Approximate Game Cooking Times

Whole game birds are safe cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook poultry to higher temperatures. Ground meats and other cuts of game meat should reach 160 °F. Approximate cooking times for use in meal planning are given on the chart below.
Direct heat
Indirect heat*
In liquid; covered
Whole bird, 4 to 6 lbs.
(Do not stuff.)
350°F, 30 to 35 min./lb.Not preferred2-1/2 hoursNot preferred
Breast or parts350°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hrs.20 to 40 min.2 hours60 to 75 min.
Whole small birds350°F, 45 min.30 min.1 to 1-1/2 hrs.45 to 60 min.
Rib Roast, bone in
     4 to 6 lbs.
325°F, 27 to 30 min./lb.Not recommendedNot recommendedNot recommended
Rib Roast, boneless rolled
     4 to 6 lbs.
32 to 38 min./lb.Not recommendedNot recommendedNot recommended
Chuck Roast, Brisket
     3 to 4 lbs.
Not recommendedNot recommendedSeveral hours325°F, 2 to 3 hours
Round or Rump Roast
     2 1/2 to 4 lbs.
325°F, 35 to 40 min./lb.18 to 25 min./lb.2-1/2 to 3 hours325°F, 2 to 3 hours
Whole leg (boar, deer)
     6 to 8 lbs.
375°F, 2 hoursNot recommended3 to 4 hoursNot recommended
     whole, 4 to 6 lbs.

     half, 2 to 3 lbs.

425°F, 45 to 60 min. total

425 °F, 45 to 60 min. total

12 to 15 min./side

10 to 12 min./side

Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended
Steaks, 3/4-inch thickNot recommended6 to 7 min./sideNot recommendedNot recommended
Ground meat pattiesNot recommended6 to 8 min./sideNot recommendedNot applicable
Meat loaf, 1 to 2 lbs350°F, 60 to 90 min.Not recommendedNot recommendedNot applicable
Stew or Shank Cross Cuts 1 to 1 1/2-inch thickNot recommendedNot recommendedNot recommendedCover with liquid; simmer 2 to 3 hours
Ribs, 4 inches375°F, 20 min.8 to 10 min./sideNot recommendedParboil 1 hour; then grill or roast

Print the complete USDA Fact Sheet on Approximate Game Cooking Time here.

Contact the USDA

* Attribution cited as follows: U.S. Department of Agriculture.