Grilled Lemon-Garlic Elk Steaks

Grilled Lemon-Garlic Elk Steaks

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Marinate: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 27 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
431 Calories
14g Fat
2g Carbs
69g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 431
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 166mg 55%
Sodium 470mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 69g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 9mg 48%
Potassium 814mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This elk steak recipe combines soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and lemon juice to give your elk a nice bright flavor. It is recommended that you grill these steaks either medium or medium-rare. As a lean meat, elk cooks faster than most meats and shouldn't be overcooked.

North American elk is the second largest mammal in the deer family next to moose. Elk graze naturally on grass, plants, leaves, and bark. Elk has more protein and less cholesterol than beef, pork, and chicken. The lean meat is high in protein and is a good source of iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B12, niacin, and vitamin B6.

With a similar coloring, elk tastes like a cross between venison and beef. Its flavor is not as gamy as moose. It is very tender and does not need marinating, but you can marinate it if you want to. It makes for a great alternative to beef and has only half the calories.


  • 2 pounds (900 grams) elk, or other venison steaks

  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 1/2 milliliters) onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 1/2 milliliters) ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 1/2 milliliters) sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 1/4 milliliters) black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Lemon-Garlic Elk Steaks ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Place the steaks in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow pan.

    Elk steaks in a plastic bag

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Combine the remaining ingredients—olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, onion powder, ginger, salt, and pepper—in a small bowl and pour the mixture over the meat. Seal the bag or cover the shallow pan and then place in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours.

    Steaks and marinade in a plastic bag

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Remove steaks from the bag or pan and discard marinade.

    Elk steaks placed on grill

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side.

    Elk steaks cooking on the grill

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. When the meat is cooked to desired doneness, remove from the heat and serve.

    Grilled Lemon-Garlic Elk Steaks

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Cooking With Elk

Elk can be prepared as roasts, stews, burgers, meatballs, and so much more. The main rule of thumb with elk is to cook it at a shorter cooking time and at a lower temperature. Because of its low-fat content, if it is not already coated with oil, then you will need to brush on some olive oil before placing it on the grill.

Cooking meats gently with a small amount of liquid breaks down the tough connective tissues over time and infuses the meat thoroughly with the flavors of the dish. Turn to cooking methods like stewing, braising, slow cooking, and pressure cooking for tougher cuts taken from the shoulder, neck, rump, and shanks.

Tender cuts, especially from the tenderloin, like the filet mignon and backstrap (loin), are best cooked hot and fast. Aim to cook your roasts and steaks to medium-rare or medium for the best texture. If cooking thick steaks, remove them just before you think they are done. Thick steaks usually continue to cook for a few minutes after they are removed from the heat.

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Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. USDA Food Data Central. Game meat, elk, cooked, roasted. 2019.