I was recently asked where one could find meat that could be prepared "blue to blue-rare". What kinds of meat (other than fish) can be prepared this way and how would one go about finding a reliable source?

I imagine chicken and pork are out due to salmonella and trichina, but what about (non ground) beef? Are any other land animals typically prepared this way?


5 Answers 5


The thing to remember, vis a vis bacterial contamination, is that it's almost always the OUTSIDE of the meat that's contaminated, not the inside. With pork and chicken you're worried about an internal parasite/bacteria, which is why they're not cooked rare.

With beef, if it's grade A, it's good to go, and most everything you buy in the grocery store is fine. With tuna (which is another one people like super-rare) the story is mostly the same, though the chance of getting a parasite from fish is higher. In both cases, do a hot sear on the outside, and it'll take care of any bacteria that may be hanging around.

The reason ground beef is considered a higher threat is because the "outside" is pretty much the whole thing after the grinding process.

  • Also, ask the butcher at your local market. Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 13:22
  • Yep, as long as the outside of the beef is cooked, it's good to go...think beef carpaccio.
    – smoore
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 14:16
  • You should really clarify grocer. If by grocer you mean "average supermarket" then (at least in my part of the world), I wouldn't be buying meat from them at all -- its always cheap, and low quality. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 15:19
  • 1
    Nowadays it's also safe to eat medium rare pork, which is delicious. seriouseats.com/2016/05/…
    – Luciano
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 8:39

If you're in an area with a large enough Ethiopian population, ask around where they shop. There's are Ethiopian dishes such as kitfo and gored gored that feature raw beef, and they take the preparation very seriously. If you have a specifically ethiopian butcher in your area, it's a good bet.

Other than that, I'd go with a busy butcher -- the busier they are, not only is it a sign that people aren't getting food poisioning there, but they're also turning their product over faster, so it's likely to be fresher.

You might also see if there are any places that will sell you a whole primal in a cryovac packaging (even some grocery stores will)-- this would mean that it was sealed at the slaughterhouse, and I would hope it's had less chance for contamination.


You could cook most beef blue and black -- what that means is seared on the outside and pretty much raw on the inside. These days it's seen most often on Tuna -- seared on the outside and still cool on the inside. I think that's what Satanicpuppy was talking about.


Find a butcher who knows what they are talking about, can tell you where the meat comes from, and most importantly cares about the meat they sell. Ideally, they buy direct from local farms and can tell you where everything came from.

The biggest problems from supermarket ground beef is that they combine meat bits many different farms, allowing one bad cow to ruin the bunch. Grinding your own beef or finding a place that grinds their own on site is the safest way to enjoy a burger at anything less than well done.


In Finland I've eaten reindeer rare, even made tartar out of it - totally raw. I didn't even need tenderloin for it, even haunch was tender enough, actually I liked it better then the more expensive tenderloin.

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