6 Spectacular Ways to Season your Bison Burger
So you're thinking about trying bison. Or maybe you've already had bison somewhere and are thinking about getting it for yourself and cooking it up in your own kitchen, but are a little nervous to get started. If bison is new to you, you're in the same boat as a lot of others in wondering where to start.
The good news is, bison really isn't any harder to cook than any other meat, and although we recommend cooking it just a little slower, that's the biggest difference -- that and its richer, cleaner, sweeter taste!
Throughout our website and this blog, we provide lots of tips and recipes to get you started cooking bison meat. But let's talk seasoning for a minute.
Seasoning is one of the questions I get a lot when talking with people about cooking bison burgers... and it's a fair question. While some of you probably already have a go-to seasoning combination, (I know I certainly do), experimenting with different flavors can be a fun way to experience the taste bison burgers can offer.
The main advice I give people when it comes to seasoning their bison burgers is to use just a touch less salt than you would on beef or other meats. Remember, bison is very lean, you don't want to dry it out. Plus - the rich flavor of bison doesn't require as much salt to have great taste.
By no means, that doesn't mean you can't embrace salt or other seasonings. A little bit of salt will go a long way to increasing and pulling out the flavor of the burger.
To further explore the question of seasoning however, I recently spent an evening testing out some seasonings and flavor combinations on small bison burger samples. I've selected the following seasonings as my personal recommendations for when it's time to put some bison burgers on the grill. I hope you'll enjoy!
1. JB's Fat Boy Cowgirl Ride 'Em Rub
JB's Fat Boy is a fellow Nebraska based business with a great line of BBQ sauces, rubs and seasonings. For this post, I was fortunate enough to sample several of their delicious rubs on my bison burgers and after each bite was gone, I determined the Cowgirl Ride 'Em Rub to be my favorite pairing with our bison burger.
The Cowgirl Ride 'Em Rub claims that its "unique blend of spices seals in the juices that keep meat moist, the wonderful aroma rustles up the senses and rounds up the hungry herd to dinner."
I found that this seasoning added a slightly sweet BBQ taste to the burger and you can certainly catch a hint of hickory smoke in the flavor as well.
I definitely enjoyed the flavor this added to the bison burger.
2. NebraskaBison.com Steak & Burger Seasoning
Back when we first opened our online bison meat store, we wanted to introduce a seasoning blend that would complement the flavor of our bison meat. This led us to creating the NebraskaBison.com Steak & Burger Seasoning with Sea Salt – a coarse blend of spices that goes great on any of our bison meats, but pairs especially well on our bison burgers.
You will notice right away that this seasoning is much coarser than other seasonings, which is one of the cool things about it... this seasoning will create a bit of a crust on your meat. As far as flavor, our special blend of spices gives the bison burger a little bit of a tangy, slightly sweet taste.
Having chosen this blend particularly for pairing with our bison burgers and steaks, this seasoning is obviously a keeper.
3. PT Gardens Bacon Bonfire Salt
Bacon Bonfire Salt from PT Gardens, a family owned and operated company from Republic, Missouri, makes a great seasoning for those who are looking for an extra special kick on their bison burger. This homemade, all natural blend is made with quality sea salt, pasture raised bacon, organic cinnamon and clove and a fiery mix of dried hot peppers.
This seasoning only contains all natural ingredients, so you can feel good about putting it on your all natural bison burger. With a blast of bacon flavor, followed by a spicy kick from the peppers, this seasoning goes great on a bison burger loaded with fresh veggies like onions and tomatoes.
Bacon Bonfire Salt adds both heat AND flavor - you don't have to sacrifice one to have the other.
This delicious seasoning is available for purchase online at: https://squareup.com/market/p-t-gardens
4. Lawry's Seasoning Salt & Black Pepper
So here's our basic profile. This combination is the seasoning which I have used for years and years -- on almost all of my meats, the result of falling into a habit before I really started taking a look at different ideas and options.
While I am still a fan of this combination, and will still continue to use this seasoning, after taste testing, I can certainly say I will be making more of an effort to branch out.
I love Lawry's and this seasoning combination is great for anyone who just wants to add a saltier taste to their burger.
5. Garlic Salt & Black Pepper
If you're looking for a way to add a little bit of vibrance to your bison burger, consider a garlic salt and black pepper combination seasoning. This (and the next suggestion) were surprise hits at my test testing.
The garlic and pepper combination was certainly pleasing and added a great flavor combination without feeling over-powering. I will definitely be using this blend again.
6. Garlic Salt & Rosemary
Jane has always told me that Rosemary pairs well with bison, but this was the first time I tried it while really sitting down and thinking about the flavors.
The garlic salt and rosemary seasoning blend created a smooth, soft taste in the bison burger in a great kind of way. This combination is definitely worth a try if salt isn't really your thing.
I really enjoyed the subtlety of the garlic & rosemary blend, I only wished I'd had the foresight to try garlic salt, rosemary and black pepper all on the same burger together, as I'm sure it would have been great!
And that brings us to a total of 6 delicious suggestions for seasoning bison burgers. Each of these combinations or blends are a great choice to get you started. Do you already have a favorite bison burger seasoning, or have you discovered your own bison burger seasoning secret? I'd love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments!
Contributions to this post were made by Caleb & Klaire Howerton, ranch managers at our Missouri Ranch: Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch.