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Updated: May 10

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These easy sweet and sticky venison ribs are one of the most satisfying wild game recipes that I cook every season. They are so easy to make and there's no skill involved, all you need is time!

Slow Cooker Venison Ribs Recipe
Photo by Chef Larry White

While deer ribs don't have a lot going on in the size department, they make up for it in terms of flavor. So don't leave them in the grind pile like a lot of people that we hear about. 

Venison ribs aren't as fatty as something like beef ribs or pork ribs, but that doesn't mean you can't achieve delicious, fall-off-the-bone goodness. When cooking deer ribs, the cooking method just needs to be tweaked a little in order to achieve the best results with this lean protein.

If you were to throw deer ribs directly into your smoker or oven without first using moist heat, they would come out super tough and almost inedible. Therefore, the best way to cook venison ribs is to use a 2-step cooking process (like I use for my smoked venison shoulder). They are first slow-cooked in a crockpot for a couple of hours (you can also braise in a low-temperature oven) until they are just fork-tender. 

For the second and final step, they are lightly charred on your grill or under your oven broiler and then glazed. As a side note, there's no need to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs since they are first slow cooked in liquid. The membrane will tenderize during the slow cooking process. 

But before getting started on your prized rack of venison ribs, we want to achieve maximum flavor. So the ribs are first marinated in a homemade Chinese-style barbecue sauce that doubles as a glaze. But fear not, this sauce is super easy to make, and there is no cooking involved. 

What to Serve with the Ribs

Being that this recipe was influenced by Chinese take-out style spare ribs, I like to serve them with some of my favorite "take out" side dishes.

  • You can never go wrong with steamed or fried rice. The extra barbecue sauce from the ribs gets soaked up rice by the rice making for a delicious meal.

  • Stir fried bok choy with bell peppers. 

  • Sesame soba noodles. The sticky and sweet bbq sauce pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of these noodles.

  • Garlicky shiitake mushrooms. If there's one vegetable that is meant to be eaten with red meat, it's mushrooms. Add in some minced fresh garlic and you've got yourself the ultimate venison side dish.

More Popular Venison Recipes

Venison Neck Roast

Lastly, if you make this venison rib recipe, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram! I thoroughly enjoy hearing feedback and checking out the photos of recipes that you've made.



Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 7 to 10 Hours
Servings: 2 to 4
Author: Larry White


For the Ribs

  • 3 to 3.5 pounds of venison ribs (cut in portions to fit into your crockpot)

  • venison stock, veal stock or beef stock as needed

  • Olive oil as needed

Marinade & Chinese Barbecue Sauce Glaze

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce

  • 1.4 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup gin or Chinese rice wine (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional Garnishes


  1. Place all of the ingredients for the marinade & bbq sauce glaze into a medium bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine. Divide the mixture in half. One half will be used for the marinade and the other for glazing the ribs after braising.

  2. Place the deer ribs into a large baking dish. Coat the rib meat all over with the marinade. Cover and marinate the deer ribs in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

  3. Place your slow cooker on the low heat setting and add the ribs to the crock pot.

  4. Pour just enough stock into the slow cooker until the ribs are about halfway covered. Cover the crockpot with a lid and cook over the low setting until they are tender. This will take anywhere from 7 to 10 hours. Flipping the ribs halfway through the cooking process will help them cook a little more evenly. They should be tender but not falling apart.

  5. Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and let them cool to the touch. 

  6. Pre-heat your oven to broil or your grill over medium-high heat

  7. Place the ribs on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Brush the ribs with around a tablespoon of the olive oil or other cooking oil. Cook the ribs until they start forming a brown crust on both sides. Brush the ribs with the glaze on both sides and continue to cook until they are nicely charred. Using a sharp knife slice the ribs into individual pieces and serve.


Cooks Notes: 

  • If you decide to make these ribs in the oven, a large disposable aluminum roasting pan works great for for braising. Especially if you weren't able to butcher the ribs in fashion in which they fit inside of your crock pot.

  • To make these venison ribs in your oven, simply follow all of the steps above. instead of using your slow cooker, place the ribs inside of a large baking dish or aluminum roasting pan. Cover the ribs around half way with venison or beef stock. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and braise in a 325 degree F oven until they are fork tender. This will take between 3 and 5 hours. Flipping them halfway during the cooking process will help insure that they are as tender as possible.

  • You can also double the barbecue sauce recipe and store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Honestly better than beef or pork. Fall of the bone out of the crockpot so maybe 25 minutes sooner into the oven. Flavor profile is above and beyond


Meet Larry White

Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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