We’ve all been there, you open up the fridge at dinner time excited for your steak you prepared earlier, but it hits you like a train, a strong stench.
The steak you cooked and were looking forward to eating is now just a black mess and the smell of it makes your stomach turn.
In this post, we answer what does bad steak smell like? To help you confidently identify when your steak is ready for the bin, and when to cut your losses.
Let’s take a closer look…
What Does Bad Steak Actually Smell Like?
Bad steak is something you want to avoid at all costs.
The strong smell can mean your steak is past its best and should be chucked into the bin.
Bad steak smells like something has gone rotten, or that it’s gone off. It may even start to develop a yellow-colored film on the surface of the meat which is actually oxidization due to being exposed to the air, this is called “hazing.”
The actual smell of bad steak is strong, it will hit you in the face as soon as you open the fridge, and you’ll know that something has gone bad.
The smell is very overpowering and you’ll likely rush to close the fridge door again and cover your nose.
It’s a smell that will stay with you for a while, and as well as the steak, other foods in the fridge may start to take on the same smell.
The strength of the smell is largely going to depend on how bad the steak is, if it’s only gone bad for a few hours or a day, it won’t be as bad as if it’s been bad for a week or so.
Bad steak, if it has a distinct smell, will usually smell sour. If you can’t really put your finger on the type of smell it is but it smells bad, then chances are it’s gone off and should be thrown out.
Also, even if it doesn’t have a distinct smell but smells unpleasant, throw the steak out and don’t risk eating it.
All of the above usually applies to bad beef as well as bad pork, bad lamb, and other meats you might eat off a skewer or on a barbecue.
Is It OK To Eat Steak That Smells A Little?
If you notice your steak has a smell to it, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
However, if you’re not too sure and your steak smells a little, it’s OK to cook it as normal and smell the cooked meat after you’ve finished cooking it.
If there is no smell or very little smell, then you should be fine to eat the steak; otherwise, it’s best to throw it out.
Eating bad steak can make you very sick, so even if there is a slight smell I personally wouldn’t risk eating it.
I’ve had food poisoning before and it’s not pleasant, and it’s not worth taking a chance on some funky steak.
What Happens If You Eat Bad Steak?
If you do decide to eat the steak, but later realize it’s bad. You should expect to experience the following symptoms:
- Food Poisoning
As you can see, these are not the type of symptoms you want to experience, so it’s best to not take any chances when it comes to steak being bad.
It’s best to cut your losses and move on, you can always buy another steak and avoid being ill rather than take a risk.
How To Be Sure Your Steak Is Bad
When trying to identify if your steak has gone bad, one of the best ways to do this is by the smell.
As mentioned above, if it smells a little strange then the chances are that it’s gone off and should not be eaten.
However, if you want to make sure, you should look at the appearance of the steak too.
Bad steak will be slimy and soft, this usually means that it’s gone off and should not be cooked.
If your steak looks fine but smells strange you should smell the wrapper it came in.
This might be especially important if you bought the steak from the butcher instead of the supermarket.
It will also have a grey or yellow color and a slightly darker color in the middle.
Any redness in the meat should be a dark burgundy or brown color and lack any pinkness to it.
If you’ve got any doubts about your steak, don’t cook it!
Tips To Prevent Your Steak Going Bad In Future
Now that you’ve identified if your steak has gone bad or not, let’s look at some ways you can prevent this from happening in the future.
After all, steak can be expensive, especially the likes of Filet Mignon and Sirloin, so it’s great if you have to keep throwing it in the bin because it’s gone bad.
- Before you place your steak in the fridge, write today’s date on the back of the packet in a black permanent marker. This will remind you of the date that you refrigerated the steak so you can ensure that next time you go to eat it, you know exactly when you placed it there.
- Store your steak in an airtight container like a larger plastic sandwich bag, or simply wrap it in cling film. Make sure that there is no air within the packaging/bag that you place your steak in; this will help ensure that the steak doesn’t go bad as quickly.
- If you are planning to keep steak for longer than three days, make sure to freeze it immediately, this is to ensure that you are not inadvertently giving yourself food poisoning. You can use a freezer-safe tupperware, or simply place the wrapped steak into a plastic bag before placing it in the freezer to make sure that there are no leaks.
- Avoid thawing your steak out on the counter at room temperature. Doing this could cause bacteria to develop within the meat and cause you to become ill, this is particularly bad if you are cooking the steak rare or medium-rare. Thaw out your meat in either the refrigerator or by putting it under cool running water.
- It is best to cook your steak immediately after thawing it out so that you can minimize the number of bacteria that have developed on your meat.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the smell of steak can sometimes be misleading, as you might find that it smells fine but is actually slightly off.
If this occurs, then the best step to take would be to cut into the steak and check that it is cooked properly on the inside.
This is so that you can prevent eating undercooked meat, which may contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
These bacteria can cause food poisoning when the steak is not cooked properly or when it goes bad.
It’s also important to remember that steak can develop a bad odor if it is overcooked or if it has been frozen and thawed.
Both of these practices affect the quality of meat, which can lead to an unpleasant smell.
In conclusion, bad steak smells gross. It’s a smell that will stay with you for a while after you have opened the fridge.
Bad steak is dangerous, so it’s crucial that if you suspect the steak has gone off, you dispose of it immediately before you or somebody else decides to eat it.
What does bad steak smell like? Bad steak smells rancid. It is a very distinct, repulsive odor.
Some of the common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Other symptoms include fever, chills, and headaches.
Hopefully, this post has educated you a little more on what bad steak smells like, and you now have a better idea of the risks involves and when to dispose of bad steak.
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