Aggie's Kitchen

Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger

Try a lean Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for a healthier alternative to your traditional hamburger – they are juicy and flavorful with less guilt!

Click here to pin this Bison Burger recipe!

Try a lean Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for a healthier alternative to your traditional hamburger - they are juicy and flavorful with less guilt!

My husband has been on a health kick lately. I love it. He’s really making an effort to cut back on calories, make better food choices and squeezing in exercise throughout the day. He’s taking walks around his building during restroom breaks, and trying to get a two mile walk around the neighborhood in the evenings as well as getting to the gym to hit the elliptical or play basketball with our son on the weekends. It all adds up!

A lot of this extra activity has been motivated by his new Fitbit that I got him for Father’s Day. My friend Denise recently introduced me to this high-tech pedometer and I’m so glad she did – I even picked up an extra one for me (though I’m a slacker and haven’t used it yet). My husband has been setting a goal of how many steps he wants to reach each day and he’s almost always getting there – even my kids are getting excited about it and keeping up with his progress throughout the day. Now, they both want their own Fitbits, but I’m thinking of picking them up something inexpensive and basic for them to have fun with.

Try a lean Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for a healthier alternative to your traditional hamburger - they are juicy and flavorful with less guilt!

Along with the extra exercise, packed lunches and a little extra involvement with meal planning and creating recipes are part of this health kick too. That’s where this burger comes in. I know ground buffalo (bison) has been around for a while, but it’s not something I’ve ever cooked with at home. My husband has enjoyed a bison burger at a local restaurant a few times and asked if we could grill some up at home. Buffalo is a leaner type of ground beef and a great alternative when looking to indulge in a hamburger.

Try a lean Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for a healthier alternative to your traditional hamburger - they are juicy and flavorful with less guilt!

I have cut back on red meat tremendously over the years, but I couldn’t resist this burger. It was lean and juicy and as always the fixin’s (um…hello caramelized onions) were my favorite part. I wish it was a little less expensive (maybe because I live in Florida, it’s really not an economical purchase for us), but it’s definitely a nice treat when we are craving a good burger on the grill – and without a ton of guilt!

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Try a lean Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for a healthier alternative to your traditional hamburger - they are juicy and flavorful with less guilt!

Print Recipe

Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger

Yield: 4-5 burgers


  • 1.5 lb ground bison (or buffalo) meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • good pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • your favorite barbecue sauce, for basting

For serving:

  • 5 slices of pepper jack cheese
  • hamburger buns
  • shredded lettuce
  • caramelized onions (see this post for instructions on how to caramelize onions)
  • barbecue sauce


  1. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine ground bison with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Divide meat mixture into 5 even sections and form into patties. When forming, gently press down your thumb in center to help keep it's shape and avoid turning into a meatball on the grill.
  2. Pre-heat your grill to medium high heat. Place burgers on grill. Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side (for medium well - well done burgers). After first flip, brush cooked side liberally with your favorite barbecue sauce. Once burger is cooked through, quickly flip and brush other side before taking off the grill. Transfer to top rack of grill (or plate) and place a slice of pepper jack cheese on each burger.
  3. For serving: Place each burger with cheese on your hamburger bun. Top with extra barbecue sauce (if desired), caramelized onions and shredded lettuce. Dig in.

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More burger love:

Smoky BBQ Turkey Burger Sliders

Bruschetta Patty Melts

East Meets West Burger

Sanford Bugers

Love cooking with bison like I do? Try these recipes:

Sweet Potato Bison Shepherd’s Pie

Bison Black Bean Chili

Bison and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers

Try a lean Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger for a healthier alternative to your traditional hamburger - they are juicy and flavorful with less guilt!

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51 Responses to “Grilled Barbecue Bison Burger”

  1. carrian posted July 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

    bison is seriously awesome. You get that beef thing going on for less calories. Booyah!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Totally! I love how I don’t feel gross after eating a burger like I usually do. Red meat and I don’t really mix well. 🙂

  2. cassie posted July 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I love when my hubby goes on a health kick, it happens every-so often and he usually eats tons of salad. I love it! But I always keep an eye on how I cook and I love the idea of cooking bison at home, something I’ve never done either. This burger looks amazing!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

      We are getting a big salad in with our dinner every night! It’s getting me to be more creative and try new healthier versions of his favorite foods. Getting me out of a cooking rut too 🙂

  3. Angie posted July 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I’ve never tried ground bison. Can’t wait to try it on the grill, these burgers look amazing!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

      You would love it Angie!

  4. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch posted July 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Looks delicious!!! It does taste so good – probably even better because you know it’s so good for you!!!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Robyn!!

  5. Erica posted July 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Good for the husband! The burgers look cooked perfectly. I think I could eat caramelized onions on any savory dish- so good!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Oh gosh, me too on the onions!

  6. JulieD posted July 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Love this!!! I have been interested in the fitbit too!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Julie! You should really check the Fitbit out, I think you would love it! It’s really motivating.

  7. bellini posted July 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Bison is lean and makes a deliciously moist burger Aggie.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

      I love how non-greasy it is Val!

  8. Christine (Cook the Story) posted July 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I love ground bison! I often mix it with ground lean turkey in dishes to make them seem really meaty. This burger sounds delish. And I’m intrigued about the FitBit. I wonder if my husband could get into that!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Do you buy your bison at Publix Christine? I went to Whole Foods to get it, but I don’t see myself making the trip that often. I think I’ve seen it at Publix too!

      • Christine (Cook the Story) posted July 8, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Yes, at Publix. It’s with the Greenwise meats. It’s kind of pricey but so so so worth it. I also sometimes buy the bison wieners (near the organic lunchmeats). They’re $9 a package, so a total total splurge but possibly the best wieners I’ve ever had.

        • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

          Yes! That’s where I’ve seen it. Good to know about the hot dogs – my husband would love those! Thanks!

  9. Denise @ Creative Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

    That’s SO wonderful Aggie!! I love it! Thanks for the shout out. I am still addicted to my Fitbit…which isn’t a bad thing to be addicted too, huh? I wear it all day everyday and love how it’s linked up to My Fitness Pal to upload any calories burned there. I love that my hubby and I can compete with ourselves and a friendly competition with each other. It’s so worth the $50!!

    My Fitbit is what got me back out the door with my running I think. If I do a run and a walk every morning then I have no trouble at all hitting my 10,000 steps a day and sometimes more. But if I don’t do it, it’s really hard to meet that goal.

    Hope you get yours hooked up soon! We can also “friend” each other through our Fitbit accounts!! It’s so much FUN!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

      He really loves it Denise! His goal is 10,000 steps too. And the days he gets in the extra workout (2 mile walk or gym) he hits it easily too. I can’t wait to try it. I’m not walking as much b/c of the heat, but I know once baby is here I will be happy to push a stroller on long walks outside!!

  10. Denise @ Creative Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Oops forgot to mention that we found out my hubby gets in A LOT of steps at work even though he has a desk job! He’s a “pacer” and frequently comes home with over 8,000 steps on his Fitbit even without doing any exercise.

    Everytime he’s on the phone he’s up pacing…..

    Without the Fitbit we’d have never found that out!! 😉

  11. Tieghan posted July 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I have never had bison, but you make me think I NEED to try it. This burger looks awesome!

  12. Paula - bell'alimento posted July 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Girl this looks awesome.

  13. katie posted July 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

    My husband would be all over this… mmmm

  14. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain posted July 8, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I could eat this for breakfast!! HOLY YUM!!

  15. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I’m so happy to see you doing bison! We’ve had it cooked several ways and it is dee-licious! Last time I was at Costco I saw that they are carrying the ground variety so I think I’ll save this recipe and pick some up next time. Thanks Aggie!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      I’ve only had it in burgers! I am so glad you told me that your Costco carries it, I need to look for it there!

  16. Tracey posted July 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I absolutely love ground bison – we used to cook with it all the time a few years ago when we were counting calories. It’s gotten really super expensive around here so it’s a less frequent occurrence, but still just as delicious 🙂 Your burgers have me craving it big time!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      It’s pricey here too, so definitely a treat! We have a couple local places that serve it on the menu which is nice too!

  17. Alyssa (Everyday Maven) posted July 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    That sounds so good – I love onions on a burger. Isn’t it the best having your hubby on board? I feel so much happier knowing that my husband and I are eating healthy together 🙂

  18. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite posted July 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    My favorite meat for burgers is Bison! These look delicious.

  19. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted July 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, Aggie! This is one heck of a manly burger… and I know I’d love it, too! Looks scrumptious.

  20. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious posted July 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I haven’t had bison in forever! I can’t wait to make this right at home – I think I’ll need my fat pants because I’ll gobble up at least 2 of these!

  21. Terra posted July 9, 2013 at 12:22 am

    You know it is funny, I love grilling a lot with my hubby. However, I am still not a huge meat eater. BUT if you gave me a bison burger, I would so devour it! Your burger looks and sounds delicious! Hugs, Terra

  22. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted July 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I LOVE bison!! It’s not easy to find but when we do, we always grab it. So lean and delicious!

  23. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles posted July 9, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Oh, yum, I haven’t had a bison burger in so long. I need to revisit that!!

  24. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen posted July 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I have been eyeing the fitbit!! And this burger looks awesome- I love a burger piled high with caramelized onions!

  25. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet posted July 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Bison is one of our faves too! Fitbit has been on my “must buy” list for a while now.

  26. Tara @ Unsophisticook posted July 12, 2013 at 9:13 am

    We’ve been experimenting with bison lately — so good!

  27. Bree (Skinny Mommy) posted July 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I have never made bison before, but based on how great these burgers look, I think I better try it!

  28. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen posted July 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I love burgers and this is one I can’t wait to try!

  29. Chef Stinky posted May 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I love Bison as well, as a matter of fact – I’m making some burgers tonight…

    Yes, it’s expensive – but keep an eye on it – when it’s w/in 2 or 3 days of the sell by date (and properly handled, perfectly fine to eat), grocers will drop the price tremendously.

    I just picked up some for the cost of lean ground beef, sell by date is in 3 days – and I’m grilling them tonight! Booyah!

  30. Rachel posted May 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Just fye, our Costco carries bison!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted May 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      I have to check mine!! Thanks for letting me know!

  31. Rose @ Half Her Size posted June 17, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I love using bison in place of beef. It has great flavor and is much leaner. I linked to this post in a round up of healthy father’s day recipes. Thanks!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted June 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Thank so much for including me in your round up!

  32. Becca from It's Yummi posted March 14, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Bison burgers have become one of my favorites, too. Those caramelized onions are the perfect topping… this looks delicious! Thanks for sharing my Bison chili

  33. Paul posted April 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Love grilled bison, best of both worlds, somewhat healthier than a burger but the same mouth watering taste, if not better. I have one caveat to add, buffalo meat dries out very quickly and 6-7 minutes on med. high heat, might be a bit long, just take your time.


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