Tender and juicy bison tomahawk steak grilled low and slow, then finished over direct flame for a perfectly cooked inside and nicely charred outside. Topped with salty, herby and delicious chimichurri butter that melts right into the warm steak. Super easy to prepare with minimal ingredients and a simple two-zone grilling method.
This post is sponsored by The Honest Bison, who I am so excited to partner with! Recipe, photographs, thoughts and opinions are all my own.
Compared to beef, bison steaks have a delicious, clean and rich flavor that I am loving! When cooked properly, bison is melt in your mouth tender. Top with the super simple chimichurri butter, and you have the most delicious grilled steak! The butter is made with lots of fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice. It really is the perfect addition to steak!
If you've never tried bison, I highly recommend you give it a go! Nate and I both absolutely love the flavor of bison. Plus, it's leaner than beef and higher in protein making it a healthier alternative. I am so grateful for companies like The Honest Bison where you can purchase meat that comes from humanely raised bison that are free to forage as they would naturally.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Perfect seasoning. The bison steak is generously seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder, adding flavor without overpowering the delicious flavor of the steak.
- Tender and juicy steak. This recipe uses a simple two-zone grilling method. The steaks start cooking over low, indirect heat to ensure tender and juicy steaks, then are finished over high, direct heat to get a nice char on the outside.
- Chimichurri butter. Do not skip the chimichurri butter! It melts right into the steak, adding salty, herby, delicious flavor!
What does bison steak taste like?
When cooked properly, bison steaks are incredibly tender and full of rich flavor. Bison tastes similar to beef, but cleaner and almost sweeter. It also has zero gamey flavor.
Is bison tender?
Yes, bison is tender when cooked properly. Bison is naturally pretty lean, so it's most tender when cooked to medium-rare/medium. Just like any other red meat, bison can be tough when overcooked. I don't recommend cooking past medium, and certainly not past medium-well.
- Bison tomahawk steaks
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Lemon juice
How should bison steaks be cooked?
The thickness of the steaks will determine how bison steaks should be cooked. Since tomahawk steaks are thick, I recommend first grilling low and slow over indirect heat to ensure even cooking, as well as a tender and juicy steak. Next, finish cooking the steaks over high, direct heat to get a nice char.
If grilling thinner bison steaks, such as ribeye, I recommend grilling quickly over high and direct heat.
How long should you cook bison steaks?
When grilling thicker bison steaks, such as a tomahawk steak, I recommend grilling low and slow for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F. Finish the steak over high direct heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until the the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F for medium-rare.
If you're grilling thinner bison steaks, such as ribeye, I recommend grilling quickly over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F for medium-rare.
Best internal temperature for bison steak
I highly recommend using a meat thermometer when cooking meat to ensure you don't overcook it, resulting in dry, tough meat. For bison steak, here are the temperatures for degree of doneness:
- Rare: 125 degrees F.
- Medium-rare: 125-130 degrees F.
- Medium: 130-135 degrees F.
- Medium-well: 135-140 degrees F.
- Well: 140-150 degrees F.
I like to cook bison steak to around 130 degrees. As it rests off the grill for 5-10 minutes, it comes up in temperature to around 135 degrees for medium doneness. It's still pink and juicy in the center, but not raw, and browned around the edges.
Why you should let meat rest
Cooking meat draws all of the juices to the surface of the meat, so when you cut into the meat without letting it rest, all of the juices will run out, leaving you with dry meat.
So, let the cooked bison rest for 5-10 minutes after it's removed from the heat source. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in tender, juicy cuts.
Frequently asked questions
Is bison steak better than beef steak?
Bison is leaner than beef and has a slightly cleaner taste. It's has a rich, kinda sweet flavor. It all comes down to personal preference, but we absolutely love the taste of bison.
Do you cook bison the same as beef steak?
Bison steaks can be cooked the same as beef steaks, but keep in mind that bison is leaner than beef, so you likely won't need to cook it as long as beef steaks.
How do I make my bison steak tender?
Since bison is a lean meat, I don't recommend cooking your bison steaks past medium doneness. This will ensure a tender and juicy steak. As well, cooking the steak low and slow of indirect heat will help to keep it tender, then finish the steak over high, indirect heat to get a nice char.
What is the best way to cook bison?
Bison, just like beef, is red meat. So you can cook bison steaks the same way you would cook beef steaks. Keep in mind, bison is slightly leaner than beef, so it may cook a little faster.
Storage & Reheating
How to store leftover bison steak
Cooked bison steak can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How to reheat cooked bison steak
To reheat bison steak, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, then heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with a little oil. Add the steak and cover with a lid, then sear for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through.
Alternatively, you can broil the steak in the oven. Place the steak on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through.
- Let the bison come to room temperature before cooking. This will allow the meat to cook more evenly through to the center.
- Use a meat thermometer. Always use a meat thermometer when cooking meat. This ensures you don't overcook or undercook the steak. There are so many great meat thermometers out there at a great price. I highly recommend an instant read meat thermometer, or even better a bluetooth meat thermometer.
- Start low and slow then finish over high heat. When cooking thick steaks, like a tomahawk steak, it's best to grill low and slow over direct heat, then finish over high, direct heat. This way you don't burn the exterior of the steak before the inside has a chance to cook.
- Let the meat rest before slicing. I know it's tempting to cut into the steak right away, but let it rest on a plate for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat before slicing, ensuring a juicy steak. As well, as the steak rests the internal temperature will rise another 5-10 degrees from carryover heat, bringing the steak to your desired degree of doneness.
- Don't skip the chimichurri butter. The butter melts into the warm steak, adding so much salty, herby flavor!
What to serve with bison steak
- Zest Balsamic Marinated Grilled Vegetables
- Best Classic Potato Salad
- Creamy Italian Ranch Pasta Salad
- Crispy Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes
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Grilled Bison Tomahawk Steak with Chimichurri Butter
- 2 bison tomahawk steaks
- salt, black pepper and garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chives, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- optional garnish: lemon wedges & sea salt
- Remove the steaks from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Season generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let sit while you preheat the grill to low heat, about 225 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, make the chimichurri butter. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the steaks on the grill over indirect heat. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F, about 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. Flip the steaks halfway through the cook time.
- Remove the steaks from the grill. Increase the grill temperature to high heat, about 450 degrees F. Place the steaks back on the grill over direct heat. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F, about 3-5 minutes per side for medium-rare/medium.
- Remove the from the grill and spread chimichurri butter over the top of the steaks. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. The internal temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees from carryover heat bringing the steak closer to medium doneness.
- Serve the steaks topped with more chimichurri butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Rare: 125 degrees F.
- Medium-rare: 130-135 degrees F.
- Medium: 135-140 degrees F.
- Medium-well: 140-145 degrees F.
- Well: 145-150 degrees F.