Oakridge 2017-18 GIF
Kitchener Market 2017


back See more Meat, Eggs, Dairy
Preview of Elk


January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

January 1 - December 31

The North American elk, or wapiti, is the largest form of the red deer species. "Wapiti," meaning "white rump," is the Shawnee Indian name and the common name preferred by scientists, because the animal known as an "elk" in Europe is not a red deer at all but a close relative of the North American moose.


Selecting and Storing

When purchasing elk, ask for meat from younger animals. It will have darker, more finely grained flesh, whiter fat, and the most flavourful taste.


Since elk is highly perishable, it should always be kept at cold temperatures, either refrigerated or frozen. Refrigerate the meat in the original store packaging, if it is still intact and secure, as this will reduce the amount of handling involved. Elk roasts, steaks and chops will keep in the refrigerator for two to three days. Alternately, the meat can be wrapped tightly and placed in the freezer where it should keep for between three and six months.


Nutritional Information

Not only has the quest for variety and unusual taste sensations driven the demand for elk, but also the emphasis on healthy and natural foods. Elk is high in protein and iron, as well as a good source of zinc and many of the B vitamins.  Free range elk are raised naturally, without growth hormones, producing a very lean meat.


3 ounces (85g) of elk supplies 134 calories, 2.7 g fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fibre, and 26g protein.


How to Use

The lower fat content and higher protein levels in elk are the qualities that dictate how it must be cooked. Most recipes call for the addition of fats, such as olive oil, to compensate for the lack of fat in the meat. When pan-frying or barbequing elk, first sear the meat on high heat to seal in the juices, then continue cooking on lower heat to the desired finish. The meat should be removed from the heat source early since the higher protein level means the meat will continue to cook on its own for a little while. Elk will cook faster than other red meats.


Tougher cuts are good in braises and stews, and are a natural fit for the slow cooker. Elk can also be used ground, or made into sausage or jerky. It pairs well with the flavour of rosemary, juniper, sweet spices and pepper, as well as fruits such as red currants and blackberries and marinades made with red wine or port. Elk can be substituted in any recipe calling for lean beef.