Summertime is the best time of the year for hanging out in the backyard, sipping iced drinks with friends and family, and cooking up some quality meat on the barbeque. Most people settle for the traditional hamburger and hot dog for their grilling needs. But for those who truly love meat, nothing goes better on a grille than American bison.
The History of Bison
When it comes to bison, most people are unsure what the truth is about this great American animal. While it is true that their numbers were drastically depleted during the Great Expansion of America during the 1800s, bison are no longer considered endangered. In fact, the population of the bison has grown by significant numbers over the last few decades.
A bison is considered a sustainably sourced protein as these animals are constantly on the move, grazing for short periods, leaving the land clear for new seeds to germinate, grow, and that allows for the new grass to become home to pollinating insects and for birds to nest. Because of their need to constantly roam, bison live healthier lives and provide a meat that is more nutrient dense.
Cooking Basics With Bison
When compared to beef, bison comes in the same cut variety as cattle but the meat contains less fat and has fewer calories compared to its counterparts. It comes in steaks and chops, bison sausages and brats, and even ground bison that can be used for burgers and meatloaf. All the meat is 100% USDA certified and many cuts are approved by the American Heart Association.
Seasoning is fundamental to a good tasting piece of bison. Keeping it simple with just a little olive oil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper helps lock in flavor and keep the meat juicy and tender.
When cooking bison, it is good to understand that bison can take less time to cook than beef. Because it is a dense protein, it is best to not overcook it and serve it medium-rare at the most. Letting the bison properly rest for double the time for beef helps keep all the juices from running out and ruining the flavor. Above all, make sure the internal temperature is between 120 to 140 degrees and use a meat thermometer for an accurate reading. Always trust a meat thermometer over just eyeballing to determine if the bison is cooked properly.