How to Cook Bison Meat

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It's Important to Understand How to Cook Bison

At JJ Bison, we love bison and we understand why bison needs great care when cooking versus other meats, such as its alternative, beef. Whether it's a roast, steak, or other alternative, bison is a very lean meat and if it's overcooked it will get tough and chewy. 

Cooking Bison Verses Beef

As you've read and most likely tasted, bison and beef do have a similar taste and texture. In fact, sometimes bison can even pass as beef to those who are unaware of what they're eating. However, Bison is a much leaner meat than beef, so it will naturally take less time to cook and should be cooked at a much lower temperature. Because bison has a much lower fat content, the more you cook bison, the tougher it will get at higher temperatures. 

The Right Temperature

Unlike beef which is usually recommended to cook until at least 145°F, grass-fed bison boasts of a temperature range of 120 - 135°F for rare - medium cooking temperature. Ultimately, the goal of this is to make sure the meat isn't chewy and keeps its beautiful texture.

Rare: 115-120 degrees

Medium Rare: 121-129 degrees

Medium: 130-135 degrees

Due to the leanness of the meat, we recommend searing the cut first and then cooking at a lower temperature. 

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Dry the steak before cooking

While a moist piece of uncooked meat looks tasty and inviting, it is recommended to blot the surface of the steak first before cooking. The moisture on steak can impact the caramelization process that it achieves while cooking. By adding salt to the surface we can draw moisture away from the protein itself. Use a fat such as butter or olive oil on the pan to bring out that color and properly cook your meat.

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Ready to start cooking your own bison?

Resting Your Bison

After cooking your bison, we do suggest resting your protein in order to allow the juices to re-soak into the bison. By resting the bison for 5-10 minutes, you are allowing the protein to maintain the juices and internally cook a tad longer. Remember, resting your meat in tin foil, it is increasing the temperature. 5 minutes of resting the bison can even raise the temperature over 5 degrees!

Avoid Playing With Your Food

While cooking your bison, it may be easy to want to flip the steak repeatedly or poke it with a thermometer to test the temperature. Instead, we suggest avoiding playing with your food. Poking and moving the food allows the juices to escape which results in a dry piece of meat.