Unlock the Hidden Secret: Where is the Tenderloin on a Deer?

Where is the Tenderloin on a Deer?

When it comes to cooking venison, one of the most sought-after cuts is the tenderloin. Tenderloin, also known as backstrap, is a delicately flavored and tender piece of meat that is found along the deer’s spine.

Understanding where the tenderloin is located on a deer is essential for properly butchering and preparing this delicious cut of meat.

Location and Characteristics

The tenderloin is an elongated muscle that runs parallel to the deer’s backbone. It is located inside the body cavity, on both sides of the spine.

This particular cut is highly coveted among hunters and chefs because it is incredibly tender and has little to no connective tissue. It is similar to filet mignon in texture and tends to be lean, making it a healthy choice for those seeking a high-protein, low-fat meat.

How to Locate the Tenderloin

Once you have harvested a deer, discovering and accessing the tenderloin is relatively straightforward. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Lay the deer carcass on its back, with the belly facing up.
  2. Starting near the hind legs, make an incision along the midline of the deer’s belly, running up towards the chest area.
  3. Begin peeling back the layers of tissue until you find the thin strands of tenderloin on either side of the spine.
  4. Remove the tenderloins by carefully cutting them away from the backbone, following their natural shape and being cautious not to damage the meat.

It is important to note that the tenderloin is different from the backstrap. The backstrap is the loins, which run along both sides of the spine, while the tenderloin is found closer to the inside of the body cavity.

Preparing and Cooking the Tenderloin

Once you have successfully located and removed the tenderloins from the deer, it is time to prepare and cook them. Here are a few tips:

  • Remove any excess fat or silver skin from the tenderloins before cooking.
  • Marinating the meat can add flavor and help tenderize it even further.
  • Grilling, pan-searing, or roasting are popular cooking methods for tenderloin.
  • Cook until the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare, or adjust according to your personal preference.
  • Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

The tenderloin is a versatile cut that can be enjoyed on its own or used in various recipes, such as stir-fries, stews, or even as the star of a delicious venison steak.

Frequently Asked Questions On Unlock The Hidden Secret: Where Is The Tenderloin On A Deer?

What Is The Tenderloin On A Deer Called?

The tenderloin on a deer is often referred to as the backstrap, and it is a tender and highly desirable cut of meat.

Where Is The Tenderloin Located On A Deer?

The tenderloin is located inside the deer’s body cavity, along the backbone and just above the spine.

How Do You Remove The Tenderloin From A Deer?

To remove the tenderloin from a deer, make a shallow cut along the backbone and use your fingers or a knife to carefully separate it from the surrounding muscles.

Is The Tenderloin The Best Part Of A Deer To Eat?

Yes, the tenderloin is considered one of the best cuts of meat on a deer due to its tenderness and delicate flavor.


The tenderloin, or backstrap, is a highly desirable and tender cut of meat found on a deer. Located inside the body cavity on both sides of the spine, it is prized for its tenderness and lean qualities.

Knowing how to properly locate and remove the tenderloin allows hunters and cooking enthusiasts to make the most of the deer they harvest. Whether you choose to cook it whole or incorporate it into different recipes, the tenderloin is sure to impress with its delicate flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

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