All Photo Credits: Michael Vilapando

Everybody loves ribs, and for good reason. Ribs are juicy, tender, smoky, and the perfect excuse to make cornbread. Venison ribs, on the other hand, seem to take a back seat when it comes to butchering, usually ending up in the grind pile or the field. It is a shame because deer ribs are excellent table fare, and definitely worthy of your next BBQ.


The first step really takes place in the field, where the ribs will be cared for. A saw will be needed for larger animals such as moose or elk. If hunting smaller animals such as deer or antelope, a good pair of hand pruners or poultry shears will cut the bones nice. Simply put, leave as much meat on the ribs as possible, and cut the ribs cleanly. If you want clean ribs to cut through make sure to remove the sternum area.

A simple rub can be made, or just use your favorite. Same with BBQ sauce, I like a mustard base sauce but feel free to have fun and make this your own. dscn7086

For Rub


  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 T Black Pepper
  • 4 T Paprika
  • 1 T Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pinch Clove
  • 1/2 t Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Pinch Cinnamon
  • 1 T Onion Powder
For Ribs
  • 2 Trimmed up racks of venison ribs
  • Rub mix (or favorite BBQ seasoning)
  • Favorite BBQ sauce
Step 1

Make sure ribs are clean and squared up.


Step 2

Remove the thick membrane from the backside of the ribs. This can be accomplished with your finger or by trimming it away with a sharp knife. Just be careful not to remove to much meat or separate the rib bones. dscn7097

Step 3

Choose your preferred rub and coat the ribs on all sides, being sure to rub in it.dscn7101

Step 4

Get two large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and wrap the ribs tightly. Heavy duty just makes sure the rib bones don’t poke holes in it to keep as much moisture as possible during cooking. Regular can be doubled up if needed. dscn7108dscn7109

Step 5

Place the ribs in a cheap aluminum tray or large cake pan. This is to keep any leaked fluids from running out into your oven. dscn7113

Step 6

Place in a 300* oven for 4 hours. Larger ribs may take longer, simply check at the 4-hour mark to see if they are fork tender, if not let go until tender. Different size animals/ribs may vary cook time.

Step 7

When the ribs are done and tender, get a grill nice and hot to finish them on. Brush the BBQ sauce on one side and place it right on the grill and brush the other. dscn7125


Step 8

Grill until the BBQ sauce is just slightly charred up and sticky. You could repeat this process again, brushing more sauce on and turning until you have enough sauce on to fit your tastes.dscn7147

Step 9

I like to serve this up with traditional BBQ style foods, though these would do great with just about anything. Try those ribs out sometime instead of throwing them in the grind. Though I do love a good burger, I do enjoy ribs from time to time as well. dscn7167

Check out more of my recipes on my blog The Wild Feast.

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