Cooking Elk On The BBQ - Tender Steaks & Round Steaks

Lean and tender elk steaks such as rib-eye, strip loin, sirloin, T-bone and tenderloin all make for great barbecue grilling. Tenderized round steak is an inexpensive way to enjoy a great barbecued steak that is just as tender and flavourful as a premium steak cut from the rib or loin. To tenderize the round steak, we suggest using a 48-blade Jaccard meat tenderizer (see The Jaccard will not only tenderize your steak, but it will allow the marinade to soak into the entire steak very quickly.

Besides using a properly aged steak from a young animal, the key to successful elk steak grilling is getting to know the cooking characteristics of your own particular barbecue. When it comes to heat output, whether it is gas or charcoal, no two barbecues seem to be alike.

BBQ'd Lean & Tender Steak


tender elk steak of choice cut 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch thick
minced fresh garlic, lots of it (optional)
dry mustard
olive oil
sea salt


With Garlic
Without Garlic


For charcoal, the barbecue is ready for steak grilling when the coals are completely covered in gray ash. Divide the ready charcoal so that one side of the grill provides high heat, while the other side provides medium heat.

For gas, preheat the barbecue for 15 minutes. Set the thermostats so that one side of the barbecue gives off high heat, the other side medium heat.

Lightly oil the barbecue grill with some vegetable oil (olive or canola).

Sear the steaks for 1 minute on each side over high heat.

Move the steaks to medium heat and continue cooking until desired level of doneness is reached.

Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes on the cutting board before slicing and serving.

Tips For Cooking Lean & Tender Elk Steaks On The BBQ

Grassfed elk steaks are similar to 'select' grade beef steaks in that there is little or no internal fat, or what is known as 'marbling'. That's why it's very important to get to know your barbecue's cooking temperament. Little or no marbling means that the steak can be cooked very quickly and end up being easily over done if left on the grill just a minute or two too long.

For best results, tender elk steaks should first be seared over high heat for about a minute on each side. Then to avoid over cooking, the steak should be finished over medium heat with the barbecue cover closed. For a 3/4 inch thick steak, usually only another 3 to 4 minutes of cooking per side is all that's required for a rare steak. Medium rare will only take a minute or so longer.

For rare, when prodded with barbecue tongs or an inquiring finger, the steak should be just firm to the touch. A medium-rare steak will be slightly firmer.

However testing the firmness of a steak for doneness is very subjective. Everyone has a different interpretation of what is meant by 'firm'. Better that you time everything. Once you have timed how long it takes to cook a steak to your liking, then rely on your watch. Only use the firmness method as a back-up.

Barbecued Elk Round Steak with Steak Sauce


1/2 cup dry red wine such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
One -- 5 ounce round steak, cut 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick and tenderized with a Jaccard meat tenderizer

Note: This recipe is for one steak. Increase the marinade and steak sauce ingredients proportionately if more than one steak is being cooked.


Combine the red wine, garlic, bay leaf, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small porcelain or non-reactive dish. The dish should be just big enough so that steak lies flat.

Place the steak in the marinade and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Turn the steak over every 45 minutes or so. Once the steak has marinated, remove it from the marinade and pat dry. Set the steak aside.

Strain the marinade, discard solids, and transfer the strained marinade to the saucepan for steak sauce preparation. To the saucepan add:

Over high heat bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half or until desired consistency is reached. This will usually take about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and set aside.

Prepare the steak for the barbecue by brushing both sides with some olive oil, lightly salt and pepper each side. Barbecue the steak to rare or medium rare.

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes while the steak sauce is reheated and the plates are prepared.
Slice steak thinly and top with steak sauce, or serve with sauce on the side.