Wild Recipes

Savory Venison BBQ Ribs

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5.0 from 1 vote

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Nothing says comfort like a warm, tangy, smokey bite of tender rib meat off of the bone that has been glazed with barbecue sauce. Sadly, though, many people typically relegate venison (and other cervid’s) rib meat strictly to the grind pile to be turned into sausage due to tallow. Tallow, the waxy fat that covers the rib cage and is often discarded or turned into soap, is the major culprit that gives the unpleasant “mouth coating” effect people experience when eating venison with a high tallow content once the fat cools.

This recipe is a two-step preparation that allows for a significant amount of tallow to be rendered off, while also ensuring the rib meat will be fall-off-the-bone tender. Follow this recipe the next time you have venison ribs on hand, and you’re sure to never leave the ribs for the grind pile again. 

Serves: 4-6 
Time to Make: 6 hours

Looking for more rib recipes? Try out this Apple-Glazed Boar Ribs recipe!

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Savory Venison BBQ Ribs

Recipe by Brandon Dale
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Wild Recipes


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  • full racks of venison ribs

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons paprika

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper

  • /2cup chopped parsley

  • Oil brush

  • BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cups Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce

  • 3 oz whiskey or dark rum

  • garlic cloves minced

  • 3 tablespoons jelly or jam preserve (stone fruit preferred)

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 3 tablespoons black pepper


  • Prepping the Ribs
  • Begin by rinsing the venison ribs under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.Trim excess fat and silver skin from the ribs to enhance tenderness and flavor absorption.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. Stir well to create a marinade.
  • Place the venison ribs in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them, ensuring the meat is thoroughly coated.
  • Seal the dish or bag and refrigerate overnight, allowing the flavors to meld and permeate the venison.
  • Baking the Ribs
  • Place marinated ribs into a baking sheet and bake for 3-4 hours at 250 degrees. Wrap in foil for the first 2 hours and remove during the last 2 hours. Tallow will visibly render off the ribs into the bottom of the baking sheet – discard the yellow/clear liquid by pouring it off as you check the ribs.
  • BBQ Sauce Preparation
  • In a wide saucepan, sauté all 6 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil. Add Sweet Baby Rays to pan, and add paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and stir. Once the sauce is heated and mildly bubbling, add the stone fruit preserve and whiskey to the sauce. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the jelly has fully incorporated into the BBQ sauce. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Grill the Ribs
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 300-350°F) and lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Grill the venison ribs for about 8-10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat. Ensure they cook evenly and avoid charring by turning them occasionally.
  • As the venison ribs near completion, brush them generously with BBQ sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling on each side. This step infuses the ribs with a tantalizing sweet and smoky flavor.
  • Keep a close eye on the ribs, adjusting heat as needed to prevent burning or overcooking.
  • Garnish and Serve
  • Once the venison ribs are beautifully glazed and cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove them from the grill.
  • Let the ribs rest for a few minutes, allowing the juices to redistribute within the meat, ensuring tenderness and flavor with every bite.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.
  • Pair this wild-game delicacy with your choice of sides—whether it’s a crisp salad, grilled veggies, or classic mashed potatoes—for a well-rounded and satisfying meal. These Venison BBQ Ribs embody the essence of the wild, offering a tantalizing harmony of flavors that pay homage to the great outdoors, and they will surely become a favorite in your next deer camp! Gather ’round the table, share stories of adventure, and savor each mouthwatering bite of this rustic delight. Cheers to the joys of the hunt and the feast it brings!

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Brandon Dale

Brandon grew up in South Louisiana camping, kayaking, hunting and fishing, and he is an avid fly-fisherman and hunter. Now living in NYC for graduate and medical school, he finds solace in the woods and waters of the Upstate NY, Hudson Valley, Long Island and Vermont.

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