If you’ve never eaten heart you are missing out, it’s good if done right.

Mmmmm… my mom used to make pickled venison heart when I was little. I love it and thought I would share the recipe. My moms side of the family is from the U.P. of Michigan and we LOVE to eat the pickled onions with the heart! Enjoy it.

Pickled Venison HeartIngredients:

  • 1 venison heart
  • 1 Head of garlic
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 quarts of vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup of sugar (I prefer brown)
  • 2 tablespoons of salt (I like Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)
  • 1 tablespoon of pickling spices
  • 1 head of garlic, finely diced
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 cup of water


This recipe makes more pickling juice than you need for one heart. Maybe even four. You can store the extra in the fridge for when you get more deer later in the season, or if you have a big jar, you can keep adding heart to it when you get another deer.

Take the heart, and trim off the fat cap and any vessels that didn’t get trimmed during field dressing. Place it in a pot, and fill the pot with water till the heart is just covered. Simmer on the stove top for 45 minutes, avoid a rolling boil.

While the heart is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stir, and remove from heat. This just gets all the salt and sugar to dissolve, as well as getting the other flavors to meld.

Take the heart and rinse it under cold water. Or let it cool on a plate. This is more so you can handle it: slicing up a hot heart is not fun on your heart holding hand.

Slice the heart in quarter inch slices. Be sure to trim out the little artery branches because they can be chewy.

Put the sliced heart in an appropriately sized jar, and cover with the pickling fluid. If you have a lot of extra fluid that you don’t use, just make sure you get a decent amount of the garlic and spices into the jar.

Let it sit in the fridge for a week.

Author: GotHunts.com

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  1. I'm a fan of deer heart…. call me weird but I love it. Here's a recipe for pickled venison heart (works for elk too). -Cory Glauner

  2. Cory Glauner at 5:29 pm

    IBe Outdoors I don't mind it that way myself…

  3. Cory Glauner at 3:04 am

    No, didn't make it…

  4. Mandi Spitler at 12:01 am

    Do u keep thr heart raw?

  5. BettiAnne Major at 8:26 pm

    Hmmmm this was so good! Usually just marinated in apple cider vinegar in fridge overnight then pan fried in coconut oil with onion,garlic and salt and pepper, ONLY till just about done tender, cooks still as you serve us know!

  6. can I can this? water bath or pressure??

    1. Cory Glauner at 9:57 am

      Honestly… I’m not sure…

  7. Mac at 8:51 pm

    I tried the recipe tonight and wow, it was WAY too salty. Ruined the meat. I can’t even taste the pickling spices because the salt is so overwhelming. I have pickled other foods with no problems. I used a tablespoon of the seasoned salt. I think the culprit is the 1/3 cup pickling salt. Wow. Even the onions make you want a drink! Shockingly salty.

    1. Cory Glauner at 8:38 am

      When I did it a few years ago I didn’t have that problem… sorry to hear that.

  8. Cory Glauner at 1:02 pm

    I love me some heart! Great recipe.

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