I bought a nice steak from a very good butcher yesterday. It was marinated in garlic and oil.

Tonight, I cooked it for about three minutes on each side (probably more).

The layer of fat on the steak, when I cut into it, was still kinda pink. It looked "raw". I ate it (or basically, sucked the juices out because I couldn't eat the fat as it wasn't breaking down [it never does really]), and it tasted great, but I'm a bit worried that it was dangerous.

Like I said, I fried it for at least 3 minutes on each side (the two sides). The rest of the steak was fine -- probably about medium to well-done, just the layer of fat on one end which was attached to the meat was kind of pink and fleshy. I think it's the bit that connects the fat to the rest of meat that was pink, and maybe some of the meat nearby it as well.

Will I get ill?

I saw the other thread on eating undercooked steak but I think my thread is different.

  • 2
    "Undercooked" is just another word for "rare," which many people find desirable in a steak. You cooked it for three minutes or more per side, which would kill all the exterior bacteria, so your meal should be perfectly safe. Oct 22, 2014 at 3:18
  • 1
    It did not, however, kill the possible parasites embedded within the meat. Just saying Oct 22, 2014 at 5:57
  • I don't know where you live and if we are talking about a beef steak here or some other animal, but in most countries, even raw beef (without any heat treatment) is considered safe to eat. Oct 22, 2014 at 9:42
  • @MischaArefiev I assumed when the OP said "steak" that he was referring to beef, and that beef came from farmed cattle. Parasites shouldn't be an issue with such meat. If the steak was not beef or was from a wild animal, then you could be right about parasites. Oct 22, 2014 at 14:33
  • @CareyGregory: are farmed cattle somehow immune from parasites? Oct 22, 2014 at 14:38

3 Answers 3


It is not (immediately) hazardous to your health. I say immediately because I would not recommend eating fat or gristle en masse.

I used to marinate my steak every time I prepared it. I have gotten away from this habit. Marinating breaks down the integrity of steak. This is desired if you are cooking a less tender cut. I eat steak less frequently now, and for that reason, I choose to get ribeye or strip. If you decide to go this route, using dry rubs in concert with a good sear, or grilling, will offer you a very tasty meal. Also, you will be able to gauge what fat and gristle really are - tasteless with a sickly texture.

As far as why eating steak like you mentioned isn't hazardous, given your description, it was cooked at least medium. There is a large segment of the population which chooses to eat rare steak. This type is deep red and cold in the center. While it's not for me, I've never heard a Surgeon General warning that says rare steak should not be eaten.

  • 1
    Really? Fat tastes delicious!!
    – madl
    Oct 22, 2014 at 22:06
  • 1
    @madl depends on the amount. I've had steak that was so fatty it was overpowering, like chewing on lard rather than steak.
    – jwenting
    Oct 24, 2014 at 9:42
  • @madl I believe you think fat tastes delicious because of the way you are used to preparing your steak. It is for this reason I suggested a different way to prepare steak. Your goal in cooking steak should not be to obtain great tasting fat. Try, just once, to prepare a steak using a dry rub, a pan-sear, and finish bringing to temp by roasting. Then tell me that the fat is delicious. Oct 24, 2014 at 20:28

It's been a few hours...how do you feel? Kidding aside, you say you got it from a good butcher...that helps....you say you cooked until the meat was medium to well done. If you start with a quality product and cook it to an internal temperature that achieves medium to well done, it is safe to assume that the whole steak is safe to eat.

  • 1
    It's safe way before medium or well done. Oct 22, 2014 at 3:19
  • @CareyGregory trudat
    – moscafj
    Oct 22, 2014 at 11:38
  • I feel fine I'm happy to say. Thanks for the help.
    – madl
    Oct 22, 2014 at 22:07

If farmgrown and properly looked after, you should not have any problem eating raw/uncooked beef. These cattle are parasite free and healthy.

Humans are still wired to consume raw meat. Yes, we have evolved from eating raw uncooked unseasoned meat to eating properly prepared food over the last couple of thousand years, but we haven't lost the ability to digest raw meat. Your appendix plays a role here. I don't think that is still as active as it used to be when humans only ate raw meat.

I would still refrain from undercooked poultry, pork and non-farmed animals.

On the fat story, raw fat should also not cause any harm, although I don't think that eating raw fat can be appeticing (Raw fat only tastes good on biltong :-)). I do like my fat nicely done when braaing my meat. (BBQ in other languages)

Just a few other points, raw meat does contaminate very fast under improper conditions and harmful bacteria may contaminate the surface very quickly. It is still recommended to expose the surface of meat to a source of high heat before consumption to kill any harmful surface bacteria. A quick flame grill, a minute or two in a hot pan or heat from a braaivleis (BBQ for others) fire will be more than enough.

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