When I cook round steak most of it comes out fine, but as I eat it bits of it (every four or five bites) I come across this one bit where when I bite in I feel a horrible tasting liquid type thing coming out.

I have no idea what this taste is coming from, when I cook I typically sear it on both ends flipping it over every 5 to 10 seconds. I've tried keeping the steak on one end for a few minutes then flipping it but that results in the steak not tasting as nice.

Is this an issue with the meat or my cooking?

  • Did you have this with one piece of meat or repeatedly, with different pieces of meat? If repeatedly, do you sometimes not have this issue? – Mien Mar 24 '13 at 23:47
  • I bought about 5 pieces of steak from the same butcher, first one was fine, second one wasn't but I didn't cook it properly, this was the 3rd and I did cook it properly. So far in my life I've literally only cooked 5 steaks, the first 3 were great, the last two were awful and had these problems. – meds Mar 25 '13 at 12:22
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    The liquid pockets sound like syneresis: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syneresis_%28chemistry%29 Are you cooking your steak too hot, to well-done? – Wayfaring Stranger Dec 25 '13 at 15:36

It must be the meat; the only thing I can think is that it's melted fat, but for it to be bitter, it'd have to be rancid, and fat going rancid takes longer than the meat itself going bad, so it's a bit odd. I'd check for larger pockets of fat before cooking (not just marbling) and try steaks from a different source to try and confirm this. Unless... you're not adding fat to the pan or the steak, are you? Something that could've gone rancid, some of which ends up collected in a few places? That'd do it too, of course.

The frequent flipping is actually a really good thing: it makes the steak cook more evenly. Every 5-10 seconds is possibly slightly overkill; 15-20 seconds would probably do too. But in any case, it essentially keeps the heat coming from both sides, so that when the center of the steak reaches the right temperature, both sides are cooked the same amount. If you flip less frequently, you'll tend to end up with one side substantially more cooked than it needs to be. Bonus: flipping frequently also cooks the steak faster! And of course, though in hindsight this all makes perfect sense, I have to give credit to Harold McGee for it. There's a short writeup with great illustrations in this Cooking Issues post.

  • Well it's round steak so doesn't have much marbling if any, perhaps my refrigeration technique is bad, I have it frozen but then I defrost it in a fridge overnight, the last couple of times I took about a day or two before I took the meat out and cooked it. I only add a bit of olive oil to the pan. But yeah if it's the meat that's a relief, my cooking technique hadn't changed much as fara s I could tell so wasn't sure as to the cause of the change in taste. – meds Mar 24 '13 at 21:43

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