Is My Steak Bad? [What Does A Bad Steak Look Like?]

You’ve grabbed the grill and your favorite chair, and your family has finally gathered around the fire for much-needed family time. However, when you open the sealed packet of steak, you smell something odd and notice that the coloring has changed from the healthy red it was at the store. 

When a raw steak has turned bad, it will be entirely brown or have splotches of brown throughout, with a distinctly rotten smell. A cooked steak that is bad will develop a green coloring of the mold with a more pungent smell of rotten flesh, with some developing a layer of slime over it that carries the smell. 

is my steak bad

Knowing when a steak is bad is one of the most important things you must learn about barbecuing and general cooking. Unfortunately, many mistakenly assume that the odd smell of steak is okay, only to find themselves suffering from food poisoning. 

So let’s find out how to determine when steak goes bad, so you can prevent unfortunate experiences and keep your family safe when grilling.

What Does A Bad Steak Look Like?

When it comes to spotting a bad steak, whether cooked or uncooked, you must be able to recognize the signs. Most cooked steaks have an almost non-existent scent in the initial spoilage stages; however, this aroma will become more recognizable as time passes. 

Therefore, being aware of what constitutes rancidity is essential.

Raw Steak

It’s much easier to spot a spoiled steak before cooking it. There are a few signs to look for, such as; a brownish color or brown spots, a foul smell, dryness, and a slimy feel to the touch. 

Unfortunately, you’ll have to go off of smell and color if you’re shopping at a grocery store. But you can use all three methods to determine if a steak you pulled out of your freezer as a test. 

A healthy raw steak will be red, with the fat strips or the marbling always being white; if the meat deviates from this look, don’t eat it. 

Cooked Steak

While it’s hard to determine if the steak is bad after cooking, there are several signs that you can spot beforehand, which could prevent an unpleasant experience. 

Though steaks look perfectly fine before the smell starts becoming rancid, being alert for tell-tale indications of spoilage ahead of time is critical!

One of the easiest ways to tell if the cooked steak has gone bad is to look for a greenish-black coloring on the outside. This usually indicates mold and should not be consumed under any circumstances.

If the steak has been stored in an airtight container for more than three days, it’s best to discard it even if the surface appears clean. Additionally, if your cooked steak smells sour or has a slimy texture, it’s no longer safe to consume. 

Finally, if a cooked steak is left at room temperature for more than two hours, throw it away, as bacteria can rapidly grow and cause food poisoning.

In addition, you risk it developing worms. Cooked meat only develops worms when a fly has landed on it, so never leave cooked meat in the open for flies to land on it.

Is steak okay To Eat If It Turns Brown Without Being Cooked?

Once the raw meat turns brown, it is unsafe. Chicken, beef steaks, fish, pork, or even wild game that browns are a sure sign that the meat has started to spoil, which is why you should never buy brown meat. 

If you are buying marinated meat, we always recommend buying from a place where you know and trust the vendor. 

This is because some marinades cook the meat with their acidic levels before it is on a grill, which some vendors use to mask spoiled meat.

When choosing your steak, choose something moist, almost cherry red, with a good amount of marbling. These are the signs of a healthy steak that will be easy to cook and still be easy to eat once you have sizzled both sides. 

What Happens If You Eat Bad Steak?

If the steak has recently started going rancid and you cook it at high temperatures, you may not notice the spoilage until it is too late. 

Depending on the severity of the contamination will depend on the type of discomfort you will experience. 

Fortunately, you are unlikely to get parasites or worms from bad red meat as it is not known to carry these. 

For people who become ill with food poisoning, their dehydration can only be addressed through medical intervention and not simply by drinking plenty of water.

Consumption of an undercooked or spoiled steak can lead to food poisoning, causing unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. 

It will require hospitalization in severe cases where the meat is heavily rotten or infested with parasites.

How Do You Know If You Just Overcooked A Steak?

When discussing a steak that is not rancid but only overdone, the cooking style depends on how you want it done. When pressed down, a well-done steak should be firm to the touch and have some charring on its exterior. 

The juices that flow from the steak are a mixture of water and myoglobin. 

A medium to well-done steak should be dry on the outside while the inside should only have started to turn brown. 

The center of the meat may have a slightly pinkish hue, yet it should remain juicy. The inside should be tender, while the surface must be hard but not burnt or scorched.

A scorching grill is critical to achieving the perfect medium-rare or rare steak.

Can A Bad Steak Be Okay After Being Cooked?

We all love to cook juicy, delicious steaks and other meats. However, once the meat has gone bad or is beginning to rot – no amount of cooking can make it safe for consumption again. So even if you overcook your steak beyond well done, it’s still unsafe to eat.

Contrary to popular belief, older generations don’t prefer their steaks well-done to make bad meat edible. Instead, they prefer well-cooked meat out of necessity. For example, steaks cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F will last much longer when stored properly.

When grilling your steak or preparing for extended trips without a freezer, we suggest considering this.

When a steak has spoiled, there is no point in cooking it. Unfortunately, you’ll have to discard it to prevent any sickness. 

Final Word

If your raw steak has turned brown before cooking it, it’s gone bad. So it’s best to cook it immediately and store it in the fridge for no more than a week to prevent throwing out expensive steak.

For a safe and delicious steak, always buy fresh meat that is bright cherry-red in color and moist. 

Ensure the correct internal temperature for safety and quality when grilling or cooking. 

If in doubt, throw it out. 

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