Take a hint from our Native American ancestors: You can’t beat a big, hot hunk of buffalo meat. “Bison has as much protein as beef,” says Eleat Sports Nutrition’s Angie Asche, R.D. “But a 3 oz bison burger has 152 calories—a beef burger has 230. Bison also has just 7g of fat compared to beef’s 15g, so it’s a leaner, healthier option.”
Bison’s also readily available in stores nowadays, not to mention tasty and damn easy to cook. “To keep it juicy, don’t cook it past medium,” says Chris Raucci, head chef for Ted’s [as in Turner] Montana Grill. Raucci advises grilling bison to bring out its slightly sweet flavor. “Then I use a little Ted’s Seasoning”—aka salt and pepper—“and, for our No. 11 burger, cheese, grilled mushrooms, and horseradish.”
By the way, this May, the bison (millions of which roamed the West before the 1870s, when the U.S. Army massacred them to starve out the Indians) was named our first-ever national mammal.
But, yes, it’s OK to eat them—numbers of protected and farmed bison have come back strong.