Hold on to your cowboy hats because this BBQ Bison Burger is crazy wild! Topped with charred jalapenos and gooey Havarti cheese, it has an amazing flavor that pairs nicely with the lean and tender meat of bison.

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slice open bison burger

Plus, you top the whole thing in Cowboy BBQ Sauce, so it’s no wonder it will be finger lickin’ good. Show off to your friends by grilling up some of these flavorful bison burgers for Labor Day!

It will make any party a treat! So, what are you waiting for? Go grab some ground bison for this weekend and let’s make some BBQ Bison Burgers!

Why you’ll love this recipe

Bison is an amazing meat. Whether it’s bison tenderloin, bison ribeye, herb crusted bison or charred bison; you can count me in! It is gamey, wild, hearty, flavorful, and also low in fat. This is the perfect lean meat for anyone looking to cut out the fat and grease from their diet. I

Unlike a traditional beef burger, bison burgers are less greasy which means they are easier to cook over live fire.

No worries about flare-ups or grease fires! That is a fire cook’s dream. To make the burger spicy, add some jalapeños on top, then balance all of that out with melty Havarti cheese and Smokehouse BBQ Sauce.

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All the major tastes—salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami—are explored in depth, along with an investigation of other components you should consider when it comes to flavor, such as aroma, heat, and texture.

The BBQ Bison Burger is overall a well balanced meal with high quality meat, cheese and spices. It is a burger you can serve to your friends and leave them in awe.

They will think it was lean beef, but you will know it was ground bison. So crush this burger and enjoy!

You know what else lean mean is good for… Smash burger recipes. You can make venison smash burgers, chili cheese smash burgers, steakhouse smash burger or even get a little more wild with PB&J smash burger or the Elvis smash burger (featuring bananas, of all thing). All are delicious. All are worthy of trying at least once!

BBQ Bison Burger Ingredients

  • Ground Bison Meat: Lean ground bison doesn’t have as much fat as ground beef. Bison burgers are packed with protein and have a slightly sweeter flavor.
  • BBQ Sauce: This adds a smoky, sweet, and tangy kick to the burger, creating that quintessential barbecue taste. You can use your favorite store-bought brand or try making your own! Also check out the Western BBQ Burger, BBQ Bacon Burger, Grilled Cheese BBQ Cheeseburger or my Charred BBQ Burger if you like BBQ Sauce on a burger!
  • Havarti Cheese: This creamy cheese melts beautifully and complements the smoky barbecue sauce and spicy jalapeños perfectly. Feel free to experiment with other cheeses you enjoy, too!
  • Jalapeños: These little green peppers add a welcome kick of spice to the burger. If you prefer a milder taste, remove the seeds before slicing.
BBQ Bison Burger
  • Brioche Buns: These pillowy soft buns are a great choice for bison burgers. Their slightly sweet flavor and rich texture add another layer of deliciousness.
  • Chili Powder: This spice blend adds warmth and a touch of smokiness, enhancing the overall BBQ flavor profile.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds a savory depth of flavor that pairs well with the bison, BBQ sauce, and cheese.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: Fresh Cut White Onions: Onions add a bright crunch and a bit of sweetness to the burger. They also help cut through the richness of the cheese and BBQ sauce.

How to Make BBQ Bison Burgers

First things first, get those smoky flavors going! Light your charcoal in a chimney or mound it inside your grill. Let it burn nice and hot for 10-15 minutes. Want an extra layer of smokiness? Toss 3-4 small pieces of hickory wood on top of the coals – that’ll add a real campfire kick!

Next, make the burger patties. Divide your ground meat in half and shape them into two delicious patties. Don’t forget to season them with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Seasoning is key for a flavorful burger!

BBQ Bison Burger

Now, let’s get cooking! When the fire is nice and hot (medium to medium-high heat), carefully place patties and the whole jalapenos directly on the hot grill grates. Grill burgers for 4-5 minutes per side to cook through.

Here’s a tip: About 2 minutes before your bbq bison burgers are done, add a slice of cheese on top of each one. That way, the cheese gets all melty and gooey – the perfect topping!

Once everything is cooked through, take the cooked burgers and jalapenos off the grill. Don’t forget to slice those jalapenos.

Finally, assemble your juicy bison burger! Place your juicy burger on a buttery brioche bun or your favorite hamburger buns, top it with those sliced jalapenos, and then drizzle on some of that delicious Cowboy Hickory BBQ sauce. Now that’s a burger waiting to be devoured! Enjoy!

Tips for BBQ Bison Burger

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the burger reaches at least 140F for medium-rare.
  • Let your burger patties come to room temperature before cooking so they cook evenly. 
  • Feel free to use your favorite toppings for this burger, such as caramelized onions, different types of cheese, sliced red onion, or whatever else you like!

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

Store: Cool the bbq bison burgers completely, wrap them tightly, and store them in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Reheat: Use a pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. 

More Burger Recipes

What to Serve With This Bison Burgers Recipe

For a true backyard barbecue feel, go with crispy french fries, sweet potato fries, or a side salad. Of course, no burger is complete without your favorite sauces! BBQ sauce is a natural choice, but feel free to experiment with ketchup, mustard, mayo, or even a chipotle aioli for a smoky twist.

You could also pair this burger up with some jalapeño poppers to compliment the jalapeños in the burger. Make the fancier version with Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers or Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls!

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Recipe FAQs

Can I use a gas grill for this recipe?

Yes! No worries if you don’t have a charcoal grill. You might not get the same intense smoky flavor as you would with a charcoal grill, but you could totally use a smoker box to add a little smoke flavor.

Can I make this recipe in a cast iron skillet or grill pan over the stovetop?

Yes! No grill? No worries! Make this recipe in a cast iron skillet or grill pan over the stovetop. 

Where can I find ground bison meat?

You can typically find ground bison at your local grocery store. But if not, you can always buy it online!

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bbq bison burger

BBQ Bison Burger

All natural bison ground meat made into a burger and topped with savory bbq sauce!
Author:Derek Wolf
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 lbs of ground bison
  • 1/4 cup Cowboy Smokehouse BBQ Sauce
  • 2 slices of Havarti cheese
  • 2 fresh jalapeños
  • 2 Brioche hamburger bun
  • 1/2 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: Fresh cut white onions


  • Light the Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal in a charcoal chimney or mound inside your grill and let burn for 10-15 minutes. (Optional) Add 3-4 small pieces of hickory wood to the top of the charcoal for added flavor!
  • Split the 1 lb of ground bison in half and form into a patties. Season the burgers with chili powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
  • When fire is at a nice medium to medium high heat, place bison patties and jalapenos on grill grate.
  • Let both the bison and jalapeños cook for 4-5 min per side. 
  • Place Havarti cheese on top of bison burgers about 2 min before they are done. 
  • When done, pull burgers & jalapenos off. Make sure to slice jalapenos.
  • Place burgers on bun with jalapeños on top, then drizzle on it some Cowboy Hickory BBQ Sauce. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 683kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 768mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1055IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 7mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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