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Consumer Reports: Bison Vs. Beef Burgers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - There's nothing like a juicy burger hot off the grill on the Fourth of July.

However, if you're looking for a healthier burger choice and veggie or turkey burgers aren't cutting it, you may want to try a bison burger.

According to Consumer Reports, sales of bison meat topped $240 million last year as more people discovered this tasty alternative.

Big, beefy burgers are still king, but one restaurant began offering bison burgers three years ago, and they now sell around 300 a week.

"I didn't think it would become that popular. I thought it'd be a slow process. But, it seemed to take off very quickly," Angela DiFeo from Westchester Burger Company said.

Be aware because bison can be expensive. It could cost twice as much as beef.

But, nutritionally, it's a solid choice.

According to the USDA, a grass-fed, three-ounce bison patty has 152 calories and seven grams of fat.

That's less than a broiled, 90 percent lean beef burger, which averages 184 calories and 10 grams of fat.

It's even less than a broiled, 93 percent lean turkey burger, which averages 176 calories and 10 grams of fat.

"Our tasters found the bison very similar to lean beef. In fact, they thought it was lean beef - until they tasted them side-by-side, and then they found some slight differences in flavor," Maxine Siegel from Consumer Reports said.

Most ground bison is at least 90 percent lean, which is great if fat is a concern.

However, for some people that can make it a little too dry.

To get a juicier bison burger, Consumer Reports' Shopsmart Magazine suggests adding some onions, roasted peppers, or even sautéed mushrooms.

Figure about a half-cup of add-ins for each pound of ground meat.

"By mixing in the veggies, you're not only going to get a moister burger, but you're going to make the meat go further and reduce the cost," Siegel said.

So, this summer, bison burgers can offer a tasty, healthy option you might just flip for.

Shopsmart said another tasty way to keep your bison burger moist is to add in some sauerkraut - well drained - along with a mustard-herb rub.

In fact, almost any flavorful steak rub works well with bison.


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