Grilled bison steaks have never tasted better thanks to the sous-vide-que cooking method.
Across the country, bison is becoming increasingly available in markets everywhere. And for good reason. It has great red-meat flavor and fewer calories than beef. With the decrease in fat, however, comes an increase in the likelihood of drying out a bison steak on the grill.
To level the playing field and cook the meat evenly from edge to edge, I like to start with the sous vide cooking method. Taking it one step further, I add several tablespoons of clarified butter to the sous vide bag so that the bison becomes gently butter-poached, moist, and tender. The steak is sous vide at 131°F for 3 hours based on our guide here. Note that while we don't usually recommend adding fats, marinades, spices, or fresh herbs to the sous vide bag (read more about the science behind this recommendation in our Sous Vide Que deep dive ebook here), the addition of the clarified butter in this recipe is an essential "exception to the rule" in order to replicate the traditional butter poaching process.
Explore the world of Sous Vide Que, the ultimate marriage of water and smoke, by clicking here to download our ebook "Sous Vide Que Made Easy" for $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers). Or get the book and others FREE as a member of the AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.
Finally, a quick sear on a hot, smoky grill results in grilled bison steak nirvana via what we affectionately refer to as the sous-vide-que cooking method!
Sous-Vide-Que Butter Poached Bison Ribeye Recipe
Sous vide is a popular cooking technique in high-end steak joints, but it can also be used to improve the cooking of low-fat meats like Bison.
Course. Dinner. Entree.
Makes. 1 big steak (2 servings)
Takes. 3 hours to sous vide, approximately 20 minutes to grill.
Tools. Sous vide immersion circulator. One gallon sealable freezer bag.
Serve with. A full bodied red wine such as a Cabernet or Merlot.
1 tomahawk bison ribeye, approximately 16 ounces (I used the ones found here at The Honest Bison)
3 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee (read more about both classes of butter here)
1/2 teaspoon Morton’s coarse kosher salt per pound of meat
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
About the black pepper. You want a coarse grind here so you get pops of pepper when you chew.
Optional. Chopped parsley and large grain salt to sprinkle on the finished steaks just before serving.
1) Prep. Prepare a sous vide immersion circulator, such as Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker or Joule by ChefSteps, according to the manufacturer's instructions and set the water temperature for 131°F.
2) Place the bison steak and clarified butter or ghee in a zipper freezer bag. Carefully submerge the bag in the water bath until most of the air has been removed and then seal the bag. Once the bag is submerged, cook for three hours.
3) Remove the steak from the bag, pat it dry with paper towels, and season both sides with Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Set the steak aside to cool while you prepare the grill.
4) Fire up. Setup a charcoal grill for 2-zone cooking, placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Replace the main cooking grate and add 2-3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the pre-heated charcoal briquets for flavor. Open the grill vents fully to get the grill as hot as possible. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other one is as hot as possible.
5) Cook. Place the steak in the indirect zone on the main cooking grate as far away from the heat source as possible. Set the lid on the grill with the top vent fully open and positioned directly above the steak in order to force the smoke over and around the meat for a true BBQ flavor.
6) Allow the steak to smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 115°F, about 12 minutes.
7) Open the lid and move the steak to the hot side of the grill to sear it, flipping the steak periodically until an even crust forms on both sides and the internal temperature reaches 130°F for medium-rare, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
8) Serve. Remove the steak from the grill, plate, and top with the unsalted butter. Once the butter melts, slice the steak and garnish with optional chopped parsley and large grain salt. Serve immediately.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Bison steaks were provided by TheHonestBison.com for recipe testing purposes. No monetary compensation was received and the recipe, techniques, and opinions are completely my own.
"Grilling, broiling, barbecuing – whatever you want to call it – is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach."James Beard