Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Taking it Slowly: Hickory Smoked Pulled Venison

By the softened light of a gray, December afternoon, two humble venison shoulders sizzled amid a cloud of hickory smoke in the old Weber Smokey Mountain. I sidled out the patio door to see the smoke in curl, and several black capped chickadees swoop off into the thickets yonder. Smiling, I tilted the lid up on the pit, and took a gander under there. The venison was taking on some color now, and smelling point blank, out-of-this-world. But we were only an hour into it, and had four more hours to go. So I shut the lid, content to wait. Because I knew in the back of my mind, back in those quiet places where men know such things, that these were the days you reach for, by and far, as a BBQ junkie. The sort of day where the wood smoke puffs away in marathon fashion, hour after hour, and you have nothing else in the world to do save for to tarry quietly in it’s gentle presence. That being said, I took a seat in the patio chair, left leg crossed over right, and further mused to myself. Need more time in a day? Then smoke yourself some meat. And do it slowly.  Oh how the hours drag ever onward in a slow parade of salivating moments, with umpteen pleasant memories forged pit-side, under beautiful skies, and tinted in smokey goodness.

Our spice rub today is a keeper, leastwise for wild meats. Copy and paste it in your archives and thank us later! 

Field & Stream’s Ultimate Wild Game Rub

¼ cup kosher salt

¼ cup ground black pepper

¼ cup sweet paprika

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed and minced

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Yeah, we had no juniper berries either. What can you do. Anyways, after three hours on the pit, the meat has received all the smoke it needs. In point of fact, it looked edible enough to eat right there iffin you had a mind to. But we didn’t. We sought the hallowed shores of succulence instead. We wanted this ornery cut of meat dropping off the bone like your mama’s pot roast. To accomplish such high bidding, we wrapped each leg/shoulder gently in foil, along with a half-cup of apple juice for to service as a steaming agent. Put it all back on the pit for two more hours, at 240 degrees, to wallow there in an apple scented steam bath. Oh man! And that was all it took. The bones came out as clean as hammer handles, and the meat pulled like a pork butt.

There is a great privilege in taking the better things in this life, slowly. From a date with your sweetheart, to Christmas morning with family, to simply preparing supper, if that’s what you love to do. If not for anything else, but to just extend the moment for the moment’s sake, and then to revel in it. So do it well, then, and with a heart of thanksgiving, and by all means, take your time with it, and enjoy the journey. For life sweeps by fast enough as it is, seems like. And every day is another reason, it stands to reason, for taking it slowly. Amen.

5-Hour Low and Slow, Hickory Smoked Pulled Venison Shoulder, Patron to the Pit. Yum people!

26 responses

  1. Oh yeah! Venison and smoke. A perfect combination. 🙂

    December 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm

  2. Wow, looks fantastic. Have never had venison, looks really tender and delicious, Low is slow seems like the way to go.

    December 9, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    • Indeed it is. It was very reminiscent to the tenderness of a crock pot pot roast. Kind of tasted like it too. It was great.

      Many thanks!

      December 9, 2015 at 6:50 pm

  3. There’s not enough wild game meat in my life. I must do something about that.

    December 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    • I hear you. I don’t hunt, so we don’t get a lot for wild meats. What you gotta do is what I do – make friends with an avid hunter who likes to share! Also, being a meat geek doesn’t hurt none either. Protein just seems to land near your BBQ pit like manna from above. It’s nice.

      Anyways, thanks Todd. You’re turning into a right fine comment maker!

      December 10, 2015 at 9:41 am

  4. Now this is right up my alley! Gotta try it!

    December 10, 2015 at 7:13 am

    • Well I knew it would be! When sampling these wares, I thunk to myself, why this is how Mrs Deerslayer eats every day! I promptly got jealous.

      Merry Christmas in advance!

      December 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

  5. We’re wondering if there’s ANYTHING you can’t make sound delicious. Like you, we don’t hunt, but also like you we have friends who do. We’ve tried this and that, but now we gotta smoke venison! Thanks!!

    December 11, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    • Well thank you! Iffin you’re not a picky eater , then I suppose most anything decently prepared is delicious. We ain’t picky.

      Indeed, you should get your hands on some venison if you can. It’s very good. Then you can develop a wild game rub for your spice Arsenal.

      Take care good folks at miners mix!

      December 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

  6. I grew up in Long Island, New York and had no experience with eating anything wild until I went to be a police officer in Craig, Colorado. The first autumn I was there I got invited to many dinners where I was served antelope and deer meat. Unfortunately my hosts did not have your skills and I generally had the impression that everyone could save a lot of time if we just harvested sage brush and served it up directly, cutting out the middle man. In other words, my early exposure to wild game left me believing that game (especially antelope) had the texture and taste of wood.

    Since that time I have learned to love game meats that are properly cooked low and slow. Yours looks great!

    December 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    • Nice! You certainly have lived a full life, John from Ecuador. Yeah, my early expose to wild meats is much the same. In other words, not so good! But good things take time, I guess. And one picks up a few tricks along the way. Here in recent years, I’ve had nothing but great experiences with wild meats, so, something must be working right. I’m becoming a bug fan of them. And low and slow is almost always the way to go…Seems like.

      Thanks for the sagebrush story! Blessings to you and Mary down yonder in tropical paradise.


      December 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  7. Pingback: Taking it Slowly: Hickory Smoked Pulled Venison | Foodfhonebook

  8. What a great idea to smoke and pull the Venison shoulders … I have always ground mine with pork to make sausages … well done (again) my smokie Brutha 🙂

    December 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

    • Thank you kindly, mate. Yeah, low n slow or grind it up are probably the two best things you can do with that cut. You win either way. Sure was tasty meat, that’s for sure.

      Good to see our smokey brother swing by. Been a while, seems like. Always a pleasure tho. Take care mate!

      December 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      • Yes … it’s true I’m afraid … I sometimes just don’t have that much to say and, … I’d rather not blather on just for the sake of posting something. I don’t want any readers that I DO have to see constant verbal diarrhea from me and think … geeze, no MORE PLEEEEZE !! !!!
        MERRY CHRISTMAS Brutha 🙂

        December 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      • Them is wise words. The good book says after all, to be slow to speak and quick to listen! Just for the record tho, I’m more than alright with any verbal bowel movements you wish to make here.It’s all good. You’re one of the good guys, mate!

        Merry Christmas like wise, to you and your spousal equivalent!

        December 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm

  9. Cheers buddy … 🙂

    December 15, 2015 at 7:54 am

  10. Lee Prevo

    What temp did you smoke it at for the first 3 hours?

    November 4, 2018 at 6:18 am

    • Hi Lee. Well this was a few years ago, so I don’t rightly recall for sure, but I always run my smokers at 250 or 225 degrees. In this case I’ll bet it was 250. But yeah take them low and slow and they’ll pull apart nicely. Good luck !

      November 4, 2018 at 6:13 pm

  11. Where , oh where have you been my Smokie Brutha ?? I know you’re a family man now but … haven’t seen hide nor hair of ya’ll in for ever … sup ???

    December 17, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    • Evening Mr Doug. Very kind of you to check in. Long time no see. Yup, a 3 year old darts about my every minute these days. All is well tho, very good in point of fact. I do miss the blogosphere tho, and those of whom I’ve met here. Hope to be back at it one of these days, when it is I learn how to steal away free time again. Seems trickier than it once was.

      How have you been, ol chum? Still doing the YouTube thing? I like what I’ve seen there so far. Yes, very much indeed.

      Thanks again for checking in. That made my day.


      December 28, 2020 at 8:50 pm

  12. Greetings from Hanau, Germany. Found your post searching ‘smoked pulled venison’. As another has already said…you make it sound so delicious! I am one hour in. Will let you know how it goes!

    Thanks for the rub recipe! Of course…no juniper berries. I simply used cranberries and sweetened them up a bit before adding to the rub.

    November 10, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    • Greetings BBQ Brethren! So glad you stopped by. How did the cook go?

      November 15, 2022 at 10:04 am

      • I went a little hard on the smoke for most people’s taste…a blend of mesquite and apple. But for me, it was great for my first time ever smoking venison.

        I wrapped it with thin slices of 3 apples and lots of butter. Juice was steaming out of the seams.

        Next time I will try just apple to smoke to satisfy the masses.

        Probably will shorten the time and use a thermometer because the meat was a bit too soft. Practice makes perfect—next week is Thanksgiving. 🙂

        November 16, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      • Optically, it looked like it belonged in a grilling magazine. BEAUTIFULLY DELICIOUS!

        November 16, 2022 at 12:53 pm

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