How to make game and venison taste its best when you're cooking out of doors


Although he now lives and works in London, Joe Carhart has proper country credentials and grew up on a family farm in the West Country where shooting was a part of life.  He’s always been a keen game cook and early on started running game barbecues for his friends. Everything took off from there.

barbecuing game

Joe at work at a Gamechanger BBQ pop up in a pub

As well as working in the film industry, Joel now heads up Gamechanger BBQ, where he cooks pop-up BBQ game events at pubs and restaurants as well as catering for private parties.


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Gamechanger are on a mission to get more people eating sustainable, ethically sourced game and venison. As Joe says:… “Whether that’s wild deer from a woodland stalk, rabbit as part of a managed pest control plan or making sure game birds from big bag shoots don’t go to waste …”

We asked for Joe for Gamechanger’s tips on game barbecues and here’s what he said.


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GameChanger BBQ’s Top 5 tops for barbecuing with game

  1. Be a GameChanger- break the mould and be adventurous with your game cooking. It doesn’t have to be stews and roasts. Take a recipe you like and experiment by replacing the usual protein with game meat.
  2. Brine if you have the time- making a quick brine or marinating your game, especially feathered can be the difference between a nice juicy piece of game meat and the dreaded “dry as an old boot” end result that puts so many people off cooking this fantastic product.
  3. Don’t be too posh to pluck- admittedly this is more of a pet peeve than a tip- but let’s break the habit of just breasting birds. If you don’t want to pluck a whole bird then skin it instead, you’ll have a fantastic whole bird to work with, or you can separate the crown and legs. Pheasant Leg Tacos are a staple of the GameChanger BBQ kitchen
  4. Know your game- The British Game Alliance are taking great steps to ensure high standards of game meat are available so always check where your game comes from and try to take note of any environmental factors that might impact welfare or numbers.
  5. Turn up the heat- It’s never too cold for a GameChanger BBQ and we’re firm believers that fire and smoke add fantastic flavours to game, so don’t be afraid to dust off the BBQ and swap out the usual pork sausages and chicken kebabs for some delicious British game meat.

You can see Joe’s barbecue skills in action on the video below.