One of the rewards of hunting is fresh meat! Wild game and venison is a little different to cook than most things you may be used to. We go over 5 different methods of cooking elk steaks as well as go over some great complementary flavors that you can use for cooking.
Cooking Elk Steaks on the Grill
For nice seared steaks on the grill, preheat your grill to a medium to high heat. Your goal when grilling elk steaks is to nicely sear the outside of the steak while cooking the inside to be tender and juicy. Once your grill is heated up and ready, cook your steaks for only about 5 minutes on each side. Before putting your steaks on the grill, you can brush your steaks with a little oil to add some moisture and help them not to stick. While on the grill, you can season your steaks. Marinated steaks also go great on the grill.
Pan Frying an Elk Steak
The best sort of pan to cook your elk steaks in is a big, heavy cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets get nice and hot so you are better able to cook your elk steaks and sear them over higher heat. To pan fry your steaks, first heat up your skillet. Then after your skillet has had time to heat up, oil the pan and allow the oil to heat up a little. Then you can place your elk steaks on the hot pan. Bacon goes great with a lot of things including elk steaks! After cooking your bacon, you can use the bacon grease to cook your elk steaks in for some added flavor.
Open Flame for a Seared and Smokey Steak
Cooking your steak over an open flame is basically a cross between grilling and smoking your steak. Cooking over an open flame gives you the searing that grilling does while also added some smokey flavors such as in cooking in a smoker. The cooking time for cooking over an open flame really varies as it depends on the outside temperature and the way you built your fire. A hot bed of coals with still a bit of a flame is a great fire for cooking. Using various types of wood can also change the smokey flavor when cooking.
Slow Cooking in a Smoker
Cooking elk steaks in a smoker is one of the slowest ways to cook them, but it is one of the most flavorful! Smokers will add a ton of rich, smokey flavor to your elk steaks. To cook your steaks in a smoker, you will have to be cooking your steaks for 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on your smoker and the methods you use, it could take even longer. To cook your elk steaks in a more timely manner while still getting that great smokey flavor, we recommend smoking at low heat for about 30 minutes and then increase the heat to finish cooking. This will give you a great smokey flavor while not having to take all day to smoke your steaks.
Cooking Elk Steak in the Oven
Roasting elk in the oven is one of the easiest and most low maintenance ways to cook elk steak. You can roast your elk steaks in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. For some moisture in your steak and extra flavors, put a little herbal butter on top of the steaks before you put them in the oven. Roasting elk also makes it easy to cook other things alongside it. Add in some mushrooms to the pan for cooking right alongside your elk steaks.
Flavors and Other Ingredients for Cooking with Venison
There are a wide variety of flavors that go great with elk steak. Caramelized onions take some patience and a long time to cook, but you don’t get elk everyday and they’re a nice treat to go along with your elk steaks. Rich and hearty herbs such as rosemary add in some great flavor. For seasoning, something like prime rib rub can add a lot of hearty flavors or keep it more simple with some herbs, salt, and pepper. If you’re a fan of marinades, you can make a great marinade of olive oil, red wine, fresh rosemary, crushed garlic, and salt and pepper. Let the marinades soak up these flavors for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. When cooking, you can add in some of the marinade while the steaks are cooking to add even more great flavor. Read more about our best tips for cooking venison.