When it comes to meats that are taking the country by storm, there might not be one that is as popular as bison meat.
While this particular meat has been eaten for centuries, it’s only now getting that widespread reputation for high-quality food that other meats like beef have.
If you’re curious as to what the big deal is with bison meat, then you’ve come to the right place!
We’re going to cover pretty much every question that you might have when it comes to bison meat in this guide, from what it is exactly, to its taste, its origins, whether or not it is good for you, and plenty of other helpful and interesting tidbits of information you might want to hear.
What Is Bison Meat?
Many people might not have heard of bison meat before, and wonder exactly what bison meat is.
Well, to be fair, there’s very little that is mysterious about bison meat, as it is exactly what it sounds like: Meat that has been sourced from the great American Bison.
Or, depending on if you’re reading this from anywhere in Europe, the European Bison.
There are currently 2 known bison species, with several other species that have since gone extinct, a path that the American and European species almost went the same way in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Fortunately, their numbers in both species are on the rebound, and with it has come the potential to buy sell, and raise herds of them for meat production.
What It Is Not
Now, before we get any further into this topic, it is worth mentioning that bison meat is not the same as buffalo meat, and especially isn’t the same as beef.
This can be a subtle difference in many people’s minds, but it is a significant one, as these terms mean very different things when it comes to the meat products that we buy.
For starters, even though we often call them buffalo and buffalo meat, bison and buffalo are two distinct animals. The bison comes from North America and Europe, while buffalo come from Africa and only Africa.
The reason that we call bison buffalo is, like the buffalo, they are very large hoofed animals that are predominantly found in the wild.
And, of course, we know that cows and cattle are the animals that go into beef. And, while related, bison and cows are considered two different animals, both in nature and in the meat products they make.
What Does Bison Meat Taste Like?
So, now that we’ve covered what exactly bison meat is, we can now start to talk about what everyone probably clicked on this article for: How they taste!
The easiest way to describe how bison meat tastes is just how rich it is, especially when you compare it to similar meats such as beef.
Thanks to their generally less reared and more wild lifestyles (at least in prairie-raised examples), there tends to be little to no fat and marbling in a cut of meat.
Thanks to a high percentage of iron in the meat, the flavors of bison meat are very strong, as well as have a sweet undertone for meat of this kind.
Compared To Beef
Because bison and cows share a common ancestry, there are a lot of comparisons made between the two.
For example, cuts of bison meat are virtually the same as beef cuts, with bison rib eye, bison rump, bison fillet mignon, T-bones, and virtually every other cut that a butcher provides, with both being considered forms of red meat.
Plus, when uncooked, these cuts will often look pretty similar, although beef will usually have more fat on it than a similar slice of bison meat.
However, if you were to compare two well-cooked pieces of these meats with each other, the difference becomes a little clear.
Bison meat is generally a little darker, thanks in part to the smaller amount of fat overall, as well as being a little sweeter for the same reason.
Plus, thanks in part to its tender nature, bison meat also tends to be less gamey than many other types of meat that you’ll find, especially specialty meats that bison is often sold alongside.
Does It Taste Good?
Taste is a subjective subject that everyone is going to have different takes on their favorite foods.
However, by all accounts, bison is a phenomenally good-tasting meat, that tastes as good as the best beef steaks and burgers that you’ll find out there.
(In other words, it justifies the often high price that you’ll find this red meat at in stores!)
Is Bison Meat Healthy?
So, we’ve established that bison meat is generally considered good meat to taste and eat. But is it good for your body as well?
Well, as we’ve already covered, bison meat usually has a lot less fat than beef does, with 8 grams in a 4-ounce steak compared to 14 grams in a similarly sized slice of beef.
That’s almost half the total amount!
Not only that, but the same amount of bison meat will contain slightly more protein in it too, as well as plenty of iron and zinc, nutrient and minerals that the body needs to be maintained.
And while it is true that bison meat contains slightly more carbs in it than beef, this amount is relatively small and helps release the energy that a good steak of bison meat provides over a longer period.
In many ways, bison meat could be considered a more balanced version of beef.
However, it is worth noting that bison meat is still a slice of red meat, which means that it can cause inflammation in the body if eaten in large quantities.
Is Bison Meat Easy To Digest?
Thanks to it being non-allergenic, bison meat is quite easy to digest, even for people with allergies to most red meats (though we still recommend keeping the amount small for your first try).
Tips To Consider When Cooking Bison Meat
So, if any of the information that we’ve covered suns appealing, there’s a good chance that you’re now tempted to buy a cut of bison meat for yourself, perhaps for your next big grill out.
However, there are a few things that you may want to consider before throwing that slice on your grill.
Season It Right
It’s important to remember that bison meat is best known for its sweeter undertones and flavor, something that you’re going to want to maintain when cooking it.
For this reason, you’ll probably want to avoid strong flavors like spices and sauces when prepreparing it, like you would with beef. Just a little light salt and pepper should be enough to bring out its natural flavors.
Cook It Fast, Cook It Right
Thanks to the lower fat content than regular beef, you’ll find that bison meat cooks (and as a result, burns) a lot quicker than a similar cut of beef would.
If you’re planning on grilling or frying it, make sure that the temperature is slightly cooler than you would cook a traditional steak on, anywhere from 20 to 30 degrees lower.
The same goes for less tender cuts that you might traditionally braise or stew as well.
So, there you have it!
The only question left to answer, is when are you grabbing your first cut of bison meat?
Everything You Need To Know About Bison MeatCourse: Taste Like
- Season It Right
- It’s important to remember that bison meat is best known for its sweeter undertones and flavor, something that you’re going to want to maintain when cooking it.
- For this reason, you’ll probably want to avoid strong flavors like spices and sauces when pre-preparing it, like you would with beef. Just a little light salt and pepper should be enough to bring out its natural flavors.
- Cook It Fast, Cook It Right
- Thanks to the lower fat content than regular beef, you’ll find that bison meat cooks (and as a result, burns) a lot quicker than a similar cut of beef would.
- If you’re planning on grilling or frying it, make sure that the temperature is slightly cooler than you would cook a traditional steak on, anywhere from 20 to 30 degrees lower. The same goes for less tender cuts that you might traditionally braise or stew as well.
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