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Elk Backstrap - advice...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I was lucky enough the other day to have a buddy bring me some Elk backstrap.  I found a recipe online that looks pretty good and I'm gonna give it a go this weekend.  I'm kind of playing it safe and skipping the "just wing it" stage since this is a 1-shot kind of thing.  Anyway, the recipe calls for backstrap cut into pieces and marinated with worcestershire sauce, garlic & onion powder, salt & pepper and bacon wrapped (can't go wrong there).  The recipe though, calls for liquid smoke and to grill em on skewers for 15-20 minutes until bacon is crispy and the meat is medium rare.  Here's my questions - if smoke the backstrap, up to what IT should I go to if I'm going to grill it after?  Do I smoke the backstrap as a whole, or skewered pieces?  With the bacon on, or wrap pieces after the smoke and before the grill?  I definately don't want to overcook it and dry it out.  Decisions, decisions.  Any advice would be appreciated!!

post #2 of 5
I wouldn't smoke it first. Any wild game is so lean that smoking small pieces low and slow will dry them out. The best way to cook backstrap is however you like your steak. Personally, I just put salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic on it and grill to medium rare. Go light on the onion and garlic, too. You want the meat flavor to come through. You can wrap it in bacon while grilling. That helps keep it from drying out as well.
post #3 of 5

I would keep the backstrap whole and smoke it at a lower temp. I run the smoker around 180° when doing backsrtap. I take the roast to an internal temp of 120°-125°, then I slice and sear over high temp grill to the desired doneness. We like ours rare -medium rare So an IT of 130°-135° max. Which is about a minute or two each side. For seasoning I like to keep it really simple and let the meat speak for itself. SPOG (salt, pepper, onion, garlic).


Another option if you can keep your smoker at or under 40° is to cold smoke the meat, then sear it off on a hot grill. I do this all the time with pork chops and steaks that we vac-pack and freeze for use later. Usually go 4 hours of cold smoke.


Hope this helps. Post some pics of finished meal, or you'll get:



post #4 of 5

Another option is to put some heavy smoke for a short time, 1 hour. You have a MES, if with AMNPS or tube, Cold smoke chunks, 1 hour, then Grill. If just using Chips, set for 180 or the lowest temp you get smoke. Smoke for as long as you can until the IT reaches 100°F then Grill on a screaming hot fire to 120-125 max. This will take some timing but can be done. Watch the amount of Worcestershire it is a strong flavor. I would cut in half adding Red Wine to make up the difference...JJ

post #5 of 5

These all sound like viable options but if you want a sure fire way that you can't mess it up there is only one option for you.  Send it to me and I'll take care of it for you!!  Would even be willing to send pics if you like.


Sorry....I couldn't help myself :(

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