Deer Steak Recipe – Skillet: There are many deer steak recipes, but this quick & flawless recipe using browned butter, salt & pepper in a skillet, is great!
Deer Steak Recipe – On the Stovetop
The other night, I decided that I wanted deer meat for dinner. I had been looking at it in the freezer for a little while, and I knew it was time. Now if you saw my first deer meat recipe…my Fried Deer Meat as seen below…
…then you know it’s my ALL TIME favorite thing to eat, and favorite way to eat deer meat.
So when I love something as much as that recipe, it’s hard from me to steer in a different direction of cooking deer meat.
Grill Deer Meat or Fry it in a Pan?
But for some reason, I didn’t have the heart to cut up these perfectly cut steaks in to small pieces, and decided to give searing them (like I did with my beef steak recipe) a try. I’m so glad that I did, because it turned out pretty tasty, and my family thought so too.
Now if you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed or even taken part in the poll where I asked if you would rather see a pan seared deer steak recipe, or a grilled deer steak recipe. Friends, you all crack me UP. It was literally almost half and half. I mean, only 2 more of you requested that I cook a deer steak in a pan, rather than on the grill.
So, since I had 4 deer steaks in the package, I decide to go ahead and cook the steak BOTH ways, and share both recipes. So be looking for that grilled deer steak and marinade recipe coming very soon too.
How to Cook Deer Steak… in a Pan.
As with all of the recipes here on the blog, I’ll give tidbits of how to make the dish, throughout the photos in case you’re a visual person, but feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post for a straight-and-to-the-point, recipe card where it lists the ingredients and instructions.
Earlier I mentioned that I had 4 deer steaks thawed out, but that I split them up so I could do two in the pan and two on the grill for a future recipe. But I’m so glad that I did for this recipe too, because these two deer steaks were big, and PLENTY for the three of us that were eating it.
Room Temperature Deer Steaks
You’ll want your deer steaks at room temperature, before cooking them. But if you roll like I typically do, you’ll find yourself ready to cook them when you get home, and there is no way your family is going to wait for the steaks to come to room temp before it’s time to cook and eat them. I get it.
Now, it’s not the end of the world if it’s not room temperature, but your steaks just won’t cook exactly like mine too, at the temperature and time I suggest. So just keep that in mind if you will.
It’s Not Just Salt + Pepper
Alright listen up… when it comes to my meat, I SWEAR by kosher salt, peppercorn medley and salted butter. I do this with my favorite steak recipe, my cheeseburger recipe… and now this deer steak recipe.
Do you HAVE to have kosher salt and peppercorn medley? Well no, but if you see it at the store next time, grab it. Or buy it on amazon now, so you don’t forget —-> Buy the kosher salt HERE and the peppercorn medley HERE.
Butter is Love
Yeah, I know. I always say butter is my best friend. But when it comes to cooking deer in a skillet or on the grill, butter is important for the “dryness” that can tend to take over with this lean meat.
Deer is more lean than beef (usually), so the fatty juices may not be in abundance with your deer steaks. So cooking in butter, and even brushing with butter (like I’ll show you in my grilled deer meat recipe coming soon), can help with keeping the steak from drying out.
It’s actually called “larding”. Did you know that? I learned that fancy term the other day, and felt like I was ready for the next food trivia question on HQ. (Please tell me you play this game? If not, you totally should. I play almost every night to try and win real money. #GuiltyPleasure — But hey, if you sign up, you can use my code “Fantabulosity” and it will give me an extra life! Woot! That’d be so sweet of you!)
Sorry, back to deer meat…
You’ll want to brown your butter before placing your deer steaks in the skillet. To me, there’s a BIG difference in the taste of melted butter, and butter that has browned a little bit. Like, a heavenly difference.
Quick Tidbit about Steak Thickness
For this recipe, I used deer steaks that were about 1/2 inch thick. Keep this in mind when you’re cooking yours, and following my times and and cooking temps. Your steaks may be thinner or even thicker.
Cooking the Deer Steaks
Once my butter has browned, and the skillet is at medium-high heat, I place my seasoned steaks right in it. (Make sure that skillet hisses at you when you put that steak in, so you know it’s hot enough, ok?)
Cook the steaks for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Here’s where you want to watch it, depending on how you really want your steaks.
If you want them well-done, then you’ll want to cook them longer than the 3-4 minutes on each side.
We wanted ours about medium, so we stuck with 3-4.
Longer = Tougher
*** Just remember that the steaks keep cooking after you remove them from the skillet, and when you let it rest. I say this, because if you’re wanting your steaks a specific temperature, deer meat will begin to get “tougher” the more it cooks.
Rest + Butter
Once the steaks were done, I pulled them off of the cast iron, so they could rest (well, and so I could snag these photos), and I added another tablespoon of butter for good measure. (Not necessary. Well, unless you’re having me over for dinner of course, cause… I like butter.)
Oh that green stuff? Not necessary. I just threw it on for a Pinterest-friendly image, and because it was the only little sprig left of my fresh herb garden. I scorched the rest of the herb plants this summer already. (SMH)
Now that’s a good deer steak…
Deer Steak Recipe - In a Skillet
Deer Steak Recipe - Skillet: There are many deer steak recipes, but this quick & flawless recipe using browned butter, salt & pepper in a skillet, is great!
Allow steaks to come to room temperature. (Approx. 20-30 minutes.)
Coat deer steaks with salt and pepper.
Over medium high heat, add butter to skillet, and let melt and brown.
When butter is melted and brown, gently place steaks in the skillet, making sure they don't overlap one another.
If the skillet doesn't sizzle at you, remove steak and wait until skillet is more hot.
Cook steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Remove steaks from skillet and place on a plate to rest for 3-4 minutes. During this time, you can coat with more butter if you prefer, to help maintain a juicy deer steak.
So, tell me… what is YOUR favorite way to cook deer meat? I think frying the backstrap in flour is still my favorite, but when I have deer steaks handy, this recipe is definitely a good choice.