How to cook a buffalo/bison burger?
I am trying ground buffalo burgers for the first time tonight. I have had buffalo before but in steak form, not ground. I know it is lean and a good 80/20 burger is phenomenal but I am trying to watch the calories (for me) and cholesterol (for my husband) so I figured I'd give buffalo a try.
From what I have read online, low and slow is the way to cook the burger (I'll be using a gas grill-it will be near 100 degrees here today and ). Any truth to that? I know medium is the furthest I could take it and I am aiming for med-rare, but does anyone have a temperature range? I'll be hovering with my Thermapen to ensure I don't overcook them.
Any tips or thoughts would be appreciated!
Burgers should be cooked medium rare at most...otherwise they dry out very quickly. The slow cook method applies to brisket or stew type cuts, not to steak or burgers. Ostrich burgers are a lot like bison, and the same principle applies: fast and hot for steaks and burgers. That's my experience.
We cook bison burgers frequently, on the Weber and inside on a grill pan. Hot grate or pan, medium heat, leave it alone till seared, flip carefully, leave it alone to cook to your liking, but don't let it cook to well done or it will be dry. In fact remove from grill a minute or so before totally cooked because it will continue to cook while at rest. Oh.. and don't press down on the burger as it cooks.
On the Weber we oil the grate, on the grill pan we don't because it's very well seasoned. Sometimes we serve with caramelized onions which adds to the juiciness and flavor.
Interesting you say to cook burgers fast and hot. I looked at a bison seller's website who said no more than medium heat for burgers. I'll just have at it like I would grill a beef burger and make sure I pull it off when it is rare.
I figured I would follow-up with my results for future reference if anyone searches for buffalo or bison burgers...
I used the gas grill since I work long days and no way was I waiting for the coals to light. I preheated it on high, made humungous 8 ounce burgers sprinkled with S&P, lightly oiled the grill just in case since I was afraid of the low fat content of the meat, then plunked them on and turned the grill down to medium-medium high, cooking with the cover open.
Flipped once and pulled the burgers off at 132 degrees. Rested the burgers (they were HUGE) while I did a quick toast of the buns. Bit in a few minutes later to a juicy, medium rare burger. We loved them and didn't notice a whole lot of difference compared to beef burgers, though we tend to load burgers up with condiments, lettuce, tomato, etc. I am guessing I would be able to taste more of a difference if I ate the buffalo straight up. They were very juicy, so I think I will stick with my 132 degree temp when determining when to pull them off of the grill.
Always best to test and see what you like. Yes, I know that everyone talks about medium heat but for me, the high worked best...medium didn't get much of a sear (depends on how hot one's grill gets)...They ARE good, though, and if you like these, try ostrich, too--similar taste and even lower
cholesterol and fat...