Have you ever turned elk steak, venison or even beef steaks into leather on the grill, then blamed the animal? Here's how to turn them into steakhouse steaks! Do it right. Take your time at lower temps, and then briefly sear the outside with a very hot temperature at the end. (Simple, but temperature critical step-by step directions below.)
Steak house beef steaks are dark and attractive on the outside, with succulent pink, moist flesh on the inside. You can do that with elk steaks! It won't be as high in fat as prime beef, but it can be moist and tender.
Any red meat, including beef is better if it is not cooked past rare or medium rare. Wild game meat, including elk steak, is very lean and can get tough in a matter of minutes. If someone wants their steak well done, then it will be their fault if it is tough!
Kristy Crabtree's, Wild Game Cuisine cookbook is available for purchase, if desired.
That pink fluid is not blood! It is
what makes red meat look red: myoglobin, the oxygen and iron-carrying protein
in muscles. If an elk steak (or any red meat) is not over-cooked, it will leak
a bit of water with a tinge of pink from the myoglobin. Blood is in the blood
vessels. The red liquid comes from the muscle cells, not the blood
Choose elk steaks (or venison, etc.) from the following cuts:
Prime Rib, Strip Loin, Sirloin Butt, or Top Round. (Yes, you can identify those cuts on an elk! See the Hunter's Meat Map for the location of these muscle groups. The Meat Map shows you how to find them in order to label them properly for the freezer.)
the steaks one to two inches
thick. Thin steaks are hard to control, temperature-wise. They cook fast
dry quickly. Use thick steaks, if you can. If you finish the steaks to
internal temperature of 130-135 degrees (medium rare), it will be as
juicy as possible.Remember, they will rise about 5 degrees more after
being removed from the heat, as the outside surface heat moves inward.
Red meat actually tenderizes a bit once it reaches 130 degrees, but begins to toughen after 135. If the steaks are thick, you can get the outsides that beautiful mahogany color and keep it pink, moist and tender on the inside.
It’s best to set up one side of your grill for slow cooking at about 225 degrees. The other side will be hot for searing in the end to brown the outside of your steaks.
You really need two types of thermometers to do this right. One is a grill thermometer placed directly on your grill. (Forget the thermometer on top of your grill. It tells you, inaccurately, the temperature at the top of the inside of your unit. That’s not where your meat will be.) Preferably one with a wire to the outside letting you know what the temp is on the indirect/cooler side of your grill, so you don’t have to keep opening the lid to check it.The Maverick ET732 Wireless BBQ Thermometer Set
provides a leave-in probe thermometer for cooking thick cuts and a grill surface thermometer to tell you what the cooking temperature is. Both thermometers are wired to a digital unit outside the grill AND a wireless receiver that you can take to the couch! (About $60) You can get a simple oven thermometer that can sit right on the grill grate, but you have to lift the lid slightly to see it. That works, though!
Secondly, a digital instant-read
thermometer is needed to know when to move or pull finished steaks based on
costs about $19. You will find it difficult to keep up with individual steaks to pull them off at just the right time without it.
We now use GrillGrates and love them! These are an excellent addition to your grill. They grill hotter and create a perfect sear without flare ups or fall-throughs.
On your gas grill turn one side off.
Turn on the other side, or move charcoals to one side. Waste the
time, gas or charcoal to get the indirect heat side to about 225 degrees F.
Salt each side of the steaks. Put the steaks on the indirect heat side when it
is stable. If you like, add a small handful of dry wood chips wrapped in foil
with a few holes in the foil. Put the chips right above the flames.
Adjust the heat as necessary to keep it around 225. This temperature will slowly roast your elk steaks (or beef, etc.). Flip them every five minutes, or so, during this period until they reach an internal temperature of 110-115 F.
At this point, you’re done cooking on the indirect side and ready to end-sear; to brown the outside of the elk steaks on the hot side of the grill. Turn the gas all the way up, or pile all the coals together and leave the lid open. You can remove the elk steaks until you get it good and hot.
Blot off any moisture on the steaks with a paper towel. The steam from that will slow the browning process. Now, brush “beef love” (rendered beef fat), or olive oil on each side of the elk steaks and put them above very high heat, as close as you can get it to the flames. I turn my GrillGrates 90 degrees and drop them down right on top of the burners. The steaks are very close to the flames!
Mainly, all you are doing now is browning the outside, but the inside will rise to the desired doneness during this process. This browning procedure won’t take long. If you’re right above the coals or burners, it will be just a few minutes on each side.
Again, leave your grill open and check the cooking side often. Don’t let it burn, but get it that beautiful brown color and move it around so the grill marks don’t burn the meat. Don’t flip it until you have it as dark as it will get before starting to burn. Then flip it with tongs, brush on some beef love or oil on the browned side, add a little pepper.
Now do the same thing to the other side. Use your quick-read thermometer to avoid getting hotter than 125-135 degrees (medium rare). Again, finish up the second browned side with beef love and pepper.
Serve immediately. Try not to make your guests wait for all the steaks to come off the grill. Just hand each one a sizzling hot steak, preferably on a warm sizzle platter. Let them start eating it as soon as it comes off the grill. It won’t be long until everyone has one anyway. We eat outside right next to the grill. The Lord won’t mind if you have a dinner prayer before the food is done!
You might have to practice to get the inside of the steaks like you want them, but it’s easier to put them back on the grill to cook a little longer, than it is to uncook an over-done elk steak! Steak goes with potatoes. I’m a registered dietitian, but if we have to have some healthy broccoli with steaks, I prefer to eat that as an appetizer. I don’t want that stuff in the way of my steak and taters when the elk steaks are done!
Just for fun, wrap some miniature colored bell peppers in some foil and cook them on the upper holding rack for a few minutes. Clean out the seeds and dribble a little olive oil inside before cooking. Stuff some cheese inside, too.
We'd appreciate it if you would "Like" us on Facebook, or share this site with others.
Free Shipping on
ElkNut Products Here
Including U.S. Shipping
$29.95, Including U.S. Shipping
$34.99 & 59.99 Free U.S. Shipping!
How often should I use my cow call?, I am new to the sport of bow hunting elk and my question is how often should I use my cow calls?
295 yard kill with a Kimber Montana 325 WSM, by Don from Dallas: My ELk did not even twitch once. He was dead when he hit the ground.
325 WSM is worth considering, Palmer Lake,CO: I believe that the .325 WSM is the ultimate elk caliber...
30-30 for Elk? : I have a 30 30 with 170 grain round nose bullet. Will this work to shoot an elk ?
(More comments about Best Elk Rifle below)
Unique Elk Talk by Idaho Steve (Hailey, Id ), In the middle of the night, a herd of elk came traveling through the drainage and right past my tent...
Smelly Elk Areas? by Jimmy (New Mexico), I've come across many areas that just stink of elk, literally. I have heard two somewhat contradictory stories...
DIY Gear List Must Have's! by Craig (Florida) "Here are some of the items I use on my DIY hunts in the CO backcountry..."
Elk and Deer Hunting and Mountain Bikes, by Skip Shepherd (Tucson, AZ)~ At 67 I am thinking a lot about investing in a mountain bike to get back into remote areas...
Solo archery hunting -- tips for calling/set up?, by Idaho Steve (Hailey, ID )~ I hunt by myself a lot...I'd love to hear your thoughts on strategic set-ups when solo hunting and calling.
Non- Lead Bullets for Elk?, by Dave, Elk Hunting Tips.Net (Garrison, MT)~ What do you ballistics guys think about the use of non-lead bullets for elk? According to this story...
Rage Broadheads by Chris, ...my buddy gave me a rage practice tip and when I shot it you could not pick out the broadhead from the field points. I was sold...
Finally filled the freezer..., Colorado Rockies~ "I was bummed when I got to the property and no elk, nor any hoof prints in the snow. ...I pulled each of the elk into shade then started gutting..."
Wounded Veteran Elk hunts, by Joshua FL), I am a disabled veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and have always dreamed of hunting elk. I am posting this to see if anyone would know of any elk hunts free to disabled vets....
First Elk with a Bow, by Ryan H. (Colorado), ...Finally after many years of hunting with a bow "I got er did"!
First Elk!, by Tater (Sheridan, Arkansas) I took the advice I received from this website and was successful…I wanted to Thank You and Your Forum and the folks that share on here for the knowledge and information that helped me find an elk I was quite happy with.
Any success in Unit 14?, by: Dave (MI), "I'm planning on doing a DIY in Unit 14 for 2012..."
Bugle in Herd bulls, by Swiltbank (Az) The key to calling in a herd bull is to get into his bedding grounds and threaten his herd. Start off sounding like…
Best Rifle Caliber?, by Buglemup (Superior, MT), "I've been reading what people have been writing about rifle calibers and here is what 16 years of guiding elk has taught me."
7mm Remington Magnum, by Dean (Helena, MT. USA) I use my Liberty Ruger M77, 7mm Rem. Mag. for antelope, deer, elk... Comment: "What do you guys think about the idea of hunting elk with a 270? I also know a guy who kills elk with a 243."
338 Marlin Express, "Light, fast shooting, hard hitting, manageable recoil, and for a lever gun - very accurate."
Guns I like for Elk, by Mountain Walker (Kootenays east B.C. Canada),"I think the gun you shoot Elk with should be one you shoot a lot with... "
.35 Remington, by Bill Smith "...my .35 Rem appears to have dropped a medium deer flawlessly, but I now have serious doubts as to its capability to take an elk."
Where to hunt in Az unit 3B?, by Cliffjumper (Tucson, Az) ~ I got a late bull muzzle loader hunt in Arizona unit 3b. Does anyone know how to hunt bulls in the late season?...
First time elk hunter hunting Arizona unit 6A , by Rob Marchio (Omaha, Ne)~ I'm a first time elk hunter hunting Arizona's unit 6A. I'm planning on staying in the Pine Grove campground...
Help needed for 1st DIY Hunt w/Son, by Patrick (Parker, CO), "I was looking for some advice on my 1st DIY hunt for 2014 in CO with my 13 yr old son. I have countless hrs going over stats, topo maps & Google Earth"
Elk Hunting Colorado in 2013, By William (Midland, TX) "I am planning an elk hunt next year in Colorado and I wanted to know if hunting Gunnison National Forest..."
Unit 60 Elk 4th Rifle Season Nov 13-17 Either Sex 2013, By Chester "...Any general advice about the unit would be appreciated!"
Elk Hunting Idaho Unit 8 8A 11, This is my first year seriously trying to track down some elk. Is there anyone that has hunted in any of these units and can give me some friendly advice? Mitchell, Moscow Idaho
Elk Hunting Pocatello by Cameron (Pocatello) Where is the best place to elk hunt around Pocatello, Idaho? I'm a student at ISU and I'm looking for somewhere around here to hunt next season.
How is the elk hunting in unit 30A in Idaho?, by Terry (Richland Center, WI) Has anyone archery elk hunted in unit 30A in Idaho? What can you tell me about the area?
Hunting in Western Montana, by Mike A. (Alabama)
I did not draw a tag for Missouri breaks where I have hunted in the past. Having to start over and try western Montana.
New Mexico Unit 49, by Silas (Los Alamos, NM)
If anyone has tips on areas to start scouting, I'd really appreciate it.
First Elk Hunt First Elk Hunt, by Big "R" (NM)
I finally got drawn for a late elk hunt in Unit 28, north of Road 506 and south of the boundary line of the Lincoln National Forest...
Cow elk in Nevada's unit 222:
"Any good places known in unit 222?"
Northeast Nevada Early Elk hunt, by John (Carson City,NV)
"Any suggestions on what areas I may see some signs of elk?"
Retired USMC MSgt Needs Advice, by Ken Wing USMCRET (Bealeton, Va)
Popcorn VenisonPopcorn Venison with Maple Syrup?
Elk or Venison Steaks Grilled to Perfection Here's how to turn them into steakhouse steaks!
Spice-Crusted Grilled Venison Roast Recipe This Spice-Crusted, Grilled Venison Roast recipe works great for any red meat roasts, including elk, deer or beef roast...
Corned Elk Recipe You can easily make corned venison and elk, moose or corned beef from these instructions...
New! CommentsLeave a comment in the box below.