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Oct 15, 2004 03:35 PM

Pittsburgh rare

  • 1

Does anyone know what Pittsburg rare is when related to cooking of steak? How is the steak prepared?

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  1. It's a steak that's charred black on the outside and bloody, almost totally raw on the inside. It's supposed to be how the steaks turned out when the Pittsburgh steelworkers would cook meat on the furnace or on pieces of hot metal. I may be wrong, but I think the way people make it these days is to grill a steak to almost rare, then bring it really close to the coals for a few minutes to burn the outside.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ninrn

      define charred. Black and bitter or spots of char?

    2. sometimes also called "black and blue."

      7 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Correct. Charred on the outside and less than rare in the middle. I vaguely recall reading/hearing a good way to cook a steak this way at home is to freeze the steak slightly before cooking it (or even go right from the fridge to the grill/pan). That way you can leave it in the pan/on the grill long enough to get a nice crust on the oustide but without warming up the center.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I believe it's only called 'blue' when blue cheese is added. Otherwise it's just blackened, right?

          1. re: mojoeater

            No, the blue refers to the the meat... it has that bluish tint of raw meat, because it is raw and cold inside. No cheese involved.

            1. re: mojoeater

              Blackened is a Vac said, the Blue means the raw inside.

              1. re: chefschickie

                Blackened is a seasoning, but the "black" in "black and blue" just refers to the char on the meat. No seasoning involved.

                I guess if a Cajun and a Cheesehead got together they could cook up a blackened and bleu steak, but that would be a different animal from the classic Pittsburgh preparation.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  haha, I know, I was commenting on Mojo... :)))

            2. re: hotoynoodle

              Agreed, Pittsburgh style "black and blue" is charred on the outside and almost cold rare inside.

            3. i prefer my steaks this way. I usually refer to it as black and blue. You really get the true taste of the cow in my opinion. The texture too is what i am looking for, especially with a filet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MVNYC

                I like my steaks rare too... just put it on a plate and run it through a warm room and bring it on out...


              2. This is exactly how I like my steaks to be cooked, but I've never heard the term before (I'm in California). Is it a local/regional term?

                1 Reply
                1. re: ricepad

                  I'm in the same boat. I live in Phoenix and have only heard it described as either black and blue or charred extra rare. Well, there's also "Hold it up to the grill just long enough for it to get nervous" and "Lop a chunk off the cow, I'll ride the rest home."

                2. I love my steaks Pittsburghed. My late and unlamented brother-in-law turned me on them.

                  You've got to get things super hot to get that char, though, so it's hard to manage at home. One thing that worked for me was an Alton Brown tip: preheat a cast iron skillet or grill pan to the highest temp your oven can manage and make sure it's really preheated, have a hot burner waiting on top of the range and when you pull the smoking hot grill pan out of the oven, put the steak on and flip it just as soon as you get a decent amount of char.

                  And when you're finished eating, spend half an hour cleaning up the kitchen. It's worth it.