A common question that we get at Turtle Valley Bison Co. is how do we recommend cooking our bison steaks. At the ranch we love the cast iron pan.

11 Steps to searing the perfect steak and more bison tips with Chef Whittaker can be found in our Cooking with Bison cookbook.

  1. Have steak out at room temperature for 20 minutes
  2. Season liberally with good quality salt and cracked pepper
  3. In a medium-high heated cast iron pan place 3 tbsp of grapeseed oil or other high temperature quality oil
  4. Put steak in pan and lay down away from you to ensure oil does not splash toward you
  5. Let it sear on one side until golden brown (Flank, Ribeye, Skirt, Striploin and Tenderloin approx. 3 minutes). It is okay to lift the steak slightly to allow oil back underneath as a barrier to the pan
  6. Once you flip at this point, let it sit for 30 seconds on this side and reduce heat to medium
  7. Put 2 tbsp of butter in the pan, close to the steak, as well as 1 lightly crushed clove of garlic and 1 branch of rosemary on top of the steak
  8. Push steak to the farthest part away from the handle and tilt handle slightly back towards you
  9. With a large tablespoon, continually baste the melted butter over the top of the steak for 2 to 3 more minutes until internal temperature hits 115 degrees F
  10. Remove steak and place on cooling rack for 5 minutes to rest
  11. Enjoy!

**Note: For the meat connoisseur who is use to medium rare being 130-135°F, because bison is a lean meat you need to cook it for a shorter period of time. The recommended temperature for the medium rare bison steak is 115°F. 

Rule of thumb is to aim for a wellness level (rare, medium rare, etc) one below what you normally eat with beef if you’re cooking bison. Example: If you like medium rare beef steaks - cook the bison as if cooking a rare steak. 

Now go and try it for yourself!


Here’s a short video of three searing methods Chef Whittaker enjoys, filmed with EatWild and Dylan Eyers.