Elk may not be the most commonly raised as well as consumed meat in the world, but there is certainly a market for this game meat. In fact, there are many farmers who raise elk to sell as food, especially in restaurants that offer elk meat as the main course.
If you have never tasted elk meat before, you are actually in for a treat. This meat is considered a great alternative to beef. Also, you will get numerous health benefits from eating elk meat.
For those who have not tasted elk meat, you are probably wondering what elk tastes like. In that case, read on to find out what makes this meat different from any other lean meat available in the market
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What is an Elk?
An elk is one of the largest species that belong to the deer family.
Compared to the conventionally raised livestock, elk actually acquires majority of their diet from trees, bushes, and grasses instead of rich grains or commercially animal food. For this reason, Elks are known for their lean and healthier meat.
What Does Elk Taste Like?
If you are lucky enough to have tasted elk steak right off the grill then you already know what all the fuss is about. For those who have not tasted one, you should consider grabbing the opportunity to do it!
So, what does elk taste like?
Elk meat offers great flavors. In fact, elk meat has been described as savory, tender, and mouth watering. The taste of elk meat is often noted as similar to beef but more tangy and slightly sweet.
Elk meat is dark and coarsely grained. It can be cooked in different ways.
Health Benefits of Eating Elk Meat
Elk meat is not only flavorful but also nutritious and healthier type of lean meat. Here are some of the health benefits of elk meat.
- Low in Fat: Elk meat is one of the leanest meats available for consumption. In fact, a 3.5 ounce of free range elk meat or 100 grams contains relatively low calories and fats. One serving of elk meat only contains about 148 calories.
- Low in Cholesterol: When it comes to red meat, elk meat is one of the healthier options, as it contains relatively low cholesterol. In fact, in a 100 gram serving of elk meat only contains about 56 milligrams of cholesterol, which is relatively lower compared to beet, chicken breast, and turkey.
- Low in Sodium: Elk meat contains less sodium. In fact, a serving of elk meat contains only about 65 milligrams of sodium. With less sodium intake, the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure is significantly reduced.
- High in Protein: Elk meat contains high amounts of protein. The average elk meat contains about 30 grams of protein in every 3.5-ounce serving. This protein content is significantly higher compared to the protein content of other meat like beef or chicken. Also, high protein diet significantly lowers the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Elk meat also contains various vitamins and minerals. In fact, a serving of elk meat contains vitamins B12 and B6. Also, elk meat contains iron, thiamine, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and riboflavin.
Elk Meat Cooking Tips and Tricks
Elk meat is not difficult to prepare if you follow some basic cooking tips and tricks.
- Avoid Overcooking. You should avoid overcooking elk meat. The longer you cook elk meat, the more likely it will become dry.
- Watch the Temperature. Elk meat should not be cooked more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, when you cook it at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat will start to dry out because it contains less fat. Also, you should use a meat thermometer to determine whether it has reached its desired degree of doneness.
- Medium Rare for Broiled and Grilled Elk Meat. When broiling or grilling elk meat, you should aim at least medium rare. It is also ideal to spread small amounts of butter or cooking oil over the meat prior to cooking. Once done, you should let the meat stand for about 5 to 8 minutes before serving.
- Use Tongs When Picking Up Elk Meat. It is advisable to make use of tongs instead of a fork in picking up or turning elk meat. A fork will likely pierce the meat and cause the flavorful juices of the meat to escape during the cooking process.
Elk Meat Cooking Methods
Here are some of the best cooking methods for elk meat.
When pan frying elk meat, you should cook the meat over high heat for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare then rest the meat for about a minute before serving.
When stir frying elk meat, you should cook the meat over high heat for about 50 seconds for medium-rare.
When roasting elk meat, you should seal the meat over high heat. You should cook it in preheated 425 degrees Fahrenheit oven and roast it for about 20 minutes.
Elk meat should be placed about 4 to 5 inches from heat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side when broiling. Also, you should brush oil or butter on the meat.
When grilling elk meat, you should cook the meat over high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. You should brush small amounts of butter or oil on the meat before grilling.
The Bottom Line
Elk meat definitely is one of the most flavorful and nutritious red meat varieties in the market. If you have not tasted one, you should consider giving it a try!
Not only that elk meat tastes flavorful, savory, and tender, this type of meat has a lot of health benefits including low cholesterol, fat, and sodium content. In addition, elk meat is packed with numerous vitamins and minerals that our body needs.