How To Tell If Your Steak Has Gone Bad

how to tell if your steak has gone bad

You get home from a long day of work, not much has gone your way but you remember during your comute home that you’ve got a beautiful slab of steak in the fridge.

This lifts your mood, and you can think of nothing more mouthwatering than getting that bad boy out and firing up the skillet.

But there’s a problem, you check the fridge and you smell something a little bit funky, and notice your steak has a brown tinge too it.

So what do you do?

In this post, we’re going to learn you how to tell if your steak has gone bad, and what you should do to prevent this in the future to stop this ruining your post stressy work meal times.

Let’s take a look…

How Long Does Steak Usually Last?

The first thing you need to be aware of is how long your steak will last before going off. Typically, a fresh steak will last for around 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator before going bad.

You should always check the use-by date and be mindful of it when deciding to have steak for dinner.

This one seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t know the difference between a sell-by date and a use-by date.

Essentially a sell-by date is the date in which the grocery store must sell the product by for it to still have enough time left for the consumer to eat it.

Whereas the use-by date is the date in which the steak must be eaten. Any time you leave a steak until after the use-by date there is a good chance it can begin to spoil and go off.

How To Make Your Steak Last Longer

So, how do we maximise the amount of time we get with our steaks and ensure they don’t go off before we have a chance to eat them?

That’s where the freezer comes into play. The freezer is your friend when it comes to steak. The moment you place your steak in the freezer, your essentially freezing your steak in time, so the use-by date no longer applies.

For example, if you’ve got four days left before your use-by date and you place your steak in the freezer, you could let a couple of weeks go past and then defrost the steak, and guess what, you’ll still have four days left to eat your steak.

When I buy my steak I’ll often freeze them if I know I’m not going to be eating them in the next couple of days. This is great if you happen to see a good deal on steaks in your local grocery store or butcher shop.

It’s also nice to have frozen steaks ready to go at any point, especially in the summer time. I always like to be prepared with a couple of steaks in my freezer in case friends or family come around and we decide to fire up the BBQ.

Signs Your Steak Has Gone Bad

So how do you know if your steak has gone bad or spoiled?

1. Check The Use By Date

Well, the first thing you need to do is check the use-by date. If you’ve had your steak in the fridge for a couple of days and see that the use-by date has gone and passed, then it’s time to cut your losses and dispose of your steak.

This does happen from time to time, so don’t be too dissapointed if you find yourself binning the odd steak or two. Just try to keep a mental record of what date you stored your steak in the fridge so you can remember to eat it before the use-by date.

2. Check The Smell

One of the tell-tale signs that your steak has gone off is when you open up the fridge and smell something funky.

Raw steak doesn’t exactly smell like roses and daffodils, but most people will be able to tell if there steak has gone bad simply by smelling it.

Off or bad steak will have a potent ammonia-clad aroma. It can even smell cheesy at times, depending on how long it’s been sat in the fridge expiring.

If you do have suspisions about your steak being off, it’s best to check with a family member or house mate to get a second opinion.

You don’t want your nose to let you down in case you can’t quite smell the off steak and decide to eat it, which would be a terrible idea.

If you’re questioning the smell ever so slightly, it’s worth looking at some of the other signs that your steak has gone bad.

3. The Steak Is Slimy

Another tell-tale sign of a bad steak is if it has a slim feel when you touch it. An off steak will have a thin layer of goo-like slime that will often be a yellow or brown colour. I know, gross!

Bad steak will usually get this slimey film a couple of days before it starts to mould, it’ll be slippery to the touch and also give off a strong smell.

Should you see any mould on your steak, this is a clear sign that your once fresh and juicy steak is now packed full of harmful bacteria and you should dispose of your bad steak immediately.

If you are yet to notice the slimey film on your steak but notice a colour change, maybe your steak is starting to go brown and yellow, then your steak may also be bad.

I would not recommend taking any risks when it comes to steak, eating bad steak can make you very sick, so it’s wise to just dispose of it and cut your losses.

4. The Steak Is Dry

If you notice that your steak is dry and all out of juice. This is also a clear indication that your steak is off and it should not be eaten.

Does your steak feel dry to the touch and a little dehydrated? If so, don’t take any risks and dispose of it immediately.

Although a dry steak doesn’t necessarily mean your steak is bad, as sometimes when you defrost a steak from frozen it can appear dry and juiceless.

One way to stop this from happening is before your freeze your steak, use a vaccuum sealed bag first, this will keep the juices contained and eliminate exposure.

If you do notice your steak is dry but don’t think it’s off or bad, you may well be correct. However, a dry steak that has lost it’s moisture and juice will taste a lot different to one that is fresh and juicy.

What If You Can’t Remember When You Put Your Steak In The Fridge?

We’ve all been there, you put your steak in the fridge thinking you’re going to be eating it in the next couple of days. But you forget about it and then open the fridge up a week later and can’t remember when you first placed it in the fridge.

I’ve personally wasted many a good steak by doing this, but no more! I refuse to waste my steak nowadays and have some pro-tips for you to do the same.

First, you should always write the date on your steak before you palce it in the fridge, use a whiteboard marker to write on the steak when it needs to be eaten by.

This way when you open up your fridge a couple of days later you’ll have a clear indicator of if the steak is still able to be consumed.

This stops the risk of you consuming a steak that is out of date which would make you sick.

Another tip for ensuring you make the most out of your steak is to use your freezer. The freezer is your friend when it comes to steak, if you don’t think your going to be eating your steak within 3 – 5 days of purchasing it then put it in the freezer.

When the time is right, you can either cook the steak from frozen or defrost the steak and cook it when your ready.

This ensures you don’t waste your money on this expensive meat and end up being out of pocket for something that you can no longer eat.

Other Considerations

When it comes to steak, don’t take any risks.

If you think your steak might be out of date and is showing any of the above signs, dispose of it immediately and do not consume it.

Eating meat that is bad can make you very sick, often the meat will be filled with harmful bacteria which will make you sick for days.

Food poisoning is the most common culprit for those that have eaten bad steak, and believe me when I say that it is not a nice experience.

It often takes days or even weeks to overcome, with non-stop stomach aches and vomiting.

It’s much better to not take any risks and dispose of any meat that you have suspicion about.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to identify if your steak has gone bad.

More often than not, you’ll be able to tell simply by opening your fridge and taking a look at the steak.

If the steak is showing any of the above signs, such as being slimy, smelly or an off-colour, dispose of it and don’t look back.

Hopefully in this post you’ve learned a thing or two and now know how to tell if your steak has gone bad.

Other Popular Posts