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Can You Eat Deer Meat Rare? (Quick Answers)

Deer meat is considered a delicacy in many countries. It is an exotic food that you would just not find anywhere. If you are curious about how well it should be cooked and if you cook it rare and have it then you must do thorough research on it. 

Can you eat deer meat rare?

Yes, you can eat deer meat rare. In fact, cooking it for too long makes it rubbery and chewy. Deer meat tastes the best when cooked rare to medium-rare. However, you have to ensure that the animal is safe to eat and is tested for any kind of disease before consuming it when it’s rare.

Can you eat venison rare?

You can certainly consume venison rare to medium-rare. You should remove it from your pan or grill when the inside is still pink. This means that your meat will be moist, juicy, and tender. 

If you cook it past medium-rare until the pink goes away then you will not be able to enjoy the proper taste of your meat. This is because deer meat is not similar to beef or pork meat at all. If you enjoy your meat well done then venison meat is not for you. 

If you cook it for too long it turns rubbery, dry, and chewy which does not taste that good at all. 

Is it safe to eat deer meat rare?

It is relatively safe to eat deer meat rare. You have to keep in mind though that there is no meat present that you can have a guarantee of full safety eating it rare or raw. 

If you are fully sure about the safety of where the deer meat was raised and if it was butchered safely as well as tested for any kind of disease then the risks of contracting any disease are highly reduced. 

However, the possibility of getting sick is not fully eliminated but in general terms, it is not very common to get sick from eating deer meat cooked to rare. 

If the deer was a wild deer and butchered by just a hunter then you should avoid eating it because it is not tested for any kind of disease. Also, avoid getting ground deer meat rare because it might contain germs and bacteria. 

It is better to cook ground meat more thoroughly so that all the germs and bacteria gets removed. 

How rare can you eat deer meat?

If it is a tender cut of deer meat then you should cook it somewhere from rare to medium-rare. The internal temperature of the meat should be around 125 degrees Fahrenheit and the inside should be pinkish in color

If you cook it any longer than that then the meat will end up being dry and rubbery. 

If it is a working cut of meat then you should certainly cook it longer than you would cook a tender cut. Working cuts of meat come from the active parts of the deer and thus consist of a lot of tissues and you need them to break down for the meat to be tender to taste. 

The internal temperature for this slice of meat should be around 225 degrees Fahrenheit and you have to cook it for a while at low heat. 

You should avoid eating raw beef meat because there might be a lot of underlying risks even if it was raised and butchered by professionals. 

Can you get sick from undercooked venison?

If the deer is a wild deer and the meat is not butchered by some professionals then it can get quite risky to have it undercooked. Even if it was fully safe to eat, there are still chances of you getting sick as no meat can be fully safe. 

However, the extent of the sickness will not be that much for safe and tested out meat.

Deer meat must be tested for any kind of plausible disease before they are sold. Even if they do not show any signs of symptoms, it is still very important to get them checked out before selling them. 

You can get sick and contract parasites or diseases from having undercooked deer meat if it contains any form of disease itself. You can have stomach aches, nausea, and diarrhea. 

4 Effects of eating very rare deer meat:

If you are eating deer meat that was not raised and regulated by professionals and butchered properly, then you are at risk of contracting some dangerous diseases. However, it is worth noting that it is not very common to get sick from eating rare deer meat.


If your deer meat had the parasite trichinella then by eating it very rare you might contract it. This will result in gastric problems, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea as well. 


By eating raw or very rare deer meat you can also contrast salmonella. The symptoms of salmonella include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, bad stomach aches, diarrhea, and even blood that can pool up in your stool. 

For people with weaker immunities, this can be quite risky. 


This is an infection caused by a parasite and it will not affect normal people that badly except for mild flu symptoms. 

However, it can cause severe problems for people with compromised immunity or pregnant women as this disease can severely harm a fetus. 

Chronic Wasting Disease:

This is a neurological disease that is very rare but can prove to be fatal. It is close to the Mad cow disease and theoretically even cooking will not help prevent contracting the disease but there is a lack of evidence proving it. 

How long should you cook venison?

It depends on the slice of meat. Usually, people go for the tender slices as it is more flavorsome. You should cook it until the inside turns pink in color and moist

You can also use a thermometer to check if the internal temperature is around 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be cooked perfectly. Any longer than medium-rare will end up making your meat dry. 

How to cook venison?

There are some simple steps you need to follow when cooking venison to avoid your meat getting too dry and chewy. 

Prepare your meat:

The best slices are the tender slices as it is more flavourful. Cut off any fat layers sticking to your meat as when melted it tastes like wax and will ruin your meal. 

Marinate your meat to your liking but do not add too much because tender slices do not call for marination. Avoid putting salt or salt it very lightly as this can dry out your meat. 

Cook it carefully:

Do not slice your meat up as it cooks very quickly and thin slices will end up being dry. Drizzle some olive oil onto your pan and heat it. Olive oil will help retain the moisture of the meat. 

Brown all the sides of your meat for one minute each or cook it until the internal temperature is between 125-135 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid cooking it any longer than that as it will dry out your meat.

Serve and enjoy:

The inside of your meat should be pink and moist. When it is done, sprinkle some salt on top and enjoy your meal. 

Does venison need to be fully cooked?

The number one mistake people make is cooking their deer meat for too long. Venison meat should not be fully cooked. You should cook it only until it’s rare or medium-rare to preserve its moisture and tenderness. 

Fully cooking your meat will only end up making it dry and rubbery which will not taste good. 

What temperature do you smoke venison?

You should smoke venison at around 220 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the temperature should be lowered if you want rare to medium-rare. 

For that, the temperature has to be around 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit. It is more favorable to cook it at that temperature as greater doneness of meat might end up making it way too dry. 

What’s the best way to cook deer meat?

The best way to cook deer meat will be on a grill above your stove. You must drizzle it with olive oil so that it retains the moisture of the meat. Tender slices taste the best and you will get the full flavor of the actual meat if you just give it a simple marinade. 

Avoid salting your meat as it might end up making your meat way too dry since venison cooks very quickly. Brown each side for one minute to get the perfect rare center and a moist steak. 

How can you tell if deer meat is safe to eat?

The best way to ensure that the deer meat is safe to eat is if the deer are raised under strict government protocols. It should also have been tested for any kind of disease and butchered under proper regulations. 

If the deer was wild and butchered by a hunter then it is quite risky to consume the meat as they are not tested for any diseases. 

Also, avoid consuming ground venison meat when it’s rare as it might have been exposed to germs or bacteria which might not go away if you cook the meat till it’s rare. 

Final Thoughts:

Venison meat is quite safe to consume and contracting a disease is not that common. However, the effects of the disease might be life-threatening especially if you have a weakened immune system. Therefore you should avoid eating deer meat when it’s cooked rare or source it from trustworthy places.