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Grilled Bison Steaks

Add variety to your dinner routine and BBQ get-togethers with deliciously grilled bison steaks seasoned with peppercorn steak rub. If you feel like trying more bison recipes, make pan-seared bison steak with bone marrow butter next. 

Grilled Bison Steak on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Break up the norm with juicy bison steak. They taste similar to beef, and they are rich in protein.
  • Marinating and resting time aside, this bison steak recipe only takes 20 minutes!
  • Bison steaks are perfect for meal prep. Pair them with delicious roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, potatoes, or cauliflower.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Bison: You can find different cuts of bison, from sirloin, porterhouse, t-bone, and ribeye to grass-fed bison New York steak strips. I use 1-1½ -inch thick bison sirloin steaks for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time depending on the cut of the bison steak you grill. 
  • Olive Oil: For maximum flavor, include oil in the marinade since spices are oil-soluble and only release their full flavor when mixed with oil.
  • Lemon Juice: The acid in the freshly squeezed lemon juice tenderizes and breaks down the red meat fibers for juicy and delicious steaks.
  • Spices: Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Then, coat the steaks with a flavorful peppercorn steak rub to create a perfect coating.

Additions and Substitutions

Tools Used to Make this Recipe

All you need for the steak is a grill. You can use a charcoal grill or gas grill. An indoor grill like a George Foreman also works. It also helps to have a baking sheet to transport the steaks from the grill to the kitchen. 

Grilled Bison Steak on a plate.

How to Make Grilled Bison Steaks

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

Step 1: Combine the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or dish. Place steaks in the marinade ingredients, coat, and cover. Set them aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Grilled bison steak marinating.

Step 2: Adjust the burners to high heat for 10 minutes to preheat the grill to 400°F (204°C).

Step 3: Remove the bison steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Add the peppercorn steak rub into a plate and press the steaks into the rub to coat.

Step 4: Add the bison to the hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip and sprinkle more peppercorn rub, then cook for 3-4 minutes.

Bison steaks on the grill.

Step 5: Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Grilled bison steak resting on the cutting board.

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 30 minutes before grilling for better browning and even cooking.
  • Marinate the steaks for at least 30 minutes, but pat them dry with a paper towel before applying the steak seasoning.
  • Because bison is lean meat and lacks fat marbling, sear the steaks in a hot grill to lock the moisture in. 
  • Grill the bison steaks from rare to medium for the best results. Overcooked bison is tough, and no one wants that! The best way to ensure your bison steaks are cooking to your preferred doneness is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steaks.

How Long to Cook Bison Steak on a Grill?

For the best results, cook the bison steaks medium-rare to medium doneness to maintain the moisture and flavor of the meat.

Thickness of the Steaks Rare – 125°F (52°C)Medium – 135°F (57°C) – 145 (60°C)
1 – Inch6-8 minutes8-10 minutes
1 1/2- Inch8-10 minutes10-12 minutes
2 – Inches10-12 minutes14-18 minutes

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Grilled Bison Steak on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  – Store the leftover bison steak 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 steaks freeze for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the steak in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat – Warm leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 sweeter flavor of the bison.

What seasoning is best for bison?

When seasoning grilled bison steaks, you don’t need to get fancy. Most of the time, I enjoy using spices that highlight the sweet flavor of bison, whether you prepare sirloin steaks, bison ribeyes, or juicy bison tomahawk steak. Simple kosher salt and black pepper go a long way, or you can get creative. Here are a few seasoning suggestions:

HerbsFresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano are a great way to infuse the bison with flavor. 

 SpicesI season the steaks with Kosher peppercorn steak rub to complement the natural sweetness of the meat, but spice blends like Santa Maria SeasoningMontreal Steak Seasoning, and Kinder’s Buttery Steakhouse are a tasty alternative. 

 FatButter, ghee, and lard cook alongside the steak.

What is the internal temperature to cook?

The USDA recommends cooking bison steaks to a minimum of 145°F (63°C).

Where can I buy bison?

Occasionally, grocery stores will carry bison in the meat section, but I usually have luck at health food stores like Whole Foods and Wegman’s. You can also purchase bison in various forms online. Honest bison is a popular choice.

Can I cook the bison steak in the oven?

Sure you can. Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add oil. Place the steak in the hot 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.

More Game Meat Recipes

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Grilled Bison Steak on a plate.

Grilled Bison Steaks

Tressa Jamil
Add variety to your dinner routine and BBQ get-togethers with deliciously grilled bison steaks seasoned with peppercorn steak rub.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Steaks
Calories 1600 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 bison sirloin steaks, 1 – inch thick
  • lemon juice, 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 2-4 tablespoons peppercorn steak rub
Instructions
 
  • Combine the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or dish. Place steaks in the marinade ingredients, coat, and cover. Set them aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the burners to high heat for 10 minutes to preheat the grill to 400°F (204°C).
  • Remove the bison steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Add the peppercorn steak rub into a plate and press the steaks into the rub to coat.
  • Add the bison to the hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip and sprinkle more peppercorn rub, then cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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 30 minutes before grilling for better browning and even cooking.
  • Marinate the steaks for at least 30 minutes, but pat them dry with a paper towel before applying the steak seasoning.
  • Because bison is lean meat and lacks fat marbling, sear the steaks in a hot grill to lock the moisture in. 
  • Grill the bison steaks from rare to medium for the best results. Overcooked bison is tough, and no one wants that! The best way to ensure your bison steaks are cooking to your preferred doneness is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steaks.
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: 1600 kcal | Carbohydrates: 7 g | Protein: 292 g | Fat: 37 g | Saturated Fat: 13 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16 g | Cholesterol: 966 mg | Sodium: 1859 mg | Potassium: 4702 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 0.1 g | Vitamin A: 101 IU | Calcium: 117 mg | Iron: 42 mg
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