Love elk backstrap? Looking for the perfect grilling recipe? Elk backstrap is a great cut of meat that may also be referred to as “loin”. This cut will run along the length of the backbone.
Here you’ll find an easy marinade and spice recommendation and it will help you with step by step grilling instructions.
Elk Backstrap Recipe
Now I can’t share an elk recipe without telling one of my favorite elk hunting stories but if you’re just interested in the recipe, feel free to scroll on down to the bottom of this post where I share the recipe card with all the details you need to know to make this piece of meat something to be proud of.
I’ll never forget waking up at 3:30 am in a canvas tent in Colorado when I was 17 years old, climbing out of my warm sleeping bag, on a cool September morning, gathering my gear to go out on the greatest elk bow hunt of my life.
My friends and I eating a cold cereal bar, packing our lunch for the day of a smoked pork chop and an apple. As we take off to our unit to hunt we get out of the truck right before daylight… start down the trail and as we are slipping quietly through the woods, the sun just peeking up over the mountain, I hear the most beautiful sound in the world… a bull elk bugling then another answering back.
Making the Move
We checked our wind direction and then off we went to get that bull. We were fortunate we had the best teacher a kid could ask for. The famous Mike Larose had been hunting in this same area for 30 years and he knew exactly how to play the game.
As we made it to where we thought the bull was, I could smell that smell… a bull elk in rut.
I remember thinking,
“I can smell this thing before I actually see it.”
“Get down and get ready!”
Mike made a few cow calls and all of a sudden this awesome 5×6 bull popped over the hill looking for love…. he was met with three young men, arrows knocked ready to rock.
When noone shot it seemed like an eternity.
The Big Kill
I remember getting this huge rush and falling on my back, taking deep breaths. The guys all circled around and with some very quiet high fives, Mike said,
“Sit down, hang tight. We are going to give this bull some time.”
My mind was racing. Did that shot even hit the right spot?
After waiting 20 minutes, we started slowing stalking the area and we heard the crash.
As we were walking on this steep hillside, I look down 20 yards and the bull is staring at me while standing up.
I quickly knock an arrow and let it go. It hits the bull right in the jugular and he took off. We hear another crash as we approached and all 4 of us launched arrows and he went down.
After this emotional flood, I shed a few tears and gained massive respect for this animal that had been taken down.
The fun began. It was time to gut this bad boy on the side of a canyon in the middle of nowhere.
Mike was showing us the proper way to field dress the bull and he reached in, and cut his hand on my broadhead.
“Ah that’s where that went!”
We patched him up and finished quartering the bull.
Fourteen hours later, and with many hands helping, the bull was back at camp!
I will never forget the moment Mike pulled out an elk backstrap and said let’s cook this one up tonight!
From that moment I have loved cooking elk backstrap, making delicious steaks and throwing them on the grill! Every young man should live this moment it’s life-changing all these years later!
Going on an elk hunt soon? Make sure to check out my hunting pack list!
How to Make Elk Steak
Now that you know my story, you can probably imagine why I cherish such a fine cut of meat these days. The recipe all begins with a great marinade…
I like to slice the elk backstrap into ½ inch steaks and place them into a shallow dish and cover with Italian dressing. Cover and let marinate overnight. This will help with neutralizing the meat and adding a zesty flavor!
Ideally, you’ll want this to sit overnight, but as long as it can sit in marinade for at least 4 hours, you should be good to go.
How to Season ELk Steaks
After the marinade, I like to add some spices and color. This is really easy and you probably even have the spices on hand already.
- garlic salt
Sprinkle this over both sides of the elk backstrap.
How to Grill Elk Steaks
Heat the grill to 400 degrees and throw the elk backstrap on and let them sear 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
Turn the grill down to medium heat and let them cook for a few minutes on each side. Check the internal temp and once it’s at 135 degrees, pull and let them rest for 5-10 minutes so it will gently continue to cook.
Adding grilled onions or mushrooms can make great additions for toppings for the backstraps.
- Elk back strap, 1 bottle of Italian dressing, Salt, Pepper, Paprika, garlic salt.
- Marinade the elk back straps in Italian dressing covering the steaks for 24 hours refrigerate.
- Cover the steaks in 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of garlic salt, 1 tsp of paprika.
- Heat grill to 400 degrees sear steaks for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side.
- Turn heat to medium grill for 5 to 6 minutes turning frequently until internal temp is 135 degrees.
- Pull steaks and let rest for 5-10 minutes
I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below and fill me in!