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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.
Different people prefer their steak cooked to various levels of doneness, from a well-done and fatty chuck flap cut to a lean, juicy, and rare sirloin.
Eating steak blue-rare is completely safe, provided the meat is properly sealed all over, and this rare slice of beef has a juicy, lush mouthfeel and delicate taste. If you want to impress your meat-loving friends, invite them over to your house and cook them a delicious and tender blue-rare steak. They’ll appreciate the way the meat melts on their tongues and will enjoy watching you cut into the beef to reveal a stunning bluish tone.
1. What Exactly is Blue Steak?
Blue steak is the least well-done option of all the gradations of this meat. You cook it over high heat for 1-1½ minutes on each side, and when you take it out of the frying pan, everything but the surface of the steak will look raw.
When you cut into this meat, you’ll see a purple-tinged shade of blue, which is where this steak gets its name. The blood in the middle of the beef cut has not been exposed to any oxygen from the surrounding air, lending to this blued tone.
Fans of blue-rare steak laud the tenderness of the meat and its satisfying mouthfeel. It has an exquisite and nuanced flavor profile that lingers on your tongue and leaves you hungry for more.
If you want to learn how to cook blue steak at home, get a premium-quality cut that’s lean and tender. You don’t want to opt for an overly marbled steak because the raw fat will taste unpleasant. Tenderloin, sirloin, and T-Bone cuts are all good options for producing a tasty blue steak.
2. How Do You Cook Blue Steak?
Season the steak cut
A few hours before you cook your steak, season the meat with salt and pepper. This sodium coating will dissolve into the beef, spreading a light, savory taste throughout the body of the steak. The pepper will remain on the outside of the steak, adding a delightful pop of flavor.
If you want to marinate your steak with a more complex concoction of ingredients, you can produce an Asian-influenced plum glaze or a sweet honey and mustard jus, then leave the meat to marinate in this sauce for 2-4 hours before cooking.
For best results, let your steak come to room temperature right before cooking. This eliminates the chances of the inside of the steak coming out cold since it will spend just a few minutes on the grill.
Prepare your pan or grill
Cast iron is best for steak if you’re not using a grill because it conducts heat well and creates a nice crust on the outside of the steak. If you’re not using cast iron, stainless steel pans are another good option.
Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as sesame, canola, or sunflower oil. Spread this on the grates or put a light layer in your pan. Bring the stove or your grill to high heat.
Once the oil is shimmering in the pan or the grill has reached 450°F, add the seasoned steak to the pan, or place it directly over the burner or coals. For stovetop cooking, if you want to give the blue steak a slightly nutty flavor and a rich golden bark, add a dollop of butter to the skillet at the same time as you add the meat.
Sear the steak
If you want to learn how to cook a blue steak, sear a 1½”-thick cut for between 1½ to 2 minutes on each side, and a 1”-thick premium-quality sirloin cut for 1 to 1½ minutes on each side. If you keep these cuts in the pan for any longer than that, you’ll lose the purplish color that you want in the middle of a perfectly cooked blue-rare steak.
Modify your searing time depending on the type of cut and thickness of steak that you’re cooking. For example, if your steak is a filet mignon or chunky tenderloin thicker than 2”, keep it in the pan for a bit longer to ensure the meat’s surface is properly colored and sealed before eating.
If you have butter in the pan, spoon the melted butter and oil mixture over the steak once you’ve flipped it. This helps to keep the meat tender, moist and adds a delicious flavor to it.
Leave the meat to rest
Once the steak’s ready, lift it out of the pan and pop it onto a cutting board. If you want to double-check that it’s done, insert a thermometer and ensure that it is at least 115°-120°F.
Leaving the meat to rest for 5 minutes allows its fatty juices to settle into the steak before you eat it. The interior of a perfect blue steak should be a dark purple shade, feeling slightly warm to the touch. Cutting through the beef should feel seamless.
3. How Do You Make Sure Blue Steak is Safe to Eat?
Unlike raw poultry, beef is far less likely to contain harmful pathogens or surface contaminants, making a blue steak perfectly safe to eat. However, make sure you follow a couple of simple rules when cooking this type of steak so that you can kill off any potential E.coli bacteria on the meat’s surface.
Use sterilized and clean equipment
Sterilize your kitchen utensils. If you’re planning to use metal tongs, mix a water and vinegar solution, bring it to a boil, then leave your tongs to soak in the boiling liquid for 15-20 minutes.
Sanitizing and cleaning your grill tongs prevents any harmful microbes from passing between this metal implement and the steak.
Check the meat’s surface
Before you take the cooked steak out of the pan, check the meat’s surface to ensure the steak is completely sealed. The surface should be a light brown color, including the ends and the sides. If you can still see bright red spots and shades on the meat’s surface, continue cooking it.
You’ll know that any potential surface contaminants have been killed by the heat when the whole steak is sealed correctly. This means that the blue steak is safe to eat.
4. Develop a Rare Skill by Learning How to Cook a Blue Steak
When you learn how to cook a perfect blue steak, you’ll be able to enjoy a tender, attractive-looking cut of beef with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a subtle flavor. Just ensure you get your pan or grill screaming hot and toss the steak onto sear before flipping once. Ensure the meat is browned and sealed all over before removing it from the pan or the grill.