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Thread: bull elk versus cow elk.

  1. #1
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    bull elk versus cow elk.

    i have a freezer full of bull elk meat. we harvest two of them. is cow meat better than bull meat? mostly in terms of tenderness. all my steak skills seem to be out the window with this stuff. what about meat tenderizers? or am i slow cooking all of this stuff? the flavor is fantastic!

    i am about to put in for the next season hunts. i may put one of my choices, as a cow hunt.



  2. #2
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    moose

    Don`t know about elk, but european moose. In those cow seems to have more fat and I think it is more tender than bull. Moose are shot in finland just after heat so it can affect. In general I feel that younger moose has beter meat. Just the opposite is very old bull, which is very tought.

  3. #3
    It sounds to me like you're over cooking your meat or cooking it too fast. It's hard to explain here in words, but use the finger push method of testing meat doneness. I could show you with my hand if we were face to face. BUT, we're not. If the meat is firm when you push and doesn't bounce back, it's well done and too done for wild deer or elk. If it's really mushy feeling and gives when you push it it's rare. If you push your finger into it and it gives softly with a touch of firmness, it med. Nothing should be cooked that much. LOL I no longer stick thermometers in or time or cut to test meats. I jab them with my index finger. When I feel they're almost done I yank them, put it on a platter and cover with foil for a few minutes. If it's done in gravy and simmered, well that's a different test. Dang I'm getting hungry.
    Last edited by davidmil; February 6th, 2007 at 09:14 PM.

  4. #4
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    i know about the "poking" method. basicially, if the cooking meat feels like my hand between the thumb, and index finger (meaty part), it is med rare. i can nail it at med rare. or even rarer for my girlfriend. no way, it is as tender as beef. maybe i have too high of expectations.

  5. #5
    i agree elk is very often over cooked!! Most ppl are scared due to the fact that it is wild game so they cook the heck out of it!

  6. #6
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    I find elk is quite a bit drier than beef. I like my elk lean with abosolutely no fat. Elk fat seems to have a nasty taste. As far as flavor between cow and bull, my first bull was the absolutel best tasting elk I ever killed. He was a 2.5-3.5 yr bull. The following years I killed a cow each time and they were decent. The following 2 bulls were not too bad and this last one was excellent. Took him right before the rut on Sept 2. Was about 4.5 yrs old and weighed 410lbs just meat and bone.
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  7. #7
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    Only having killed one bull, a spike and 3 cows. The spike was just as good as the cows. Tender as hell. Awesome flavor. Most people over cook the meat, too long, too high of heat. I cook mine on med, when it feels like the flesh of my finger, it is ready to be tossed onto a piece of bread and butter man. I trim all fat off just like a bear. Don't like the taste of it. For hamburger, I either mix it with some good pork fat or beef fat. Not much. Proabably 3-5% fat.

  8. #8
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    It all tastes great if you take care of it in the woods properly. I do not beleive I could tell if the meat was bull or cow unless the bull was maybe strong from the rut. I agree they are drier than beef and I have all my fat removed. Usually to the burger and such we add bacon makes some great bacon burger

  9. #9
    I agree it all starts with how it is treated in the woods. I have tken both and yes a cow is always more tender with my experience. The main things is DO NOT OVER COOK IT!! Stay on the rare to medium rare.
    PS I got out of the area 20 years ago. I grew up in Hayward

  10. #10
    The best way to cook the Steaks are fire up a gas grill of high for 10 minutes then put your steaks on season them with Montreal steak sesoning. Leave the grill on high and cook 3.5-4 minutes for a 3/4 - 1 inch thick steak then turn your steak season and remove after anouther 3.5-4 minutes let rest for 2 minutes and it will be perfect. If the steaks are thinner use less time. the high heat sears in the moisture. I have cooked them as little as 2.5 minutes for thin steaks. for the roasts use Beef broth instead of water and cook the like you would a pot roast of several hours at about 300 degrees

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up

    This is making my mouth water!!!!!

  12. #12
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    Mine too, can't wait until sept. Yeah. For sure you must take care of the animal in the woods first. When it comes to processing it, I take all the fat off. Let it hang for as long as possible, or in a cooler or old fridge. I use beef fat in hamburger. 3-5%. Sometimes bacon ends, grind it once by itself then once together. Mmmmmm. For steaks, I cut mine small. Tender medallions that are worth their weight in PLATINUM. Used to say gold, but platinum is way more spendy. That is how I like mine. I am a huge fan of Montreal Steak Seasoning, but just a little on my elk. It is Johnny's, pepper, a little garlic and into some Krusteaz. Then a hot skillet. Then a piece of bread and butter or just by itself. Most people of a tendancy of overcooking deer and elk. Especially little pieces the way I like em. But I do like the thick uns on occasion, especially on the grill.
    Last edited by Bunkster; March 23rd, 2007 at 10:47 PM. Reason: error

  13. #13
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    I prefer a 3 year old bull over a 3 year old cow anyday.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by twisted1600 View Post
    This is making my mouth water!!!!!
    AMEN BROTHER!!!

  15. #15
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    i put in for elk again this season...hopefully i will draw.

  16. #16
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    cow vs. bull

    I have killed many elk from 7x7 down to spikes and a few cows in between. I don't know why it is hit and miss as to which is more tender but every time I think I have it figured out I get a curve ball thrown at me. I have had tough cows and tender cows. I had a 7x7 two years ago that was one of the best I have ever eatin and he was a huge bull killed over Labor day weekend.
    I love elk and all wild game but there is no way you can compare it to prime beef for tenderness IMO. It is however quite comparable to very good grass fed beef and I like the flavor better. I bought one of those meat tenderizers from Sportsmans that is hand operated with like about a hundred little blades in it. I push it through my steaks a couple times to cut all the fibers (no pounding involved). I use it for all meats.
    a few hours prior to tenderizing it I rub a mixture of 1/4 oz Lawry's meat tenderizer and 3/4 oz lawry's seasoning salt all over the steaks along with whatever other seasonings you might like. I try not to get to carried away so as not to lose the flavor of the meat. I cut my steaks thick and quick sear both sides in a hot skillet (this holds the juices in)then turn down the heat and cook to desired doneness basting with butter. Be sure to serve with a side of garlic /butter mushrooms. I always cook steaks to rare/med rare. It is a shame to over cook. I prefer to cook in a skillet as opposed to a grill because the grill seems to dry the meat out.
    Obviously as stated above all good meat starts in the field. Proper dressing and cooling down. The sooner the better. Then I age 10-14 days in my cooler (depending on size) before butchering. Never had a bad one.
    Sorry about being so long winded on this subject but man I love ELK MEAT
    and you all got me fired up. Any guesses as to what I am having for dinner tonight?

  17. #17

    Elk

    I tend to get my elk steak cubed. Then I always marinade my meat over night. I on the other hand like to grill my meat about 7 min on each side. Comes out great tender and full of flavor. Taking care of your meat in the field is a must...I always make sure to keep it clean!!! No hair!!

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