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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. – ElendilTheTall Jul 16 '14 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 Jul 16 '14 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? – Paul Michaels Jul 16 '14 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. – Sobachatina Jul 16 '14 at 21:34
  • It could also be because of dry-ageing, which results in a less leaky steak. – Ming Jul 17 '14 at 0:21
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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. – Paul Michaels Jul 16 '14 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 Jul 16 '14 at 23:32
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    +1 @buttlord, because resting too long results in cold steak :/ – Ming Jul 17 '14 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 :) – ElendilTheTall Jul 17 '14 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. – PoloHoleSet Sep 20 '16 at 13:17
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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. – Chris Steinbach Feb 23 '15 at 19:39

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