Bison meat is a delicacy in the United States even though the animals once roamed wild across most of the middle of the country. Today, just a few farms like ours exist that are dedicated to bringing bison back to the table of every American. Bison meat has many health benefits and a features unique, delicious flavor. Learn about all the benefits of bison right here.
What Are the Health Benefits of Bison Meat?
Bison is a healthier alternative to traditional beef. Bison is lower in bad fats, higher in key nutrients, and richer in protein. Bison meat is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin b-12, and nutrients including iron, zinc, and selenium. In fact, replacing all or part of your beef with bison can help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol for individuals on a heart-healthy diet.
How to Cook Bison
A key difference between bison and beef is the dramatically different fat content. Bison is higher in polyunsaturated fats that drain off the meat when cooking and are lower in saturated fat. As a result, cooking bison must be done carefully. It is easy to overcook and even burn many bison cuts due to the lower fat content.
This rule is especially important when making bison burgers. Even with 10 or 12% fat added to the meat, you will still stand a good chance of overcooking it. It is best to cook bison slower and at a lower temperature than you normally would when cooking beef patties.
The same is true when you are cooking those awesome bison tomahawk steaks. Your best bet is to cook them low and slow, then use a reverse sear to crisp up the surface right. There are few things more impressive than one of these massive hunks of meat and the reverse sear method makes it even more dramatic and delicious.
What Does Bison Taste Like?
Well, we can say that bison doesn't taste like chicken. It also doesn't taste like beef. Bison is most often grass-fed and gets some of its flavors from the prairie grasses these animals prefer. This gives the meat a lighter, subtleness that has a bit of grassiness without being gamey. The difference in fat types is also evident as bison is practically always tender whereas beef can be hit-or-miss depending on how the animal was raised.
The quality of the bison is just as important as it is with beef. A well-raised, grass-fed beef will have a delicious meaty red flavor while a similarly raised bison may be lighter in flavor with a slight sweetness to the meat. The flavor of bison makes it a perfect protein for grilling and searing.
Differences Between Bison and Beef
Though the two animals share many physical characteristics, bison and beef are very different. Bison are much larger animals, often twice the size of a domestic cow. Bison do not share the same physical traits based on the sex of the animal as cattle either. Bison tend to consume a diet richer in denser grasses and are adapted for rocky terrain, whereas cattle are much happier in grasslands than on mountainsides.
The larger size of a bison does not translate into a larger amount of meat, though. A typical take-home from a bison carcass is around 250 pounds from an 800-pound animal. A similarly-sized bull could result in a take-home weight of around 340 pounds, though the beef cut typically includes more bone-in cuts than bison.
What does bison taste like?
Bison has a lighter, fresher flavor than beef. Some people describe bison as having a slight sweetness or a subtle grassiness. Bison does not taste gamey like goat or deer.
Is bison meat healthy to eat?
Bison meat contains less harmful fat and more good fat along with a broad range of important vitamins and mineral nutrients. Bison is also higher in protein, making it ideal for jerky. Bison may be part of a heart-healthy diet in some circumstances.
Is bison better for you than beef?
Beef is higher in bad fats than bison meat. The fats in beef are thought to be responsible for the formation of certain types of cancer and heart problems. Both beef and bison consumption should be regulated for a proper, healthy diet.
Is bison more expensive than beef?
Bison is more expensive than beef, sometimes by as much as $15 to $20 per pound. There are a few reasons, the most important being that there are far fewer bison harvested in the United States than cattle. The fewer number increases the price of the meat. Bison are larger and require more space than beef, so fewer ranchers raise them. Bison don't reproduce as fast as cattle, either, so it can take longer to raise a herd.
Another reason that prices for bison are higher is that not many grocery stores regularly stock the cuts. Consumers are not as familiar with bison as they are with beef and might not be daring enough to try it which might lead to a store getting stuck with expensive meat it can't sell. Consider that a one-inch bison ribeye roast can cost more than $40 and you see why it might not be to a store's advantage to stock bison meat. Scarcity drives up the price even more.
The Best Meat Available
We think that bison are among the most magical creatures on the planet. They are an intricate part of our lives and we hope that you and your family will have an opportunity to try what we consider to be one of the very best meats available. Bison is a delicious and healthy option for beef without the gamey flavors that wild game can have.
Our favorite way to have bison is to grill bison steaks. Ground bison is excellent for burgers and is even better as chili. You can use bison in the same recipes you would normally use beef, just be careful with the temperature and timing to prevent overcooking the delicate meat.