Have You Always Wondered: Is that “Blood” On Newly Cooked Steak?

Here's what you need to know about the red liquid.

If you like your steak well-done because seeing red “blood” on your meat and your plate is not appetizing to you, you’re not alone. 

However, you need to know that that the red liquid is not blood. In fact, you will find that even before you cook your precious steak, you might find the package leaking a liquid that is tinged red. 

What is the “blood” on my steak? 

It’s definitely not blood. This is because slaughterhouses generally drain the cattle of the majority of its blood before it is cut up into the meat cuts you will find in the meat shop. This is part of the process that ultimately kills the animal so the next step in the process can continue. 

That reddish pink liquid or the juices oozing from your steak while it rests after cooking is a combination of water and myoglobin. It’s basically liquid protein that the meat contains. This combination is also responsible for keeping your steak juicy. While it may look like blood, it’s not hemoglobin, the protein that makes blood red. 

Photo by Shutterstock

Is it safe to eat the “blood” from the steak?  

Technically, you have already tasted and eaten the “blood” that you so feared in your steak, so, yes it is. As long as the steak you have prepared was safely prepared and cooked, it should be safe to eat, too. It should be noted hat myoglobin changes color when it’s heated through which is why a rare steak will have reddish pink juices while a well-done steak will have clear juices. (It’s still recommended that a thermometer is the best way to determine doneness versus the eye or touch test.)

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Are you still afraid of the “blood” on your steak? If it’s the blood on your plate that prevents you from enjoying a medium-cooked steak, remember that it’s not what you think it is but a reminder that the steak you are about to enjoy is part of tender and juicy meal. 

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