Elk meat may sound like a rare delicacy, but it’s actually easier to get your hands on than you would expect! This meat is often described as tasting similar to beef with an undercurrent of sweetness.
Lean, delicious, and tender when cooked properly, elk meat is a hot commodity. If you haven’t enjoyed this type of meat yet, then you’re missing out! We’ll give you a complete list of where to buy elk meat (near you), so you can cross this item off your bucket list.
What Is Elk Meat?
Elk meat is meat that comes from elk! Elk are the largest species of the deer family, and they’re the largest land mammal in its natural habitat of North America. Elk meat is perfect for grilling, broiling, and boiling. This meat is best cooked at a low temperature very slowly, or at a high temperature very quickly. These methods will prevent it from drying out and preserve its tenderness.
Why Do People Love Elk Meat?
Before we get into the meat of this guide, let’s discuss why so many people rave about elk meat. This meat tastes clean, similar to beef, and slightly sweet. It’s full of rich flavors, but it’s an incredibly lean type of meat, which means it’s very low in fat.
Since its flavor is so similar to beef, elk meat is the ideal beef substitute for any recipe. You can make meatloaf, meatballs, chili, burgers, tacos, casseroles, and more with this delicious protein.
Elk meat is a great option for people who enjoy the flavor profile of beef, but are looking for a way to limit the fat in their diet. It’s also a delicious alternative to other meats, and an excellent protein when you’re looking to diversify your diet.
Is Elk Healthier Than Beef?
Elk is considered a much healthier protein than beef. It only has a fifth of the fat content of beef, and it has a much higher content of healthy fats such as Omega3 and CLA. A proper diet containing these healthy fats can aid in weight loss and cardiovascular health.
Elk meat is also rich in helpful vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system.
Iron, phosphorus, zinc, B12, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin are all found in elk meat. In addition to those benefits, elk meat comes from small farms so it’s a more sustainable and environmentally friendly choice than beef.
Is Elk or Bison The Better Substitute For Beef?
When you’re looking for a healthy alternative to beef, elk and bison are typically two options that come to mind. Both of these proteins are versatile and have a similar flavor profile to beef, so they make for an excellent and healthy substitute.
If you’re trying to decide between the two, then here’s some information that should help convince you to give elk a try. Elk is higher in proteins than bison meat, and it’s also a higher source of certain vitamins and minerals.
Bison meat has a lot of similar qualities as elk meat. It’s also low in fat, high in protein, and a more environmentally friendly option. However, if you’re debating between the two purely for their health benefits, then you’ll want to go with elk meat.
Where To Buy Elk Meat (Near You)
Let’s get to the good part and explain where you can buy elk meat near you! Make sure to check this list for stores local to you, and browse through the online section for some options that deliver nearly anywhere.
Not many grocery stores sell elk meat in the US. Game meat is pretty hard to find in grocery stores because these stores have to get game meat from FDA-approved farms. Your average hunter can’t simply walk into a grocery store and offer to bring them fresh game.
There are also some legal restrictions surrounding selling game meat, so it can be quite cost-prohibitive for grocery stores. Despite that, there are a few grocery stores across the US that do sell elk meat.
Here’s a list of grocery stores that occasionally offer elk meat:
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery
- Hudson Meat Market
- The Local Butcher & Market
- Freshfields Farm
- Park Hill Supermarket
- Hottinger Family Meats
- Harmony Farms
- Double DD Meats
- Mosely’s Meat Market
It’s helpful to keep in mind that some of these grocery stores only offer elk meat in certain locations. Others only have it sporadically, so you’ll want to check with the store first to make sure they have it in stock.
Butcher Shops/Specialty Stores
Small, local butcher shops and specialty stores are the place to go when you’re looking to buy elk meat. These shops are more likely to carry fresh, local game rather than grocery stores. You’ll also get to choose the cut of meat and support your local community.
Here’s a list of butcher shops and specialty stores where you can buy elk meat near you:
- Springville Meat Company
- Fossil Farms
- Salt & Time
- San Francisco Raw Feeders
- TN Meat Co
- H&H Meats
- Hobe Meats
- Golden Steer Choice Meats
- Newport Jerky Company
- Meats of Virginia
- Surfas Culinary District
- Paradise Locker Meats
- Georgia Buffalo Ranch & Trading Post
Some of these specialty shops only offer elk meat in jerky form, but the rest offer fresh elk meat you can take home and cook however you please. Most people recommend grilling, boiling, or broiling elk meat to preserve the meat’s tenderness while releasing all of its delicious flavors.
Buying meat online may seem questionable, but it’s actually very safe. The following list of online retailers that sell elk meat follow very specific food and safety standards to ensure the meat they deliver to you is appropriately frozen and ready for consumption.
Here’s a list of places where you can buy elk meat online:
- Fossil Farms
- Sayersbrook Bison Ranch
- Blackwing Meats
- Northfork Bison Ranch
- Exotic Meat Market
- Hunter’s Reserve
- Broken Arrow Ranch
Several of these companies are small, family-run ranches and businesses. They work hard to raise their animals and process them for their customers. When you buy elk meat through one of these companies, you can be sure that you’re supporting hard-working small businesses!
While you can’t buy raw elk meat at restaurants, it’s a great place to get your first taste of this rare game meat. Many restaurants serve elk burgers, sausages, chili, and more! If you’re struggling to find elk meat at a butcher shop, specialty store, or grocery store near you, and you don’t want to shop online until you’ve tried it, then try one of the following restaurants:
- The Fig Tree
- The Fort
- Trattoria Roma
- Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse
- Red Stag Grill
- Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
- The Gage
- Greenhouse Cafe
- The Counter
- The Pump House
Some of these restaurants only sell elk meat as a weekend or occasional special, but this is an excellent way to try elk meat for the first time. Professional chefs know how to work with the meat to extract as much savory flavor from it as possible, while keeping the meat tender and juicy.
How Much Does Elk Meat Cost?
Elk meat is one of the pricier game meats available. That’s mostly due to the fact that elk aren’t massed produced the same way cows and chickens are. Elks are mainly raised on small farms, so elk meat is less available than beef or chicken.
It also tends to be more expensive because so many people enjoy or want to try elk meat. When there isn’t enough product to meet demand, it tends to drive prices up.
Purchasing elk meat from an online retailer, grocery store, butcher shop/specialty shop, or restaurant will come with different costs. We’re going to compare the cost of elk meat at each of these locations so you know what to expect.
Big chain grocery stores like Costco might charge less for their elk meat than a smaller business such as Hottinger Family Meats. Also, elk meat is generally sold in smaller portions than other meats, so we’re going to compare costs based on how much stores charge per ounce. Here’s a table showing the different prices grocery stores have for elk meat based on their price per ounce:
|Grocery Store||Type of Elk Meat||Price Per Ounce|
|Sprouts Farmers Market||Ground||$0.81|
|Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery||Salami||$0.64|
It’s helpful to keep in mind when shopping for elk meat that grocery stores won’t always have this product in stock. Game meat is tricky to sell, so it’s often a seasonal product, or something that’s in stock every once in a while.
Save yourself a wasted trip and contact the grocery store ahead of time, or check their website to make sure they have elk meat in stock!
Butcher Shops/Specialty Stores
Butcher shops and specialty stores are a great place to look for elk meat. These shops are often local and family-run businesses that rely on their customers support to continue putting out great products.
Sometimes meat will cost more coming from a butcher shop. Here’s a cost comparison for how much elk meat costs at different butcher shops:
|Butcher Shop/Specialty Store||Type of Elk Meat||Price Per Pound|
|San Francisco Raw Feeders||Ground||$15.05|
|Paradise Locker Meats||Patties||$13.00|
|Springville Meat Company||Ground||$14.65|
Many butcher stores and specialty shops are small businesses that don’t have websites or don’t list their prices online. Their prices are also subject to change depending on availability and demand. Make sure you check with the store to verify their prices.
Online retailers for meat products tend to be more expensive than stores with physical locations. They have to cover the costs of shipping and handling, as well as the cost of keeping the meat properly frozen.
Despite their higher than average price range, most online retailers dealing in meat products deliver high-quality products in various forms. Here’s a cost comparison table for some of the online retailers we mentioned:
|Online Retailer||Type of Elk Meat||Cost Per Pound|
|Sayersbrook Bison Ranch||Sirloin Roast||$16.98|
|Nothfork Bison Ranch||Patties||$15.95|
|Exotic Meat Market||Denver Leg||$17.99|
|Broken Arrow Ranch||Ground||$15.00|
The type of elk meat you’re buying really maes a difference! Ground meat is almost always going to be cheapest, regardless of which retailer you’re buying from. Medallions appear to be the second most expensive option, with the Striploin from Fossil Farms coming in first for highest price.
The price of elk meat in restaurants varies wildly. It depends on the type of restaurant, the dish served, and a handful of other factors. We’re going to compare the cost of a few popular elk dishes from the restaurants on this list.
|Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse||Espresso Crusted Elk Tenderloin||$52.00|
|Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs||Smoked Pork & Elk Jalapeno Chedder Gourmet Dog||$13.00|
|The Fort||Elk St. Vrain||$49.00|
|Red Stag Grill||Elk Loin||$45.00|
Many of these restaurants have come up with creative elk dishes that showcase it’s unique flavor profile. Many of these restaurants offer elk year round, though some only offer it as a special on weekends or during certain seasons.
Learn Where To Buy Elk Meat (Near You) Today
Finding elk meat near you may not seem like an easy task, but there are plenty of great options. Certain grocery stores, including big chains like Costco, do carry ground elk meat on occasion. There are also local butcher shops to check out, specialty stores, and restaurants. If all else fails, you can always order from an online retailer.
Online retailers such as Blackwing Meats and Fossil Farms always have elk in stock, and you can choose different types of elk meat like patties, sausage, or medallions.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.