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tips for cooking bison

Roasts | Crock Pot | Pan Fry, Broil, or Braise | Broiling | Grilling | Stir Fry

There is no such thing as tough bison meat, only improperly instructed cooks. Although buffalo meat is similar to beef, it needs to be prepared and cooked differently. You will find that you can interchange bison meat most of your favorite beef recipes if you follow a few basic instructions.

Individual cuts of buffalo meat appear identical to beef, except in color. Prior to cooking, bison meat is dark red -- almost red brown. This coloring is due to the fact that buffalo meat does not marble (produce fatty white streaks through the meat) like beef, and to the fact that preservatives are not used to make the meat look artificially red.

Trim your bison meat of all perimeter fat. If there is any visible fat, cut it off. Do not cook the fat. Remember, slow and low is the key to cooking lean meat. You may cook buffalo to the same doneness that you like in beef. We recommend rare to medium. No promises are made for well done (totally destroyed) steaks or roasts! Overcooked buffalo meat will bring you the same result as other meats that are over overcooked -- something nearly as palatable as roofing shingles.

Taste panel evaluation from research done at the South Dakota State University Experiment Station found as the oven temperature increased and the internal temperature of the roast rose to well done -- texture, juiciness, and tenderness scores went down.

Roasts | Crock Pot | Pan Fry, Broil, or Braise | Broiling | Grilling | Stir Fry

The best oven temperature is at 275 F. Preheat your oven. To insure the most desirable results, use a meat thermometer. In general, you can plan on the roast taking the same amount of time or less than beef would at higher tempreture. Bison, with no fat, cooks more quickly, so check on it. Bison cuts suitable for roasts are rib steaks and roasts, tenderloin, and sirloin roasts.

Crock Pot Cooking
Very slow, moist heat works especially well with the less tender cuts of meat such as the chuck. The best way is to use a crock pot or a slow cooker. Let it cook all day. With the moist, slow cook method, you don't have to worry about over cooking. You can cook it until it falls apart. Use the low setting on your crock pot. The foreshank, brisket, and stew meat are also well suited to this cooking method.

Pan Fry, Pan Broil, or Braise
First, turn the heat down! You can use a standard beef recipe but watch the temperature. If you use high heat with bison, use it only for a very, very short time such as searing, then watch the cooking time. Bison cooks much faster than beef.

Move your broiler rack farther away from the heat than you would for beef, about two to five inches. Broil as you would beef but shorten the cooking time. Turn the steaks a few minutes sooner. Rib steaks, tenderloin, and T-bone steaks are scrumptious this way.

If you have a grill that tells temperature, keep it down! Or let the coals die down some. Don't put lean bison meat in the flame. If you are using a piece of meat that needs a long time to cook, keep the temperature low and use a recipe that includes a marinade, barbecue sauce, or other basting liquid. Lean meat is dry to begin with. You need to baste frequently.

Stir Fry
Stir fry is an excellent method for cooking bison. Cut the meat into small strips or cubes. Be sure to use just a drop of olive oil or a polyunsaturated oil just to coat the pan. Remember, bison cooks quickly, so be sure to have your stir fry vegetables ready to toss in the wok. Heat the oil only enough to sear the meat, tossing it quickly around, then add your other ingredients. Proceed as the recipe follows, but keep the heat down. The short cooking times makes stir fry an even more excellent meal option.

Roasts | Crock Pot | Pan Fry, Broil, or Braise | Broiling | Grilling | Stir Fry


For More Recipes Visit


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Substitute bison for beef
in any recipe for a healthy
and delicious meal.


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