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How to Get Rid of the Blood Taste in Steak

Wondering how to cook steak so it doesn’t come out tasting all bloody and metallic? We have the answers you’re looking for.

Are you tired of cutting into a juicy, tender steak only to taste blood? We know, it’s not exactly appetizing. But don’t let the dreaded blood taste ruin your love for steak, because we’re here to help!

In this post, we’ll share our best tips for getting rid of that bloody, metallic flavor so you can enjoy the meat without distractions. So grab a drink from the cooler, put on your chef’s hat, and let’s get cooking.

Why Steak Tastes Like Blood

We think it’s blood that makes a steak taste bloody, but the truth is that it really isn’t.

Even though your steak tastes like blood, it’s not blood that you’re tasting. That bloody, metallic taste comes from myoglobin, a protein that stores iron and oxygen in the flesh and feeds it to the cells that need it.

When you cook a steak, the myoglobin proteins untangle and release their juices into the meat. The meat looks red when you cut through it not because there’s blood in it, but because the myoglobin juices have a red pigment. Moreover, the myoglobin proteins themselves turn pink when exposed to oxygen.

How to Get Rid of the Blood Taste

Okay, now you know where the blood taste in your steak comes from. But that doesn’t necessarily answer the question: How do you get rid of it?

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to prepare a steak in a way that reduces its bloody flavor as much as possible. We’re about to go over them below, so read on.

Dry-Brine the Meat

To dry-brine a steak, season it with salt and black pepper on both sides, then refrigerate it for 1 hour before cooking. You can use any kind of salt, but kosher salt is best because it’s flaky and tastes pure.

The salt flakes will suck some of the meat’s juices up to the surface. Then they’ll dissolve in those juices with some of the black pepper, turning them into a highly flavorsome brine. Finally, the meat absorbs some of that brine back, seasoning itself from the inside.

I’ve written about this in my new book, Cooking Methods & Techniques: A Crash Course on How to Cook Delicious Food at Home for Beginners. The simplicity of it is unlike any wet brine, and the flavor that it creates in your steak is unrivaled. Best of all, it removes the taste of blood from steak, even in cuts of meat rich in myoglobin.

Give It a Good Sear

If your steak is gray on the outside when cooked, this means you’re not developing its flavor as much as you could.

The richest flavors in meat come from browning, a chemical reaction that takes place on the surface of the meat when it’s exposed to high enough heat for a long enough time.

The heat charges up the particles in the meat and agitates them. So they start shaking and banging against one another so intensely that they explode, producing hundreds of new aromas and flavors on the meat’s crust as a byproduct.

That’s why a properly prepared grillhouse steak with that dark brown crispy crust tastes so good. And why steak that hasn’t been given a good browning tastes a little bland and overtly metallic. The rich flavors of browning would otherwise take over and excite the palate.

So do this: Keep cooking your steak over medium to medium-high heat. This way, it won’t burn on the crust by the time it’s done in the middle. But when it’s nearly done, turn up the heat to high and keep it there for 60 to 90 seconds per side. Stand back and watch it hiss, sizzle, and smoke as that crispy, deeply flavorful crust forms right before your eyes.

Serve It With Pan Sauce

That meat residue left on the pan after cooking?

Did you know that, instead of washing it away, you can make a pan sauce out of it and pour it over the steak? And not just any pan sauce. Trust me when I say it’s the most delicious pan sauce you’ve ever tasted.

This is called deglazing the pan, and, if you want to know how it works in detail, we’ve written a whole post about it.

Make pan sauce from the steak bits in the pan:

  1. When you’re done cooking, let the pan cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of honey (if you don’t have honey, sugar—preferably brown—will also do).
  3. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-high and let simmer.
  4. Scrape the steak bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until thick and bubbly.
  6. Pour over the steak and serve.

This technique makes it easy to cover up that metallic blood taste in your steak, and it also makes the whole thing more delicious. As a side benefit, it’s easier to wash the pan because you no longer have to scrape anything off the bottom. If that isn’t brilliant, folks, I don’t know what is!

In Summary

Thank you for reading, and we hope we’ve helped you get rid of that pesky blood taste in steak.

After all, you may like your steak medium-rare, but that doesn’t in any way mean you want it to taste like blood. Now that you know where that taste comes from and how to remove it, you can fire up the grill or burner with confidence.

Know your author

Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.