Thanks to the sous vide method, the juiciest bison burger you’ve ever eaten is just 45 minutes away.
I love when you get a fancy kitchen gadget and actually find yourself using it often. When we asked for the sous vide on our registry, I had all these recipe ideas in my head, but was worried it would be another kitchen appliance that slowly collects dust and is used, at best, once a year. Instead, the sous vide circulator has become a regular part of our dinner routine. After tasting the best steak we’ve ever tasted that wasn’t from a fancy steakhouse, Bry and I were sold on the sous vide cooking method. To learn more about what sous vide cooking is, check out my previous post here.
While steak and sous vide are made for each other, having steak every week isn’t great for our budget or our health. And while bison is also red meat, it is one of the leanest red meat options. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I grew up with hamburgers being made from bison meat but have learned it isn’t as common here in Boston. It may sound strange, but I promise if you give it a shot you’ll be very satisfied. Bison has a juicier almost sweeter taste than beef (in my opinion); however, because it is lower in fat you want to be careful not to dry it out. Enter in the sous vide.
Since the bison patties are cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag, the burgers retain more of their natural juices and make it near impossible to over-cook your bison. Plus, the whole burger will be the temperature you’re going for, no uneven cooking here.
The strangest thing for me was the look of the bison patty when it came out of the sous vide bag. Since it isn’t grilled or pan-fried, the top doesn’t get that charred, darker color. For me, once the burger is on a bun and topped with cheese, pickled jalapeños, and ketchup I didn’t care about having the char. If getting that sear is important to you, preheat your oven to 400 when there’s about 30 minutes left to go on the burgers. Place a cast iron skillet in the preheated oven. Once the burgers are done, carefully sear both sides of each burger in the hot skillet (about 1 minute per side).
Bry and I like our burgers medium rare, but if you prefer a medium, or well-done, adjust your cooking temperature accordingly:
Medium-Rare: 129°F (I wouldn’t go below 129 unless you like your burgers rare)
Well Done: 145-155°F
Now there’s no wrong toppings for a bison burger; however, to pair with the sweetness of the meat I like adding a bit of heat in the form of pickled jalapeños. Feel free to instead use fresh jalapeños or, for a milder heat, a slice of pepper-jack cheese.
So here’s a toast to fool-proof, juicy burgers.
Sous Vide Bison Burgers with Pickled Jalapeños
- 1 lb ground bison
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 whole wheat burger buns
- Pickled Jalapeños
- Fill large pot with very warm water (the warmer the water, the quicker your sous vide will reach proper cooking temperature).
- Place circulator in pot and set to desired temperature (for medium-rare, we set ours to 129°F)
- While water is heating, form into 4 patties and sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
- Place patties in a zip-loc bag and remove all of the air. Bry recommends vacuum sealing by placing the opened bag in the pot of water. As you slowly raise the bag, begin to seal and push any extra air out. You can also achieve this with a vacuum sealer or ask your butcher to vacuum seal the patties for you.
- Once the water has reached your desired temperature, place vacuum-sealed bag in the pot and cook for 40 minutes (it can remain in the water for up to 4 hours).
- When ready to eat, remove bag from water and place patties on a paper towel-lined plate. Allow to rest 10 minutes.
- If desired, sear patties in a pre-heated cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil or butter. Cook about 1 minute each side.
- Place patty on bun, top with jalapeños and ketchup. Enjoy!