How to Cook Your Steak Black and Blue at Home

Black and bleu steak, a staple menu item at most steakhouses and chophouses across the country, gets its name from the blackened seasonings used to season the steak and a topping of rich bleu cheese. Black and blue steak, also known as Pittsburgh rare, is a cooking technique for steak that is native to the Pittsburgh area. The New York strip steak used to make these dishes is not only flavorful, it is one of the 29 cuts of beef that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared lean. One 3-oz. strip steak contains only 6 g of fat, with 2.3 g from saturated fats.

Blackened With Bleu Cheese

    Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to sit for 30 minutes.

    Preheat a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat for roughly 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Coat the steaks with the melted butter.

    Divide the blackened seasoning and rub equal amounts into both steaks to coat them.

    Place the seasoned steaks into the preheated skillet and cook them on one side for 3 to 4 minutes.

    Flip the steaks over using tongs.

    Top each steak with half of the bleu cheese, pressing it down firmly, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

    Check the internal temperature of each steak with an instant-read thermometer. If you want your steaks medium-rare, the thermometer should read 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and 150 degrees Fahrenheit for medium. If the steaks have not reached these temperatures, place the skillet in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the steaks are the desired temperature.

    Place the steaks on a serving platter, and allow them to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices that were drawn out of the meat during the cooking process to absorb back into the steak. The steaks continue to cook during this time, reaching their final temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium.

Pittsburgh Rare

    Preheat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for at least 5 minutes, either on the stovetop or a covered grill. You need extremely high heat, 500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, to properly cook a steak black and blue, or Pittsburgh rare, so that it becomes very charred on the outside while the inside remains raw and cool to the touch.

    Place the steak on the heated skillet or directly over the flame on the grill and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until it takes on a charred look.

    Flip the steak using tongs, and cook it for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until both sides of the steak have a significantly charred crust.

    Remove the steak from the skillet or grill, and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

    Things You'll Need

    • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
    • 2 New York strip steaks, 1-inch thick
    • 3 tbsp. blackened seasoning
    • Cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottom skillet
    • Tongs
    • 3 tbsp. bleu cheese
    • Instant-read thermometer


    • If blackened seasoning isn’t your thing, make the steak in au poivre style by using a coating of coarsely ground pepper instead. Instead of bleu cheese, try some Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheese for a slightly different flavor.


    • Although you might be tempted to cook your steaks rare, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service cautions that you should not consume beef cooked to less than 145 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid the possibility of food-borne illness.

      Since you are cooking these steaks on an extremely hot skillet, expect them to generate copious amounts of smoke. Turn on your fans and open your windows before cooking, or simply cook them in the skillet over a hot grill. Instead of finishing the meat in the oven, simply close the grill’s cover for the last few minutes.

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