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Smoked Venison Backstrap Tomahawk Roast


  • 1 8-10 rib bone-in backstrap roast, frenched and trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated roasted garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, plus additional to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, plus additional to garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Date honey


  • Rinse the rack with cold water, then pat entirely dry with paper towel, french the rib bones, trim excess fat cap and remove the underside silver skin. Lay the trimmed backstraps over a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet, then massage a liberal degree of olive oil, all seasonings, salt and pepper into the meat. Wrap tightly with underlying plastic and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
    At least 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove ribs from refrigeration and plastic to elevate towards room temperature, then preheat grill to approximately 250°F by igniting a full chimney of charcoal and dispensing into the center chamber of the grill floor, *adding a half chimney of charcoal to the pile every 30minutes to maintain temperature.
    Sear the venison over direct heat, until well-encrusted and golden in color. Remove the ribs from the grill to rest for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal carry-over cook has stopped.
    Return the venison rack to the grill bone-side down over the indirectly-heated outer grill grates. Slow cook, intermittently basting one caramelized layer upon another of date honey, until the internal temperature reads 120F. Remove the backstrap rack from the grill, place on a cutting board and rest 15-20 minutes prior to carving.
    Slice alongside the bone into individual chops, season additionally, to taste, and serve.