What Are Bison Burgers?

Christina Edwards

American bison meat became increasingly popular in the United States during the first part of the 21st century, and many restaurants began to serve a number of bison meat dishes, including bison steaks and bison burgers. Bison meat is similar to beef, but many people claim that it has a slightly different flavor and texture. It also has a number of different health benefits than beef, including lower fat. Bison burgers are made in roughly the same manner as regular beef, turkey, or chicken burgers. Ground bison meat is shaped into patties and cooked on a hot surface, such as a grill or skillet.

Bison meat.
Bison meat.

Known scientifically as Bison bison, the American bison is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a buffalo. This animal was once abundant in many parts of North America, but it was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Today, however, the number of bison in North America is steadily increasing. Many of these animals are raised on ranches, and they are sometimes slaughtered for meat.

A cheeseburger made with bison.
A cheeseburger made with bison.

Bison burgers became a popular menu addition in many restaurants during the 21st century. These types of burgers, however, can also be enjoyed at home. Ground bison meat can be purchased from supermarkets or butchers. Cooks who can not find this meat locally may purchase it online.

Ground bison meat is typically considered healthier than ground beef. It generally contains much less fat, calories, and cholesterol than beef. It also contains more protein and iron. Most bison meat is also organic, since these animals are allowed to roam free and feed on grass.

Making bison burgers at home is very similar to making beef burgers. If desired, the ground bison meat can be seasoned before it is formed into patties. The meat should then be placed on a hot surface, like a hot grill or skillet. Since bison meat is so low in fat, a small amount of cooking oil can be added to the cooking surface.

The texture of bison burgers is sometimes little finer than the texture of beef burgers. Contrary to what some people may believe, most bison meat does not have a “gamey” taste. It often is considered to have a slightly sweeter taste than beef.

While bison burgers are cooking, they should not be pressed down with a spatula. Doing so can cause the juices to flow out of the meat, resulting in dry burgers. Overcooking bison burgers can also cause them to become dry and tough. Most culinary experts recommend cooking these types of burgers until they are about medium rare, or around 140° F (60° C) in the center of the burger.

Bison burgers are usually topped and served just like beef burgers. They are typically served on hamburger rolls or buns. Toppings can include lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. Cheese and condiments can also be added as well.

Meat from the American buffalo is becoming increasingly popular in restaurants and super markets.
Meat from the American buffalo is becoming increasingly popular in restaurants and super markets.

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