This is the first time I have ever done Bison steaks. I’ve had Bison burgers but only prepared for me at a restaurant. I’d heard good things about it and wanted to give it a try. And I have to say I was not at all disappointed. The steaks were very similar to beef but they had a heartier consistency than beef. And despite having very little fat they were just as good if not better than beef in terms of flavor.

I want to start with a little about Bison before I go any farther. First off, bison is not cheap. I bought two rib eye steaks at $18.99/pound. Second, the steak is very lean. There was very little marbling if any in these steaks. The NY Strips had a little marbling but were and extra $1/pound. They say that the lack of marbling is due to the Bison being grass fed over corn fed like most of the beef we buy, but I don’t know if that’s true. I want to apologize for not getting some pics of the meat before I threw it in a marinade. I was distracted when I got home and was prepping them for the following evening and totally forgot to get some pre shots.

Here are the steaks after I pulled them out of the marinade, my old cell phone there for reference:

The marinade was as simple as can be. Garlic, fresh ground black pepper, and this marinade:

I gotta say I like this stuff. It’s milder than Andria’s so I didn’t feel the need to cut it like I do Andria’s with coke or oil. It has much less sodium than Andria’s as well. I’m gonna add this to the repertoire as a regular. Expect to see more of this stuff on this site.

One thing I was disappointed in was the wine:

The Gallo Reserve stuff is really good normally. And this got a 90 point rating and was only about $11. I was very excited. Love to find good 90+ pointers for $10. But I gotta wonder if they got the labels mixed up with a batch of merlot. Zin is supposed to be meaty, spicy, hearty. This was very smooth and velvety, which is all well and good if one is drinking a merlot. I wanted something to stand up against the Bison. This was not it. I wonder if somewhere there are people drinking a Gallo Reserve Merlot and wondering why it is so spicy?

People ask me all the time how I know when the coals are ready to dump. Well when doing steaks the cook time is only a few minutes of searing and a couple of minutes of baking, if necessary. So you don’t need to save the charcoal for a long grill session. You want hot and fast not slow and low so no need to save the charcoal. Basically, when the charcoal chimney looks like this you are ready to go:

After dumping the coals you can see that they are ready to go for a high heat sear. This is a HOT fire:

Same as always, coals on one side for the searing. No coals on the other side for the baking.

My wife likes her steak a little more done than I like so hers went on first:

Seared for about 60 seconds, rotated about 60 degrees and seared some more and then flipped:

Here is a close up of a great sear:

Put hers off to the side to bake. After a few minutes of baking here comes mine for the sear:

Different flash setting along with the edge of my wife’s steak which is off the heat but I have it close to the coals as it was a cold and windy night. If I had it all the way over, as far from the heat as possible, it would completely stop cooking while I flame seared mine as there would be no heat anywhere near it for about 4 minutes:

I only baked mine for maybe 2 minutes. The steaks were thinner than I normally make and Bison is supposed to be cooked for a little less than beef. If it were a hot summer night with no wind, I probably would’ve just seared and pulled mine off. But here we have both on the cutting board ready to rest – hers on the right, mine on the left. Hers has a little better sear than mine as the fire was hotter when I did hers. While hers baked the fire died a bit:

After taking this shot I threw some foil over the top to let them rest and retain some of the heat:

And here we have the money shot of mine. My wife does not care for me delaying dinner with the taking of pictures of said dinner so I didn’t risk upsetting her by making her wait while I got pics of her steak. But here is the money shot of mine. Grey around the edges. Pink to red in the middle. Almost perfect where I am concerned:

Now, I want to talk about the differences between Bison and Beef. Bison is meatier, leaner, more expensive and maybe a little tastier. Although that could be the new marinade I used. I need to marinade a steak all night in it to see if that is the difference. Remember I only marinaded the Filet I did a few days ago for a couple hours. But the question that begs to be asked – does a meatier, leaner, more expensive and a little tastier Bison steak warrant the extra cost over a beef steak? Do the bison benefits merit paying $8/more per pound? Probably not. I liked it a lot, but I also have a little boy that my wife would like to one day send to private school. I will do it again. I want my dad to try it. But I can’t see myself doing bison very often. But if you have the means and want a healthier steak then this is the way to go.

As usual, if you have any questions about this recipe, please email me or simply leave a comment below.

Also, you can follow the Grillin Fools on Facebook and post your own grillin pictures, or keep up with us on Twitter@GrillinFool (no S)

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool

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8 comments

Great write up and I bet the pictures don’t do it justice… makes me want to try it too 🙂

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Sounds like an awesome “let’s do something special” kind of dinner. I especially like the last part about “But if you have the means and want a healthier steak then this is the way to go.” I’ll have to use that line with the wife!

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T.J.

The pictures don’t do it justice because I am a horrible photog. Couple guys I work with are big into photography. One guy offered to sell me his old camera as he just upgraded. Couldn’t do the $2K he wanted for the camera and the lens.

He did tell me that with better lighting the pics would look better. Something else to look forward to warm weather for. Longer days means lots of natural light to get some great pics…

Jason,

My wife who is very picky about what she will eat and not adventurous at all loved the bison. It’s lower in fat, calories, cholesterol. Just cut back cooking times a bit….

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Oh man! I think my husband might leave me for your bison after reading this post!

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Nice… Feel want to have a bite ^^

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Great read, the bison looks mighty tasty!

Hungry Jenny x

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This looks good to me! Brining meat, even in a marinade is the way to go like you did, it comes out juicier!

I am from Texas and we grilled and smoked 24/7/365, and when I moved up here to the NE, the neighbors look at us funny when we light the grill in the snow 🙂

Have you ever tried beefalo? Hard to find, but interesting!

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Chef E,

Some would argue that bison, or beef needs nothing but salt and pepper and maybe a little garlic. Sure that’s a good steak. But the marinading/brining just takes it to another level. And when that flavor coating is seared into the outside of the meat it is incredible.

I live in the midwest and pretty much grill year round. This year I indirect grilled some chicken while getting 7 inches of snow and in between sledding sessions on the hill in my back yard. Some of the best chicken I have ever done. Paste this into a browser:
http://grillinfool.blogspot.com/2009/01/let-it-snow-let-it-snow-let-it-snow-and.html

Beefalo? Never heard of it. Off to talk to my friends the Oracle. You might’ve heard of my Oracle. Some call it Google…Happy Grillin!!

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