Buffalo, or more properly Bison, is similar tasting to beef, but rather coarsely textured and sweet. It has significant advantages over beef in that it is high in protein and extremely low in cholesterol (approximately 30 percent less than beef), and it has about half the calories and fat of beef.
Buffalo meat should be cooked at a lower temp and not as thoroughly as beef (specifically rare to medium-rare). The density of this meat provides a more satisfying portion, allowing for reduction in quantity per person.
Bison belong to the Bovidae family and are large majestic hoofed beasts. If you go back in history, you will find that bison have been the second most popular red meet, second only to cow meat. Today, we still see a growing trend in Bison Meat consumption. According to the National Bison Association, there are approximately 61,300 bison slaughtered each year in the US.
In terms of nutrition, bison meat is packed with some of the extremely essential vitamins and minerals us humans need to survive. These include protein, iron (13% of the Daily Value), zinc (35% of the Daily Value) as well as selenium (31% of the Daily Value) and B vitamins (19% B6 and 28% B3). A 113-gram slab of bison meat is said to contain 124 calories, 17 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat.
Exotic meat providers such as exotic Meats USA sell a wide range of bison meat products at affordable prices:
- Bison patties—$12.50 for a 1-pound package
- Bison Sausage Links—$$12.75 for a 3/4 -pound package
- Bison Tenderloin (Whole)—$ 189.75 for a 4.5-pound package
- Bison Sirloin Steak—$22.00 for a 1-pound package
Is bison meat legal in the United States? Bison has been dubbed America’s national mammal and while you can shoot and kill a bison, it can only be done with a permit.
Large herds of bison are speculated to have roamed North American between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rockies. An estimated 30 million were said to have existed when Columbus arrived on the continent. They were thought to be symbolic of the endless natural resources of the land.
The average bison is about 7–11 feet long from head to romp and weighs a whopping 660 to 2,200 pounds. These mammals live anywhere between 15 to 25 years. They are thought to be one of the biggest herbivores.
So, what does bison meat taste like? When it comes down to it, bison tastes incredibly similar to beef. However, it has been noted to have a coarser texture as well as a sweeter flavor. Perhaps this sweeter taste profile is what makes it such a popular red meat. The meat also tends to be leaner than that of beef making it lower in calories but also easier to cook.
Another plus side of bison meat is that it does not have an aftertaste unlike most game animals such as moose.
What Parts to Cook and How to Cook Bison?
As we mentioned earlier, you can buy various cuts of bison steaks as well as bison oysters, brisket, shank and ribs.
The tricky part is how to cook bison meat. As we mentioned earlier, bison is one kind of meat that is easily overcooked. Ground bison meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F while roasts and steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F for the meat to be medium rare and 160°F to be medium.
Below are a few popular bison meat recipes you can make:
- Bison meatballs,
- Bison steak
- Ground Bison Cheeseburgers
Where to Buy Bison
Historically, bison meat was consumed by the members of the First Nations. They were hunted for their meat in North America. In present time, bison meat is still consumed the most in this part of the world.