Bison Burgers


5 from 10 votes
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These homemade bison burgers are juicy and tender and seasoned with a handful of aromatics. I love how they cook in just 10 minutes.

Love homemade burgers? Try my Wagyu burgers, shrimp burgers, ground chicken burgers, or lamb burgers next.

bison burger.

I thought I was a die-hard beef burger lover until I started experimenting with bison meat, and now I’m converted!

Compared to ground beef, they both have a mild flavor and are naturally juicy, tender, and flexible. The key difference is bison’s nutritional benefits: it is lower in saturated fat and higher in protein (source). My family prefers these to beef, too!

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make bison burgers
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. Juicy Bison Burgers (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Not gamey. Bison has a reputation for being gamey, but that simply isn’t true. It has a slightly sweeter flavor compared to beef. Plus, with the right seasonings, it tastes very similar to real hamburger meat.
  • Multiple cooking options. I like using a cast iron skillet because I can enjoy these year-round, but they are fabulous on a standard charcoal grill too!
  • A fun and crowd-pleasing dinner. Change up your usual BBQ fare with these burgers on the grill.

Ingredients needed

  • Ground bison meat. Try to use lean ground bison if you can. An 85/15 mix is perfect or even 90/10. Also, try to get your meat from a butcher because there is less risk of it containing hormones and antibiotics (my butcher calls it pasture-raised).
  • Shallot. I prefer shallots over onions because they are milder tasting and don’t detect from the natural juiciness of the meat.
  • Kosher salt and black 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.
  • Burger fix-ins. Anything and everything. My family loves cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and BBQ sauce.

How to make bison burgers

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Mix and form the patties. Add all of the ingredients (except the butter) to a large bowl and mix until combined. Shape the mixture into four burger patties.

bison burger patties.

Step 2- Pan-fry. Melt the butter in a skillet, then pan-fry the burgers until they’re browned on both sides.

how to make bison burgers.

Step 3- Serve. Serve the burgers in buns with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

best bison burger.

What to serve with these?

Just like classic hamburgers, I like to serve homemade bison burgers with healthier burger sides, like air fryer french fries, air fryer sweet potato fries, or air fryer 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.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Use a grill. During the warmer months, I love to cook the burgers on the grill. Just crank it to medium-high heat, clean the grill grates, and cook the bison burger patties for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • 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.
  • Avoid overcooking. 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.
  • Add more flavor boosters, like a pinch of garlic powder or onion powder, a dash of Dijon mustard, or some red pepper flakes.

Storage instructions

To store: The cooked burgers stay fresh for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

To freeze: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up tp 3 months.

bison burgers.

Frequently asked questions

Can I mix bison meat with other red meat?

Bison meat is naturally lean, so its best to mix with a higher fat red meat, like lamb or beef.

Can I make bison patties ahead of time?

Yes! Prep the pattie mixture up to three days in a,dvance and when ready to cook, it bring to room temperature.

bison burgers recipe.

Juicy Bison Burgers

5 from 10 votes
These homemade bison burgers are juicy and tender and seasoned with a handful of aromatics. I love how they cook in just 10 minutes. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 4 burgers
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 21 ounces ground bison
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • 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. Avoid overmixing as the meat mixture can become tough when cooked.
  • Heat butter in a cast iron skillet and cook patties until browned on both sides, around 8-9 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130-135F.
  • Serve in hamburger buns with your favorite burger fillings.


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.


Serving: 1burgerCalories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 32gFat: 15gSodium: 730mgPotassium: 548mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 289IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 4mgNET CARBS: 1g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published August 2023, updated and republished May 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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