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Cooking Hints

Bison meat is wonderfully lean, tender, and low-fat. This does require minor cooking adjustments in comparison to fattier meats like beef or pork, however.
The most common error is over-cooking. The best way to prepare bison (as well as other low-fat, wild meats such as venison) is quickly! You should use a slightly higher temperature than you would with domestic meats, to sear and seal in moisture, and then remove the item from heat sooner than you might think. Also, some additional oil will likely be necessary, with the amount becoming more critical as the thickness and hence cooking time increases. For burgers, if grilling I find no oil or basting necessary. If frying, a dab of olive or canola oil in the pan will suffice, or even a quick shot of non-stick spray. For steaks, a light application of those same oils briefly prior to cooking will suffice, although if you are using steaks cut much over 1” thick, it may be wise to baste with oil and refrigerate for an hour or two beforehand. With roasts, one should really baste with oil at least twelve hours prior to cooking (the day before is ideal).

Some specific suggestions for cooking temperatures and duration;

Burgers;
approximately three minutes per side over medium-high heat will yield a medium-rare to medium burger. We do not add beef or pork tallow to our burger, and if you’re having a bison you’ve harvested processed, specify that your butcher do likewise. Bison is moist enough (unlike most venison) that little additional fat is necessary, and that is best added through healthy cooking oils like olive, safflower, or canola. That way, it is completely safe (and in our opinion preferable) to eat your bison somewhat on the rare side. If one does add beef or pork fat, then you have no alternative but to cook your burgers well-done, which will result in an unnecessarily dry and less flavorful product.

Steaks;
a half hour to an hour before cooking lightly baste with oil and season as you prefer. It’s fine to do this at a longer interval prior to cooking, such as the day before, but in our experience little additional benefit is gained, unless you are getting into the 1.5” and up thickness range. Then, for steaks approximately 1” thick, grille or fry over medium-high to high heat for approximately four minutes per side for a medium-rare steak (and please, please… don’t cook them well done!) For steaks in the 1.5” range; medium-high heat for five to six minutes per side will yield the same results. Basically, the thinner your steaks, the higher temperature and shorter duration you should use.


Roasts; this is where additional pre-cooking preparations will pay dividends in greatly superior palatability. For a conventional ~3# roast, one should really apply oil and seasonings and refrigerate at least 12 hours prior to oven time. Piercing with a fork to increase oil (not to mention spice) penetration is also not a bad idea. Sear the roast to help seal in moisture and flavor at high heat by grilling or frying, and then place in an oven pre-heated to 475 for 10-15 minutes, before reducing heat to 320 and roasting an additional 20-35 minutes, depending on how rare you prefer.

 

 


 

   
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