Grilled bison burgers are the perfect quick summer meal - they're ready in 20 minutes or less! Bison burgers are perfectly seasoned and grilled until juicy, then spread with pimento cheese and your favorite burger toppings.
Ever had a bison burger before? It's a lot like a high quality beef burger, except it's a little leaner and higher in protein. Bison is a nutrient dense food, and a great substitute for beef if you're looking to lighten up your meals.
These grilled bison burgers are lightly seasoned and grilled until perfectly juicy. Then, they're topped with a creamy pimento cheese spread, lettuce, and bread and butter pickles, on a lightly toasted bun. Use your favorite store bought pimento cheese or make your own. It adds a creamy element that's tangy, peppery, and cheesy.
Serve grilled bison burgers for your next summer meal. They're ready in minutes and pair perfectly with your favorite summer side dishes, like potato salad.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Ground bison - Can be substituted with any ground meat you have on hand, like ground beef, ground turkey, or ground pork. Keep in mind that lean meats will cook faster than fatty meats. We made smaller, 4 ounce burgers, but you're welcome to make your burgers any size.
- Salt and pepper - To enhance the flavor of your bison burgers.
- Pimento cheese - Your cheese spread can be homemade (try my pimento cheese recipe) or store bought. Or, substitute with American cheese slices for a classic burger experience.
- Buns - Fresh bakery buns, like brioche buns or sesame seed buns, are perfect for this recipe.
- Optional toppings - I added lettuce and bread and butter pickles to my burgers, but feel free to add your favorite toppings, like sliced tomato, red onion, or dill pickles.
What does bison taste like?
Bison is a red meat that has a similar flavor to high quality beef. It is not gamey, and some describe it as having a slightly sweet undertone.
Bison is a nutrient-dense food, and is an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, and the antioxidant selenium. When compared to beef, bison is lower in calories, higher in protein, and lower in fat. This makes it a great swap if you're looking to lighten up your meals.
Here's an article explaining the differences between bison and beef: Cooking Light - Why You Should Buy Bison Instead of Beef
Tips for grilling bison burgers
- Gently form your patties without working the meat too much. Form wide patties with an indent in the center. This prevents your burgers from puffing up once they start cooking.
- Use oil with a high smoke point - this means an oil can stand up to higher heat (like a grill) without burning.
- Oil the grill grates before placing food on the grill. This ensures your food doesn't stick.
- Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Ground bison should to be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium doneness. Cooking for much longer will result in a dry burger, especially since bison is a lean meat. Using a meat thermometer guarantees juicy, perfectly cooked burgers.
- Move your burgers as little as possible for nice grill marks. Gently lift up one corner to check the progress of your burger patty, then lay it back down in the same spot if it's not ready to be moved yet.
- Let your burgers rest for a minute or two before biting in. While they don't need as much rest as a steak, a minute or so helps the juices redistribute, which keeps your burgers juicy.
- Want melted pimento cheese? Add it to your burgers during the last minute of cooking and cover with a lid.
What to serve with bison burgers
Bison burgers pair well with any traditional picnic sides, like macaroni salad, potato salad, or a lighter chopped salad. Here are a few side dish ideas:
- Macaroni salad
- Potato salad
- Pasta salad
- Italian chopped salad
- Strawberry spinach salad
- Grilled vegetable skewers
- Pineapple shrimp skewers
Grilled Bison Burgers with Pimento Cheese
- 1 pound ground bison
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup pimento cheese
- 4 burger buns
- bread and butter pickles and romaine lettuce, optional toppings
- Preheat grill to medium-high or high heat, about 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If needed, clean grill grates.
- Form ground bison into four equal sized, wide patties, pressing an intent into the center of each. Salt and pepper patties on all sides.
- Wipe grill grates lightly with oil, then place bison burger on the grill grate (optionally, add buns around the edge of the grill to toast. This will take about a minute or less - bread browns quickly). Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes before flipping. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until burgers are cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (medium). Rely less on time and more on the temperature and look of your burgers to determine when they're done. Grill temperatures and conditions can vary greatly.
- Remove from grill, immediately spread with pimento cheese, and allow to rest for 1 to 2 minutes before assembling sandwiches. Transfer burgers to buns and top with lettuce and pickles. Serve warm.
- Leftover bison burgers will keep for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Bison is leaner than beef, and will cook slightly faster than a traditional beef burger.
- Want melted pimento cheese? Add cheese during the last minute of cooking, then cover grill with lid.