Ranched elk is a culinary treat. It is a natural, tender and healthy meat, with a mild, distinctive flavour. It can be included in many cooking styles and cuisines. Elk meat is very low in fat and while it is also low in calories, it provides the same amount of protein as most livestock. Studies at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research station, Lacombe have shown that elk is generally more tender than beef.

Cooking and Preparation of Ranched Elk Meat:

Ranched elk fits nicely into the popular lighter culinary style of today. As naturally lean meat, it is ideally suited for cooking quickly over high heat of a barbecue, grill, oven, or stir-fried. Overcooking of elk meat leads to a dry and tough product, which is not what most people are looking for. Tests at Lacombe have shown that the most suitable endpoint cooking temperature for optimal tenderness is 67oC (152oF). Since it is low in fat, elk reaches the desired doneness more quickly than other meats. It is necessary to monitor steaks and burgers closer during grilling and a meat thermometer should be used when cooking roasts to avoid overcooking ranched elk meat.


Average yield of boneless meat cuts from elk carcasses

Based on an average hot carcass weight of 430lbs. (730 lbs. live weight)

Meat cut Weight of cuts (lbs.) Carcass percent
Rounds 82.2 19.1
Rib Eyes 7.4 1.7
Stip Loins 15.0 3.5
Top Butt (Sirloin) 10.0 2.3
Tenderloins 5.9 1.4
Shanks 17.2 4.0
Stew Meat 33.0 7.6
Lean Trim 172.3 40.0
Bones 63.8 14.8
Fat and Waste 23.9 5.5
Total 430.7lbs 100%
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