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Tips for cooking game on a barbecue (and where to buy top quality meat online)

How to make game and venison taste its best when you're cooking out of doors (and some places you can buy good quality meat online)

barbecuing game

Barbecuing game is an ideal way to cook pheasant and venison.  We asked keen game cook, professional barbecuer and hunter Joe Carhart of GameChanger BBQ for his tips.

Top tips for barbecuing game

  1. 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. 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.
  3. Start planning your BBQ the day before by marinating the game which stops it drying out.
  4. Don’t overcook game. Do it slowly and at a low temperature. Nothing too hot.
  5. 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
  6. Always check where your game comes from and try to take note of any environmental factors that might impact welfare or numbers.

Game recipes to try on the barbecue

Sticky Asian wild boar ribs recipe

Sticky Asian wild boar ribs

If by some turn of unfortunate events, I were to eat my last meal tomorrow and I had a choice 
of what…

Buying game and meat online

If you’re running short of game, here are some highly regarded companies which will deliver game and other meat to your door.

Swaledale Foods

Game comes from small shoots across the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Farmed quail and duck are available, as well as rabbit and wood pigeon all year round. The company delivers in and around London four days a week, as well as across the Yorkshire Dales, Ilkley, Leeds and Manchester.

Fir Farm

Locally sourced venison from a Cotswold farm. The company offer venison boxes and other meat boxes from its organic mixed livestock.

The Wild Meat Company 

Winner in the Eat Game Awards 2019, The Wild Meat Company sources and sells venison, game birds and rabbit entirely from farms and estates in east Suffolk and delivers it to your door. They even sell squirrel.

Owl Barn Larder

Fresh frozen venison boxes starting at £50. All fallow deer are harvested locally and the company specialises in producing the finest roe, fallow and muntjac. If you have a dog, they’ll add a free bone and an antler chew to your delivery. Winner of Best Small Retailer in Eat Game Awards  2019.

Huntsham Court Farm

Huntsham doesn’t sell game but if you’re looking for top quality pork, lamb and beef from rare breeds then you’ll find it here.


barbecuing game

Joe at work at a Gamechanger BBQ pop up in a pub (pre-lockdown days)

Pre-lockdown Gamechanger BBQ hosted pop-up BBQ game events at pubs and restaurants as well as catering for private parties. Joe is on a mission to get more people eating sustainable, ethically sourced game and venison. As he 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 …”