The Ultimate Bison Burgers with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

The Ultimate Bison Burgers with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

These Bison Burgers pack a serious flavor punch. With the lean and slightly sweet bison patties, sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon, melted cheese, and pillowy brioche buns, you’ll want to devour every last bite!

This week on my Taste the Nation series, we’re headed to Big Sky Country – the great state of Montana! This ruggedly beautiful western state is known for its sprawling prairies, towering Rocky Mountains, and abundance of wildlife like bison, elk, and bears.

Some fun Montana facts:

  • Montana has three aptly named cities starting with the word “Hungry” – Hungry Horse, Hungry Valley, and Hungry Wolf Village!

  • Over 25% of Montana’s population lives in rural areas, one of the highest rural percentages of any state.

  • The world’s first drive-in bank opened in Montana in 1963.

When it comes to iconic Montana cuisine, bison meat is near the top. Bison have roamed the Montana plains for centuries, and their lean, rich meat has been sustaining the state’s Native American tribes and early settlers for generations.

That’s why for this week’s featured recipe, I’m firing up my brand new Blackstone Griddle (she says with giddy excitement!) and cooking some outrageously delicious Bison Burgers.

I always give instructions with step-by-step photos in my posts just in case some readers have questions. But if you are just here for the recipe, click the JUMP TO RECIPE tab under the title and it will take you straight there. You can also print the recipe card with full instructions or you can click one of the SHARE BUTTONS and save it for later!

Let’s Gather Up the Ingredients for this Bison Burger Recipe

Ingredients to make the Bison burgers
  • Ground Bison Meat– I like to use grass-fed bison. I get mine from Wild Fork, but these days you can find American bison at pretty much any of your major grocery stores. The best thing about the meat and seafood that comes Wild Fork is that they blast freeze it at the peak of freshness. This is perfect for RV living, because you can throw it in the freezer and just pull out what you need as you travel.
  • Kosher salt

  • Black Pepper

  • Dale’s Seasoning– If you’ve never tried this stuff, you should. It’s a liquid marinade, and I use it in the same way you would use Worcestershire sauce. It adds a ton of flavor, but it’s super concentrated so you only need a little bit. Just shake it well and add to the ground meat before you form the patties. I find that this eliminates the need to add extra dry seasonings like garlic powder or onion powder, but if you don’t have it, definitely add those two ingredients to your meat instead.

  • Onions– I like to use sweet Vidalia onions.

  • Bacon

  • Cheese– I love the flavor of baby Swiss on these burgers, but use whatever cheese you like. Havarti cheese also pairs nicely.

  • Brioche buns– or your favorite hamburger bun.

  • Your favorite toppings– Make these burgers your own by adding whatever toppings you like. We like to keep it simple around here but feel free to mix it up. They would also be great topped with bbq sauce, red onion, lettuce, and thick slices of juicy tomato. The combination of homemade garlic aioli and blue cheese is another delicious option.

Let’s get cooking

Here’s how to cook and assemble these delicious burgers on the Blackstone Griddle:

In a large bowl combine ground bison meat, Dale’s seasoning, salt, and pepper. 

Ground bison in a large bowl combined with Dale's seasoning, salt, and pepper

To ensure you get a juicy bison burger, try not to overwork the meat. The patties should just hold together. If you squeeze it too tightly, you will end up with a dense, tough burger. 

Divide the meat into even portions about 1/3 pound each. Shape into patties that are a little larger than your buns because they will shrink slightly on the hot grill. Place patties on a tray lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

bison patties on parchment paper

Slice the onions into half moons.

onions sliced into half moons for bison burgers

Preheat the Blackstone to medium-high heat. Drizzle with some olive oil and add the onion slices.

Season with salt and pepper. Let them slowly caramelize for 20-30 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are as soft as you’d like them.

In the meantime, place your bacon slices on the other side of the griddle and cook until golden brown and crispy.

Turn half of the griddle to low heat and move the grilled onions and bacon to that side while you cook the burger patty.

Place the bison patties on the sizzling hot griddle surface. Let them sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes to get a nice crust. After those first couple minutes, give them their first flip. 

Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes on the other side for medium-rare doneness. 

As the patties finish cooking, move them to the cooler side of the griddle. Top each one with a slice of cheese so it can start melting. 

Cheese melting on the bison patty

Toast or grill the brioche buns on the hot griddle until lightly golden brown.

To assemble these delicious burgers, place the hot cheesy patty on the bottom bun. Top with caramelized onions, crispy bacon, and any other desired toppings. 

Bison patty with melted cheese and grilled onions

Add the top bun and get ready to dive into beefy, juicy perfection!

Enjoy these Montana-inspired bison burgers hot off the Blackstone Griddle for the best flavor and juiciness.

Some tips for the juiciest bison burgers:

  • Don’t overwork the meat when forming the patties to keep them tender

  • Cook them no more than medium-rare (130F internal temperature). Test them with a meat thermometer so you don’t overcook them and so they stay moist.

  • Let the patties rest for 5 minutes before serving so the juices can redistribute.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store any leftover bison burger patties?

Refrigerate any leftover cooked patties in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the patties for longer storage.

Can I make these on a regular grill or skillet instead of a griddle? 

Absolutely! The key is getting a searing hot cooking surface. A cast iron skillet works great for this. Cook them the same way you would beef burgers.

What does Bison taste like?

Bison has a slightly sweeter, richer, nuttier flavor compared to ground beef. The meat is also much leaner, so it’s important not to overcook it. Bison burgers stay moist when cooked to medium-rare.

Are bison and buffalo the same thing?

No, although the terms are often used interchangeably. American buffalo are a distinct species from the true buffalo species found in Asia and parts of Africa. But their meat has a very similar rich, slightly sweet flavor.

What are the health benefits of Bison meat?

  • Less Calories and Lower Fat Content

Compared to beef and many other red meats, bison is extremely lean. A 3.5 oz serving of bison has just 109 calories and 1.8 grams of fat, including only 0.5 grams of saturated fat. This makes bison a great choice for those watching their calorie and fat intake.

  • High in Protein

That same 3.5 oz bison serving contains 25 grams of complete, high-quality protein. Bison is higher in protein than many cuts of beef, chicken, and fish. The high protein content helps build and repair muscles and tissues.

  • Lower in Cholesterol 

Bison meat is much lower in cholesterol than beef. A 3.5 oz portion has only 76mg of cholesterol, compared to 86mg in skinless chicken breast and 89mg in a beef patty. This makes bison a heart-healthier red meat choice.

  • Rich in Iron, Zinc, and B-Vitamins

Bison provides essential nutrients like iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Iron is needed to transport oxygen in the blood and zinc supports a healthy immune system. The B-vitamins aid metabolism and energy levels.

  • High in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Bison contains higher levels of CLA compared to beef or chicken. CLA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has been shown to reduce body fat and positively impact heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol.

With its lean, high-protein profile and robust nutrient content, bison is a flavorful and healthier alternative to beef and other red meats. Bison’s sweet, rich taste lets you treat yourself while benefiting from its nutritional advantages.

Finished Bison burger on a white plate

What to serve with these flavorful Bison Burgers

  • Crispy French Fries
  • Baked Beans

Add in an ice-cold cold beer or a refreshing glass of lemonade and enjoy the real taste of the American West.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below. Or snap a picture and tag me on Facebook. 

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As always, I will be back next week with more delicious recipes from my RV kitchen to yours!

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Bison burger with bacon

The Ultimate Bison Burgers with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Juicy bison burgers topped with sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon, melted Swiss cheese on buttery brioche buns. This Montana-inspired burger is packed with savory flavor yet leaner than beef.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3 servings
Calories 706 kcal

Equipment

  • Blackstone Griddle you could also use a grill or cast iron skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground bison meat
  • 1 tablespoon Dale’s Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 slices Baby Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia Onion
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 3 Brioche Buns
  • Your favorite condiments and toppings

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl combine ground bison meat, Dale’s seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Divide the meat into even portions about 1/3 pound each. Shape into patties that are a little larger than your buns because they will shrink slightly on the hot grill.
    Place patties on a tray lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  • Slice the onions into half moons.
  • Preheat the Blackstone to medium-high heat. Drizzle with some olive oil and add the onion slices.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Let them slowly caramelize for 20-30 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are as soft as you’d like them.
  • In the meantime, place your bacon slices on the other side of the griddle.
  • Turn half of the griddle to low heat and move the grilled onions and bacon to that side while you cook the burger patty.
  • Place the bison patties on the sizzling hot griddle surface. Let them sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes to get a nice crust. After those first couple minutes, give them their first flip.
  • Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes on the other side for medium-rare doneness.
  • As the patties finish cooking, move them to the cooler side of the griddle. Top each one with a slice of cheese so it can start melting.
  • Toast or grill the brioche buns on the hot griddle until lightly golden brown.
  • To assemble these delicious burgers, place the hot cheesy patty on the bottom bun. Top with caramelized onions, crispy bacon, and any other desired toppings.
  • Add the top bun and get ready to dive into beefy, juicy perfection!
  • Enjoy these Montana-inspired bison burgers hot off the Blackstone Griddle for the best flavor and juiciness.

Notes

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled. 
 
Calorie Disclaimer:
The nutritional information provided is intended for informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the actual nutritional content of recipes may vary depending on various factors, including the specific ingredients used, portion sizes, and cooking methods.
Keyword Bison Burger, Montana


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