Think of bison as that cousin or friend of yours who you thought at first was a bit weird but then turned out to be completely normal after a few encounters. Seems like the perfect answer to what does bison taste like?
Bison has a lot in common with beef in terms of its appearance, cooking method, and flavor. Yet bison tastes different than beef. Nevertheless, there’s a huge bison market in America that offers all kinds of bison meat. This includes ground meat and other major cuts of bison now available in the meat department of standard supermarkets.
So let’s find out more about its taste and flavor characteristics…
What Does Bison Taste Like – How Delicious Is the Meat?
When talking about the taste and flavor of bison meat, you have to compare them to those of beef. In that case, bison is sweeter flavored and stiffer textured. And unlike beef, bison doesn’t have a gamey taste at all. Along with no distinctive aftertaste, which is often a part of the taste with hunting animals such as moose.
What about bison meat being the healthier alternative? Surprisingly, bison is indeed a healthier choice in comparison to the most common meats of the market. When pitted against cow meat, bison meat has an incredibly stronger flavor.
It’s like your taste buds get something new that they’re most likely to appreciate. Even more so because bison doesn’t leave a strong aftertaste like other meats. But then because of the shared flavor of bison and beef, differentiating between the two can be slightly difficult. And this happens with a host of various recipes.
So, at such times, you should look at the texture of the meat. Even the taste differs depending on the cooking method and cut of meat. Bison is packed with a smoother mouthfeel and richer taste. Plus, bison meat contains plenty of nutrients essential for your health.
Why Choose Bison Over Beef
Did you know that bison is actually a sustainable, organic, and lean alternative to beef?
Now let me tell you the difference between the original red meat of America (bison) and buffalo meat…
So are buffalo and bison the same kinds of animals? Nope, they’re not. So why the confusion? It’s because both come from one family. Bison are natives of South and North America as well as Europe. As for buffaloes, they come from Asia and Africa. Back in the day, the North American region was home to 20-30 million bison. But now only 500,000 remain.
Despite around 7.5 million pounds of bison meat being sold every year across America, it’s still considered “exotic” meat.
Is Bison Meat Healthier Than Beef?
Before anything else, let’s first look at the nutritional value of each…
Bison (ground, 4 ounces) – 203 calories, 9.7 grams of fat, 28.8 grams of protein, 0-gram sugar, and 0-gram fiber.
Beef (ground, 4 ounces) – 280 calories, 22 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein, 0-gram sugar, and 0-gram fiber.
Even the saturated fat content of beef is higher (9 grams) than bison (3.9 grams).
Now what’s obvious is that bison meat contains fewer calories and a lower fat content along with more protein. On top of that, bison is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, selenium antioxidant, zinc, vitamin B-12, and iron.
How to Cook Bison?
When cooking red meat, it’s very, very important to put in more effort and time in order to perfect the meat. Because bison meat is extremely lean, it tends to cook pretty quickly. And that also means most likely chances of the meat becoming tough due to over-cooking or cooking at a high temperature. The goal is to cook the meat until it’s medium-done.
For preserving all that moisture packed inside the meat, make sure to cook in a carbon steel pan or skillet with vegetable oil. Initially, keep the heat on a high setting and then reduce it for cooking the meat slowly.
Bison and beef both are prepared almost in a similar manner because of their shared taste profile and versatile flavor. This includes steak as well as using the ground version for recipes like meatballs, patty burgers, chili, and taco. Speaking of burgers…
What About Bison Burgers – What Do They Taste Like?
Pretty much like beef burgers! Many who have tried both certainly admit that they can’t really differentiate between the two. But then there are a few who describe the flavor of bison burgers as cleaner, even though they have the same flavor as beef burgers.
Let’s say you try your very first bison burger today. So the first thing you’re most likely to notice is the richer flavor. And this richer flavor has no grainy texture often accompanied by beef.
Bison burgers, hands down, are healthier in that they contain lower levels of cholesterol and fat. And if you actually take a liking to them, which isn’t a problem at all, you may never go back to eating beef burgers again. Needless to say, bison is more expensive than beef. But then, to be honest, the health benefits and taste make it all worth it.
No denying that ground bison meat is more than just healthier in comparison to ground beef. The former is more delicious even, and thus perfect for meatloaf, tacos, chili, and burger recipes for sure.
Final Verdict – But Then Bison Meat Is So Lean, So Doesn’t That Taste Tough?
The best thing about bison is that its tenderness and flavor are pretty much like top-quality meat. At the same time, bison meat has a lower fat content in comparison to most meats. These are incredibly muscular and strong creatures we’re talking about that have evolved over the years to survive the extreme weather conditions of North America back then.
And that all that muscle is the reason why the meat is so flavorful, tender, and lean all at the same time. Just don’t forget that bison meat cooks very quickly because of the absence of too much fat insulation in the meat. So cook at a lower heat setting and slower than beef. And just when it’s medium-done, turn off the heat to prevent the loss of the delicious tenderness.