My Recipe Box

Bison Burgers with Thousand Island Barbecue Dressing


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Bison (buffalo) meat is a great substitute for beef—it’s just as flavorful but much leaner. Take care not to overcook it, as it can dry out quickly.

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 Tbs. chili sauce, such as Heinz
  • 4 tsp. smoky barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground bison
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil for the grill
  • 4 rolls or hamburger buns, split
  • 4 leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato, preferably heirloom, sliced

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.

Mix the mayonnaise, chili sauce, 2 tsp. of the barbecue sauce, sweet pickle relish, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, use your hands to gently mix the bison with the remaining 2 tsp. barbecue sauce, 1 1/4 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Form into four 1/2- to3/4-inch-thick patties.

Lightly oil the grill grate and place the patties on the grate. Cover and grill for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the burgers, cover, and cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium (130°F to 135°F on an instant-read thermometer).

While the burgers cook, toast the rolls on the grill. Spread some of the dressing on each half of the roll and arrange a lettuce leaf and a slice or two of tomato on the top halves. When the burgers are done, put them on the bottom halves. Assemble the sandwiches, cut in half if you like, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Grilled Corn on the Cob and a colorful Summer Bean Confetti Salad with Pickled Red Onion Vinaigrette.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 570, Fat (kcal): 34, Fat Calories (g): 300, Saturated Fat (g): 11, Protein (g): 30, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11, Carbohydrates (mg): 36, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 8, Sodium (g): 940, Cholesterol (g): 95, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Great! Have been craving a good bison burger since I moved from Atlanta. Alas, no Ted's Montana Grill where I am at. Their bison steaks are awesome as well. Just remember to watch your cooking time with bison as this is very lean meat so you don't want to dry it out. Dang - now I am craving a bison ribeye.

Simple and delicious! I am only giving these a four star rating because I needed two pounds of bison and that was 20$$$ holy cow! or holy bison :) Anyways, the secret sauce was the bomb and would have been good on anything... beef, turkey, veggie burger. Would definitely make these again- when I am rich!


A really good burger! We've come to prefer bison over ground beef, because of the lower amount of saturated fat. The sauce makes this burger-even though I made it with fat free mayo, it was so good. This recipe was declared an instant family favorite.

Wonderful flavor. This will become one of our "go to" grilling recipes. Couldn't find a smokey bbq sauce, so just added a little Liquid Smoke.

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