Blue vs. rare steak: What’s the difference?

Blue vs. rare steak, what are the differences? While rare steak’s internal temperature is 125 degrees Fahrenheit, blue steak’s internal temp is between 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you cut through the steak, you’ll notice that rare steak has a pink/brownish band around the steak with only about 75% of red meat in the middle. On the other hand, blue steak has pretty much no brownish/pink band and is about 90% of red meat in the middle. As you can see, the two levels of doneness are pretty similar; however, it’s not often that people eat blue steak, and later I will explain why.

Although it seems that a 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit difference is not much, it does slightly impact the meat’s texture. In this article, I’ll explain both the difference and similarities and which level of doneness is best.

What is blue steak?

Blue steak is a reference to the level of steak’s doneness. The internal temperature of a blue steak is between 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve blue steak, you must sear it on a hot pan for about a minute on each side. However, it is essential to bring the steak to room temperature; otherwise, it’ll take too long for the meat to get to the right temperature, and the meat will overcook.

what is a blue steak
Blue steak

Depending on the steak cut, blue steak can be soft and tender. However, it’s not for everyone. Even steak lovers who love eating medium-rare steak find blue steak too rare for their taste. After all, it takes only a couple of minutes to cook, so you might as well eat steak tartare.

Steaks with an abundance of marbling should not be cooked blue; instead, go for a medium-rare level of doneness. T-bone, porterhouse, ribeye, or even wagyu steaks should not be cooked blue.

What is a rare steak?

Rare steak refers to the level of doneness, and the internal temperature of the meat is 125 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes about 4-6 minutes to cook a reasonably thick steak to a rare level of doneness. Before cooking a rare steak, bring it to room temperature; otherwise, there’s a chance the meat will overcook, leaving you with medium-rare instead of rare.

what is a rare steak
Rare steak

Most rare steaks are juicy and have a tender texture. When cooking meat, the muscle fibers shrink, squeezing a lot of moisture out of the steak. When a steak is cooked blue, rare, or medium-rare, it loses very little moisture and stays tender, flavorful, and juicy.

Steak cuts with loads of marbling should not be cooked rare; instead, go for a medium-rare level of doneness. On the other hand, cuts that are lean and tender (filet mignon) are ideally suited for cooking rare.

What is the difference between blue and rare steak?

What is the difference between blue and rare steak
The difference between blue and rare steaks

Internal temperature

Internal temperature is the most significant difference between blue and rare steaks. While blue steak has an internal temperature of 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit, rare steaks have an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. To track a steak’s internal temperature, do not forget to use a meat thermometer.


Steak cooked blue has a tender texture; however, most people find it too raw. It has a tiny pink band around the steak, unlike the rare steak with about 75% of red meat inside, and the rest is pink and slightly brown.


Why is a very rare steak called blue?

The steak is called blue because it has a slightly blueish or purple color in the middle. However, it all depends on your color perception and the lighting.

What does blue mean in steak?

Blue steak is a reference to the level of doneness. Some refer to blue as extra rear. It has an internal temperature between 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit

What’s rarer than blue steak?

There’s nothing rarer than blue steak. It’s as rare as it can be. There’s tartare, which is a raw steak chopped and served with some salty and acidic ingredients.

Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas is an accomplished chef with over a decade of experience in the culinary world, having worked in esteemed, high-end restaurants across Europe. With a talent for combining traditional techniques and innovative flair, Renaldas has refined his signature style under the mentorship of respected European chefs. Recently, Renaldas has expanded his impact beyond the kitchen by sharing his expertise through his online platform. Dedicated to inspiring culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, he offers expert advice, innovative recipes, and insightful commentary on the latest gastronomic trends.
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