How many people have been out to dinner at a 5 star steakhouse and overheard the infamous ” I would like my steak well done…” only to be followed by the infamous and ill informed “I like my meat dead… I don’t want to see any blood.. No Pink!”.
Then after that, same person that ordered this WELL DONE steak, takes their first bite and concludes “See, this steak is dry. I can cook a better steak at home”.
Well girlfriend… I hate to break it to you but YOU ordered a dry steak.
And blood, ma’am…….. the red substance you are thinking of when picturing a rare steak, it’s not blood.
Now I am not saying that a Rare Steak is at the top of my Steak choice list but let’s be clear… It’s not blood.
I am a Medium Well type of gal but I am quickly becoming intrigued by Medium.
But lets explore what each type REALLY means and maybe, just maybe, the next time you order a steak, you will find it to be more appealing to your taste buds.
- RAW – Self Explanatory, Here
- RARE/VERY RARE – Seared Outside, Red about 75% through the center
- MEDIUM RARE – Seared Outside with 50% Red Center
- MEDIUM – Seared Outside with 25% Pink through the center
- MEDIUM WELL – Slightly Pink Center
- WELL DONE – No Pink Center, 100% Brown
So what does red and pink really mean?
Steak doesn’t carry the same parasites that chicken or pork does. Ground beef, however, can have bacteria spread throughout so you still may want to have that burger well done to decrease your risk of E. Coli.
But steak is a different situation here…
Lets get back to the “I don’t want to see blood” comment.
The “meat juice” you see is a mixture of water, fat and myoglobin. Myoglobin protein (iron and oxygen) found in the muscles of mammals contains hemes which are responsible for the red color of meat.
IT IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH HEMOGLOBIN FOUND IN BLOOD.
Meat that is well done is brown due to the loss of an electron now making the iron in an oxidation state.
Myoglobin is not Hemoglobin
The type of steak you order can also make a difference on the way you want it cooked. You can have it butterflied, etc. But lets leave that topic for another day.
So just try something new. The great news is you can always have your steak put BACK on the grill if the first option doesn’t tickle your fancy.
If well done is still your choice, Rock On!