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Stop Calling That Juicy Steak ‘Bloody’ – Here’s What It Really Is

Stop Calling That Juicy Steak ‘Bloody’ – Here’s What It Really Is


The ‘juice’ in your steak isn’t blood

Dreamstime

There's no such thing as a "bloody" steak.

You can be forgiven if you think that the pinkish liquid that makes a rare steak “juicy” is blood. It’s also a great way to make people squeamish about eating a steak that’s anything less than well-done: “I don’t want to be eating all that blood!” Well, we have news for you: Even a completely raw steak contains no blood. The “juice” in your steak looks and tastes nothing like actual blood, because it isn’t; it’s called myoglobin, and it’s a protein that’s only found in muscle tissue.

Like its cousin hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in blood, myoglobin’s job is to carry oxygen through muscle. Myoglobin contains a red pigment, which is why muscle tissue is red. When exposed to heat, myoglobin darkens, which is why well-done meat takes on that lovely shade of gray.

When exposed to carbon monoxide or nitric oxide, the red pigment in myoglobin “locks” into place and doesn’t darken. This has a few applications in the world of food science. One, many commercial meat packers will treat raw steaks with carbon monoxide, which is why supermarket meat always looks fresh and red even though it’s been sitting out for a few days and would have naturally darkened by then. Two, hams, hot dogs, and other cured meats are treated with nitric oxide (also known as pink salt or curing salt), and this prevents the myoglobin from turning brown during cooking; this is why they stay red. Third, the smoke that gives barbecue its distinctive flavor also contains carbon monoxide, which is why good barbecue retains that signature “smoke ring.”

So stop calling that perfectly rare steak “bloody”! Trust us, if your steak was covered in actual cow blood, nobody, not even die-hard rare-steak-lovers, would want to go anywhere near it. Take this knowledge and don't be afraid to order a medium-rare steak at the best steakhouse in your state.


The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory

The Science Of Juiciness, Why Resting And Holding Meat Are Different, And Why It’s Time To Stop Crying Over Spilled Juices

Mom always said that you had to rest an hour after eating before going for a swim. Happily, there has never been a documented case of drowning due to swimming after eating. Either we all always obey Mom, or this is just another myth.

Likewise it is widely preached that we must let meat “rest” after it is cooked for fear that we might drown in all the escaping fluids when we cut it. Let’s define some terms. Resting meats cooked to 165°F or below, we are told, makes meat more juicy. Steaks and chops are said to need 15 minutes, thicker roasts and turkey breasts are said to need up to 30 minutes. Holding some meats cooked up to 200°F or so is very different from resting meats cooked to less than 165°F. Let’s start by focusing on resting meat cooked to 165°F or below. Is it necessary? Hint: Much of the answer lies in the photo above. To get the whole answer, we need to look at:

  1. What causes juiciness
  2. What happens to meat when it leaves the heat
  3. How we eat in the real world
  4. Some of the experiments people have done to test the theory