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Smoked Elk Roast

5 hours Cook
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Smoked Elk Roast

Delicious Smoked Elk Roast: A Flavorful Wild Game Recipe

This smoked elk roast is a flavorful and lean option for meat lovers. To create this delicious dish, we start by applying a simple dry brine and dry rub seasoning to the meat. Then, we cook it slowly over hickory smoke, resulting in a perfect barbecue flavor. Our easy recipe will guide you through the process of smoking an elk roast.

Elk meat is known for its leanness and high protein content, making it a popular choice among culinary enthusiasts. In recent years, it has gained significant popularity and is often considered one of the finest wild game meats available. While it shares similarities with venison, elk has a milder taste and is generally even leaner.

When it comes to preparing elk, we can treat it similarly to beef. In the case of our smoked elk roast, we follow a process akin to smoking a beef top round. However, the lower fat content of elk requires extra care to prevent it from drying out. To overcome this challenge, we employ two techniques: a dry brine applied overnight and a marinade injection. Now, let’s dive into the details of this tantalizing recipe!

Smoked Elk Roast

Smoked Elk Roast

Nutritions of Smoked Elk Roast

  • Calories: 279kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 31mg
  • Sodium: 1096mg
  • Potassium: 655mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 522IU
  • Vitamin C: 1mg
  • Calcium: 17mg
  • Iron: 4mg

Notes – Smoked Elk Roast

If you have hunted elk in the wild, it is recommended to smoke the meat until it reaches medium-well to well done, with an internal temperature of 160°F-165°F (71°C-74°C). It is not advisable to consume freshly hunted wild elk cooked to a lower doneness level. Ranch-raised elk, similar to cattle, undergo vaccinations, and it is considered safe to consume medium-rare elk from a ranch. However, this caution does not apply to wild elk obtained through hunting.

As mentioned earlier, applying the compound butter evenly and smoothly onto the meat can be a challenge. Instead of using your hands, try using a basting brush for a more even application.

Hickory wood is an excellent choice when smoking elk as it imparts a subtle bacon-like flavor that complements the meat.

Due to its lower fat content, elk tends to cook faster than other meats. To ensure proper cooking, insert a digital meat thermometer when placing the meat on the smoker. This allows you to monitor the internal temperature without needing to open the smoker lid, as you don’t want the smoke to escape.

FAQs – Smoked Elk Roast

What is a Smoked Elk Roast?

A Smoked Elk Roast is a lean and flavorful cut of elk meat that is slow-cooked over smoke to infuse it with smoky flavors.

How long does it take to smoke an Elk Roast?

The cooking time for a Smoked Elk Roast depends on the size and thickness of the roast. On average, it can take approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours per pound at a temperature of around 225°F (107°C).

What kind of seasoning is used for a Smoked Elk Roast?

A dry rub seasoning is commonly used for a Smoked Elk Roast. It typically includes a combination of spices like paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and any other preferred herbs or seasonings.

What is the best wood for smoking Elk Roast?

Hickory wood chips are a popular choice for smoking Elk Roast as they provide a robust and smoky flavor. However, other woods like oak, cherry, or apple can also be used based on personal preference.

How do I prevent the Elk Roast from drying out during smoking?

To prevent the Elk Roast from drying out, it is important to apply a dry brine overnight to enhance moisture retention. Additionally, using a marinade injector to add extra moisture and flavor can help keep the meat juicy during the smoking process.

Can I marinate the Elk Roast overnight?

Yes, marinating the Elk Roast overnight can enhance its flavor and tenderness. Ensure the marinade is well-balanced and complements the natural flavors of the elk meat.

What internal temperature should the Elk Roast reach for optimal doneness?

For medium-rare to medium doneness, the Elk Roast should reach an internal temperature of around 130°F to 140°F (54°C to 60°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.

What side dishes pair well with Smoked Elk Roast?

Common side dishes that pair well with Smoked Elk Roast include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, wild rice, grilled asparagus, or a fresh salad.

Can I freeze the leftover Smoked Elk Roast?

Yes, you can freeze the leftover Smoked Elk Roast. Ensure it is properly wrapped or stored in an airtight container to maintain its quality and freshness.

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Smoked Elk Roast

Smoked Elk Roast

Smoked elk roast cooked low and slow over hickory wood for the perfect plate of barbecue meat. Prepared with an easy dry brine and Texas-style paprika and garlic dry rub, this lean cut of wild game is packed full of flavor!
prep time
10 min
cooking time
5 hours
total time
5 hours 10 min


  • Smoker

  • Meat Thermometer

  • Cutting Board

  • Chef's Knife

  • Dry Brine Ingredients

  • Dry Rub Ingredients

  • Marinade Injector

  • Hickory Wood Chips

  • Aluminum Foil

  • Serving Platter


  • ¾ cup kosher salt

  • ¾ cup black pepper

  • 1 ½ tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 ½ tbsp onion powder

  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika

  • 1 tsp cayenne powder



Rinse and pat dry elk roast.

Apply kosher salt across the meat and leave in refrigerator brine. Leave for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.

Remove roast from refrigerator

Rinse off excess salt and pat dry. Allow meat to come to room temperature.

Fire up the smoker to 225°F (107°C)

If you are using a charcoal grill, ensure you set up for 2-zone cooking, with enough room for the elk roast on the indirect side of the grates.

Place water pan

Place water pan in smoker chamber and add wood chips to firebox or coals.

Inject elk with injection marinade

Apply across the entire meat surface, injecting every 1-2 inches.

Apply the dry rub

Apply the dry rub all over the meat, on all sides

Place elk roast on smoker grates

Place elk roast on smoker grates and close chamber door or lid. Smoke until internal temperature reaches 130°F, or about 4-5 hours.

Remove from smoker and wrap in foil

Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. If wrapped tightly, the temperature should rise to 140°F-150°F. Slice to serve.
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About author
As the founder and chief editor of Scills Grill, I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut. I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I use various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. Peter Cobbetts is the president and founder of Scills Grill, with over 15 years' experience in barbecue. He's an exceptional pitmaster and grill expert who specializes in smoking briskets, pork shoulders - using charcoal, wood or propane grills/smokers - as well as reviewing kitchen appliances such as grills, smokers etc., having tried out almost every model available on the market.
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