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Juicy Grilled Bison Burgers

Bison burgers might just be better than traditional beef–but the tender meat and low fat ratio means it needs careful cooking for a juicy, flavorful final result. Pile yours high with your favorite toppings and get ready for all the compliments.

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Are you tired of buying black plastic containers of stringy beef from the store?

Or maybe you’re a frozen pre-pattied person.

I’ll just tell ya now that those things are gristle-ridden and just not as good as fresh beef from a good source. And even better than beef is a big, fat, juicy bison burger.

Bison are basically just big, hairy, wild cattle. They follow similar grazing patterns and behaviors as cattle they are just wild as all get out if you try to pen them in for anything. The difference in the flavor of their meat has to be because of the differences in the types of grasses and forage they eat.

What do bison burgers taste like?

Bison burgers certainly have a flavor profile similar to regular beef but it has a cleaner, sweeter flavor. That’s the best way I can think to describe it. It’s just a super delicious burger if you didn’t know what you were eating. The meat is quite lean: More like a ground sirloin would be with a 90/10 lean to fat ratio. Ground beef is usually 70/30 and ground chuck is 80/20.

Is bison healthier than beef?

Both beef and bison are healthy, healing foods so please don’t feel like you’re ruining your diet with red meat. Dietary fat has no influence on blood cholesterol. Bison has about 10 less calories per serving, 1 gram less fat, and zero carbs (like beef). Read more about how bison compares to beef.

Keep your bison burgers simple for the best results

You really only need 3 ingredients for great grilled bison burgers. Just let their flavor shine with simple ingredients. After all you paid for bison, you should taste the bison. You’ll need:

  • Ground bison
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Tips for juicy bison burgers (Don’t dry them out)

  • >>Most important: You must not over cook your meat. << Don’t cook it past medium if you can keep from it (pink warm center) to avoid drying it out. If you are a well done burger eater, this may not be the meat for you. If you’re using a thermometer, medium well is 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Brush the patties with a bit of olive oil to lock in moisture before grilling if you want to. I’ve never found this necessary though.
  • Form patties no thicker than an inch and make a bit of a dimple in the center to help the patties cook evenly. They will get thicker as they cook.
  • Don’t over mix the meat. Just gently work in the seasonings and stop, or sprinkle them on your patties before grilling. If you mix and squish the meat a lot you’ll compact it and make it tough.
  • Do NOT smash the meat while it cooks. Just stop it.
two pounds of bison with salt and pepper on top to be mixed in
There’s no need to add lots of seasonings to your bison. Just salt and pepper.
uncooked bison patties in a pan
We like 1/3 pound or larger patties but make any size you like.
hamburger patties cooking on a grill
Cook your bison burgers over medium heat so you can control how quickly they cook.

Side dish ideas to serve with bison burgers

a bison burger on a table with all the toppings

Grilled Bison Burgers

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Rest 10 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt if using iodized salt use 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil optional


  • Have your choice of grill (charcoal, gas, indoor) preheated to medium before preparing your burgers.
  • Bring your bison out of the fridge about 10 to 15 minutes before shaping patties so the meat can warm slightly.
  • Add the bison to a bowl and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
  • Using your hands, gently mix the seasonings in but do not over mix or mash the meat. Alternately, you can form patties and sprinkle each one with salt and pepper.
  • Form 6, 1/3 pound patties aobut 1 inch thick. If you'd like smaller burgers, you can do so, just know they will cook faster. If you'd like to brush them with a bit of olive oil on both sides before griling, do that now.
  • Grill on one side 4 minutes, turning once while cooking. Don't mash the patties or flip them a lot. Cook 4 minutes on the second side or until the patties reach about 150 degrees internally.
  • Allow the meat to rest, covered lightly with foil or a bowl for 10 minutes before serving.


Calories: 338kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 28gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 875mgPotassium: 467mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUCalcium: 18mgIron: 4mg
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Course Main Course

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.