Cuts of Meat
All cuts of our grass-fed and finished with grain bison, from our filet mignon to our buffalo burger meat, are very lean. This doesn’t mean that they will lack in tenderness. As a rule of thumb, the muscles that are used the least will produce the most tender cuts, such as the filet mignon or NY strip steak. That said, if prepared properly, a chuck roast can be cooked to a melt in your mouth’ consistency, through the right combination of low heat and moisture.
In the United States there are 8 primal cuts- chuck, brisket, rib, short plate, short loin, flank, sirloin, and round. Each of those primals are then further cut down into steaks such as 'filet mignon’ (coming from the short loin) or a 'sirloin steak’ (coming from the sirloin).
Bison, due to their composition, have more chuck meat than any other single primal. The chuck is comprised of the arm/shoulder section. Chuck cuts are usually braised, cooked with slow moist heat, or ground into buffalo burger meat.
Moving down the animal the next primal is the brisket. This is another cut that does well with low heat and moisture when cooking. Briskets are loved in the bbq world for smoking and creating a stringy, tender sandwich meat. A bbq’d bison brisket sandwich is unbeatable in our opinion. Our chefs have had the most luck with initially smoking the brisket and then braising it to finish it off.
Next up is the rib which is the home of the ribeye steak. The rib primal is extremely flavorful and tender. From this you get your prime rib, standing rib roasts, and ribeye steaks. These cuts can be thrown on the grill or slow roasted in the oven, either way the outcome is beyond delicious.
The short plate is the next primal. This primal is one of the most flavorful but also one of the toughest in consistency. Thanks to all the chefs out there that have figured out how to prepare these cuts to highlight the flavor and diminish the toughness. The main two cuts from this primal are the shortribs and the skirt steak. Shortribs are one of the most sought after bison cuts because after a few hours of braising the meat falls off the bone and the flavor is unbeatable. Same goes for the skirt steak. With a 24 hour marinade and a piping hot grill, your end product is all good and no bad.
The short loin section reigns supreme in the tender category. This is home of the filet mignon (tenderloin) and also the NY Strip steak. Both of these cuts, like the ribeye steak, can simply be put on the grill with a touch of salt and pepper and the result is a mouth watering, flavorful, and juicy steak. In addition both of these cuts can be left whole, a whole tenderloin subprimal or NY Striploin subprimal, and slow roasted in the oven.
Flank is the next primal. Flank steaks are used much like skirt steaks, in fajitas or grilled tacos. Flank steaks are best when marinated, grilled, and then sliced across the grain.
The sirloin subprimal is one of our favorites, it has the flavor and the tenderness, with a lower price point. We use sirloin steaks as our everyday steak. It can be stir fried, grilled, marinated, roasted, etc.
The round is another one of the larger primals. It comprises the entire upper leg and ends just above the shin or shank. The subprimals within the round are the sirloin tip, top round, bottom round, and eye of round. At Bear Mountain we mainly use these cuts to grind into buffalo burger meat. We also use the bottom and eye of round to make our nitrate/nitrite free bison pastrami. Often times when you buy jerky this is primal it came from.
Please look to our ‘preparation tips‘ page or our 'recipes‘ page for further instructions on preparing all of these primals.