The taste of buffalo is often indistinguishable from beef, although buffalo tends to have a fuller, richer (sweeter) flavor. It is not “gamy” or wild tasting. Buffalo is low in fat and cholesterol, and is high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Fresh cut buffalo meat tends to be darker red and richer in color than many of the other red meats.
The lack of fat insures that buffalo meat will cook faster. Fat acts as an insulator. Heat must first penetrate this insulation before the cooking process begins. Marbling (fat within the muscle) aids in slowing down the cooking process. Since buffalo meat lacks marbling, the meat has a tendency to cook rapidly. Caution must be taken to insure that you do not overcook buffalo.
Buffalo may be used in place of beef with any or your favorite recipes if you remember a few basic tips:
- When oven broiling buffalo, move your broiler rack away from the heat about a notch lower from where you normally broil beef steaks. Check buffalo steaks a few minutes sooner than you normally would. If you normally cook roast beef at 325° F, turn the temperature down to around 275° F for buffalo. Plan on the roast being done in about the same amount of time as with a comparable size beef roast. To insure the temperature you prefer, we recommend using a meat thermometer indicating the internal temperature. Ground buffalo or buffalo burger is also leaner (most ranging about 88-92% lean). It will also cook faster so precautions must be taken to not dry out the meat. There is very little shrinkage with buffalo burger - what you put in the pan raw will be close to the same amount after you cook it. Pre-formed patties tend to dry out faster when grilling. (Hint: the thicker the patty, the juicier the burger.)
- Although ground buffalo is leaner, there is no need to add fat to keep it from sticking to the pan or falling apart. All meat, no matter
the leanness, has enough fat available to cook it.
Try Some of These Great Buffalo Recipes and Cooking Tips!