Michaela’s Venison Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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I am blessed that all three of our children share my wife’s and my passion for the outdoors. Not only do they love to hunt and to eat the wild game we kill, they enjoy getting in the kitchen and coming up with new recipes as well. I am a big advocate of families cooking and eating together. Family dinner is a part of our national fabric that needs to make a comeback.

Michaela with one of her deer from last year.

This is one of my daughter Michaela’s recipes and she particularly enjoys making it from deer that she killed (she is usually in charge of labeling the venison packages as we process, and always puts her initials on the packs from one of her deer). Michaela has experimented with the sauce mix over time but has settled on this one as her favorite. With barbecue sauce and a hint of brown sugar, these sloppy joes have a bit of sweet and salty action going on.

Michaela blends the sauce ingredients into the slow cooker.

The meat and diced onion gets browned in a skillet then added to the slow cooker with the sauce mix, but that is about it for hands-on cooking time. Start it in the morning before heading out to work or to hunt and have a hot meal waiting when you get home.

Brown the meat and onion in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker.

Even though this is a kid-friendly recipe, that doesn’t mean that your hunting buddies won’t like it too. If you want to kick it up a notch, add some sliced jalapeno peppers and a bit of the juice from the pepper jar to the mix. We normally use whitetail or mule deer, but any ground meat works well. Ground bear meat is particularly tasty in this recipe.

Serve the sloppy joes on buns or over cooked spaghetti noodles. 

They are called sloppy joes for a reason, make sure you have plenty of napkins.


1 ½ to 2 pounds ground venison

1 yellow onion, finely diced

2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup tomato ketchup

1 cup water

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons yellow mustard

Cooking Instructions

Brown the ground venison in a skillet with the onions. Once the onions are soft and the venison has browned, transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate everything. Turn the slow cooker to low and simmer for up to eight hours.


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