What Does Black and Blue Steak Mean?

Are you a steak enthusiast, but just heard someone asking for a “black and blue steak” and wondered what the hell does that even mean?

Hey, I’m not the only one – someone requested this one time years ago in a steakhouse I worked at in London – I thought it meant a steak going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, obviously it isn’t!

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of black and blue steak, exploring its origin, how it’s cooked, and why it has become a popular choice among steak lovers.

What Is A Black and Blue Steak?

Black and blue steak.
Black and blue steak.

Understanding the origin of black and blue steak helps us appreciate its uniqueness.

The term “black and blue” is believed to have originated from the Pittsburgh area in the United States.

This cooking style involves searing the steak at an extremely high temperature, resulting in a charred exterior and a cool, almost raw interior.

Cooking The Perfect Black and Blue Steak

Cooking a black and blue steak requires precision and a good understanding of temperatures.

Here’s how you can achieve that perfect balance of a charred crust and a rare center:

1. Choose The Right Cut of Meat

Not all cuts of meat are suitable for black and blue steak.

Opt for cuts of steak that are thick and tender, such as ribeye or filet mignon. The thickness allows for a proper sear without overcooking the interior.

2. Preparing The Steak

Before you start cooking, make sure your steak is at room temperature.

Season it with salt and pepper or your favorite steak rub, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

3. Heat The Grill or Skillet

To achieve the ideal black and blue steak, you need high heat.

Whether you’re using a grill or a skillet, preheat it to the maximum temperature. This will help develop a charred crust on the outside.

4. Searing The Steak

Place the seasoned steak on the hot grill or skillet and let it sear for a couple of minutes on each side.

The high heat will create a beautiful char on the outside while keeping the interior rare.

5. Resting and Serving

After cooking, allow the steak to rest for a few minutes.

This allows the juices to distribute evenly, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak.

Serve your black and blue steak with your favorite side dishes or sauce.

Black and blue steak has gained popularity among steak lovers for several reasons:

Intense Flavor

The charred crust adds a unique smoky flavor to the steak, enhancing its overall taste.

This charred exterior combined with the rare interior creates a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.


The quick sear on high heat ensures that the steak remains tender.

The interior, being rare, retains its natural juices, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Visual Appeal

The striking appearance of black and blue steak, with its charred crust and vibrant pink center, makes it a visually stunning dish.

It’s sure to impress both guests and fellow diners.


What Is Black And Blue Steak?

Black and blue steak refers to a cooking style where the steak is seared at high temperatures, resulting in a charred exterior and a rare, almost raw interior.

Is Black And Blue Steak Safe To Eat?

While black and blue steak is safe to eat, it’s important to note that the internal temperature of the rare center may not reach the recommended temperature for killing bacteria. If you have concerns about food safety, you may opt for a slightly more cooked steak.

Can I Achieve A Black And Blue Steak On A Gas Grill?

Absolutely! A gas grill can reach the high temperatures required for cooking a black and blue steak. Simply preheat your grill to the maximum temperature and follow the searing instructions mentioned earlier in the article.

How Do I Know If My Black And Blue Steak Is Cooked Correctly?

Black and blue steak should have a charred crust on the outside while remaining rare on the inside. You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be around 125°F (52°C) for a rare steak.

Can I Cook Black And Blue Steak With Different Cuts Of Meat?

While the traditional cuts for black and blue steak are ribeye or filet mignon, you can experiment with other tender cuts as well. Just ensure that the thickness of the cut allows for a proper sear without overcooking the interior.


Now that you know what black and blue steak is, its cooking technique, and why it has gained popularity, it’s time to fire up the grill or heat up that skillet and embark on a flavorful culinary adventure.

Whether you’re looking to impress guests or simply enjoy a restaurant-quality steak at home, black and blue steak is a delicious choice that combines the best of both worlds.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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