Cooking & Recipes


From The National Bison Association:  There is no reason to be buffaloed when cooking with bison. As many chefs will attest, bison is a delicious and healthy substitute in any recipe that calls for beef.

Individual cuts of bison are identical to beef. Bison can appear to be a deeper red due to the fact that bison has lower fat content, thus less marbling than beef. Because bison is lean, it will cook more quickly so it is important not to overcook bison. Overcooked bison is tough bison. Cooking bison correctly is delicious and tender bison.

Use these general guidelines when cooking bison.

Ground bison meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F and the juices should be clear, not red. Roasts and steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F (medium rare) or 160°F (medium). The oven should be set at around 275°F.

  • Oven broiling, move your broiler rack away from the heat about a notch lower than where you normally broil beef steaks. Expect a buffalo steak to cook one-third faster than a beef steak. Bison steaks are best when cooked rare to medium to maintain the moisture and flavor of the meat. It is not recommended to cook buffalo meat past medium. If you prefer your steak to this degree of doneness, be aware that your buffalo steak may lose some of its desirable attributes.
  • Turn your oven temperature to around 275°F for bison. Plan on the roast being done in about the same amount of time as with a comparable size beef roast. We recommend using a meat thermometer indicating the internal temperature of 145° for medium rare.
  • Ground bison is also leaner in general. Check the package if purchasing bison retail. You can ask your meat processor for the fat percentage you prefer if you purchase bison in bulk. Medium-rare to medium is best for a juicey burger.

Grilled Bison Steak by Rhoda Friesen

4-6 oz. cut of Bison steak

Cooking Oil

Garlic Salt

Lemon Pepper

Rub your favorite 6 oz cut of Bison steak with a combination of a little garlic salt, cooking oil and lemon pepper.  Grill steaks 4-6 inches above medium hot coals (325) degrees for the following times, depending on thickness:

1" Thick: rare=6-8 min. medum=8-10 min

1 1/2 " Thick: rare=8-10 min. medium=10-12 min

2" Thick: rare=10-12 min.  medium=14-18 min

Tips:  Grill either Ribeyes, T-Bones, or NY Strips.  Use tongs for turning to keep the juices in the steak.  Bison steaks taste best when grilled rare or medium (still pink in the center).  Cooking time is important to avoid overcooking.

Corrine's BBQ Bison Meatballs


2 lb. Ground Bison

1 1/3 cup evaporated milk

2 cups oatmeal

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. pepper

BBQ Sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 T. liquid smoke

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cups ketchup

Combine milk, ground bison, oatmeal, eggs, 1 cup chopped onion, salt, chili powder and pepper and make into 3 inch meatballs.  Cover with the BBQ sauce.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

First Place Bison Burger Slider Recipe - Irish Creek Ranch Favorite Sliders Submitted by Karissa Dorey, Irish Creek Bison – Vermilion, AB

Bison burgers are something that even the most unlearned, uncultured taste buds can enjoy -(For those of you who believe bison taste "gamey") It is a sure staple on our ranch . Everyone loves it.

My husband every time repeatedly exclaims whilst sinking his teeth into this juicy burger, "This is amazing. People would pay a lot of money for this!" Hands down this is the BEST burger ever. And maybe even the best BISON burger! All this being said it is possible to totally screw up a bison burger. So follow the instructions-especially the burger patty frying part and cover that frying pan!

Irish Creek Ranch Favorite Sliders Makes: 8 - 1/4 lb slider patties

Burger Patties:
2 lbs Ground Bison, thawed Montreal Steak Seasoning Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil

Whiskey Caramelized Onions: 2 Sweet onions
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
8 Brown mushrooms

2 Tablespoons Whiskey

8 slices of Gruyere cheese 8 slices of bacon
8 sourdough slider buns 4 handfuls of arugula

Truffle Aioli Sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juice
1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Truffle oil
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

First prepare onions 1 hour in advance:
Cut onions thinly. Place in frying pan over med-high heat, cover and cook onions and oil till 
translucent. Take lid off and cook on low for 1 hour - 30 min be sure there is a single layer of onions on bottom of pan. Periodically stir to prevent burning. In the last 15 mins add mushrooms. Let cook. Then in the last 5 mins add whiskey.

Truffle Aioli Sauce:
Stir together all ingredients. Set aside

Cook bacon in advance for about 30 mins in the oven at 375 F. ( Cook in a pan with sides lined with parchment paper. )

Burger patties:

Form 8 equal patties. Do not over handle. Sprinkle seasoning and Worcestershire sauce over each burger. Brush canola oil over each burger. Over high heat, heat remaining oil in a large frying pan.

Once oil is hot (500 F) place burgers oil side and seasoning side down. Cover pan and cook for 4 mins. Flip and cook for additional 3 mins or until burger patties reach 140 F. Let sit for 5 - 10 min before serving. Place caramelized onions/ mushrooms and then bacon and then cheese over each burger cover and cook for additional 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Place on a freshly toasted bun smeared with Truffle Aioli sauce and arugula or lettuce. Stack from bottom to top: bottom bun, aioli sauce, lettuce, burger, onion/mushroom, cheese, bacon, aioli, top bun. Serve with fresh oven baked sweet potato fries and/or salad.

Southwestern Bison Pho-2020 NBA Winter Conference Winner

Recipe by Kyle Renolds, Benjamin Lee Bison

Makes 6 Servings Ingredients:


4 lbs mixed bison bones such as shanks, marrow, or knuckles

1 lb bison brisket

2 yellow onions, quartered

1 celery stick, cut into 2 pieces

1 green bell pepper, quartered

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1⁄2 cup fish sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Serving Accompaniments

1 lb bison sirloin (chilled in freezer for ~ 15 minutes easy thin slicing)

12 oz dry rice noodles (blanched 1-2 minutes in boiling water)

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups fresh cilantro

2 jalapenos, thinly sliced

2 corn on the cob, quartered

Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)


1. Parboil bones:

a. Add bones to Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Top with brisket, 8-10 cups

of water, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Set to high saute and cook for 30

minutes covered with lid.

b. Remove brisket and set aside for future use. Remove bones. Drain in a

large colander and rinse. Reserve for future use. Wash and dry pot.

2. Toast the Aromatics

a. Turn the Instant Pot to High Saute. Add oil, onion, celery, garlic, bell

pepper, garlic, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, peppercorn, cumin, and

paprika. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

3. Simmer the Broth

Then turn off pot.

a. Add bones and brisket back to Instant Pot with aromatics. Set to pressure

cook on high for 1.5 hours.

b. Remove brisket and place on cutting board.

c. Strain broth with fine mesh strainer to remove bison bones, vegetables,

and other debris.

d. Skim fat if necessary.

e. Return stock to pot

4. Fine-tune the Broth

a. Add brown sugar and fish sauce to broth and bring to boil.

b. If needed add salt, pepper, fish sauce, or sugar to taste.

5. Prep the Bowls

a. Blanch rice noodles for 1-2 minutes in boiling water.

b. Thinly slice brisket across the grain

c. Remove sirloin from freezer and thinly slice

d. Divide warm rice noodles into 6 bowls, top with slices of brisket and


e. Top each bowl with 2-3 cups of hot broth

6. Top the Bowls

a. Add lime, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, corn, and hot sauce as desired

7. Enjoy a Vietnamese-American Fusion Soup


For more great recipes check out the following:

Heritage Bison Ranches Facebook page 

Heritage Bison Ranches Instagram page @heritagebisonranches

National Bison Association website @HeritageBisonRanches