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Big Daddy's Easy Smokey Venison Meatloaf

Updated on August 6, 2012

In case you've never tried Venison (deer meat)..

Venison is a very tender meat and has lower amounts of fat than beef and pork. It also has none of the hormone enhancements that are normally found in livestock meat or poultry. Although cholesterol levels in venison meat are comparable to beef, venison is richer in vitamins, having a much higher percentage of B vitamins, iron and copper than either pork or beef.

Diners who are not accustomed to venison should be aware of the gamey flavor. Gamey flavor is a strong taste found in all wild game animals. It can be decreased by slow cooking and/or via the roasting. Sauces also help accomplish this decreasing process, and the following recipe uses a sauce as one of the primary ingredients.

If you hunt for your food you may have to go no further than the freezer to find venison. But for those who are not hunters finding and purchasing venison may require a little searching. We buy ours from either local hunters or butcher shops in the area that specialize in a variety of meats. If you go this route and need venison ground, shop butchers are typically happy to grind it right on the premises.

Purchasing venison can also be as easy as going online and getting out your credit card. Here are a few places that you can order venison and other wild game meats:

Broken Arrow Ranch – free-range venison, antelope and wild boar

Elk USA (Grande Premium Meats) – buffalo, elk and deer meat

This recipe is a simple venison-based meatloaf with a hearty hickory barbecue flavor. I created it myself and named it for my husband who, at first look at the meatloaf swore he'd hate it and then ended up loving it!

5 stars from 1 rating of Big Daddy's Easy Smokey Venison Meatloaf

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: Serves 6-8 people


1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 lbs ground venison

¼ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring

1 egg

1 cup honey barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon black pepper, ground

½ teaspoon salt

½-1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed finely

1 small onion, diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil your meatloaf pan with the cooking oil (unless pan is treated with a non-stick surface, in which case you won't need oil).

Place ground venison in large mixing bowl. Add ginger and mix thoroughly with hands.

Break open the egg and combine with the mixture by compressing with your hands.

Add ¾ of the cup of barbecue sauce and mix with hands, careful to squish well.

Add the ginger, black pepper and salt., squish well into mixture.

Add the liquid smoke flavoring, squish well into mixture.

Add the onion. Mix again with hands, squishing again as you do so.

Add the crushed saltine crackers, again mixing and squishing with hands.

When the mixture is of desired consistency, transfer to meatloaf pan and form into a loaf shape. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Place this covered pan into the oven on middle rack. Bake for 25 minutes*. Remove from oven and carefully peel off aluminum foil top. Drain excess fatty oil from loaf. Now pour the remainder of the barbecue sauce over the top of the loaf.

Lower temperature of oven by 25 degrees.

Do not replace aluminum foil. Return pan with loaf back to middle rack of oven. Bake for another 20 minutes*.

Remove the pan with loaf from oven. Slice in center of loaf and check for pink. If the center of the loaf is of a consistent gray-brown shade it is finished. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut loaf into slices and serve.

*Exact baking times vary, depending on oven.

Suggested side-dishes: tater tots or potato wedges lightly sprinkled with Seasoning salt or Lemon-pepper spice

For this recipe I recommend using Baumann’s Sweet & Tangy Honey BBQ Sauce and Figaro Hickory Liquid Smoke


This Hub ©June 5, 2012 by Beth Perry


Submit a Comment

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

    MissJamieD, oh that makes me so happy to hear!

  • MissJamieD profile image

    MissJamieD 5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

    Oh my goodness it turned out amazing!!Love the recipe thank you so so much:) It's what I had for dinner last night and breakfast this

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

    MissJamieD, let me know how it turns out for you! Thanks much :)

  • MissJamieD profile image

    MissJamieD 5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

    I have this meatloaf in the oven as we speak. I tweaked a few things according to my available ingredients but thank you so much this sounds amazing:)

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

    Thank you Mhatter99. I have a feeling it would work well with beef, turkey or ground soy "meat" :)

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

    Wow... i will try with venison, but your basic ingrediants sound great!

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

    Pamela99, thank you very much. I admire those who hunt for sustenance and have respect for the animals so please give your hubby a shout out for me :)

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Hi Beth, I have never come across your hubs before but I love the variety of topics. My husband use to hunt when he was able and we do like venison. The meatloaf looks delicious and I gave it 5 stars. My husband always used a rifle and he was a good shot. I don't think the deer suffered and I was glad he didn't use a bow and arrow. The meat is so healthy and lean, and you're right - without all the added chemicals. Great hub!

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

    Nell, it is awful. I love meat but treating animals without an ounce of compassion - housing them in crowded, filthy conditions and making them suffer in ways too distasteful to mention here- it is evil. Even a shark doesn't torture people before eating them, you know?

    Thanks much for reading and commenting; I always appreciate you dropping in :)

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    Hi beth, I think I felt the same way, Venison to me was cruel, and then I watched a live tv program about how to slaughter sheep, and it made me sick, in fact I was in floods of tears, so now I would love to try it. This sounds really good, I will have to go and see where I can buy it, voted up! cheers nell

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

    Kitty, I shared that feeling when I was younger, too. But these days I see eating game is part of life and yes, hunting for survival is much more humane than any animal suffering for the sake of being fattened up.

    Thanks much for dropping by and commenting :)

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    I used to hate eating venison as a child because I was against it; however, it's probably WAY more humane to kill a deer in the wild with a shot to the head than it is to put a cow or pig through what they go through in our American farms/slaughter houses. Thanks for this recipe. Awesome & detailed. :)