fabulous. 

Serves: 4 to 8, depending on the size of the brisket
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 to 8 hours, depending on the size of the brisket


•    1 venison brisket (or other similar-sized wild game brisket)
•    Canola oil

Seasoning Rub:

•    Coarse salt
•    Freshly ground pepper
•    Smoked paprika
•    Garlic powder
•    Nutmeg
•    Brown sugar
•    Coriander

(Or use your favorite pre-mixed rub – Ours is Buzzy’s BBQ Rub from Kerrville, Texas.)


Rub down the brisket with some oil to help the seasonings adhere. Season that brisket well all over with your chosen blend of spices. But remember venison brisket is not nearly as thick as beef, so season it a bit more lightly. Our brisket was only five pounds and had little fat when we began. Ideally, we’d like a bit more fat to keep things moist through the smoking process, but we managed the meat with wrapping. 

A trimmed and rubbed whitetail venison brisket, noticeably smaller than its beef counterpart, is ready for the smoker. Being thinner and much less fatty, venison brisket must be smoked with care. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Let the seasoned meat rest at room temp for one hour before smoking. Do not season venison brisket overnight. You’ll not only lose the precious juices, but it will also be overly salty. Get the smoker to between 220 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit with a nice smoke. We use a mix of mesquite and apple woods, but you can pick just about any wood that will work to your desired taste. 


Put the brisket on the grate with the thinnest end away from the heat. Use a temperature probe to monitor the brisket so you don’t have to keep opening the grill and lose all that lovely smoke and heat. Cook until you get an internal temperature of approximately 170 degrees and some nice bark. 

Now wrap the brisket. We prefer wrapping in butcher paper – “peach paper” – but tinfoil also works. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 220 degrees. This process takes roughly 90 minutes per pound of brisket.

Smoking our venison brisket on the Camp Chef. The venison brisket must be cooked lower and slower than beef. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

When the desired internal temperature is reached, pull that beauty off the smoker and keep it nicely wrapped. Let it rest for at least one hour before slicing. Do not skip this step. Venison is a naturally drier meat, and we want to keep all those juices in the brisket. Resting allows that to happen. 


When you’re ready to serve, slice the brisket against the grain for the most tender cuts. You should see a nice reddish smoke ring around the bark of the brisket and a tender, juicy interior. While a meat slicer offers the best even slices, your favorite sharp knife will do the job as well. 

The most important part is enjoying this overlooked cut of wild meat which you have so lovingly prepared. Plate it up with our recipe for wild boar bacon and bourbon smoked beans for the perfect smoker meal. Stay tuned to for the wild boar bacon and bourbon smoked beans recipe.

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