Smoking your own meat, especially when the meat comes from an animal you harvested, is a rewarding and satisfying experience. Here are a few steps to take when smoking a deer roast with a dry rub:
Rinse and dry the meat. Always rinse the meat off after it has been thawed and dry it with paper towels. This helps get some excess blood off and out of the meat prior to applying a rub. Adding vegetable oil to the meat is optional but can help the rub seasoning stay on the meat better. You can also use mustard instead of oil and that works great to keep the rub on as well.
Apply and work the rub into the meat. After rubbing the roast with vegetable oil, apply the rub and cover all of the meat and then work the rub deeper into the meat by hand. You can do this by kneading it and then apply more rub if desired. Once the rub is applied, cover the meat and put it in the fridge overnight.
Prep the smoker. Add water to the water bowl and fill it up so you don’t have to add water later. Before putting chips into the smoker, put them in water to soak for at least ten minutes. This is personal preference and some folks don’t soak their chips at all and some will soak them for longer but it seems to work just fine to soak them for 10 minutes and then use them in my gas smoker.
Smoke the meat. As soon as the temperature gets up to at least 200 degrees I put the meat in the smoker. I monitor the smoker’s temperature from the external thermometer and make sure the temperature stays between 225 and 250 degrees. With my particular smoker and the chips I use, it typically smokes really well for the first thirty to forty minutes before the smoke dies down so depending on your desired smoke taste, you can add chips once or multiple times during the smoking process. Depending on how big your roast is, will determine how long you smoke it but a good rule of thumb is to smoke your meat for about an hour per pound.
Though it is tempting to open the lid and take a peek of the meat as it’s cooking, try to avoid this and only open the lid to check the internal temperature on the meat after a few hours to keep the temperature up and the cooking going. As far as what temperature you need to get the meat up to, it’s personal preference and depends on what meat you are smoking but I typically try to get it up to the 165-170 range for venison.
For this particular roast, I used Grill Mates Slow and Low Smokin’ Texas BBQ Rub. Though it had good flavor, the Cabela’s Brisket Rub is still my favorite.
The great thing about smoking meat is that there is no one way to do it. There are a ton of resources online and great recipes that so many people are willing to share. I’ve smoked a number of meats on my gas smoker and I try to learn something new about how to do it better or differently every time.
Bryan Campos is a freelance writer and photographer who grew up hunting big game with both rifle and bow in Nevada. He moved to Nebraska in 2010 to continue his career with the outdoor retail company Cabela’s. He enjoys hunting Nebraska’s wildlife and sharing his passion for the outdoors.