Smoked venison kidneys are a delicious way to eat one of the most under-utilized parts of the deer. You could serve them to people that don't like organ meats and many wouldn't know what they are, especially with a swipe of good mustard.
Soaking and Brining1d8hrs
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Salad
Keyword: Charcuterie, Kidneys, Offal, Venison
1lbkidneysor up to double that amount (see note on the brine)
¼cup50 g brown sugar or maple syrup (use a little extra than 1/4 cup if you use maple to account for the water it contains)
1tablespooncooking oilfor smoking
Aromaticsyou can adjust to your taste and what you have
1large clove garlicgrated, minced or mashed
¼teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
Removing the fat
Remove any membrane from the kidneys if attached, then inspect the middle portion where they attach to the body and remove the fat from the inside of the kidneys, I like to do this with a sharp, thin bladed scissors or pruning shears.
The fat can be tricky to remove without a thin, sharp tool. If you don’t have a sharp shears, you could also remove the fat inside by freezing the kidneys half-way to make them less wiggly. That being said, if you can’t get the fat out, or don’t want to, don’t worry, it will still be ok.
Soaking and brining
Soak the kidneys in water for 24 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile, bring the brine ingredients to a boil, then cool completely.
Add the soaked kidneys to the brine, and leave for 2 days.
Lightly oil the kidneys, then smoke at 250F for 1.5 hours or until an internal temperature of 150 F. Cool, slice, and enjoy fooling your friends and family into thinking they’re eating fancy smoked bologna.
Smoked kidneys will last in the fridge for 5-6 days, and can be frozen.
*On the brine
You will have enough to use for a number of things, you can use the brine for another purpose or re-use it 1x.