Thoughts on Bison Steaks

It’s Scott’s birthday week, so this means we get to eat some super special meals.  One of the things Scott wanted for sure was some steak.  We don’t eat red meat often, not because we think it’s The Devil Meat but just because we don’t eat all that much meat in general.  Everything in moderation, ya know.

When my husband asks for something he gets it or at least I try my best to provide it for him.  We were at the butcher and none of their steaks looked very appealing.  I felt really awful having to tell Scott that none of the steak was worth purchasing.  He explained that he understood as the meat didn’t look too nice and it was no big deal.

I, however, was totally bummed.

We moved on to another butcher, one who provides bison (buffalo) meats and they just happened to have some bison steaks on sale.  Both of us have only ever had ground bison so steaks seemed intriguing!  We bought two and brought those little babies home with us.

I originally had plans of grilling them even during our nasty-ass, most awesome winter weather we are currently having.  However, by the time we were ready to eat it was too dark outside to bust open the grill.  If we had better backyard lighting we might have pushed on through.

I handled these steaks the way I handle all steaks, which is by covering them liberally with a dry rub and letting them hang out in the fridge for several hours.  The dry rub I used on these steaks was pretty basic:

  • Pinch brown sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • Ground mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Red pepper flakes

Brown sugar is key (and I stated as much in my dry rub post) because it helps provide a really nice crust on the steaks when they cook.  That goes for either grilling, broiling, or skillet cooking.  You don’t need a lot, just a touch will do.

Since we weren’t able to grill, I did the next best thing and seared them in a very hot skillet.  I removed them, added a bit of red wine and chicken stock to the pan and scraped up the brown bits.  Added the steaks back in and tossed into the oven at 400 where they finished cooking.

I really couldn’t have been more pleased with the way these steaks looked because for a cut of meat, they are gorgeous.  I wondered how they would differ from regular steaks and I was surprised to learn that they are completely different.

Just handling the steak as I was applying the rub, I noticed how much softer and juicer this steak was.  It caused me to be a bit more gentle with the handling because I didn’t want it to tear or possibly alter the texture in any way.  There was a strip of fat running along the back and I could have easily pulled that off without a problem.  There’s no way you are doing that with a regular steak!  I left the fat on for cooking purposes.

The steaks seared and browned up a lot quicker than a regular steak which sort of caught me off guard.  They also cooked a lot quicker.  Admittedly, I did over cook these just a tad and cursed myself properly for it too.

Thankfully these steaks are really forgiving!  We don’t like rare meat and I will only eat steak if the brown outnumbers the pink.  If it’s pink I won’t touch it.  I usually take our steaks to just shy of well.  I pulled these out a bit sooner than that but they were still a tad overcooked.   These babies cook super fast!  Like I said, they were very forgiving and even despite my blunder, they were juicy and delish.

We weren’t chewing on them forever and they were not tough.  In fact, I’m not sure I could go back to a regular old cow steak after this experience.  Bison steaks are a whole other level and taste so much better than beef.

While I would agree that ground bison is similar to ground beef in taste, bison steaks are nowhere near the same as beef steaks.  Bison steaks are the lobster and champagne crowd, while beef steaks are all you can eat at The Sizzler, if you get my point.

Bison steaks are more expensive, but are definitely worth the indulgence every once in a while.  They are tender, juicy, and quick cooking.  They have way more flavor than a regular steak.

We for sure will be getting some more steaks this summer that we can grill!  I don’t know about Mr. Cow though, he might be just reserved for the occasional roast.

If you’ve never had bison steaks before give them a go!  Four thumbs up from the staff at the HQ!

Bison steaks purchased from North Market Poultry and Game located in The North Market.

9 thoughts on “Thoughts on Bison Steaks

    • Kim, they are really great! Northmarket has them and I bet some other local places might as well.
      Katie, Welcome to OHC! The wine added to the color of the steaks nicely and brought out some smoky flavor even though we didn’t grill them.
      Mara, I can’t wait to have another one!
      LG, indeed!
      TG, how did you make your bison?
      Diana, Great tip! I didn’t know that about Grove City so I’m going to have to be on the lookout. Especially if they have sausage!

  1. Good review! I’ve had plenty of ground bison but never a steak. I know that they have a lot less fat and grill faster as burgers, so probably the same for what you mentioned with the fast cooking time. The method sounds great, with the wine. I want to eat one now!

  2. In Grove City, at the summer farmers market, we buy bison steaks, sausage and ground bison every week almost. I think they do cook faster and have a little sweeter, less strong taste than beef. Plus they’re so much better for you than beef.

    Here’s a suggestion. Find a cast iron grill pan for your steaks in the winter, or dark when you don’t want to fire up the grill. They can go from stovetop to oven really nicely and you get grill marks too.

  3. I’ve only had ground bison as well. I really do enjoy, but haven’t had the chance to try steaks. We will definitely have to now. They sounds great!

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