What Is The Red Juice In Steak? Unlocking The Secret!

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Steak is a beloved dish millions worldwide enjoy, known for its rich flavor and juicy texture. When you slice into a perfectly cooked steak, you may notice a red liquid oozing out. So, what is the red juice in steak? Let’s discover the answer in this article!

What Is The Red Juice In Steak?

In general, the red juice from a steak is not blood, as some people may believe. Instead, it is primarily composed of a protein called myoglobin. Additionally, this red juice also contains some fat and water. The amount of red juice you see when you cut into a steak can also provide clues about its level of doneness.  

What is the red liquid in steak called? Where does the red juice come from?

what is the red liquid in steak called
Red liquid in steak

The red liquid in steak is primarily composed of a protein called myoglobin. Myoglobin is a heme protein naturally present in muscle tissue, and its primary role is to store oxygen for the muscles, ensuring they have a supply of oxygen during physical activity.

As the steak – bottom round steak for example, cooks, myoglobin undergoes chemical transformations in response to the heat. This causes myoglobin to change from its original dark red color to a brownish hue. Consequently, the color of the steak shifts from its initial red or pink to a brown tone as it continues to cook. 

Is Myoglobin In Steak Good For You? 

is myoglobin in steak good for you
Steak with red juice

Is it safe to eat steak with blood? 

Generally, it is safe to eat steak with red blood-like liquid. Instead, what you need to care about when enjoying steak is to reach a temperature that can kill harmful bacteria such as E.coli or Salmonella. In other words, steak should not be undercooked. 

You will see this red juice mostly in medium rare steaks (check to see if medium rare steaks are safe or not) and medium steaks.

The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature for beef in general that is 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allows it to rest for at least 3 minutes. If you prefer to eat medium-rare steak, you need to reach this internal temperature.

Is eating myoglobin healthy?

Eating myoglobin, the protein naturally present in muscle cells that gives meat its reddish or pinkish color is generally considered safe and can provide nutritional benefits. Myoglobin is a protein found in meat that is a source of essential amino acids, playing a crucial role in various bodily functions, including muscle maintenance and repair.

In addition, myoglobin is also a great source of dietary iron. Iron offers numerous health benefits, including transport oxygen, energy production, support for growth and development, a strong immune system, cognitive function, and wound healing.

However, you should not eat too much myoglobin since it can lead to several health issues. People with dietary restrictions or underlying health conditions need to monitor their intake of red meat or specific components like myoglobin. 

For example, those with certain kidney conditions may require dietary adjustments to manage their protein intake.  

How Do You Keep A Steak Juicy?

how to keep steak juicy
A juicy steak

Allowing your cooked steak to rest for approximately five minutes will be an effective way to make a steak juicier. During cooking, the juices tend to migrate toward the center of the meat due to the heat. 

This step facilitates the redistribution and reabsorption of these juices throughout the meat. This results in a steak that retains more of its flavorful liquid when you cut into it, reducing the appearance of ‘blood’ on your plate. The same principle applies to roasts, where a resting period of 10 to 20 minutes is recommended before carving.

In essence, if you’ve been opting for well-done steaks and avoiding rarer cuts solely due to concerns about ‘blood,’ you’ve been missing out on the opportunity to enjoy exceptionally tender and juicy meat without any valid reason to do so.


Why is myoglobin red?

Myoglobin is made of a protein, like hemoglobin, and a heme ring, which contains an iron atom, both of which change when meat is cooked: The protein denatures, and the state of the iron changes. These transformations shift the color of meat from purplish/pinkish/reddish to tan/brown.

Does rare steak have blood?

The red hue you see in this meat is actually not blood but mostly fat, water, and myoglobin. This is a protein that causes the red coloring in meat. Even when served rare, a quality cut of meat that has been properly cleaned and drained should have hardly any blood in it.

Is it okay for steak to have red juice?

As mentioned above, the red pigment in steak is not actually blood in raw meat.


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