Bison (About), & general cooking guidelines

American Bison

By Cat, March 27, 2018 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The following information is from a flyer on “Cooking Bison” at my local grocery store. Bison is a very healthful meat, and tasty too. It is not as fatty as beef. Generally, bison insist on pasture grass and will not eat corn/soy (GMO) feed. They may eat alfalfa which could be GMO, so buy from a rancher you trust.

See also: 1. Beef, Venison, Buffalo, Yak Menu for recipes; 2. Roast Bison – Several Recipes

About Bison

Bison, or buffalo as they are often called here, are native to the North American continent. Europe and parts of Asia also have bison native to those lands, but like in America, there are not many of them left, and most have been cross-bred with cattle for domestication. Of all the red meats, pure-bred bison and yak is are favorites.

There is a movement afoot to conserve these precious animals, and many cattle ranchers are learning how to help our environment by raising their cattle to live much as wild bison once lived.

Their meat is very healthful, their coats are thick and warming, and they are good for our environment when allowed to roam freely as they did before Americans pushed west slaughtering and/or domesticating them. Here’s a chart comparing nutrient amounts for different dietary animals:

Generally, bison can be used instead of beef in recipes; however, cooking temperature/time may be different, as detailed below.

General Guidelines for Cooking Bison:

  • Cook bison slowly at low temperature
  • Don’t cook past medium

Tips for Specific Bison Cuts

Note that steaks and roasts are available in the same cuts as for beef. However, there is more Protein and more iron per ounce in bison meat than in beef,

Steaks (grill, broil or pan-broil)

  • Use steak ¾ – 1 inch thick;
  • Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side;
  • To increase tenderness, marinate sirloin tip and inside round steaks for 8 – 24 hours;
  • Pan-broil (stove-top): Place in lightly oiled skillet [with lard or coconut oil] and use medium heat;
  • Broiled (BBQ-grill or broiler): Place on BBQ, or 6-inches from broiler’s heat source.

Roasts (Sirloin tip, inside round)

  • Sear roast in oven at 500°F (260°C) or on stove in a hot pan;
  • Season roast, add ¼ cup (50 ml) if liquid (water or red wine);
  • Roast at 325°F (164°C) in covered pan, or place in slow cooker;
  • Cook roast to mecum-rare: 145°F (63°C) internal temperature.

Roasts (Rib, loin and tenderloin)

  • Use uncovered pan with rack;
  • Season as desired to taste;
  • Cook at 275°F (135°C);
  • Do not cook past medium: 155°F (68°C) internal temperature;


  • Cook ground meats to 160°F (70°C) internal temperature;
  • Make sure all patties sit flat on grill for entire cooking time;
  • Cooking equipment should maintain temperature of 375°F (190°C) even when loading continuously with frozen patties;
  • Ground bison should always be cooked until no pink remains.

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Beef, Buffalo, Broiled, Grilled, Roasted, Seared, Slow-roasted, Stove top and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.