These are the best homemade bison burgers! They’re lightly seasoned with aromatics and spices to allow the lean and juicy bison meat to shine. Bonus: they’re just as easy to make and cook as classic hamburgers!
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love these bison burgers
- Bison burgers vs. beef burgers
- Ingredients needed
- How to cook bison burgers
- What to serve with bison burgers?
- Recipe variations
- Storage instructions
- Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Recipe tips and tricks
- Frequently asked questions
- Bison Burgers
- More homemade burgers to try
Why you’ll love these bison burgers
- Healthy meat. You can count on bison when you need healthy yet tasty meat for dinner. It’s very lean but still has some fat marbling, which gives it a soft and tender texture. And because it’s leaner than beef, bison contains fewer calories, cholesterol, and fat while still being an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Score!
- Not gamey. Bison has a reputation for being gamey but that simply isn’t true. It’s actually slightly sweeter and has a milder flavor compared to beef. Plus, with the right seasonings, it tastes very similar to real hamburger meat.
- A twist on classic hamburgers. You don’t always need ground beef to make a great hamburger. Just take these turkey, chicken, or lamb burgers for example! But ground bison is the best choice when you want to put a twist on regular hamburgers without losing the classic rich and beefy flavors.
- A fun and crowd-pleasing dinner. No one can say no to a juicy grilled bison burger on their plate!
Bison burgers vs. beef burgers
Ground bison and beef clearly come from two different animals, but the most significant differences are in their health benefits.
Bison is the winner when it comes to being the healthier meat. It’s the leaner of the two, which means it has fewer calories and saturated fat than ground beef. It wins in the protein division, too! 100 grams of bison contains almost 20 grams of protein, which beats ground beef at just 14 grams of protein per 100 grams of beef.
Ground bison is, of course, the star of this recipe. But you need a handful of other simple ingredients to help the burgers shine! This is everything you need:
- Ground bison. Try to use lean ground bison if you can. An 85/15 mix is perfect!
- Shallot. This mild aromatic adds a savory, onion-like flavor that compliments the juicy meat perfectly.
- Salt and pepper. To round out the other flavors, making every bite pop.
- Olive oil. A small amount of oil helps the burgers turn out extra moist and juicy. It also encourages browning on the outside.
- Paprika. For a subtly smoky and sweet flavor.
- Chili flakes. These bring a mild kick of heat.
- Butter. To pan-fry the burgers to golden brown and tender perfection.
How to cook bison burgers
- Mix and form the patties. Add all of the ingredients (except the butter) to a bowl and mix until combined. Shape the mixture into four burger patties.
- Pan-fry. Melt the butter in a skillet, then pan-fry the burgers until they’re browned on both sides.
- Serve. Serve the burgers in buns with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Burger topping ideas
Grab your hamburger buns or brioche buns and load the burgers with all or any of these delicious toppings:
- Sliced tomatoes
- Avocado (or guacamole)
- BBQ sauce
- Caramelized onions
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Sliced cheddar cheese
- Mayonnaise (or spicy mayonnaise)
- Sliced onions (or onion rings for more fun)
What to serve with bison burgers?
Just like classic hamburgers, I like to serve homemade bison burgers with french fries, sweet potato fries, or potato wedges. But you can pair them with practically any barbecue-style side dish. Try them with potato salad, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, grilled sweet potatoes, or orzo salad.
Add your own twist to this recipe by adding more herbs, aromatics, condiments, and seasonings to the ground meat mixture. Just keep the ingredient ratios the same so as to not overwhelm the flavors and texture.
Have fun with it and add minced garlic, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried parsley, Worcestershire sauce, or mustard powder to the mix.
To store: The cooked burgers stay fresh for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
To freeze: You can also freeze cooked and cooled bison burgers for up to 3 months. Just let them thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat: Warm the burgers in the microwave or a skillet over medium heat until they’re warmed through. Be careful not to cook them for too long, as bison can dry out very easily.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Mixing bowl. Use a mixing bowl that’s big enough to hold the ground meat mixture.
- Skillet. For pan-frying the burgers. Feel free to use a grill or grill pan instead.
- Meat thermometer. To ensure the bison burgers are cooked to a perfect medium rare.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Don’t overmix the ground meat mixture. Also, be very gentle when forming the patties. Overworking the ground meat will lead to tough and dry burgers.
- Cook to medium rare. Bison burgers are best when they’re cooked to medium rare (130ºF to 135ºF). Use a meat thermometer to check and see that they’re cooked to temperature.
- Avoid overcooking. Bison burgers can dry out quickly because the meat is so lean. Try not to cook them beyond medium rare or else they could turn out dry, and no one wants that!
- Instead of pan-frying, you can grill the bison burgers over medium-high heat.
- Try substituting ground bison for other ground beef recipes, like stuffed peppers, lasagna, spaghetti, and chili. It cooks just the same as beef and gives you just as delicious results!
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Like any of my grilled burger recipes, these can also be cooked on either a charcoal grill or a grill pan. Simply preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side.
Bison meat is naturally lean, to its best to mix with a higher fat red meat, like lamb or beef.
Yes! Prep the pattie mixture up to three days in advance and when ready to cook, bring to room temperature.
- Place the meat in a bowl and combine it with the onion, spices, and olive oil.
- Knead well with your hands and form into 4 equal-sized patties.
- Heat butter in a skillet and cook patties until browned on both sides.
- Serve in burger buns with your favorite burger fillings.
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