You can get a bison steak at a restaurant, but even the best restaurant will have a hard time beating what you can do at home with a simple charcoal grill and a good piece of bison meat.
This article will show you what we feel is one of the best ways to cook a buffalo steak – and you will see why we say that your best option is to buy buffalo steaks online and grill them at home yourself.
All natural bison meat is best enjoyed with a simple recipe like this one.
Getting Your Bison Steaks and Grill Ready
Here you can see the starting positions of our Weber Kettle charcoal grill and our buffalo steaks. Got a match?
Natural lump charcoal is in our lighting chimney with just a bit of newspaper for tinder underneath. It will take about 20 minutes for the fire to be ready.
Our buffalo rib-eye steaks have come out of the fridge and are ready for seasoning. Once we light the bbq we will get them organized.
A Buffalo Meat Cooking Fire
No lighter fluid is necessary when using a chimney like this, so our meat will be free of any chemical taint. This is the only way to treat all natural bison meat. We will use natural charcoal for heat, and a hardwood log will also be added to the grill before we put the meat on, and this will add a wood smoke flavour to the meat. Adding a small log (or wood chips) is a great way to get the ease of use (and higher heat) of charcoal while still getting the awesome flavour of wood grilled buffalo steak.
Buffalo Steak Prep – The Recipe
Once the fire is lit it’s time to prepare the bison meat for the fire. In the photo above you can see the ingredients in this simple and tasty recipe – garlic salt, black pepper, olive oil, and red wine – and the wine is just for the chef to drink!
Here are our buffalo rib steaks with a dusting of garlic salt and black pepper. You can put as much as you like as a lot of the seasoning will be lost on the grill. You just need a few drops of olive oil per steak to ensure that they don’t stick to the grill.
Buffalo Steaks On the Grill – Cooking Tips
Our barbecue pro has some tips for those of you who will do this at home. Enjoy!
Wood Smoke for Wild Flavour
The steaks have been just been fired (put on the grill) in the image at left below. You can see the yellow flame to the left of the steaks and this is a small hardwood log that was put in beside the hot charcoal before the steaks went on.
The hardwood will give our bison meat the wild taste of wood smoke. You can also use wood chips. Just be sure that your wood is not underneath your meat so that you don’t burn it, as the wood will flare up a lot more than the charcoal.
Alternatively you could build an all-wood fire to grill your buffalo steaks – but that will be another post.
Regulate Heat with the Cover
Once the meat has been seared by the super hot fire we put the top on the kettle in order to prevent the meat from burning, control flare-ups, and to give the meat full exposure to the wood smoke.
Flare-ups can occur when liquified fat falls onto the charcoal and the relatively lean bison presents less of a problem than a fattier beef rib steak.
The first side will cook about 4 minutes – 2 minutes with the top off and another 2 minutes with the top on while they bathe in wood smoke.
Turn your steaks at 4 minutes. One of the other benefits of putting the top on the grill is that when you remove it to turn the meat your fire will have cooled a little permitting you to turn your meat without feeling the heat too much. The fire will heat right back up once the top is removed for searing the second side.
Rotate Your Bison Meat
As you turn the meat rotate the bison steak positions on the grill to even out the heat exposure. Place those steaks that are more browned in the place of those that appear a bit less cooked. Rotating your meat in the hot spots will prevent any one steak from getting overdone.
Like with side 1, start cooking with the top off your grill and put it on when (if) the fire gets too hot. The second side can be done as fast as 3 minutes (if you want your meat rare) and not longer than 4, as your premium grass-fed buffalo steaks will be at their best rare or medium rare.
Even if you normally eat your steak medium, try your bison meat medium rare. Trust me.
Serving Your Bison Steak – Bon Appetit!
Take your steaks off the grill after a total of 6 – 8 minutes, when they reach your desired “cuisson”. We could write a book on how to judge steak doneness on the grill. If you don’t have an experienced finger for a touch test, you can go strictly by time. Our suggested timing here assumes that your grill is very hot.
Rest Your Bison Meat
Let your steaks rest for up to 10 minutes before carving or serving them. The minimum resting time is 5 minutes because you will lose much more juice if you cut the bison meat before 5 minutes than after. Check out this article on resting times if you are interested to understand more.
Serving Your Steaks
Finally, set the table and impress your family (and guests) with a great presentation of the succulent buffalo steaks. Here you can see how we showed off a bit before cutting the steaks for serving. Now dig in and enjoy!