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Have you ever heard of blue steak? It’s the ultimate test for any meat lover looking to experience the purest form of beef flavor. If you’re someone who appreciates the taste and texture of high-quality beef, you owe it to yourself to try a blue rare steak at least once.
In this post, we will cover:
What is Blue Steak?
The blue steak is a very lightly seared, extra rare steak that’s cooked for a very short period of time. This unique cooking method for a steak connoisseur is considered a delicacy that enhances the flavor and tenderness of the meat.
In this post, I’ll be exploring the world of blue steak in more detail. So, if you’re curious about this unique blue steak taste and cooking method, read on to learn more!
Why is it Called Blue Steak?
Let’s work this question out early in the post. Does blue steak actually have a “blue color?” Nope, not at all. Blue rare steaks are not blue.
The term originated in France, where the steak is called “bleu,” which means blue in French. The steak is cooked very quickly at a high temperature, which makes the steak blue rare.
So, even though the meat may appear more red or purple, the term “blue” has stuck around for this specific cooking method.
How to Cook Blue Steak
The cooking process is slightly different from traditional steak cooking methods. To cook the perfect blue steak, you must first season the tender cut with salt and pepper or any other seasoned spice you like. Once you have evenly seasoned the steak, you then cook it on high heat for a very short period of time.
The goal is to sear the entire outer surface (sides included) of the steak while keeping the inside blue rare. This method of searing locks in the flavor and juices of the meat. This cooking process results in a more intense beef flavor with a tender, yet juicy steak texture.
If you’re planning to cook a blue steak at home, here are a few tips on how to make the perfect sear.
Blue Steak Cooking & Temperature Guide
- Start with a high-quality lean steak: Look for a steak that’s at least 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Season the steak: Sprinkle both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. We recommend a high-quality coarse kosher salt rather than fine table salt. Allow the steak to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat the grill: It’s important to preheat the grill of choice on high heat for 15-20 minutes. If using a cast iron skillet on the stove, make sure to heat it on high for at least 5 minutes. Both of these methods will help prepare for high-temperature searing. You can use olive oil to coat the grill grates or cast iron skillet.
- Sear the steak: Place the steak on the hot skillet or directly onto the grill and cook for 30-60 seconds per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. The goal is for the steak to be slightly seared on the entire outer surface while keeping the inside blue rare. The internal temperature of the steak ideally should reach 120°F while not exceeding 130°F to be cooked properly.
- Let it rest: Remove the blue rare from the heat and let the steak rest for a minute to allow the juices to redistribute. Resting a steak will allow the meat to cook more so it’s important to keep this step brief. No longer than 2-3 minutes or you may not be serving a true blue rare steak.
- Serve: Slice the steak against the grain and serve immediately.
Best Cuts for Blue Steaks
Finding the perfect cut of meat is everything. Look for a good high quality steak from a reputable source. Choosing steak cuts that are lean is preferred.
Top Tender Cuts We Recommend
- Filet mignon
- Flat iron
- Sirloin tip
- Flank steak
What Cuts To Avoid
You want to steer clear of a marbled or fatty steak. Since a blue rare steak is cooked by a brief high-heat sear, the fat on a steak will not evenly heat through and melt.
Cuts We Do Not Recommend
- Strip steak
Is Blue Steak Safe to Eat?
For those who are not accustomed to eating raw or undercooked meat, it may seem unsafe. When you think of raw meat, you may be a bit concerned. However, when handled and cooked properly, blue rare steak is perfectly safe to eat (and not considered raw).
- Use top-notch meat from a trusted supplier and handle and cook it meticulously.
- Use a clean and sanitized cooking surface.
- Make sure the meat is cooked to the proper temperature to ensure that any harmful bacteria are eliminated.
Using a meat thermometer can help ensure you achieve an internal temperature of 120°F.
Are Blue Steak and Rare Steak the Same?
The quick answer is no. The reasoning is that rare blue steak is meant to be cooked very quickly on high heat, usually, 30-60 seconds on every side. You want it cooked just enough to sear the exterior while leaving the interior blue rare lightly.
A rare steak on the other hand is cooked slightly longer than a blue steak, usually for 2-3 minutes on each side. This provides a slightly warmer center but is still mostly rare. You can cook a medium rare steak if you want a red center but warmed through a bit more.
So to all the rare steak lovers who haven’t tried cooking blue steak, now is the time!
What is a Pittsburgh Steak?
Pittsburgh steak, also known as black and blue steak, involves charring the exterior of the meat while leaving the center rare. It’s very similar to a blue steak but with the added step of searing the meat until it is charred and blackened on the outside.
If you’re visiting the Pittsburgh steel mills area and want to enjoy a true black and blue steak, check out Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. They’re located in other areas as well, so definitely worth checking out if you can enjoy this top-notch restaurant.
Professional Tips from Top Chefs
In our own words, we have grown to value what a few famous chefs have to say about grilling.
- Chef Gordon Ramsay is big on making sure you allow the steak to rest. You want to savor those juices.
- Jamie Oliver talks about properly seasoning your steak. Make sure you evenly apply salt and pepper or any spice you are working with.
- Bobby Flay is a king at cooking a perfect steak. Just like cooking blue steak, Bobby recommends a high-heat grill for the perfect sear.
- Alton Brown knows when you properly cook a steak on the grill you want to avoid flipping too many times. The perfect steak is placed on the grill and then only flipped once.
- Ina Garten recommends having a reliable meat thermometer on hand at all times.
More Steak Cuts for Home Grilling
If you love grilling and are looking for more ideas then check out our top cuts and perfect steak recipes.
Top Takeaways for Blue Steak
- Blue steak is a very lightly seared, extra rare steak.
- The “bleu” steak originated in France.
- Blue steak is cooked on very high heat for a very short period of time.
- Sear the entire outer surface while keeping the inside blue rare.
- Rest the blue steak briefly so it does not cook more than needed.
- The internal temperature should be 120°F.
- When handled and prepared properly, blue steak is absolutely safe to eat.