- 2 lbs ground bison, 80 to 90% lean, medium texture preferred
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp rendered bacon fat, warmed slightly to a liquid state (from 6 slices of pan-fried side bacon)
- cheddar cheese, sliced or grated (optional)
- cooking oil (grape seed, peanut, or sunflower preferred) - DO NOT use Olive Oil
- Break the ground bison up into small chunks by hand; spread the chunks evenly over a baking sheet. Sprinkle the ground meat with salt and pepper. Drizzle the rendered bacon fat over the meat chunks.
- Shape the seasoned ground into 5 patties measuring about 4 inches in diameter and little over and inch thick. Try not to handle the meat excessively while shaping it into burgers. Over handling or compacting raw ground can result in a cooked burger that just doesn't have the right mouth feel to it. Density is increased and a lack of tenderness may be noticeable.
- Place the bison burger patties on a baking sheet or large plate. Cover burgers loosely with some plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the patties to set. (Patties can always be made well in advance.)
- Preheat one side of the barbecue so that a medium-hot grill surface temperature of 475 to 500F is maintained on that side. The grill surface temperature can be checked using a grill surface thermometer or a laser thermometer. With the barbecue lid closed, even a regular coil style oven thermometer can give relatively accurate grill surface temperature readings.
- With the barbecue lid closed, the opposite side of the grill will have a grill surface temperature of approximately 325 to 350F.
- If using charcoal, the hot coals should be distributed on one side of the barbecue so that similar temperatures are maintained -- 475 to 500F on the medium-hot side and 325 to 350F on the medium side.
- Brush a very small amount of cooking oil on the top side of the burgers. Quickly grease the preheated medium hot side of the grill with a rag or paper towel soaked with some cooking oil.
- Except when the burgers are being flipped over, the barbecue lid should remain closed during grilling. Grill the burgers on the medium-hot side for 4 minutes without disturbing. Flip the burgers over and continue to cook on the same side of the grill for another 3 minutes.
- Then shift the burgers over to the medium heat side of the grill well away from the direct heat coming from the fire.
- Cook the burgers for 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 155 to 156F is reached. Best to check the temperature with an instant-read digital stick thermometer to be sure. Although not inexpensive, the THERMAPEN is tops in design and accuracy. Accurate readings within 1 degree Fahrenheit can be obtained in less than 3 seconds.
- For a cheeseburger, top burgers with grated cheese or cheese slices one minute before they come off the grill.
- After coming off the grill allow the burgers to rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Within the first 5 minutes of resting the internal meat temperature for the burgers will reach 160F. They are well done and are at their best when done to this temperature-succulent and flavorful. Enjoy.
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