What is a Blue Steak?

what is a blue steak

A “blue steak” refers to a very specific level of doneness of a steak, which is even rarer than what most people know as “rare.” The term “blue” comes from the French phrase “bleu,” indicating a steak that is seared on the outside but still virtually raw on the inside. Cooking a steak to blue doneness means it is only exposed to heat for a very short time. The goal is to just sear the outside while leaving the interior cool and barely warmed. It’s a style that’s definitely not for everyone but is cherished by those who love the most tender and juiciest of steaks.

Characteristics of a Blue Steak
  • Cool, red center: The internal temperature of a blue steak does not usually exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius), keeping the center of the steak cool and red.
  • Very soft texture: Since it is barely heated, the muscle fibers do not contract much, and the steak remains very soft and tender.
  • Minimal cooking time: A blue steak is typically seared for about one minute per side, depending on the thickness of the cut. This is just enough time to develop a slight crust.
How to Cook a Blue Steak

Cooking a blue steak requires precision and attention, as the minimal cooking time doesn’t leave much room for error. Here’s how you can cook a blue steak:

  1. Select the right cut: The best cuts for cooking blue are those that are naturally tender and well-marbled with fat, like filet mignon or rib-eye.
  2. Bring the steak to room temperature: This helps to cook the steak slightly more evenly, although the center will still remain quite cool.
  3. Preheat your pan: Get your skillet very hot before adding the steak to ensure it sears quickly.
  4. Season the steak: Lightly season your steak with salt and possibly some pepper just before cooking.
  5. Sear the steak: Place the steak in the hot pan. Cook for approximately one to two minutes on each side, depending on the steak’s thickness.
  6. Rest the steak: Even though it’s barely cooked, letting it rest for a few minutes can help redistribute any juices.
Safety Considerations

It’s important to consider the safety implications of eating blue steak, as its low internal temperature means that it might not reach a safe level to kill off harmful bacteria. To minimize risk:

  • Choose high-quality, fresh meat: Ideally, source your steak from reputable suppliers who offer cuts that are safe to be eaten rare.
  • Practice good kitchen hygiene: Ensure all utensils, cutting boards, and surfaces are clean to avoid cross-contamination.
Culinary Appeal

Despite the safety concerns, blue steak holds a unique position in culinary circles. It’s prized for its extreme tenderness and the very pure, unaltered flavor of the beef. It’s often enjoyed by connoisseurs and adventurous eaters who appreciate its distinct qualities.

Eating steak cooked blue is not very common and is usually a preference seen in serious steak lovers. It’s more frequently served in high-end steak restaurants or prepared by enthusiasts at home who have a particular liking for the least cooked meats. If you’re curious about trying a blue steak, it’s best to start at a reputable steakhouse or fine dining restaurant where chefs are experienced in preparing steaks at varying levels of doneness safely and skillfully.

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