What is Meant by “Black and Blue Steak?”

Welcome to the exciting world of Black and Blue steak!

Here, the combination of fire and skill creates an amazing culinary masterpiece. Imagine a steak with a tempting, charred outer layer that leads to a perfectly rare or even raw center. 

Guess what it is?

It’s Black and Blue steak! “What’s a Black and Blue Steak,” do you wonder?

In this article, we’ll explore the intriguing world of Black and Blue steak by discovering its meaning, origins, and distinctive and seductive qualities. 

So get ready to embark on a mouthwatering journey as we uncover the secrets behind Black and Blue Steak.

What is Meant by Black and Blue Steak?

A Black and Blue is a special kind of steak cooked to be very rare on the inside and has a charred outer layer. The name “Black and Blue” is derived from the appearance of the steak, which has a charred or blackened (from being quickly seared at high heat) and a cool, rare interior. 

The blue color in the name refers to the notion of the steak being so rare that almost “pinkish-blue” in color. The contrast between the darkened outer crust and the rare center is what gives it the name “Black and Blue.”.

Basically, “Black and Blue” is a way of cooking steak where the outside of the meat is seared at a high temperature to create a blackened crust. Yet, the inside remains rare or even raw, with an internal temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This method is also known as “Pittsburgh rare” or “rare plus.”


In some cases, the term “Black and Blue” can be used interchangeably with “rare” or “blue rare,” although it usually implies a stronger sear on the outside. Cooking a steak to this level of doneness requires careful timing and attention to ensure the meat isn’t overcooked.

What is the origin of “Black and Blue Steak?

The origins of Pittsburgh Rare can be traced back to the city’s industrial past. Pittsburgh was a famous city for its steel mills. And workers in such a busy steel industry had limited time of 30 minutes for lunch breaks. So, they wanted their steaks cooked quickly. 

For this purpose, they threw their steaks in the furnaces at the high temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Such high heat burnt/charred the steak so swiftly that they had to remove it from the flames to get a significant protein portion. Unfortunately, this teak remained raw and blue inside.

Thus, they invented the Pittsburgh steak. And wise chefs in the city’s restaurants developed this “black and Blue” steak by specifying the internal doneness, which often had only an internal temperature of 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, “Black and Blue” steak was popularized in the United States, specifically in the 1960s or 1970s. 

What are other names for Black and Blue steak?

The terms “Black and Blue” and “Blue” are commonly used to describe a specific level of doneness for steak. However, there are a few other names or variations used to refer to a similar level of doneness:

Pittsburgh Rare

The use of the term “Pittsburgh Rare” for Black and Blue steak is common in the United States, especially in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It refers to the steak with the same characteristics as a Black and Blue steak.

Yet, it’s worth noting that the ” may not be widely recognized outside of the United States, and different regions may have their own names for this cooking style.


This term is derived from the French word for “blue.” It’s used to describe a steak that is quickly seared on high heat, resulting in a charred exterior and a cool, raw center.


While not specific to “Black and Blue” or “blue” steak, the term “rare” is used to describe steak that is cooked very briefly, resulting in a cool, red center. “Black and Blue” and “blue” steak are considered variations of rare doneness.


The terminology for steak doneness can vary regionally, and there may also be other local names or variations.

How is a Blue and Black Steak cooked?

A Black and Blue steak is cooked on a very high heat, like in an open fire, an extremely hot grill, or a pan. The steak is seared for 1-2 minutes per side or until the outside is charred and the inside is still red, with a maximum internal temperature of 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Or alternatively and ideally, using a butane torch to its fullest is the best way to get a Black and Blue steak.


To cook a “Black and Blue” steak, it’s best to remove excessive seasonings from your steak.

What does Black and Blue Steak taste like?

Black and Blue steaks taste almost similar to the rare steak. Yet, the charred outside gives the steak a smoky flavor, and the red inside is juicy and tender. If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful steak, a Black and Blue steak is a great option.

So, What is a Black and Blue steak and its Characteristics?

A Black and Blue steak is a specific cooking style where the steak’s outer surface is seared or charred to create a blackened crust while the interior remains rare or raw. The term “black and blue” refers to the color of the charred exterior (black) and the rare interior (blue). It’s also sometimes known as “Pittsburgh rare” or “Chicago-style” steak.

The characteristics of a Black and Blue steak include:

Blackened crust

The exterior of the steak is cooked at high heat, resulting in a charred or blackened crust. This is achieved through methods like grilling, broiling, or using a hot skillet. 

A rare or raw interior

Despite the blackened crust, the interior of a Black and Blue steak remains rare or even raw featuring a pinkish-blue color. The goal is to cook the steak quickly at high heat, searing the outside while leaving the center rare or raw with an internal temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit–it’s cool to the touch or a bit warmer. 

Juiciness and tenderness

The shorter cooking time preserves the natural juices and tenderness of the steak. The result is a steak with a succulent texture and a flavor profile that showcases the beef’s natural qualities.

Bold and intense flavors

The blackened, charred crust contributes a smoky and slightly charred flavor to the steak, which combines with the meat’s natural flavors. The contrast between the charred exterior and the rare interior creates a unique taste experience.


Is a Black and Blue steak safe to eat?

Whether you should eat a Black and Blue steak or not, it depends on various factors. Basically, a Black and blue steak isn’t cooked to the USDA-recommended safe internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for red meat. It’s why consuming a rare steak like Blue and Black is risky. However, you can minimize the risk of foodborne illness by ensuring that the steak is the freshest, high-quality, and properly frozen/stored.

Yet, people with a compromised immune system, pregnant women, young children, and the elderly should avoid eating meat raw or rare.

What cut of steak is best for a Black and Blue steak?

The most suitable cut of steak for a Black and Blue steak is a tenderloin for it has little or no fat and is also soft. Besides this, you can also opt for a ribeye or New York strip. These cuts of steak are tender and have a nice thickness to help them to retain their juiciness when cooked rare.

What is the best way to cook a Black and Blue steak?

The key to cooking a Black and Blue Steak is to cook it in a high fire–open fire. Doing so is a bit challenging at home. Here are a few workable ways to cook a Black and Blue steak.

  • The best way to cook a Black and Blue steak is using a butane torch (which is ideal).
  • You can use an extremely hot cast-iron skillet. It helps to create a nice crust on the outside of the steak while keeping the inside rare.
  • Throwing the steak on a preheated stone on an open fire.

You can try the methods that provide optimum heat for Black and Blue steak. A few tries will certainly help you master the art of searing a Black and Blue steak.

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Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

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