Preparation Tips

Turn Down the Heat

One must remember, when cooking bison, don’t cook it the same as you would cook beef. Bison overcooks easily so you need to watch it carefully when you initially prepare it, until you are familiar with how quickly it finishes.  Fat is an insulator in meat and bison doesn’t have the extra insulation so it does not need to be cooked as long or with as high a temperature.  Either turn the temperature down by 50 degrees and keep the cooking time the same or keep the temperature the same and decrease the cooking time.

Enjoy Bison Rare

Rare to medium rare is the best for tender bison cuts.  With less tender cuts, like roasts, ribs, etc., very slow moist heat works well.


Cook quickly under high heat.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness.  You cook bison similarly to squab breast, tuna, or venison.  For a tenderloin that is 2.5” thick, it is easiest to cut it in half horizontally and then cook about two minutes per side over medium-high heat for rare.  Press down on the steak once or twice after flipping but do not pierce it with a fork (it will loose juices) use a spatula or tongs.  To retain more juices, which helps reduce the risk of overcooking, have the meat chilled or even slightly frozen when cooking it (once again, different than beef, which should be cooked from room temperature)

Ground Bison

Ground bison can be cooked like any other ground meat just remember that there will be less shrinkage because there is less fat and it will cook slightly faster than other grounds. For burgers, cook patties over medium-high heat for 2½ minutes per side for rare. Cooking patties from frozen can help, 4 minutes for the first side and 2 for the other.


Cook roasts under low, moist heat at about 275-325 degrees Fahrenheit.  The internal temperature for a rare-medium rare roast should be about 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit.  All meat continues to cook once out of the oven so remove the roast when it is about 5 degrees under the desired temperature.  With roasts, LOW AND SLOW is the motto.  Don’t salt the meat until it is done, it will retain more juices.

Pan Frying and Broiling

If you use high heat with bison for searing, really watch the cooking time.  When broiling, move the rack 2-5 inches farther from heat source than you would for cooking beef. Bison should be broiled for short periods of time, turning the meat often.

Stir Frying

The meat should be in small strips or cubes and should be cooked in just enough oil to coat the pan. If using vegetables, have them ready before you start the meat because it cooks so quickly.

Crock Pot Cooking

Once again, SLOW AND LOW, with moist heat works wonderfully for less tender cuts such as chuck roasts or stew meat. Place the meat in the crock-pot with your liquid and spices and let it cook all day. With the moist, slow-cook method, overcooking isn’t a problem. Use the low setting on the crock-pot.


Keep the grills temperature down or let the coals die down some before grilling bison. Do not cook bison over a flame or hot spot. If you are grilling a piece of meat that takes longer to cook, keep the temperature low and baste with a liquid often.  Basting it frequently will keep it as juicy as possible.