Whitetail Deer Hunting Gain a better understanding of the World's most popular big game animal and the techniques that will help you become a better deer hunter.

Backstrap vs tenderloin

Old 12-07-2010, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cadiz, Ohio
Posts: 21

Wow, didn't know this was so confusing. Backstraps are straps of meat that run down a deer's back. That may not be the scientific term for it, but when you're talking meat to a deer hunter, 90% of them are going to agree with this.

I've heard them both referred to as tenderloins, as the backstraps are the tenderloins on the outside, and the inner loins, or "fish", are the tenderloins on the inside. I don't know if this is correct, I just refer to the straps of meat on the back as "backstraps", and the loins on the inside as "inner loins", and I've never had anyone not know what I was talking about.

Backstraps are where your chops come from, so if you want your backstraps as steaks, don't get chops. Depending on how many deer I get per season, I do both. If I don't get at least three deer, I do chops to spread it out more. That's enough to keep me in the woods until I get my third and fourth deer.

The inner loin is, IMO, a better cut of meat, but less popular because its so much smaller (and apparantly disappears from some butcher shops). One inner loin is one serving, where one backstrap could be four or five servings, (depending on the size of your plate). Both are excellent cuts of meat.

It seems to me that if your butcher hands you a bag of ligaments when you ask for your backstraps, he might be a bit of an @$$. If your butcher doesn't know what you're referring to when you say "backstrap", find another butcher.
SeabeeTim is offline  
Old 12-07-2010, 01:49 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 362

I learned when I shot my first hog that there are two cuts that are referred to: Loins and tender loins. Loins being the long strip on the back (backstraps) and the tenderloins are the ones on the inside. If you go to a grocery store you can see the different cuts of pork. You will see the loins are much larger then the tenderloins.
cal516 is offline  
Old 12-07-2010, 02:20 PM
Nontypical Buck
WV Hunter's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Virginia / West Virginia
Posts: 4,906

Seabee....spot on. That is a very common sense explanation, and how probably 95% of the folks I know explain it.

Which leads to cal516's post....you are correct also. I think this is where some of the confusion comes from. If you go buy a "pork loin" from the store, you'll get the big cut for sure.
WV Hunter is offline  
Old 12-07-2010, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 25

Originally Posted by simp View Post
i believe that we're all wrong, and we're all correct in calling it what we do. I've always called the small pieces that are physically inside the deer, inner loins. I've always called the large pieces that are on both sides of the spine, tender loins or backstraps. To each his own.

ding ding ding....winner!! :d
Govt Mule is offline  
Old 01-02-2011, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: grand junction, co
Posts: 29

the "backstrap" is the loin, it is on the outside of the ribcage. The tenderloin or "tenders" are 1/4-1/5 the size and on the inside of the ribcage.

If you go to your local Samsclub you can see both beef Loins and Tenderloins whole.

I have known many hunters to not even know they were in the body cavity and quarter an animal and strip the backtraps and not end up with any of the tenderloin. Shame.
gjk5 is offline  
Old 01-02-2011, 06:53 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Free Union, VA
Posts: 750

This year I took my buck to a processor...never have before. The standard deer processing that they have is, "tenderloin, sausage and round meat". Price tag is 70 bucks. If you want steaks or roast for the hind quarter or any other section it's $5 per quarter. Not bad I thought, but when she said tenderloin, I asked if she meant backstrap or true tenderloin from tin inside of the ribcage....she smiled and said backstrap "most people don't want to eat the tenderloin because it's been next to guts." I said "I do." she made a not on my ticket and told me they called it "sweet meats" . When I picked up my deer they had it labled and separately packaged as sweet meats. Suits me fine. I just wish a deer was hefty enough to produce a "hanger steak".
dpv is offline  
Old 01-03-2011, 10:19 AM
Fork Horn
Bucktail_Bob's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 268

Nothing better than 4 hour old tenderloin.

Bucktail_Bob is offline  
Old 01-03-2011, 11:00 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 386

My butcher gives me packages marked.


The filets are very very small, and not many from each deer.
The backstraps are long and look like a cylinder, like a pork lion from the super market.

I have no idea if this is right or wrong.
we took a back strap, and cut it into 10 small looking "filets", that were quite tasty.
the blur is offline  
Old 01-03-2011, 01:36 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,085

I can't believe that there has been so much discussion on this..

Call 'em what you WANT, but don't claim to be CORRECT unless you ARE correct....

ALL cuts, on beef, pork, lamb or game animals are basically the same.. Check with a trained BUTCHER, not necessarily Billy Ray Bob Bubba who cuts up deer down the road...

The bigger strips of meat from both right and left of the spine on the OUTSIDE of the animal are called LOIN...Perhaps back loin... Often called Backstrap...

The tenderloin, or filet, is the much smaller strip of meat that is INSIDE the body cavity on both sides of the spine.. Sometimes they are called the "fish"... This is the source for "filet mignon" in beef, or pork or lamb tenderloins, or whatever..

It's as simple as that.. Call them what you want.. You can call a duck a CHICKEN if you want, but that does not make it correct..
Pygmy is offline  
Old 01-03-2011, 02:07 PM
Nontypical Buck
Jeff Ovington's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,832

It's amazing that alot of people I know have no idea where the tenderloin was located on an animal.Backstraps,(back loin)and tenderloin never make it to the butcher in our hunting party. They are best served fresh cook on a a grill.But the real reason we remove them right after skinning and quartering is to help cool down, both the front, and hind pairs, faster.I know of people that complain they don't get their tenderoin back, after taking their animal to the butcher.

Last edited by Jeff Ovington; 01-03-2011 at 04:21 PM.
Jeff Ovington is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.