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  • Writer's pictureJJ Bison

Meat Cooking Tips

JJ Bison offers a variety of cuts from the entire bison from the sirloin steak, to short ribs. We understand cooking can be intimidating, especially when bison may feel different than your traditional beef cuts. Some cuts, such as roasts, may be obvious, but we want to explain the best way to cook bison so you learn to love it as much as we do!

Unlike beef, bison meat is a deep red in color, very lean, and is much coarser grain than beef. Its high protein, lower cholesterol, and half the calories and fat make it a perfect heart-healthy alternative to beef. While it can be used in almost any beef recipe as an alternative, it is important to not overcook the meat as it can get tough when overcooked.

Temperatures For Your Reference:

Rare: 115-120 degrees Medium Rare: 121-129 degrees Medium: 129-135 degrees

Common Terms:

  • Braise - Braising meat is extremely common in cooking as it allows the start of the cook to brown the meat, and finishes up by cooking the protein in liquid. Braising is typically done at a low temperature for a long period of time to tenderize tougher meats.

  • Broil - If you’ve cooked before, you’ve probably heard of the term “broil”. It's usually even on top of your oven as a setting. When you broil, you are allowing your protein to be directly exposed to high heat on the top side of the cut.

  • Grill - When you grill, you cook your meat over a rack over a high heat source. You typically hear about grilling during the summertime with burgers or steak. The outside of the meat is quickly seared to produce a nice, crunchy texture.

  • Pan Fry - When pan-frying bison, you’re using a specified amount of oil. The general rule of thumb for pan-frying a protein should have the oil halfway up the side of the protein.

  • Roasting - Roasting occurs when you preheat your oven to a predetermined temperature, and the air within the oven then heats to that temperature. When the protein is in the oven, it is being cooked at a consistently even temperature. (This is also referred to as baking, though that term is usually reserved when discussing desserts or bread.)

  • Saute - When food is sauteed, it is cooked extremely quickly over high heat using oil, butter, or fat. The consistent motion by stirring or shaking the protein makes the bison lightly browned and cooked evenly.

  • Sear - Searing is that satisfying *tsss* sound you hear when the protein touches a hot pan. Searing occurs when you heat a pan to very high heat for a brief period of time without moving the protein. After the side is browned, the standard method would be to flip the protein to brown all sides of the meat.

  • Skillet Cooking - When you cook on a skillet, you typically sear the meat first, then depending on the type of protein, you can cover the pan as well with a lid. We recommend searing uncovered, cooking with a lid, and then uncovering it at the end to crisp up the cut. You should use a lid when using a skillet to cook thick cuts of meat.

  • Skillet to Oven - Some recipes, such as filet mignon recipes, call for you to start in a cast-iron skillet and then move to a heated oven for roasting. This way, you get a nice sear on your meat and the interior will continue to cook at an even temperature.

  • Slow Cooking - Slow cooking, which is typically used for roasts, is when you slowly cook a protein for a long period of time at low heat.

Preparation for Cuts

Tender Roasts

For tender roasts, such as the tenderloin, loin, rib, and top sirloin, we recommend rubbing them slightly with oil and roasting until the meat is around 5°F below the desired temperature (see recommended temperatures above). When the meat does hit this temperature, remove it and let it rest before slicing.

Tougher Roasts

For tougher roasts from the lower sections, such as the sirloin tip, flat, eye of round, etc., rub with oil and seasoning then sear before cooking. Reduce the heat and add liquid to the pan, cover, and roast until the desired temperature.

Bison Burgers

Bison burgers should be cooked at a low temperature to maintain the juiciness of the burger itself. Bison should be cooked at a lower temperature than your traditional beef burger so it does not toughen up or dry out.

Bison Steaks

Everyone's favorite, the bison steak, is amazing when cooked properly. Bison itself tastes perfect when marinating. Next, grill or pan sear over high heat until the protein is brown, then lower the temperature before continuing to cook. We highly recommend not exceeding medium temperature to ensure your steak is not too tough.

Common Cuts and How to Cook Them

Chuck Roast

The chuck comes from the shoulder and neck of the bison. Because it contains connective tissue and collagen, it is a tad tougher than other cuts. Therefore, we recommend slowly cooking this meat by braising it.

Flat Iron Steak

Flat iron steak is part of the shoulder and neck. We recommend cooking this either by grilling, or using a skillet.

Ribeye Steak

At JJ Bison, we recommend pan-frying or grilling this cut. Don’t forget to add a nice sear!

Ribeye Roast

The goal here would definitely be to roast the protein so it’s cooked evenly inside and out. We do recommend adding a nice sear to the outside first before adding it to the protein.

Filet Mignon

For a ribeye filet, because this is a thicker piece of meat, we recommend starting off in a pan for a nice sear, and then moving this to the oven for an even cook inside and out.

Porterhouse, Delmonico, or T-Bone

For the cuts of meat above, we recommend using a skillet to sear and cook these proteins.

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steak is the most common type of cut you may have heard of as it’s extremely popular in restaurants and for at home dinners. For the sirloin, we suggest using the skillet to cook the meat.

Round Roasts

For round roasts, we recommend slow cooking so the bison is tender inside and out!

Contact Us Today

Contact us today, email us at, or call us at (443) 252 - 2099 to order your bison today!


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