What is the difference when cooking bison compared to beef?

Question: What is the difference when cooking bison compared to beef? Thanks!

-    From Judy in Cleveland, Ohio.

Answer:

Hi Judy,

Great question! Even though you can really use bison to replace beef in almost any recipe, there is a difference in how you prepare it. Remember that since bison is leaner (and healthier!) it cooks quicker and you are able to cook at a lower temperature.

Buffalo/Bison steaks and burgers are at their very best when done rare or medium (with a pink center). Your meat thermometer should reach 135°F (57ºC) for rare, 145°F (62ºC) for medium rare, or 155° F for medium.

If you oven broil your buffalo/bison, try moving the oven rack a notch lower than you normally would and check on their progress a few minutes sooner than you normally would. You’ll be rewarded with a juicier piece of meat.

If you grill your buffalo/bison, we suggest doing so over medium hot coals at a distance of from four to six inches. Again, a little extra care will reward you with a much juicer meal.

When roasting buffalo/bison, we suggest that you follow the creed “lower and slower.” Lower your oven temperature to cook the meat more slowly. It will shrink less, thereby retaining more natural juice. To be sure that it is done to your liking, we suggest using a meat thermometer – it’s an inexpensive reusable insurance policy.

The rich red color of the buffalo/bison meat is indicative of the higher levels of iron and the lack of marbling (fat). Both of these are GOOD things and are probably among the reasons that you purchased buffalo/bison meat in the first place.

We recommend using more tender cuts of bison meat such as rib-eyes, sirloins and New Your strips when grilling or broiling. Roasts, steaks and chops are better for oven broils and roasting.

Check out a few of our other cooking tips!

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