Cooking Tips and Recipes

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Broiling/Grilling - Best for steaks cut from tenderloin, rib, short loin, sirloin and ground meat.  Start with a hot grill, cook hot and fast.

Slow Cooking - Best for roasts cut from the round,

fore shank, chuck or flank.  Moist heat cooking,

using liquid (Dark beer in a slow cooker is our favorite!)  

Marinating - Best for cubed meat or roasts that

are not from the rib or loins.

Pan Frying -Best for cubed or marinated steaks.

                               (Reproduced from Bison World Magazine)

Best Cooking Methods for Bison Cuts

      Taste is best when cooked to medium rare or rare to retain its moisture.  Cooking the meat at a medium-high temperature will roughly complete cooking at two-thirds the time of beef. It has a delicate, sweet flavor and meets low fat guidelines as recommended by the American Heart Association, American Cancer Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and other organizations.  The fat content is even lower than poultry!  The fat that is on the bison has a slightly different combination of the essential fatty acids as well as lower cholesterol content. 

      Proper cooking techniques are important for all specialty meats but especially for quality bison.  Following these simple guidelines will help provide a tender, moist entrée.

(Basic food safety techniques should always be followed.  Wash hands with soap and water before and after handling raw bison meat.  Use separate cooking utensils and plates for raw and cooked bison meat.)

  • Preheat cooking surface to help meat cook quickly.
  • Use an instant read thermometer to prevent over cooking and drying out meat.
  • Any recipe used for beef or elk is transferable to bison (with attention to above guidelines). 
  • Solid cuts such as roasts do best in a preheated oven of 275 F and cooked to medium rare (155 F) using moist cooking techniques.
  • Once the meat has reached 135 F remove it from the heat and let it rest 10 minutes before carving to retain its natural juices. Using a meat thermometer (either instant read or meat thermometer) helps to identify the best time to remove meat from heat.
  • For grilling, broiling or barbecuing ground meat or tender cuts of bison (prime cuts, sirloin or round steaks) move the grate an extra 1-2" away from the heat source and preheat for 5 minutes. 
  • Due to the low fat content, remember that it cooks quicker.
  • Grilling a tender cut can be the most wonderful meal, or if done incorrectly, the nastiest piece of shoe leather!
  • Do not salt meat until the end of grilling as salt draws out moisture.
  • Remember, when cooking meats, it is not safe to cook based on the color of juices.
  • For steaks up to 1" thick using a high flame, an initial guideline is to cook meat approximately 1-3 minutes on each side and cook to 145 F (for medium rare).
  • For ground bison, unless a great deal of fat is added in the grinding process (which is rarely done), there is minimal fat to drain off (another bonus- minimal fat burning onto grill plates to clean off!)
  • The last 20 degrees happen quickly!

Bison does not have the heavy fat cap found on traditional red meats, so this lean meat will cook faster and can easily be over cooked if a few techniques are not utilized.

Cooking Bison is Easy, But Different

An Article from Bison World, 2012, By Wendy Rice, R.D., Med.

            The cuts of this animal are similar to beef (75-85 percent lean) though bison (90-95 percent lean) produces leaner and darker meat.  Due to the higher percentage of lean muscle, ounce for ounce, bison meat yields higher protein, iron and trace mineral content, as well as lower cholesterol content.  Consequently, a smaller portion is needed to provide the same quality of nutrients.