Grilled Barbecue Bacon Bison Burger Recipe

If you're the type of person who always opts for burgers over dogs, it's your lucky day. While we're all for a classic beef burger cooked on the grill, sometimes a little something extra is in order. We're not just talking about cheese — swapping the type of meat you use in your patty can totally alter your burger-eating experience. Mashed recipe developer Feta Topalu turns to bison to put a twist on your classic burger. 

This grilled barbecue bacon bison burger recipe tops the flavor charts with savory meat, salty bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce, and classic toppings. Topalu shares, "We are starting to cook with more bison this year than any other year ... and for a good reason!" If you aren't familiar with bison meat, it is leaner than beef and offers a subtly sweet flavor profile that is all too easy to love. 

As for the extra add-ons, Topalu says, "I love bacon! So the whole bacon and barbecue sauce combo really hits home for me." You can't go wrong with a burger, and this fun variation really sets itself apart.

Gather the ingredients for grilled barbecue bacon bison burgers

For this recipe, pick up bacon slices and ground bison. You should be able to find both at a butcher shop. Next, you'll need garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to season the meat. Topalu takes it up a notch with brioche hamburger buns, and you can't forget about the token slices of American cheese. You'll also need your favorite barbecue sauce, green lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, and a bag of crispy onions for that perfect crunch. 

Feel free to mix it up with the toppings. Topalu says, "I've played with different cheeses to top the patty with, adding pickles, and swapping the regular barbecue sauce with gold barbecue sauce that has the addition of mustard. It was absolutely delicious!"

Cook the bacon

Start by preheating the oven to 400 F for the bacon. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil to avoid having to clean up a greasy mess. Place the bacon slices on the sheet in a single layer. Once the oven is at temperature, pop the tray onto a rack and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the bacon is fully cooked and crisp to your liking. Line a plate with paper towels and transfer the cooked bacon to it to drain off the excess oil.

Make the patty mixture

Grab a large bowl and add in the ground bison meat, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix the components well to ensure the seasoning is distributed throughout the meat.

Shape and grill the patties

Separate the meat into four equally-sized pieces and use your hands to shape them into round, flat patties. If you want to plan ahead for burger night, the patties can be made three days in advance before barbecuing but they need to be sealed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, if you want the possibility of burgers at any time, Topalu says the patties can be frozen for up to four months. 

If you're prepping for an imminent meal, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Start by toasting the buns for 30 to 60 seconds, then set them aside on a plate. When the grill is at temperature, place the patties on the surface. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, then flip the patties and grill them for 4 to 5 more minutes until they are almost done. Finish it off by placing a slice of cheese on top of each patty for 1 minute to melt the cheese. Check that the internal temperature of the meat has reached 160 F before taking the patties off the grill and transferring them to a plate.

Assemble, garnish, and serve your burgers

It's game time! Lay out a bun and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce on the surface. Then, layer on the lettuce, tomato slices, and a patty, as well as 1 to 2 tablespoons of crispy onions and two slices of bacon. Top it off with the other half of the bun. Repeat the assembly for the remaining three burgers, then serve. 

Topalu shares, "I will always and forever be a burger and fries kind of gal. I don't even need the ketchup for the fries, just extra salt!" Whether you follow her lead, eat these burgers with some french fries (which are Topalu's preferred side), a salad or coleslaw, or skip the sides altogether, you're appetite is sure to be satiated by this grilled barbecue bacon bison burger.

Grilled Barbecue Bacon Bison Burger Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
There's nothing wrong with a classic burger, but this grilled barbecue bacon bison burger takes things up a notch, combining lean bison meat and salty bacon.
Prep Time
Cook Time
hands holding bison cheeseburger
Total time: 37 minutes
  • 8 slices uncooked bacon
  • 1 pound ground bison
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • ⅓ cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 green lettuce leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 (3½-ounce) bag crispy onions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  3. Arrange the bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until fully cooked through and crisp.
  5. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the ground bison, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire and mix well.
  7. Divide the meat into four equal pieces and form round, flat patties.
  8. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  9. Place the buns on the grill to toast for 30 to 60 seconds and transfer them to a plate.
  10. Once hot, place the patties on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
  11. Flip the patties and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, until almost cooked through.
  12. Place a cheese slice on top of each patty and cook for 1 minute, until the cheese is melted. The internal temperature should reach 160 F.
  13. To assemble, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce on each bun.
  14. Place the lettuce and tomatoes and top with the patty, 1 to 2 tablespoons of crispy onions, 2 slices of bacon, and the top bun.
Calories per Serving 736
Total Fat 46.0 g
Saturated Fat 18.4 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 129.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 14.7 g
Sodium 1,270.3 mg
Protein 38.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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