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Over the Fourth of July weekend, we took steaks camping to BBQ but the ziplock bag I kept them in got water in it. They were kept on constant ice and never got warm, but they sat in a bag full of ice water. Are they still ok to eat? They look drained of their blood.

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I don't think sitting in a water bath is going to improve them any, but as long as they stayed on ice the entire time they should be safe. – Carey Gregory Jul 8 '14 at 3:47
And FWIW, they were drained of blood long before they got to you. The red stuff in meat is myoglobin, not blood. Just saying. Carry on. – ElendilTheTall Jul 8 '14 at 7:17
@CareyGregory Please try not to post answers in comments. Comments have none of the features that allow folks to vet your information properly (no voting, editing, comments of their own, etc) — which goes doubly so were food safety issues are concerned. Thanks. – Robert Cartaino Jul 8 '14 at 15:07
@RobertCartaino I'll keep that in mind but it's an extremely common practice, even among mods (just noticed one from Shog9). So if you're trying to educate on this point, you might want to start with that group. – Carey Gregory Jul 9 '14 at 1:32

As long as they were kept cool, they will be safe to eat.

For example, high end steak houses and butchers age beef to improve flavor, sometimes to the point of allowing visible mold to form on the surface. In that circumstance it is removed before cooking, but the meat is safe to eat.

The fact that yours were immersed in water for a prolonged time may affect the quality but not the safety of the meat.

If those were in my kitchen I would thoroughly dry them, allow them to come to room temperature, pat them very lightly with corn starch aka corn flour ( a trick I learned from Cook's Illustrated) and grill them at high heat. A crust will form based on the corn starch which should act as a mouth-feel counterbalance to any texture changes from the soaking. I am thinking you may need to salt the meat after cooking or charring to account for the myoglobin loss (red fluid) but you will need to do that on an ad hoc basis

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What is the purpose of the corn starch? – Pete B. Jul 10 '14 at 14:13
I am pretty much channeling Cooks Illustrated here from its article on replicating Peruvian steak house steaks, but the starch and the fat from the meat and the juice from the meat meld together to form the crust. This would be similar to how you make a sauce only the proportions of the components is very different. Because you are grilling, there is no pan on which a fond will form. FWIW the article also contains a killer chimichurri sauce recipe. – piquet Jul 10 '14 at 17:57

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