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Bison vs. Beef - Done Temp

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I am still a novice at smoking and don't know much about BBQ/cooking meat to begin with.  I do know we like our beef medium rare and love a good tri tip.


So I picked up a 2 lb. Bison tri-tip the other day and knew in my heart that  low and slow in a smoker was the way to go.  But how hot and how long?  There's not too much info on Bison Trip Tip too be found so I read up on temperatures for beef Tri Tip.  Most things I read said bring it to 135 - 140 for medium rare, pull it, tent it and put in a cooler or wrap in foil/towels afterward for at least 30 minutes.  So that was my plan...


First I marinated it over night.  I've never done that before but didn't want tough meat and have read that tenderizes it.


I decided to put the smoker on 235 thinking 225 might take too long.  


I did read that with Bison it gets tough/blech if you go past medium.


OK - so I threw it in the smoker and went to back to work (home office), thinking I had a looooong time to go.  I confess I was not paying attention.  I thought an hour had gone by but it was really almost 2.  I checked on it and was FLIPPING HORRIFIED to see the internal temp was 171.


I freaked and yanked it, tented it.


If I pressed with my thumb it was pretty darn springy/firm.  There were some juices running out of it though.  I let it rest about 20 minutes (we were starving) then cut into it and LO AND BEHOLD it was pink all through and totally juicy and tender -- and tasty,


So here is my first question -- what gives?  How could I cook a piece of meat to 171 and not completely ruin it?  Is bison significantly different than beef?  I would say compared to beef it was done to medium at the most.  I do think I saw some higher temp recommendations online but I dismissed them - maybe they were bison specific.


Today left overs were much dryer after a reheat, but I don't know what to think for internal temp for next time - would 135 be raw?  Any thoughts?  I'm also interested in opinions on smoker temp, wood to use, and any random thoughts.

Edited by LauraLee - 4/6/14 at 9:34am
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

Sorry all who read my post earlier -- I originally said I read to cook it to 235 - 240.  I meant 135-140.  I accidentally cooked to to 171 but it was still pink and juicy inside.

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