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I really enjoy steak, and the lowest I've gone is medium rare in terms of how it's prepared.

My questions are:

How do you prepare a steak to be rare?

How do you prepare a steak to be very rare (blue)?

Can these be prepared with any kind of steak from a supermarket? Or is there someplace special these kinds of steaks should be purchased from?

I'm interested in trying rare and maybe even very rare, but it's 1-2 steps away from raw, which I find a little uneasy.

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

The only real bacterial problem you have to worry about with steak is e. coli, which lives on the outside. Since even in a blue application the outside is cooked sufficiently to kill any bacteria, you should be fine. (Presuming you are using fresh steak, naturally).

For blue: get a pan screaming--and I mean screaming--hot. Toss the steak in to sear, flip to sear the other side. Do edges if needed. Serve immediately.

For rare, just do the steak in a normal pan or grill, flip once, about two minutes per side (less if the steak is very thin).

For both blue and rare applications you will want steaks that are on the thick side, and with not much marbling (intramuscular fat), as the short cooking time won't melt the fats. I suggest tenderloin/filet.

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2  
For blue, it also helps if the meat itself is cool/cold. If you're going to marinade it or salt it, put it in the fridge, don't leave it on the counter. If the steak hits room temp, you'll have a tougher time keeping it raw inside. – Satanicpuppy Aug 23 '10 at 14:48
    
Good answer but two minutes per side can easily cook a medium size steak too much for rare. I recommend using a technique to test for rare: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/2788/… – nicorellius Aug 23 '10 at 20:44
    
nicorellius, that would be why I said 'less if the steak is very thin'. – daniel Aug 23 '10 at 22:55

The colour inside should be blue, and the temperature is about 37.5 degrees Celsius. Seal on either side for about 1min place in an oven at 90 degrees Celsius, for about 6 min. The time in the warm oven will coagulte the blood so when you cut into the meat it shall have a blue tinge and won't bleed like a rare or medium steak

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Thermometers are your friend. Blue is about 45 C, Rare is about 50 C. That way you know that it's not raw. That temperature kills a lot of bacteria, but not all parasites, so be careful. Searing it might not get the parasites either.

But people have been eating the stuff rare for a long time and few get sick.

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