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How To Tell If Steak Is Bad? [BEGINNER’S GUIDE]

How To Tell If Steak Is Bad? [BEGINNER’S GUIDE]

While knowing how to store your steak well is essential, distinguishing a fresh steak from a bad one is even more critical. Moreover, cooking a steak that is already bad is a waste of time and resources. So how do you tell whether or not steak is bad?

When a steak gets spoiled, the first thing that you are likely to notice is the rancid smell of mold or ammonia once you uncover it. Secondly, the cooked steak will feel slimy and sticky, making it less appealing, and if such a steak dries, you do not want to waste time reheating it. Further, the steak’s gray hue or mold growth clearly shows it is spoiled.

You do not want to risk eating a steak that has gone bad as that can render you vulnerable to various medical conditions, including food poisoning or E.coli. Read on for finer details on how to tell if steak is bad.

knife steak

How To Tell If Frozen Steak Is Bad

Since cooking spoiled steak will be a waste of time, it is essential to ensure that you have a good understanding of the steps to follow to determine the meat’s quality.

  1. Check the Date
  2. Check the Texture
  3. Check the Appearance
  4. Check How Long it has been in the Fridge

The Use-By-Date

The first step to determining whether the steak has gone bad is checking the expiry date. Most people think that the use-by date is designated for stores so that they know when to pull the steak from the shelves. If the steak is past the sell date, you may want to look for other signs. Notably, a steak past its sell date by a day or two is not likely to have gone bad yet.

If you do not see any signs of a spoilt steak, the steak should be good to cook. However, if more than three days of the sell-by date have passed, the chances are that the steak is brown.

Check the Appearance

Besides paying attention to the expiry date, you must check the appearance. The appearance is the obvious sign that your steak is spoiled. There are several points that you need to look at when using the appearance to determine whether or not the steak has gone bad;

  • Molds on your steak indicate that it is spoiled, so you should toss it.
  • A clear or yellowish slimy appearance indicates that the steak is bad.
  • While some discoloration in raw meat is normal, it might not be the same for the steak that has been in the Fridge for some time.

Notably, the dry and shriveled steak may not be spoiled, but that can significantly affect its flavor once cooked. Therefore, if you want a delicious steak, you must ensure it is fresh.

Check The Texture

Handling the steak with your bare hand will allow you to feel its texture and make a correct determination. If the steak has a slimy texture, that is a clear sign that it is no longer suitable. The slimy surface indicates bacteria infestation, and you do not want to get sick from consuming a spoilt steak.

Check The Smell

If the steak seems to pass the test up to this point, then you need to turn your attention to the smell. A bad steak will have a rancid smell once you take a closer whiff. While raw meat will not have a sweet smell, the truth is that it will not be hard for you to tell that the steak is spoiled.

Check How Long It Has Been In The Fridge

Lastly, it is wise to consider the period the steak has been in the Fridge. If you are dealing with a steak that has been in the Fridge for an extended period, there are high chances that it has gone bad. After the steak in the refrigerator is thawed, you need to consider cooking it within the next three days.

How To Tell If Raw Steak Is Bad

Although storing steak in the freezer or refrigerator slows down the spoiling process, it will not keep it fresh forever. Therefore, to avoid eating spoiled steak or spending a lot of time cooking a bad steak, you should familiarize yourself with how to tell if steak is bad.

Several signs should warn you of a bad steak. They include;

  • A slimy appearance or touch is a manifestation that the meat is bad.
  • If the steak has an off-putting smell, you must toss it.
  • Bad steaks tend to have dry and less juice on them. Cooking such a steak will not give you the best-tasting steak you need in a beef.
  • A brown color may suggest that the meat has been in the Fridge for a long time. However, it does not mean that when the meat turns brown, it is spoiled.

How Long Can Steak Stay In The Fridge?

Keeping your meat in the freezer or Fridge to cook when the right time comes is the best way to store it. However, you should distinguish when the meat is fresh and when it goes spoiled. So, how long can steak stay in the Fridge?

The raw steak is less prone to bacteria when stored in the Fridge or freezer. According to USDA, raw steak can stay in the freezer/fridge for five days before it is considered spoilt. Therefore, if you intend to store your steak in the freezer, ensure that you cook it within five days.

Oxidized Steak vs. Spoiled

While many signs help you distinguish between spoiled and fresh steak, sometimes it is easy to get confused. For instance, brow color can confuse people to think that the steak is spoiled when the actual reality is that it is not. Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, you should use other means to determine the freshness of your meat.

A steak exposed to oxygen for a long time will be brown. While the brown color is a sign of spoiled meat, in this case, it might not be an indication that the meat has gone bad. In addition to being brown, spoiled meat should exhibit signs such as slimy texture, the use by date passed, and a bad smell.

steak good

What To Do With Spoilt Meat?

Spending your precious time and resources to purchase quality meat from the store only for it to go bad is not a thought many people will stomach well. You may think getting a delicious meal out of a spoiled steak is possible because you will expose it to high temperatures.

Unfortunately, some pathogens will not disappear regardless of how you intend to cook the steak. Neither is your dog likely to handle it well. Generally, anything that is likely to make you sick will probably have the same impact on your pet. Therefore, the best thing to do with your rotten steak is to throw it in the garbage.

Avoid throwing spoilt meat in your garden compost as it might attract scavenging animals. Further, such an act can turn your garden into a breeding ground for bacteria. You do not want such a scenario as it will endanger the life of your family members.

Final Thoughts

Food safety is an important topic that you should never overlook when preparing your meals. Now that you are well familiar with the telltale signs that you should look at to determine whether your steak is fresh or bad, you have no reason to consume dangerous meat.

Generally, a steak that has passed its use-by date has an unattractive odor, is slimy, and dry is best destined to the trash as it has already gone bad.