I very much like my steaks to ooze blood on the plate - especially fillet or sirloin. However, I've recently (and only recently) noticed that when visiting restaurants and asking for rare steak, the steak that arrives is dry (or at least a lot dryer that I expect - even though it is rare).

I'm curious as to how this is achieved; my suspicion is that the steak is being "pre-cooked" to rare and then warmed up in a microwave, but I wondered if there was actually a method of cooking steak that would result in that.

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    Do you rest your steak when you cook it at home? Also, FWIW, the red liquid that oozes out of rare meat is not blood. It is water mixed with myoglobin. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 20:12
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    If it's leaking liquid, it's likely that you're cutting in before you've rested the steak.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 20:13
  • No - I never rest steak. I didn't ever realise that you should. How (that is for how long) and why would you do that? Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 20:20
  • I've read that steak places or caterers will sometimes have their steaks in a sous vide bath at exactly the target temp and then just open one and sear it when it is ordered. Foolproof, perfectly cooked steak. Kind of liked "pre-cooked" but in a delicious way. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 21:34
  • It could also be because of dry-ageing, which results in a less leaky steak.
    – Ming
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 0:21

2 Answers 2


You have mentioned in your comments that you don't rest steak. This is why it leaks the red liquid when you cut it. Any good restaurant will rest your steak, hence them being less leaky.

This Serious Eats article explains very well why you should rest steak (and any other meat). Essentially, as the meat cools, the shape of its fibers changes, allowing it to retain the liquid.

7-10 minutes is about the right length of time to rest a steak. Heston Blumenthal recommends resting on a wire rack rather than a plate to prevent one side steaming.

  • I've always felt that if the steak isn't bloody it's missing something (whether or not the red stuff is actually blood) - specifically: it's missing a source for the chips. I will try that next time I cook a steak and see if I can tell the difference though. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 20:49
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    The rule of thumb for resting, as I learned from Alain Ducasse, is to allow the meat to rest for at least half as long as the cook time. So for a 7 minute steak, three and a half minutes should be sufficient.
    – buttlord
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 23:32
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    +1 @buttlord, because resting too long results in cold steak :/
    – Ming
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 3:42
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    Well, if you prefer it that way, do it that way. You will find that a certain amount of juice leaks out of the steak during resting (less than when you cut into an unrested steak), you could pour that on your chips :) Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 8:25
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    @pm_2 - If that's what you like, then when you order a steak, tell the server that you like the messy juices all over the place, mixing in with the side dishes, and ask them if you can have the steak without the usual resting period. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:17

When the surface hits the heat the juices are forced to center of meat. Then you flip it and the same thing happens to that side causing the center to be over saturated with juices. By resting the steak for 10 minutes you give the juices time to spread back out to the edges. By not resting you are basically butting a ballon. The center can't handle all the juices so it burst out when you cut. The reason to rest is so that the steak retains those juices for every bite and keeps you from having to smear each bite in the juices on the plate.

  • The last sentence is the only piece of credible information in your answer. Please see the information in this answer if you want to understand why you have been down-voted. Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 19:39

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