Delicious and Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos

When it comes to wild game, the first thing that comes to mind is often burgers or steaks on the grill. But I’ve got a recipe that will change the way you think about cooking with elk meat – spicy dry rub elk tacos.

These tacos are loaded with flavor thanks to a homemade spice rub that includes ground cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt – all of which give them a kick of spice without being too overwhelming. And the best part? They’re cooked on the grill, which means you can enjoy your backyard barbecue while still creating an unforgettable meal.

I promise that these tacos will be one of the best elk recipes you’ve ever tried. So, gather your ingredients and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos
Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos

If you’re a fan of wild game and tacos, you are in for a treat. This Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos recipe is not your average taco experience. Its unique blend of spices and fiery kick will leave your taste buds in a state of pure bliss.

What makes this recipe so special is the infused smokiness and deep flavors of elk meat that permeate with every bite. The dry rub’s ingredients, such as ground cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, and achiote rubbed chicken, elevate the flavor to new heights.

Aside from the mouth-watering taste of the elk sirloin tacos pickled with jalapeños or fish taco spice, it’s also healthy, lean protein-rich dish that won’t leave you feeling guilty after feasting on these delights.

Moreover, if you’re tired of the same old fish taco or chicken fajitas dishes, this exciting elk tacos recipe serves a refreshing new twist that will bring some excitement to your dinner table. The crispy corn tortillas are perfectly balanced with savory seasonings and light toppings like avocado, cabbage slaw, roasted sweet bell peppers, and diced tomatoes.

Whether you’re an experienced cook who enjoys creating gourmet cuisine or someone who wants to try something different for their next family meal or barbecue event, this spicy dry rub elk tacos recipe from is for everyone looking for the ultimate comfort food!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to make your taste buds dance with our Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos!
Get ready to make your taste buds dance with our Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos!

The Ingredients for the Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos Recipe:

Before starting, it is important to have all of the ingredients on hand. Below is a list of what you’ll need for this spicy dry rub elk tacos recipe:

  • 1 lb of ground elk meat (or elk steak chopped into small, thin pieces)
  • 2 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • Avocado, diced
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Red sweet bell pepper, sliced
  • Yellow sweet bell pepper, sliced
  • Onion, sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Pickled jalapeños (optional)

You can find most of these ingredients in your pantry and fresh produce section of your local market. Otherwise, a quick trip to the store for any missing items should be enough.

The Recipe How-To

 You won't be able to resist the tempting aroma of these tacos on the BBQ!
You won’t be able to resist the tempting aroma of these tacos on the BBQ!

Now, the moment we have been waiting for- the recipe how-to. Are you ready to create some delicious Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos? Then let’s get started!


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 pound of ground elk
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cabbage
  • Red and yellow sweet bell peppers
  • Lime
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Sour cream

We recommend getting all your ingredients before starting the preparation process to ensure a smooth cooking experience.


  1. Mix together the ground cumin, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl to make the dry rub.
  2. Add the ground elk into the bowl with the dry rub seasoning and mix thoroughly until the elk is evenly coated with seasoning.


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the seasoned ground elk.
  2. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until it turns brown.
  3. Set the cooked elk aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.

Assemble Your Tacos

  1. Heat your corn tortillas in a pan or microwave them for about 10 seconds.
  2. Dice your cabbage, sweet bell peppers, lime, avocado, tomatoes, and onion to your desired size.
  3. To assemble your tacos: Place cooked Spicy Dry Rub Elk on top of each tortilla shell lettuce leaf (“shred it” if you want it). Add diced bell peppers, onion cilantro and other toppings you would like.


  1. For extra flavors top tacos withsour cream (for taste), additional spices or red onions marinated in vinegar for added acidity.

Now that your Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos are complete continue onto our next section to discover great substitution ideas and variations!

Substitutions and Variations

 Elk meat is a lean, flavorful alternative to beef, and pairs perfectly with this spicy dry rub.
Elk meat is a lean, flavorful alternative to beef, and pairs perfectly with this spicy dry rub.

One of the joys of cooking is the ability to get creative and experiment with different ingredients. Don’t have elk meat on hand? No problem. This spicy dry rub can work with other types of wild game such as ground venison or even smoked brisket.

If you’re looking to make a vegetarian option, try swapping out the meat for roasted cauliflower or a mix of sautéed vegetables like onion, bell peppers, and garlic jalapeño.

For those who prefer a milder spice level, adjust the amount of ground cayenne pepper and chili powder in the dry rub to your liking. Alternatively, you can use a pre-made taco seasoning blend instead.

To add some heat to your tacos, try adding sliced green chile peppers or pickled jalapeños. If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with different spice blends like Spiceology’s Cowboy Crust Espresso Chile or Achiote Rubbed Chicken.

And finally, for those with dietary restrictions, swap out traditional corn tortillas for gluten-free or flour tortillas, and switch out dairy-based toppings like sour cream for avocado slices or a cabbage slaw. The possibilities are endless and can be tailored to fit your preferences and needs.

Serving and Pairing

 Our homemade dry rub is the secret ingredient that takes these tacos to the next level.
Our homemade dry rub is the secret ingredient that takes these tacos to the next level.

When it comes to serving up these spicy dry rub elk tacos, there are plenty of delicious options to consider. A traditional approach might have you piling the warm and fragrant meat into freshly grilled corn tortillas, topping each taco with a tangy cabbage slaw and a squeeze of fresh lime.

If you’re looking to mix things up, however, there are plenty of other ways to use this recipe as a jumping-off point. You might try serving the elk meat alongside brown rice and black beans for a hearty and satisfying bowl. Alternatively, chop up some sweet bell peppers and onions, toss them on the grill or in a cast-iron skillet with the elk meat, and wrap everything up in your favorite gluten-free tortilla for a delicious spin on fajitas.

No matter how you choose to serve up these spicy dry rub elk tacos, you’ll want to think about what to pair them with when it comes to drinks. Naturally, beer is always a popular choice (think hoppy IPAs or crisp pilsners), but don’t forget about wine either! A bold red like a zinfandel or a malbec can help balance out the complex flavors in the eight-spice dry rub. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not try whipping up a batch of jalapeño- or pineapple-infused margaritas? The sky’s the limit!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Grilling the elk meat over an open flame ensures that it is juicy and bursting with flavor.
Grilling the elk meat over an open flame ensures that it is juicy and bursting with flavor.

Once you’ve prepared your spicy dry rub elk tacos, you may find that you have leftovers. Fear not — these tacos can easily be stored and reheated for future meals.

If you’re making the elk tacos in advance, it’s best to store the components separately so that they don’t get soggy. Keep the seasoned elk meat in an airtight container in the fridge, and chop up the veggies just before you’re ready to assemble the tacos.

When it comes time to reheat your leftover tacos, there are a few options. One is to microwave them for about 20-30 seconds per taco, which will warm them up but could also make them a little softer than desired. A better option is to heat them up on a griddle or in a skillet over medium heat until they’re crispy again.

You could also store some of the components separately to make quick breakfast burritos. Scramble some eggs with the leftover taco meat and veggies and wrap it up in a tortilla.

Overall, these spicy dry rub elk tacos are a versatile and delicious meal that can easily be enjoyed more than once.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Top your tacos with your favorite veggies and a generous serving of our homemade salsa for the perfect finish.
Top your tacos with your favorite veggies and a generous serving of our homemade salsa for the perfect finish.

When it comes to making the perfect spicy dry rub elk tacos every time, there are several tips that I’ve learned from my own experience as a BBQ chef. Here are some of the most valuable ones that I believe will make a difference in the outcome of your dish.

Firstly, make sure to season the meat with the dry rub at least an hour before cooking. This allows the spices to penetrate deep into the meat, enhancing its flavor and creating a juicier texture. If you don’t have much time to marinate, use a fork to poke tiny holes over the surface of the meat before applying the rub. This technique helps the seasoning to seep in quickly and efficiently.

Secondly, choose your elk cut wisely. Some cuts work better for grilling than others, depending on their thickness and fat content. Elk sirloin is perfect for tacos because it is lean and tender when cooked correctly. But if you’re feeling adventurous or want to experiment with other elk cuts, it’s always best to follow recommended cooking times and techniques from reputable sources.

Next, don’t forget about the vegetables. The right combination of veggies can add a delightful crunch and freshness to your tacos while also complementing different spice notes in the rub. I like to mix finely chopped cabbage, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos for extra zinginess. Adding avocado or guacamole can also brighten up your tacos’ flavors with some creaminess.

Another crucial factor in achieving mouthwatering elk tacos is nailing down that perfect char on your tortillas. Heat up your skillet or grill pan until very hot before lightly brushing both sides of your tortillas with oil or butter. Cook them for only a few seconds on each side until they turn dark golden brown with visible grill marks.

Lastly, let your elk steak rest for at least 5 minutes after removing from heat before slicing them into bite-size pieces. This step guarantees that all those delicious juices reabsorb back into the meat instead of spilling out onto the cutting board.

By following these guidelines on seasoning, selecting cuts, using fresh veggies and tortillas, and allowing proper resting time, you’ll end up with perfectly succulent spicy dry rub elk tacos ready to impress guests or enjoy solo!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos recipe is a game-changer for your tastebuds. The combination of the savory elk meat, spicy dry rub, and fresh toppings create a unique and delightful flavor experience. If you are looking to switch things up in the kitchen and try something new, then give this recipe a chance. Trust me; it will not disappoint!

Don’t be hesitant to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make this recipe your own. From ground venison tacos to BBQ brisket sliders, the possibilities are endless. Remember to prepare for leftovers because these elk tacos are just as delicious reheated.

So fire up your grill or plug in your stovetop griddle, and get ready to impress your family and friends with these Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos. Enjoy them with a cold beer or margarita and soak in the flavors of this mouth-watering dish. Trust me; it’s worth it.

Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos

Spicy Dry Rub Elk Tacos Recipe

Tacos have to be one of my all time favorite foods… and this is just one of many recipes that we enjoy cooking up. It’s an easy recipe and it’s flavors are very similar to how you would cook a carne asada steak, but of course this recipe we’re using some delicious elk sirloin.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 362.3 kcal


  • 2 elk steaks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 1 yellow sweet bell pepper
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin


  • In a small bowl add all spices and blend together. Place sirloin cuts on a cutting board and season with dry rub on both sides. If you have time, I recommend letting the meat sit and marinade at room temperature before cooking. I often suggest 30 minutes.
  • Put the meat to the side and begin chopping up all of your taco ingredients: onions, bell peppers, tomatos, avocado and anything else you want to add. Cook your taco shells after your taco condimients are ready and set aside in a 250 degree oven to keep warm.
  • Be sure before putting the meat on the grille that you get your cast iron grille good and hot. Place meat on grille and cook for 3-4 minutes turning diagonally and cooking for another 3-4 minutes before turning over and cooking on the other side. This will give you great criss-cross grille marks.
  • Remove meat immediately and let rest for a few minutes before slicing in 1/4 inch slices across the grain.



Serving: 288gCalories: 362.3kcalCarbohydrates: 45.3gProtein: 7.7gFat: 19.8gSaturated Fat: 6.2gCholesterol: 19.9mgSodium: 847.3mgFiber: 11.7gSugar: 7.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Elk, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Wild Game
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.