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Meat Week: Lanny Oakley’s Smoked Elk Sandwich

From field to table, join Lanny as she takes her harvest and shares her favorite way to prepare Elk.

Lanny's Smoked Elk Brioche Sandwich


Brine- 24-48 hours max


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 2 tbsp. peppercorns
  • 4-6 bay leaves
  • 4 – 6 sprigs of fresh herbs
Garlic and Herb Salt
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp of mixed fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, or sage
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cracked pepper


Pot, whisk, large non-reactive container

Brining Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. You can add a little ice to speed up the process.
  2. Once completely cool, (DO NOT add while warm) pour the brine over the meat in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator for 8 to 48 hours depending on weight of meat.
  3. Before cooking, rinse the meat with cool water.

Garlic and Herb Salt

  1. Mince the herbs and garlic as finely as you can. Add to a bowl with the kosher salt, cracked pepper, and lemon zest. Mix well and spread the salt across a sheet tray in a thin layer. Allow to dry out overnight and store in an airtight container. For faster drying time you can place inside a dehydrator on the lowest setting.

  2. This recipe makes roughly half a cup. When ready to use, season game meat with only as much salt as needed to lightly cover. You don’t want to make it so salty that it needs rinsing. Let the seasoned meat rest in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours uncovered. Pat very dry before cooking.


Smoke- approx. 2.5 hours on 225 °


  • 4 pounds Elk roast (hindquarter recommended)
  • 1 pound  Bacon slices (optional)
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Canjun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1 can beef broth
  • Toothpicks
  • Beer or water

Smoked Elk Roast Instructions

  1. Make sure your bacon and elk roast are completely thawed out. 
  2. Fire up your smoker to a temperature of 225 degrees. If you have a charcoal smoker, make sure you allow yourself about 30 minutes for the charcoal to turn a white glowing ashy color.
  3. Fill your water pan with beer or water. If your smoker doesn't have a built in water pan, you can always add a cast iron pan near the heat source of your smoker so it will boil and add moisture throughout the cooking process.
  4. Mix your Cajun seasoning, black pepper, salt, minced garlic, and onion flakes all together in a mixing bowl. Then, drizzle olive oil on the seasoning mixture until it becomes a working rub paste. Spoon the rub paste all over the elk roast and rub it in with your hands to evenly spread it around the entire outside of the roast to form a glaze. 
  5. Wrap the elk roast completely with bacon and secure it in place with toothpicks. As the bacon cooks, it will melt the fat directly down onto the elk in order to keep it moist and tender.
  6. Place in smoker at 225 degrees and cook until an internal temperature of 130 degrees for a medium-rare result. Your elk roast should take about 2.5-3.5 hours or about an hour per pound.
  7. Once it reaches 130 pull it off the grill and wrap it in foil and let sit to cook until it reaches 140-150 degrees to desired doneness. Don’t let it get above 150 or it will dry out.

Smoked Elk Roast Smoking Time

It is important to understand that elk has a tendency to quickly dry out on the grill. The smoking time will take about 2-5 hours or about an hour for each pound of meat. The easiest way to monitor your elk roast throughout the cooking process is to use a wireless meat thermometer. Wireless meat thermometers are a grill master's best friend because it allows you to constantly check the temperature without lifting the lid of your smoker and letting all the heat and smoke out.


Smoked Elk Brioche Sandwich (serves 6)


  • 1 large onion
  • 12 oz sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 package of gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 2  tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 6 brioche buns

 Instructions- approx. 20 min

  1. Slice onion and caramelize in pan in olive oil on medium heat until opaque and glossy.
  2. Add portabella mushrooms and sauté until soft
  3. Toast brioche buns until golden brown
  4. Add mayo and Mustard to buns
  5. Slice smoke elk roast really thin and add to buns, add onions & mushrooms
  6. Crumble gorgonzola on top and let melt
  7. Add side salad and serve.

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