What is a Blue Steak?

We’ve all heard of rare steaks, but what is a Blue Steak, and how do you make one and are they safe to eat?

Blue steaks are cooked to a extra rare doneness. You thought an internal temperature of 120 degrees was considered rare? Think again. A blue rare steak is cooked to a very low internal temperature of 84 degrees F! These coveted morsels are enjoyed by dedicated meat lovers who enjoy nice buttery textured steaks. But, why exactly are they called blue steaks, and are they safe to eat?

steak doneness guide

What is a Blue Steak?

The term “blue steak” derives from the color of the meat once its cooked and cut open. These steaks are fairly raw on the inside, and the blue color is caused by oxygen depletion taking place within the meat. You’ll notice that the center has a shiny appearance and a smooth texture. This is all part of the blue steak experience.

The secret to a proper Blue Steak is high temperature searing. While most meat lovers will opt for a medium-rare steak, connoisseurs of the blue steak prefer a super rare steak with quick exposure to incredibly high temperatures for a very short period of time. Keep in mind that a blue steak should have at least 1-inch thickness so that the center warms but does not cook.

Is it safe to eat a Blue Steak?

If done right, blue steaks can be safe to eat. However, it is recommended that you take precautions before and during the cooking process. As always, consuming raw or undercooked meat can result in foodborne illness, particularly E. coli. However, scientists have found that E. coli is present on the outside of beef steaks, not in the center. That means destroying the bacteria on the surface is the most important step in reducing chances of illness. With that said, there are a few items you will need before cooking a blue steak. 

Best steaks for making it.

Your best blue steak options should be tender and lean with minimal marbling: We recommend the following steaks for this method. Look for steaks that are between 1″-2″ thick.

  • Filet Mignon
  • Top Sirloin
  • Flat Iron
  • Round Steak
  • Sirloin Tip Side Steak

Steaks to avoid.

These steaks are all delicious if cooked to medium-rare doneness. However, they contain a lot of intramuscular fat, or they are too tough and chewy to accurately pull off the blue steak experience. 

  • High-end steaks: Kobe or Wagyu contain a good amount of marbling, which is not suitable for blue steak cooking.
  • Ribeye: Too much marbling
  • T-Bone: Uneven surface, with tougher meat.
  • Flat steaks: flank, hanger, sirloin flap steak, skirt steak: These steaks are too thin, tough and chewy.
  • Porterhouse: Similar to the T-Bone.
blue steak

What do you need to cook a blue steak?

  • A 1 to 1 1/2-inch thick filet mignon or sirloin steak: Use only tender, high-quality meats that are lean. Fat will not have time to cook, so we recommend stay clear of marbled steaks like ribeye or tough chewy flat steaks like flank or flat-iron.
  • Cast-iron skillet: These skillets can hold heat like none other. The high heat from the cast-iron skillet will provide an even cooking surface for the blue steak and an intense sear on the surface. Use a large cast-iron skillet if cooking more than one steak.
  • High smoke point oil: Use oils like grapeseed, peanut, canola, or extra-light olive oil. 
  • Seasonings: Stick to basic ingredients like salt and black pepper. We want to build a nice crust and seal the outer edges of the steak. The beef should shine through, so if you do use extra spices, sprinkle it on lightly. Some cooks like to rub the surface of the steak with raw garlic cloves for an added flavor boost. The choice if yours. However, we believe that simplicity is best in this scenario.
  • Tongs: Use metal tongs that are easy to clean. Avoid using silicon-coated tongs for this job. They are harder to clean and bacteria can hide in the coating. We recommend having multiple pairs of ready to use. Metal tongs are relatively inexpensive and offered in 2-packs in most department stores and online.
  • Methods of sanitizing: You’ll need soap, warm water, and a sponge nearby for cleaning the tongs. This is especially important if you are using only one pair during the cooking process. Sanitize the tongs after each turn to eliminate possible cross-contamination. You can also use food-safe sanitizing wipes (do not use Clorox wipes!).
Steak in skillet

How to Cook the Perfect Blue Steak

  • First, remove your steak from the fridge 1 hour before cooking. This will help to warm up the interior of the steak.
  • Blot the surface and sides of the steak to remove excess moisture. Season both sides well with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat the cast-iron pan on your stovetop or grill and add oil. Once it’s hot and starts to smoke, it’s time to put your steak on.
  • Place the steak into the pan and leave it alone. Don’t press on it, leave it alone. Let the steak sizzle for exactly 1 minute.
  • During this time, disinfect your tongs, and dry them properly.
  • Turn the steak and repeat the process for another minute.
  • Sanitize your tongs again.
  • You might notice that the sides of your steak are still raw. This will need to be cooked, and is the final stage of “sealing” the outer portion of your blue steak.
  • Using clean tongs, roll the steak on its side to brown. Gently rotate the steak to complete the process. Remember not to press down on the steak.
  • Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Once it registers 84 degrees F, it’s done. If you gently press on the steak with your index finger, the meat will feel soft and spongey.
  • Let the steak rest in butter for a few minutes, and serve.

Tips

  • We recommend purchasing good quality beef, like wagyu from a reputable source.  The meat should have a bright red color, indicating its freshness.
  • Avoid fatty meats.
  • Keep in mind that the type of steak you use can have different textural outcomes. Some blue steaks are soft and buttery, while others are dense and chewy.
  • Let the steak sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.
  • Have a reliable instant-read thermometer and sanitizing tools at your disposal. These two items are important for keep harmful pathogens at bay.
  • Try this recipe in a hot cast-iron skillet for best results. 
  • Searing the outside of the steak will not guarantee 100% removal of foodborne bacteria. It will to minimize it, but some bacteria might still remain.be present.
  • Rest your blue steak with flavored butter on top for a creamy finish. Let that butter melt in before serving. We recommend topping your steak with blue cheese for added flavor.
blue steak

How to Cook a Blue Steak

This recipe is the simplest method for cooking a blue steak. Keep in mind that while our recipe will walk you through how to make it. Please note that the USDA recommends an internal temperature of at least 125 degrees F for a rare steak. Please read the article attached to this recipe in full before attempting to cook a blue steak.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American Food
Keyword: blue steak, super rare steak
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 510kcal
Author: Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

  • 2 filet mignons 6 ounces each, with an even thickness of 1 1/2"
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil grapeseed, peanut, canola, or extra-light olive oil, or 3/4 tablespoon per steak.
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1 12-inch cast-iron pan (pre-seasoned)
  • 2 pairs of metal tongs
  • food-safe sanitizing wipes or cleaning methods mentioned in the article above.

Instructions

  • First, remove your steak from the fridge 1 hour before cooking. Doing this will help to warm up the interior of the steak.
  • Blot the surface and sides of the steak to remove excess moisture. Season both sides well with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat the cast-iron pan on your stovetop or grill and add oil. Once it’s hot and starts to smoke, it’s time to put your steak on.
  • Place the steak into the pan and leave it alone. Don’t press on it; leave it alone. Let the steak sizzle for exactly 1 minute.
  • During this time, disinfect your tongs, and dry them properly.
  • Turn the steak and repeat the process for another minute.
  • Sanitize your tongs again.
  • You might notice that the sides of your steak are still raw. It will need to be cooked and is the final stage of “sealing” the outer portion of your blue steak.
  • Using clean tongs, roll the steak on its side to brown. Gently rotate the steak to complete the process. Remember not to press down on the steak.
  • Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Once it registers 84 degrees F, it’s done. If you gently press the steak with your index finger, the meat will feel soft and spongey.
  • Let the steak rest in room temperature butter for 2 minutes, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal | Protein: 31g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 517mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 4mg
What is a Blue Steak?

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