How to Tell Whether Raw Steak is Bad

Published By Patrick Harvey

Last Updated Apr 23, 2023 is reader-supported. If you buy something using the links on our site, we might earn an affiliate commission at no added cost to you. This helps us pay our staff to keep making awesome content for you!

How to Tell Whether Raw Steak is Bad
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    Steak is a beloved meat that many people enjoy.

    Whether you prefer your steak rare, medium-rare, or well-done, there’s nothing quite like a juicy and flavorful steak!

    You can definitely eat raw steak. Just be careful that you don’t end up eating spoiled or bad steak can have serious health consequences.

    Here’s how to tell whether raw steak is bad.

    The first thing to look for when determining whether raw steak is bad is its appearance. The steak should have a bright red color with marbling throughout the meat. Your steak could be spoiled if it has a gray or brown color or looks dry. If there are any signs of discoloration, such as green or blue spots, the steak is definitely bad and should not be consumed.

    Second, you should use your sense of smell to determine whether raw steak is bad.

    Related >> How to grill a frozen steak.

    Fresh steak should have a slightly sweet smell and it may have a slight metallic odor from the iron in the meat. If the steak smells sour, rotten, or like ammonia, it has gone bad and should not be eaten.

    These smells are a clear indication that the steak has begun to spoil, and consuming it could lead to food poisoning. If the steak passes the appearance and smell test, the next step is to touch it.

    How to Tell Whether Raw Steak is Bad

    Fresh steak should feel firm and slightly moist to the touch. If the meat feels slimy, sticky, or tacky, it has started to spoil. You should also see if the steak is slimy on the surface or has any visible mold – if it does, it is definitely bad and should not be consumed.

    The last step in determining whether raw steak is bad is to consider its age.

    Fresh steak should be consumed within three to five days of purchase. We have a guide here if you want to know the best way to reheat your steak.

    And it should be stored at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacterial growth.

    Here is a good rule of thumb when preparing raw meat: If the steak has been sitting in the refrigerator for more than five days or has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

    It’s important to remember that consuming spoiled or bad steak can lead to serious health consequences, such as food poisoning.

    Symptoms of food poisoning include:

    • nausea,
    • vomiting,
    • diarrhea,
    • stomach cramps,
    • and fever.

    Sometimes food poisoning can require hospitalization and may even be fatal. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that you have consumed bad steak or are experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, .

    Overall when determining whether raw steak is bad requires careful inspection of its appearance, smell, touch, and age. 

    One our of favorite – and not very traditional – methods of cooking steak is to smoke your steak! You can see our steak smoking guide here.

    Related reading: The benefits of eating raw meat


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    Patrick Harvey
    Patrick is a life long grilling enthusiast with an eye for product development and user experience. His expertise helps us test and review all of the products you see the website.

    About The Grilling Master

    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of

    My passion has always been grilling, smoking and BBQ delicious meats that satisfy my inner carnivore!

    I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you, the hungry reader who wants to prepare the perfect meal. 

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