The Perfectly Cooked Pittsburgh Rare Steak


When it comes to cooking steak, there are many different methods and preferences. One of the most unique ways to cook a steak is the Pittsburgh Rare method, also known as black and blue. This method involves searing the outside of the steak at extremely high temperatures while leaving the inside nearly raw. In this article, we will explore the history of this method and how to cook the perfect Pittsburgh Rare steak.

History of Pittsburgh Rare

The Pittsburgh Rare method originated in the steel mills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the early 20th century. Steelworkers would bring their own cuts of steak to the mills and cook them on the hot steel plates used for forging. The high heat would sear the outside of the steak while leaving the inside nearly raw, creating a unique flavor and texture.

The Perfect Cut of Meat

To cook the perfect Pittsburgh Rare steak, it is important to choose the right cut of meat. A thick, well-marbled cut like a ribeye or New York strip is ideal. The marbling helps the steak stay juicy and tender during the high-heat cooking process.

Preparing the Steak

To prepare the steak for cooking, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. This will help the steak cook more evenly. Season the steak with salt and pepper, or your favorite steak seasoning.

Getting the Grill or Pan Hot

The key to cooking a perfect Pittsburgh Rare steak is getting the grill or pan extremely hot. Preheat your grill or pan on high heat for several minutes before adding the steak. You want the surface to be smoking hot to get a good sear on the steak.

Cooking the Steak

Once the grill or pan is hot, add the steak. Cook the steak for 1-2 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steak. You want a good sear on the outside, but the inside should still be rare. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. For Pittsburgh Rare, the internal temperature should be around 120-125°F.

Resting the Steak

Once the steak is cooked to your desired doneness, remove it from the grill or pan and let it rest for a few minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, making it more tender and flavorful.

Serving the Steak

Pittsburgh Rare steak is best served with simple sides that won’t overpower the unique flavor of the steak. Some popular sides include roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, and a simple green salad. Serve the steak with your favorite steak sauce or a simple compound butter.


The Pittsburgh Rare method may not be for everyone, but it is a unique and delicious way to cook a steak. With the right cut of meat and a hot grill or pan, you can create a perfectly seared and juicy Pittsburgh Rare steak. Give it a try and see why this method has been a favorite among steelworkers and steak lovers for over a century.

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