Bison Cooking Tips

Recipes and Cooking Tips


General Bison Cooking Tips

     Bison meat is similar to beef and is cooked in much the same way.  The taste is often indistinguishable from beef, although bison tends to have a fuller, richer (sweeter) flavor.  It is not “gamey” or wild tasting.  Bison is low in fat and cholesterol and is high in protein, vitamins and minerals.  Fresh cut bison meat tends to be darker red and richer in color than many of the other red meats.

The lack of fat insures that bison meat will cook faster.  Fat acts as an insulator – heat must first penetrate this insulation before the cooking process begins.  Marbling (fat within the muscle) aids in slowing down the cooking process.  Since bison meat lacks marbling, the meat has a tendency to cook more rapidly.  Caution must be taken to insure that you do not overcook bison.

Bison may be used with any of your favorite beef recipes if you remember a few basic tips:

-Roasts:  The most acceptable cooking methods for preparing the perfect bison roast use low temperature and high moisture.  Start by thawing and seasoning the roast as desired.  The best oven temperature for preparing a bison roast is 275 – 325 F. Expect the 2 ½ to 3 pound roast to be tender and ready in about 4 hours.  Covering the roast or using a roasting bag helps retain the juices during cooking.  Using the slow-cooker on low and cooking all day will also produce a delicious, tender roast.  Searing or browning all sides of the roast in a little oil before putting in oven or crock pot will seal in the natural juices.  Some may also prefer to add some olive oil to the roast before cooking to add moisture & flavor.

-Bison burger may be used as a substitute in any of your recipes calling for ground beef. Although bison burger is leaner, additional fat is not recommended when preparing a recipe.  When grilling, do not press down on the burgers with the spatula as this only squeezes out the natural juices.  When forming your own patties, remember that the thicker the patty, the juicier the burger.  Seasoning may be incorporated into the meat when patties are formed or sprinkled on after cooking. Salting the outside of the meat prior to cooking will draw moisture out of it, leaving it somewhat dry.   Due to the leanness of the meat you may also notice that the grilled burgers do not look as crispy brown on the outside.  It’s best to take them off the grill when they are still a little pink inside.

Meatballs Around the World 

meatball_recipe_-_Google_SearchBasic Meatballs

  • 5 lbs. ground buffalo
  • 1 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash or other seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (unless seasoning is salted)
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten

Soak oats & seasonings in water a few minutes.  Stir in other ingredients, mixing by hand if needed to thoroughly combine.  Form into 1 inch balls (medium cookie ball scoop works well).  Place close together on baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cool and divide into 5 packages.  Each package may be used in 1 of the following recipes.

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Mexican Meatballs (4-6 servings)image (4)

  • 1 package meatballs from above recipe
  • 1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 jar (10 oz.) mild taco sauce or 1 can chopped tomatoes with peppers (e.g. Ro-Tel)
  • 1 jar (8 oz.) pasteurized process cheese spread or 8 oz. shredded Cheddar or taco-flavored cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips, refried beans

Heat meatballs , corn, tomatoes or taco sauce, and cheese over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.  Serve with refried beans and tortilla chips.

image (7)Scandinavian Meatballs (4-6 servings)

  • 1 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package meatballs from above recipe
  • 3 cups hot cooked noodles

Stir sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat until thick & bubbly.  Add meatballs and continue cooking about 15 minutes until hot.  Serve over hot cooked noodles.


Chinese Meatballs (4-6 servings)image (5)

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Stir water and cornstarch together until smooth & set aside.

  • 1 can (8 oz.) pineapple tidbits      in own juice
  • 1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Combine these ingredients and bring to boil for 1 minute.  Add cornstarch mixture and continue cooking until thick.

  •  1 package meatballs from above recipe

Stir in meatballs.  Cook 15-20 minutes until meatballs hot.

  •  3 cups hot cooked rice

Serve meatballs over rice.


image (2) copyItalian Meatballs (4-6 servings)

  • 1 32 – 48 oz. jar of favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 package meatballs from above recipe
  • 12 – 16 oz. pasta, cooked as directed
  • Parmesan or other cheese as desired

Heat pasta sauce and meatballs 15 – 20 minutes.  Serve over hot cooked pasta.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan or other cheese as desired.




African Sweet and Sour Meatballsimage (8)

  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce or 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vinegar
  • Dash of pepper and hot pepper sauce
  • 5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package meatballs from above recipe
  • 4-6 hot cooked potatoes (boiled, baked or mashed)

Mix all ingredients except meatballs and potatoes in saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Add meatballs and simmer 15 – 20 minutes.  Serve with hot potatoes.

Bison Steaks


Grilling Bison Steaks

Steaks recommended for grilling/barbecuing include Tenderloin Fillet, Rib-eye, or New York Strip. Top Sirloin may be grilled, but is more tender if marinated first.  Cooking time is important in order not to overcook your steaks.  Total cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steaks and whether or not they are completely thawed.  Well-done bison steaks are not recommended.  Due to the leanness of the meat, bison has a tendency to become dry when overcooked.

Do not use a fork to turn steaks, this punctures the meat allowing juices to escape.

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Sirloin Steak

Top Sirloin is delicious, tender, lean and versatile.  It can be marinated in 1/2 cup cooking wine or red wine and 1/4 cup vegetable oil with other seasonings added as desired.  Marinate for about 2 hours at room temperature and cook on grill.  It makes wonderful stir-fry dishes or kabobs.  It can also be sliced thin, stir-fried and added to tossed salad for a quick and easy summer meal.  Cook only until meat is still pink.  Pan frying is also a good method of preparation.  Brown both sides in a little hot oil, then cover pan and simmer on low heat until tender, about 15 minutes.

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Round & Sirloin Tip Steak

Round and Sirloin Tip steak is best baked or slow-cooked.  It should never be broiled because, like beef, round steak that is broiled will be tough.

Chicken-Fried (Baked) Steak

Cut the steak into serving size pieces, dip in beaten egg, then in finely crushed bread or cracker crumbs, and brown in hot oil in a skillet.  Place in a baking dish or pan.  Add 1 to 2 cups water to browning skillet and pour over steak. Mushroom sauce or salsa may be used as the liquid in place of water.  Cover with foil and bake at 250 F. approximately 2 hours per pound.  The amount of water used will depend on the amount of meat used.

Steak & Potato Salad

  • 1 lb. (approx) bison sirloin, rib-eye, or NY strip steak
  • ¼ cup cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 cups cubed cooked potatoes
  • ½ cup diced green pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • Torn lettuce leaves
  • Favorite salad dressing

Place steak in a large re-sealable plastic bag or shallow glass container.  Combine vinegar, oil and soy sauce; pour over the steak.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or several hours.  Remove steaks from marinade and grill or broil steak for 8 – 10 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness.  Dip sweet onion slices in marinade, then place on foil on the grill beside the steaks.  Grill until tender.  (Discard remaining marinade.)  Slice steaks into thin strips across the grain and place in a bowl.  Add the grilled onions, potatoes, green pepper, green onions, parsley and dressing.  Toss to coat.  Serve on lettuce.  Add a slice of whole wheat French bread to complete the meal.

Yield:  4 – 5 servings.

Bison Cube Steak

  • 3 lb. tenderized round steak, cut to desired size pieces
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3 Tbls.  oil-based salad dressing
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or cracker crumbs)
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, pepper or other favorite seasonings

Thaw steaks.  Mix eggs & marinade.  Mix flour and Java Rub.  Dip steaks in egg mixture, then in flour mixture.  Place on foil-lined (for easy clean-up) baking sheet.  Cover tightly with another sheet of foil.  Bake at 300  degrees  for  1 hour.  Remove top foil and continue baking for 15—30 minutes to allow top to get crisp.

Crock Pot Bison Roast

  • 2-3 lb. boneless bison chuck, arm, or rump roast
  • Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, garlic, onion, etc.)

Add seasonings to ½ cup water and pour over roast.  Cook on low setting about 6-8 hours or until bison is fork-tender.  Arm and rump roasts can then be sliced; chuck roast will shred easily.

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image (9)Buffritos

  • Cooked bison roast (shredded is best)
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • Flour tortillas
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Green chiles

Shred or cube the cooked bison roast.  Add to 1 can of refried beans in skillet and cook at medium temperature until heated.  Fill flour tortilla and roll.  Smother with toppings as desired.

Bison Brats & Hot Dogs

Brats may be grilled, broiled, or simmered.  Check with meat thermometer to make sure center is at least 165 degrees.  Bison hot dogs are fully cooked and are best warmed in a pan of simmering water.  Once cooked, brats or hot dogs may be sliced and added to macaroni & cheese, baked beans, pasta dishes, or scrambled eggs.  Because of their size they do not fit well in a regular hot dog bun; try rolling up in a tortilla instead.

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Easy Smoked Brisket

Thaw brisket overnight in refrigerator

Rub olive oil on both sides of brisket and season generously with salt and pepper or your favorite rub or seasoning.

Start smoker on “Smoke”

Place on tray or foil in smoker.  Baste every hour with bone broth, beer, apple cider or cola.

Smoke 4 hours.

Turn smoker to 225 degrees.  Wrap brisket with foil or put in covered pan.  Cook 4 more hours or until desired tenderness.  Remove from smoker and allow to rest 30 minutes.  Slice thin across the grain.

Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce.



Why Grassfed Bison?

  • It's good for the animals.
  • It's good for the farmers.
  • It's good for the environment.
  • It's good for the consumer.
  • Lower in fat (and calories)
  • Lower in cholesterol
  • Higher in vitamins A & E

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