whole elk tenderloin

Peppercorn Crusted Elk Tenderloin

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 - 1.5 hours
Method: Smoker

Looking for a recipe that will simply wow your guests (or yourself) this summer? Look no further than this recipe for Peppercorn Crusted Elk Tenderloin by Primal Pioneer. Emphasis on “simple”. We’re big proponents of “less is more” when it comes to seasoning meat, preferring to let the natural flavor of the meats come through. And this elegant peppercorn and garlic rub does exactly that. With minimal seasoning and prep time, you’ll have a smoked whole tenderloin you’ll crave over and over again.

The Whole Tenderloin is actually one of the rarer cuts both in our store and in general. It sits beneath the ribs, next to the backbone on the animal and as such, there is only one per animal. Since the tenderloin is not a weight-bearing muscle, it is much more tender than other cuts, hence it’s name and desirability. These often sell out as soon as we get them, especially the Elk Whole Tenderloins, so if this is a favorite of yours, we suggest adding your name to the notification list on the product pages.

Recipe & Photography by Primal Pioneer.

Recipe: Peppercorn Crusted Elk Tenderloin



  1. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F. 
  2. Let the elk tenderloin come to room temperature. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, minced garlic, salt, and parsley and stir to combine. 
  4. Place the elk tenderloin on a baking sheet and, using your hands, coat the entire tenderloin in the compound butter mixture. 
  5. Next, coat the entire elk tenderloin with the crushed peppercorns. 
  6. Place onto the smoker and smoke for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees F. 
  7. Remove from smoker and let rest for five minutes. Then slice and serve. 

Options & Alternatives:

Don’t have a smoker? You can also roast the whole elk tenderloin in the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. F. and roast for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F.

About Primal Pioneer: Primal Pioneer is about reconnecting with their primal roots and respecting our lands, resources, and natural inhabitants. They support humane conservation and preservation of wildlife. Their goal is to help elevate wild game meats with new and exciting recipes that are also both easy to prepare and delicious. View their original recipe post for Peppercorn Crusted Elk Tenderloin here.

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