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Timber 2 Table - Reverse-Seared Smoked Backstrap

This two-step process makes some of the tastiest backstrap you’ve ever eaten

Reverse-Seared Smoked Backstrap

5 Min

Prep Time

55 Min

Cook Time



Easy, Medium


Traditional cooking methods are either hot and fast or low and slow. Sometimes, with a large cut like a turkey or a large roast, it can start out hot, then finish low. Reverse searing is the opposite. Low, gentle heat cooks, or nearly cooks, the meat through, then a hot and fast sear finishes it up and adds a flavorful crust to the exterior. It has become one of my favorite ways to cook a steak, or, in this case, a section of backstrap.

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By slow-smoking the backstrap to just under desired temperature, then pan-searing it in a hot skillet, you get an even doneness with a superb crust.

Trim any silver skin or fat from the backstrap. Season it all over with your favorite steak seasoning. I used Realtree APX All Purpose for this one.

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Trim all fat and silver skin from the backstrap, then season well.

You can do the low and slow part in an oven, but I like to add an additional layer of flavor by doing that part on the pellet grill. I set the grill for 200 degrees. This temperature slowly and evenly cooks the meat without drying it out. Once the meat reaches an internal temperature of 100-105 degrees, it’s time to take the backstrap off the grill. This one took about 45 minutes, but time will vary according to the thickness of the meat.

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Smoke the meat until it reads just under your desired finished temperature.

When the backstrap is almost up to temperature, go ahead and heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Choose your searing oil. You can use plain vegetable, peanut, or grapeseed oil, but I like to add another layer of flavor with duck fat, lard, or beef tallow.

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Duck fat or beef tallow add an additional layer of flavor to the finished product.

Add just enough oil or fat to cover the bottom of the skillet in a thin layer. Swirl the skillet to evenly distribute the oil. Once it starts to shimmer and barely starts to smoke, add the backstrap along one side of the skillet. Sear for 30-60 seconds, then rotate the meat a quarter turn to continue searing.

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Sear and rotate until all sides of the backstrap develop a nice crust.

Repeat this process until it has seared on all sides. The heat from the searing process should carry the internal temperature up to 120-125 for rare to medium-rare.

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Rest the backstrap a few minutes before slicing.

Remove the backstrap from the skillet and place it on a warm plate. Loosely tent with foil and rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will be one of your favorite ways to prepare backstrap from now on.


1 section of venison backstrap, 1 to 1½ pounds

Realtree APG Seasoning Blend

Duck fat, lard, beef tallow, or oil for searing

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