Elk Steak Seared In Cast Iron Is As Simple And Delicious As It Gets

All It Needs Is A Hot Pan, Butter, And Seasoning 

Elk is some of the finest red meat on the planet. Being from Mississippi, I don’t get the chance to eat it very often, but when a friend offered some from a recent harvest, I jumped on the chance.

For this recipe, I wanted to savor the taste of the elk, so I kept the seasoning to a minimum. Coarse salt and black pepper are all that’s needed. I also use a cast iron skillet over hot coals to sear the outside, leaving it rare to medium rare in the center. This process works for any type of steak, so feel free to try it with beef as well. I use my Weber kettle grill with a Santa Maria attachment from Gabby Grills. It gives me the ability to raise and lower the grate over the coals, which makes regulating the temperature very easy. You can also just pick up the pan with some heatproof gloves to raise and lower it. This cook doesn't take long.

The process is simple: season each elk steak with salt and black pepper. Then when the coals are good and hot, place an iron skillet directly on the grill grate and let the skillet heat up a bit. That shouldn’t take long at all, only 2-3 minutes if your coals are burning hot. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and let it melt. Then place one of the steaks in the center of the skillet and let it sear for 2 minutes. At this point, add a few cloves of garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and an additional tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Now it’s starting to smell really good! After 2 minutes, flip the elk steak over, and begin basting it with the butter mixture left in the pan. It needs about 2 more minutes to cook to medium rare – which is just where I like it.

Then remove the steak from the grill and let it rest while you repeat the process for the next steak. Be sure to wipe out the skillet between each cook and give it a few minutes to get hot before adding the next steak. Then slice it and enjoy.

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Let the great flavor of this meat shine through with simple seasoning and a quick sear. 

Course. Dinner. Entree

Cuisine. American.

Makes. 2 steaks, 2 servings. 

Takes. 5 minutes prep, 5 minutes cooking.

Video: How To Sear Elk Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

Here's how to cook elk steaks in cast iron on the grill with butter, garlic, and rosemary.


2 elk steaks, 10 to 12 ounces each

1 tablespoon Morton's kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

4 tablespoon unsalted butter

6 cloves garlic

2 sprigs fresh rosemary


1) Fire up. Prepare a grill for high temperature direct heat cooking.

2) Prep. Season each elk steak with salt and black pepper on both sides.

3) Cook. Place a cast iron skillet on the grill grate directly over the hot coals. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the hot skillet and allow to melt.


4) Place one of the elk steaks in the skillet and sear for 2 minutes. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1 sprig of rosemary to the skillet along with 1 additional tablespoon of butter.


5) Flip the steak and cook for 2 minutes, basting the top with the butter mixture as it cooks.

6) Remove the elk steak from the skillet for medium rare or continue to cook until desired doneness is reached. Medium rare is where I like, about 130°F internal temperature.

7) Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel and repeat the process for the remaining steak.


8) Serve. Slice and enjoy.


This recipe was adapted and shared with permission from howtobbqright.com. Photos courtesy of Malcom Reed. 

Malcom Reed

A genuine YouTube star, StarMalcom Reed is one of the most respected men in barbecue. His love for BBQ inspired him to build his YouTube channel, his website, and a podcast where he shares new recipes and promotes the BBQ lifestyle. He also makes and sells great rubs and sauces on his website How to BBQ Right. We don’t know how, but he still finds time to compete on the BBQ circuit with Killer Hogs, his BBQ team. 



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