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This Grilled Venison Philly Cheesesteak is a delicious venison recipe made with melt-in-your-mouth slices of venison tenderloin, caramelized onions and peppers, and creamy provolone cheese. All in one hand-held sandwich! What more could you ask for?
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I love finding new ways to enjoy venison tenderloin. While I’m a sucker for classic grilled venison tenderloin and pan seared venison tenderloin with garlic herb butter is one of my most favorite recipes ever, sometimes you just need something different.
Enter, the Venison Philly Cheesesteak!
Ingredients for this recipe
- Thinly Sliced Venison
- Green and Red Bell Pepper
- Sweet Onion
- Hoagie Rolls
- Avocado Oil (or another high-smoke point oil)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Venison Rub (or kosher salt and pepper)
- Mayonnaise (optional)
What Cut of Venison for Philly Cheesesteak?
The traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich is made with thinly sliced ribeye. The equivalent of a ribeye on deer is the tenderloin or backstrap. Though neither contains the delightful marbling of a beef ribeye, both steaks are going to be ridiculously tender.
For this recipe, I chose to use tenderloin because we had an abundance of them in the freezer (how lucky?!). But backstrap can be substituted, if desired.
If the idea of using a venison tenderloin or backstrap in a sandwich makes you heartsick, you can substitute thinly sliced round or sirloin roast. Although you’re really missing out because a grilled venison tenderloin sandwich is ridiculously delicious!
Personally, when making these sandwiches I’ll be sticking to tenderloin. Venison roasts do best with a low and slow cooking method, like in my red wine venison stew, and can become tough when cooked too quickly.
Grilling Lean Protein
I made this recipe using my Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 DLX and Griddle. Being able to integrate the Griddle directly into the surface of the grill thanks to the Flex Grate system made it so easy to quickly grill the thinly sliced onions, peppers, and venison.
Because venison is very lean and has virtually no fat, unlike beef ribeye, it was absolutely necessary for me to add fat while the meat cooked.
I made sure to add butter and a high smoke-point oil to the griddle before adding the thinly sliced venison to make sure it came out melt-in-your-mouth tender and not dry and tough!
How to Thinly Slice Steak
We’re looking for uber thin slices of venison for these sandwiches but how do you safely and effectively get the meat thin enough to enjoy?
- Place your venison tenderloin in the freezer for 25 minutes to get a good chill and become slightly frozen.
- Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the partially-frozen venison into thin slices.
- Once the meat is sliced, let it come up in temperature slightly, we don’t want to cook frozen meat! I like to leave the meat out to rest while I preheat my pellet grill.
Making a Venison Philly Cheesesteak
Butter and toast the hoagie rolls. Then move them up to the warming rack.
Cook the onions and peppers. They take longer to cook than the steak!
Grill the venison. You’ll season it with the venison rub and Worcestershire sauce.
Combine the vegetables and steak. Then top with cheese. Turning the grill off will ensure the meat isn’t overcooked but the cheese still melts.
Enjoy! When I tell you I could eat all four of these it is not an exaggeration!
Making this recipe on the stovetop
To make this on the stove top, a la my pan seared venison tenderloin, set a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat and proceed with the recipe as follows:
- Butter and toast the rolls on the hot pan and set aside.
- Cook the onions and peppers as directed in the recipe card, remove and set aside.
- Cook the steak in the pan as directed in the recipe card.
- Turn off the heat.
- Return the onions and peppers to the pan when the steak is almost done.
- Divide the steak and vegetables among toasted rolls and top with cheese.
More great venison sandwich recipes
Venison Philly Cheesesteak
- Pellet grill (or regular grill)
- Griddle (or cast iron pan)
- Sharp Knife
- 1 pound venison tenderloin, thinly sliced
- 4 hoagie rolls
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 ½ teaspoons venison rub
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- Mayonnaise, optional
- Let sliced venison sit on counter to come up in temperature for about 20 minutes.
- While the venison comes to temp, preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 DLX to 400 degrees, making sure the heat baffle is set to “Sear.” Set the griddle in the center of the Flex Grate so it can preheat as well.
- While the grill preheats, butter each hoagie roll with ½ tablespoon of butter and set aside.
- Once the grill is preheated and the griddle is hot, add the hoagie buns, buttered side down and toast until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove buns from griddle and place on warming rack.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon avocado oil to the griddle, followed by the sliced peppers, onions, and a generous pinch of the venison rub. Stir to combine, close lid of grill and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
- When vegetables have softened, move over to one side of the griddle. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of avocado oil to the empty side of the griddle. Add the sliced venison in an even layer, followed by the remaining venison rub and Worcestershire sauce.
- Stir to combine, close lid on grill, and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the meat and cook for another minute or so more before combining the steak with the peppers and onions.
- Turn off the pellet grill, following the shutdown instructions as directed. Divide the venison and vegetables into four portions and top each portion with two slices of provolone cheese. Grab the rolls off the warming rack and close the lid so the heat remains in the grill and cheese can melt for a minute or two.
- While the cheese melts, spread toasted buns with mayo, if using.
- Transfer each portion of cheesesteak filling to prepared buns and enjoy immediately!
- Refer to post for instructions on how to thinly slice the venison steak safely and effectively.
- See post for notes on choosing a cut of venison to use if you don't want to use tenderloin.
- If you’re not using the venison rub to season while cooking, use 2 tsp. kosher salt and ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper to season the venison.