Blue steak (also known as a blue rare steak) is a steak that is cooked even less than a rare steak. If you are a fan of rare steaks or steak tartare, you might love blue steaks. This may not be the steak for you if you are a lover of medium-rare steak.
This article breaks down all you need to know about blue steaks. Including:
- What are Blue Steaks?
- How do Blue Steaks taste like?
- Are Blue Steaks safe to eat?
- Types of beef that you should NOT use for blue steaks
- And many more key Blue Steak facts. By the end of this article, you will be a mini-expert in blue steaks.
What is Blue Steak?
A blue steak is a steak that has been cooked very rare, so that it is still blue in the middle. If you are used to eating well-done steaks, then a blue steak will probably be too bloody and raw for you.
Blue steak are typically cooked to 115°F. The exterior of the steak is seared to brown while the interior of the steak remains raw.
Why is it called blue steak?
Well, it’s called “blue” because this meat boasts an interesting color. There may be a slight purple or blue tint to the cut of meat. Steak loses this blue tint as the meat is exposed to oxygen (since the myoglobin in red muscle becomes oxygenated as soon as you cut into them and continues to do so long after they’ve been exposed to air). This is why the meat in your butcher’s refrigerator section is highly red since it has be throughly oxygenated.
What does a blue steak taste like?
A blue steak tastes like a rare steak. It is juicy with a slightly chewy texture with a bright red center. The flavor is intense and slightly gamey.
How is a blue steak and a rare steak different?
A blue steak is cooked to a lower internal temperature than a rare steak. A blue steak is typically cooked to 115°F while a rare steak is typically cooked to 125-130°F.
Are blue steaks safe to eat?
Blue steaks are safe to eat if they are cooked properly and safely. Because blue steak is raw in the center, there is a risk of food poisoning. (Note: If you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, or are at risk for food borne illness, you should avoid blue steak.)
To avoid illness, it is important to follow food safety guidelines when preparing your blue steaks. Two main tips:
- Make sure to completely sear the outside of the steak before serving to minimize the risk of contracting E coli. E coli can be found on the exterior of steaks so it is important to sear the entire outer surface of the steak to help ensure that any E coli is killed off.
- Clean and sterilize the tongs after using them on raw meat or utilize an alternative method for moving cooked meats from ovens onto plates so they don’t come into contact with any bacteria that could be present in kitchen surfaces not dedicated solely towards cooking meat exclusively (elevated above cooktop).
Best steak cuts for blue steaks
The best cuts of steak for blue steak are:
- Filet mignon
- Strip steak
Cooking a steak changes its fat and marbling status. However, when you cook a steak blue rare, the meat is cooked for shorter periods of time which means less opportunity to melt much fat in the steak. This is why lean steak cuts (with minimal connective tissue i.e. ligaments, tendons) are the best bet for cooking a blue steak.
Please note: The difference between the meat you get at your local restaurant and that cooked by a professional chef is like night vs day. Top restaurants and steakhouses who sell steaks develop relationships with meat purveyors so that the restaurants select top-quality cuts of beef and bring them into their restaurant.
Steak cuts that are NOT good to cook blue steaks
Highly fatty cuts of steak, tough cuts of meat, and grounded meat are NOT good for cooking a blue steak. You should avoid using the following types of meat when cooking a blue steak:
- Ground beef
- Note: Do NOT try to “blue steak” ground beef. Since ground beef is ground, it needs to be reach a temperature of at least 140 degrees to kill any E coli that may exist. According to HealthLinkBC: “When the meat is ground or mechanically tenderized, E. coli on the surface can be transferred to the inside of the meat. This is why ground meat and mechanically tenderized meat are more likely to cause illness than whole cuts of meat. E. coli can be killed if the meat is cooked thoroughly.”
- Stew meat
- Stew meat tends to be tough. Plus, it is hard to get the necessary sear cook the stew meat “blue” style
- Shoulder steak
- Should steak meat tends to be tougher cut of beef, so it is not a recommended cut for blue steak.
What is needed to cook a blue steak?
To cook blue steak, you will need:
- A cast iron skillet
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A steak (ideally a filet mignon, tenderloin, strip steak, or ribeye)
How to cook a blue steak?
Here are some tips on cooking blue steak:
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the steak is 115°F.
- Sear the steak on all sides to create a crust.
- Use a hot pan or grill.
- Do not overcook the steak. Remove the steak immediately from the grill or burners as soon as internal temperature reaches 115°F.
- Let the steak rest for 5-7 minutes before cutting into it.
- Serve blue steak with a simple salad (ideally with blue cheese) or roasted vegetables that complement the steak.
Pro tips from top chefs on cooking steaks
Here are some tips from some of America’s top chefs on cooking steak:
Chef Daniel Boulud: “Butter ‘nourishes’ the beef”, say Chef Boulud in the Reader’s Digest. The butter bathes rich meat in even richer butter, making every bite sumptuous and delicious.
Chef Gordon Ramsay: “Take the protein out of the fridge and let it rest to get it up to room temp for at least 10 minutes before you cook it.”
Anthony Bourdain: Let the steak rest after you cook it. Resting the steak allows the steak to redistributes its juices before it is eaten. “It should rest on the board — meaning sit there at room temperature — for five to seven minutes, at which point, stay away from it.”
More Beef Content
Shaved Beef Recipes
How to Tell If My Steak Is Bad
Walking Taco Casserole
Porterhouse Vs. T-Bone Steak
Types of Ribs
Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak vs. Hanger Steak
Blue steak is a rare steak that is blue in the middle. It is juicy and slightly chewy with a bright red center. A perfectly cooked blue steak has melt in your mouth texture.
However, it is not for everyone. You have to be a lover of rare steaks to love steaks. But, as mentioned before, if you love rare steak and steak tartare, you should definitely give blue steaks a try.
Increase your Steak Knowledge:
Looking to learn more about different steak cuts?
- Become an expert on the differences between flank steak vs. skirt steak vs. hanger steak.
- Learn about the differences between Porterhouse steak vs. a T-Bone steak.
- Test your knowledge and cook this delicious Copycat Texas Roadhouse Steak recipe.