Learn about What are Blue Steaks and how to cook them. We’ll discuss their safety and the best cuts of meat to use to achieve this ultra-rare meal. True high-end steak aficionados will appreciate the unique flavors, but it is an acquired taste for some.
As you’re sitting in a steak restaurant, scrolling through the menu, you overhear a man asking for a blue steak on a nearby table.
You’re not a meat expert, so this “blue steak” expression might seem odd to you. So what is a blue steak?
Widely known as “bleu” steak, a blue steak is the very first stage you get while cooking your meat. The interior of the flesh is hardly cooked and shy from being raw. The outside is seared and looks like a regular steak.
The answer may be sufficient, but it could create more questions. For example, why do they call it a blue steak? Are blue steaks and rare steaks the same? How to cook a blue steak? How does it taste? And is it safe to eat it to begin with?
We’ll give you the answer to that plus some more!
Why Is It Called “Blue”?
We’ll be honest here. It’s hard to get an exact answer to that, but we know some of the reasons behind the naming. Here are some theories, although not all of them are viable.
Reason #1: Oxygenated Blood
Some people say that the meat is blue when it gets cut for the first time. However, once the meat is exposed to air for a few minutes, the blue color turns into a deep red.
That theory is derived from the oxygenated blood in humans. Our veins look blue because the blood doesn’t have oxygen, while our arteries are red because the blood has oxygen. This sounds logical at first, but it also means that when you cut a blue steak open, it leaks blood.
That’s where this theory proves wrong because your cooked meat doesn’t leak blood. When you cut it, what comes out of your juicy steak is myoglobin, not blood.
We’ve also got live proof that blood has nothing to do with it. Keep an eye on the blue steak when it gets cut open in this video. It’s red as soon as it gets cut.
Reason #2: The Blue Sheen
This theory states that the steak oils have a blue sheen, making it appear as if the steak’s interior is cold or blue.
So, it’s just giving a fancy name to the steak based on what some people might see as a blue sheen. We’re not very convinced with that one, are you?
Reason #3: The French Au Bleu
This is the most viable theory, in my opinion. In French culture, cooking some types of fish that have just been fished out is called Au Bleu.
It’s especially common in cooking Trout fish, using a mixture of seasonings and vinegar. This method is called “Au Bleu Trout.”
When you hardly cook a steak to the point where it still seems raw, the term blue or “bleu” steak is used.
Are Blue and Rare Steaks the Same?
Rare steaks differ from blue steaks in the cooking category, but they’re very close. Eaters who are new to steak may not be able to tell the difference between both.
A rare steak’s center is around 75% red and 25% pink. A blue steak is considered an “extra rare” steak where the center is almost entirely red.
You can always check a steak chart to know the differences between the types of steaks and what you should see when you cut them open.
Best Cuts of Meat to Use
Perfectly cooking your steak is essential, but it’s not everything. Selecting the proper cut to cook a blue steak is just as important.
A few minutes of blue steak cooking aren’t enough to cook the steak if it has excessive fat and marbling.
The result will be a fatty steak that’s not easy to chew or swallow. Trust us; you don’t want that. Nobody does.
Here are some great candidates and choose prime vs choice:
- Round Steak
- Filet Mignon
- Sirloin Tip
On the other end of the spectrum, these cuts should be avoided if you want a blue steak:
|Cut of Meat||Explanation|
|T-Bone||Uneven surface with tough meat that needs more cooking time.|
|Flap and flank steak||Too thin for a blue steak; they’ll be uncomfortably chewy|
|Ribeye||Too much marbling; will taste raw after cooking.|
|Wagyu beef||The highest quality meat in the world isn’t suitable to be cooked as blue because of the high marble amount.|
Now for the exciting part, how to cook the blue steak! Follow these simple steps:
Step One: Get your steak out of the fridge and let it rest for around an half of an hour. Don’t rush and skip this step, or you’ll end up with an uncomfortably cold interior of the steak.
Step Two: Blot or pat your steak to ensure that any excess moisture comes out. Excess moisture will lead to uneven cooking of your steak.
Note: This may not be a problem with other types of steak because the water will evaporate with the heat. However, the little time you cook blue steak may not be enough to eliminate all those excess fluids.
Step Three: Season your steak with salt and pepper. You may brush some olive oil on the surface of your steak for some additional char, but it’s optional.
Step Four: Heat the grill to 400-450° and add the cast iron skillet. Add a little bit of olive oil. Once the oil is hot and starts to smoke, it is ready to add the steak.
Step Five: Leave the steak in the same position on the same side for exactly one minute. You may be tempted to press on it and hear that sizzle, but that may cause some uneven cooking.
Step Six: After a minute, flip the steak to the other side using clean and dry tongs. Let it cook for another minute.
At this point, you’ll notice that both sides are cooked, but the edges of the steak are still somewhat raw. You’ll need to “roll” the steak on its edges until it develops a sear all over.
Step Seven: Once you’re finished, remove the pan from the heat source and use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. It should read between 115°F and 120°F.
As Chef Gordon Ramsay says: Serve!
Tip: It’s common to let a steak rest to allow the liquids to redistribute throughout it for that juicy bite. You don’t need to do that with a blue steak because it doesn’t get hot enough to squeeze out the liquid.
Is It Safe to Eat a Blue Steak?
With all that “shy from being raw” talk, is it even safe to consume a blue steak?
Let’s pause for a minute and ask: why do we even cook food to begin with? Why shouldn’t we just consume it raw?
The point of cooking something is eliminating the harmful bacteria (especially E.Coli) using the heat, plus adding some spices and seasonings to please our taste buds.
The few minutes of high temperature searing are more than enough to kill the bacteria on the surface of the meat.
A correctly cooked blue steak isn’t only safe to eat but also a tasty meal for its dedicated fans.
What Does a Blue Steak Taste Like?
So, you’re about to take that first bite. What taste should you expect?
The first half of your bite will feel relatively normal. You’re biting into that brown-seared, well-seasoned exterior that doesn’t differ from any other steak.
The new experience comes when you get to the “bleu” interior. The sudden transition from warm and seasoned meat to very cool center may take you by surprise.
Some people describe it as spongy without that juicy bit you get from biting into a medium-rare steak, for example.
The taste is unique, but it’s not for everyone. Just like black coffee with no sugar, it has its dedicated fans who think it’s the best steak out there.
Generally, not every meat lover will enjoy this right away. It can take some time, as this is an acquired taste.
That’s About It
We hope that you no longer feel the need to ask: What is a blue steak?
Blue steaks may not be the most widely served choice, but their popularity puts them on the menu of most steakhouses.
They’re tasty, safe, and as healthy as a normal steak would be. As long as it is cooked correctly using the right cuts of beef, you should enjoy it just like you’d enjoy any other steak.
How to Cook Blue Steak
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 4 Tongs
- 2 Tenderloin Steaks filet or sirloin can be substituted
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- butter optional
- Get your steak out of the fridge and let it rest for around an half of an hour. Don’t rush and skip this step, or you’ll end up with an uncomfortably cold interior of the steak.
- Blot or pat your steak to ensure that any excess moisture comes out. Excess moisture will lead to uneven cooking of your steak.
- Season your steak with salt and pepper. You may brush some olive oil on the surface of your steak for some additional char, but it’s optional.
- Heat the grill to 400-450° (the higher the temp, the better) and add the cast iron skillet. Add a little bit of olive oil. Once the oil is hot and starts to smoke, it is ready to add the steak.
- Leave the steak in the same position on the same side for exactly one minute. You may be tempted to press on it and hear that sizzle, but that may cause some uneven cooking.
- After a minute, flip the steak to the other side using clean and dry tongs. Let it cook for another minute.At this point, you’ll notice that both sides are cooked, but the edges of the steak are still somewhat raw. You’ll need to “roll” the steak on its edges until it develops a sear all over.
- Once you’re finished, remove the pan from the heat source and use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. It should read between 115°F and 120°F.