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Bison Steak Recipe

Pan-seared bison steak recipe yields flavorful, juicy, and tender strips every time. The steaks sear in butter before finishing in the oven. Pair the perfect bison sirloins with garlic herb butter, and serve it with mashed cauliflower or roasted potatoes for a complete meal. 

Bison steak on a plate with vegetables.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Consider upping your protein game with tender and juicy bison steak. It is an incredible source of protein, similar in taste to grass-fed beef. Compared to its counterpart, bison is low in fat and cholesterol while high in protein, making it healthy and suitable for most diets. Like beef, you can find different cuts of bison, from porterhouse, t-bone, and ribeye to grass-fed bison New York steak strips, as I use in this recipe.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Bison: I use 1- 1½ -inch thick bison New York strip steaks; adjust the cooking time for bison if using a large cut.
  • Orange Juice: The acid in orange juice tenderizes and breaks down the meat fibers for juicy and delicious steak.
  • Salt + Pepper: Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper.

How to Cook Bison Steak

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Combine orange juice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Then, coat the bison filet with the mixture.

Bison steak in a dish with marinade.

Step 2: Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add oil. Place the steak in the pan to sear for 2 minutes per side.

Bison searing in a cast iron pan.

Step 3: Add a pat of butter to the pan and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for 6-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steaks). Let the meat rest for 10 minutes for the best results.

Bison in a pan in the oven.

Can I Cook the Bison Steak Recipe on the Grill?

  1. Prepare the grill and preheat it to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Combine orange juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Then, coat the bison fillets.
  3. Add the bison to the hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer the filet to a cutting board and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Expert Tips

  • For juicy steak, consider aging the bison meat days before preparing it by salting the fillets on both sides and letting it rest in the fridge to help the proteins loosen up.
  • Let the steaks come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before searing for better browning and more even cooking.
  • Because bison is lean meat and lacks fat marbling, sear the steaks in a hot skillet to lock the moisture in. Carefully place the steak on the side nearest you and lower it slowly to prevent hot oil from splashing you.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. Overcooked bison becomes tough – no one wants that!

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Bison steak on a plate with vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

My bison steak recipe is delicious, but you can make it even better with savory side dishes.

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate – Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze – Let the steaks cool, and wrap them with plastic to prevent freezer burn. Store them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Bison steak freezes for 6 to 9 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the steak in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat – Warm leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should bison steak be cooked?

Bison steaks are best-cooked medium-rare to medium, so they maintain their moisture and flavor.

Medium-Rare Meat: 135°F (57°C)
Medium: 140-145°F (60-62°C)
Medium-Well: 145-150°F (60-65°C)

What is the best way to cook bison meat?

Whether you call it bison or buffalo, what matters most is how you make it. There are several methods for cooking bison steaks: reverse sear or indirect heat, sous vide, and grilled.

However, I love to use the two-zone grilling method, popularized by Meathead, but I use an oven to finish the steaks instead, and the results are incredible!

How do you tenderize a bison steak?

Acidic ingredients like lemon and lime are good tenderizers, but I prefer using the juice of an orange. I like how it complements the natural sweetness of the bison.

How long does it take to cook a bison steak?

The difference between bison and beef steak is fat. Since bison has very little internal fat and marbling, the steaks require less cooking time, making them easy to overcook. For medium-rare, sear them in a hot pan and cook the steaks in the oven for 6-8 minutes.

What seasoning is best for bison?

Herbs: Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano are a great way to infuse the bison alongside the butter. 

Spices: I season the steaks with Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to highlight the natural flavors of the meat, but spice blends like Santa Maria Seasoning, Montreal Steak Seasoning, and Kinder’s Buttery Steakhouse are a tasty alternative. 

Fat: Butter, ghee, and lard cook alongside the steak.

More Dinner Recipes:

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Bison steak on a plate with vegetables.

Bison Steak Recipe

Tressa Jamil
Our pan-seared bison steak recipe yields flavorful, juicy, and tender strips; our steaks quick-sear in butter before finishing in the oven.
5 from 5 votes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 People
Calories 366 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 bison New York steak strips, 1-1½ -inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice, no pulp
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Combine orange juice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Then, coat the bison filet with the mixture.
  • Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add oil. Place the steak in the pan to sear for 2 minutes per side.
  • Add a pat of butter to the pan and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for 6-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steaks). Let the meat rest for 10 minutes for the best results.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • For juicy steak, consider aging the bison meat days before preparing it by salting the fillets on both sides and letting it rest in the fridge to help the proteins loosen up.
  • Let the steaks come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before searing for better browning and more even cooking.
  • Because bison is lean meat and lacks fat marbling, sear the steaks in a hot skillet to lock the moisture in. Carefully place the steak on the side nearest you and lower it slowly to prevent hot oil from splashing you.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. Overcooked bison becomes tough – no one wants that!
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Steak | Calories: 366 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 36 g | Fat: 24 g | Saturated Fat: 16 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Cholesterol: 98 mg | Sodium: 1111 mg | Potassium: 26 mg | Vitamin A: 3 IU | Vitamin C: 3 mg | Calcium: 1 mg | Iron: 23 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Liam Thompson

Friday 26th of May 2023

The best steak I've ever had! Tender, flavorful, and simply divine.

Emily Thompson

Friday 26th of May 2023

Absolutely mouthwatering! Juicy bison steak cooked to perfection!

Rachel K.

Monday 13th of February 2023

I made this bison steak recipe last night and was blown away by the flavor! The steaks were tender and juicy, just like described. I looked up a garlic herb butter based on your idea and that was the perfect finishing touch. I will definitely be making this recipe again.