Content of the material
How to tell if the steak has gone bad
Before you get ready to cook you want to assemble all your ingredients and make sure nothing is missing. Once you have taken your steak out of the fridge or freezer, be sure to inspect it to make sure it is still edible. But how to tell if a steak is bad before you cook it? Never fear as we have an easy checklist to go through that will determine if you get to carve into that juicy steak for dinner, or if you might be ordering pizza instead.
Check the use-by date
Before you get into too many specifics, the first step to understanding when steak is bad is by checking the use-by date. Now, this may seem simple but it is actually a bit complicated Trusted Source What Expiry Dates And Best-Before Dates Really Mean – Chatelaine According to Health Canada, the best-before date on most packaged goods indicates the time after which the product may lose its freshness, flavour or nutritional value. However, it’s important to remember the best-before date applies only to unopened items. Once food is exposed to air, the chance of contamination increases, so regardless of the best-before date, that half-empty jar of salsa at the back of your fridge is not invincible against unfriendly microbes. www.chatelaine.com . The reason for this is that there are different types of dates that food manufacturers use.
A best before date means that the food is in the best condition before the date. It does not mean that the food is inedible after this date. While this doesn’t mean you can cook a steak that is a week past its best before date, it does mean there’s a bit of leeway.
A use-by date, or expiry date, means that you should definitely use the food before the date has occurred. However, again, you can use your own judgment. If it’s one day past the use-by date, you might be ok, as long as other criteria has been met.
Checking the use-by date is a solid first step but keep reading to see what other criteria it can be used with.
One of easiest ways to know when steak is bad is by smelling it. Now, if you’re not one for bad odors, then go through the rest of the checklist before giving your nose its important job. You don’t have to get too close to your steak and a quick sniff should suffice.
If your steak smells unpleasant, and in particularly cheesy, then it is definitely past its prime. Other smells it may emit is an ammonia or sulfur scent. Basically, if the smell you detect isn’t appealing, then don’t risk it.
We apologize for getting a bit gross, but a slimy texture is an important to factor when discussing if a steak is still good or not. Essentially, a proper steak should not be slimy. It can have a bit of moisture, usually from blood, but you can easily pat it dry.
A slimy texture, on the other hand is a clear indication that your steak is bad. This texture is caused by bacteria, and too much bacteria translates to a very upset stomach.
If you’re still not sure what exactly a slimy texture looks like, we’ll be a bit more specific. The slime could be grey or even yellow in color. It will be shiny and you might want to hold the steak up to a light to really detect it. If the light is reflected in the steak, then it has slime on it.
Even though slime means bacteria, you won’t see the next evolutionary step, which is mold. Your fridge’s cold temperature will so far keep any mold from forming. However, if you were to leave your steak in this stage out at room temperature, within a day mold would start to form.
One last comment about slime is that you want to inspect the entire steak. Don’t expect to see a layer of slime all over the cut. Instead, it could just be one area. However, even a bit of slime is too much and unfortunately, your steak is best left uneaten.
The color of a steak is a peculiar feature. Depending on when your steak was butchered from a cow, it will have a different color. However, there is a wide range of colors that are perfectly normal.
When first butchered, a cut of steak will have a bright purple-red appearance. This is a result of the muscle interacting with the oxygen in the air. This color does not last long and will start to transition to its next color within the hour.
From a purple-red, the next color stage is a cherry red. As more oxygen is mixed in with the blood and muscle of the steak, a typical red color is formed.
Finally, after about three days, your steak might look reddish-brown in color. Don’t panic as your steak is still edible at this stage. Even if the steak doesn’t look as good as you would hope, it is still perfectly edible. Again, check the used-by date to affirm this knowledge.
The color you really want to be wary in steak of is a dark brown. Dark brown or grey are signs your steak could potentially be bad. The problem is that steaks do change color so this isn’t a definitive worry. However, if a worrying color is paired with another sign your steak is bad, then you should definitely not use it.
While one end of the bad steak spectrum we have a slimy texture, on the other end is extreme dryness. While your steak definitely shouldn’t be a wet mess, it also shouldn’t be completely dry.
If your steak is very dry, it’s a sign that it is not going to be good. Over time a steak’s moisture can evaporate and dryness is a sign it has been left for too long.
Again, nothing is simple with steaks. If you have a cut of meat that has a lot of marbling, or fat throughout the meat, then it will be dryer than leaner cuts of steak. So, in this case dryness should be ok.
As with moth signs your steak is bad, if the dryness factor and another sign appear together, then it is most likely bad.
There is a way to prevent dryness and keep your steak fresher for longer. If you bring home steak from the butcher, it will be wrapped in paper. Unless you’re going to eat your steak within the next two days, place it in a sealed container so that moisture stays within it.
#3 Asking a good friend to help out
Does my breath smell bad? This is all you need to ask to get the most accurate answer, just do it. Though it may seem embarrassing, it’s surely better to hear it from a friend than from someone you’d like to kiss. You could ask a family member or anyone close, anyone who will be honest with you to tell you if you have a smelling mouth.
You know your friends, avoid asking friends that will make fun of you or go around telling people. While you’d naturally want to stick with the first two methods, fact remains that asking someone will provide you with the most accurate answer.
How to tell if the frozen steak is bad?
Msot people will purchase a bulk package of steak and divvy it up for later. This is both economical and practical. To achieve optimal freshness from your frozen steak, there are a few steps you can take.
Start by placing your steak in a Ziploc container or better yet, a vacuum-sealed bag. The less air there is around the steak, the better it will keep. Don’t just throw your steak in the freezer without transferring it from its packaging. That thin plastic wrap from the grocery store is not freezer-safe.
When you package your frozen steak, there are two dates you need to record. One is the current date that the steak is going into the freezer. The other date is the best-used date on the package. If the best-use date is the following, then when you remove your steak from the freezer, you really only have one or two days after it is thawed to use it.
If, however, the best-use day is five days in the future, then you have a much larger window to use your thawed steak.
Once you are ready to enjoy your steak, it’s important to understand how to tell if a frozen steak is bad. The biggest culprit to look for is freezer burn Trusted Source How to Detect Freezer Burn – WikiHow Storing food in the freezer is an easy and safe way to keep food fresh for later use. However, when outside air gets in contact with stored frozen food, it can lead to freezer burn, making the food unsightly and unappetizing to eat. Freezer burn is relatively easy to spot, but there are a few sings to look out for when checking food for freezer burn, and some simply solutions to help slow down the process, to keep your stored foods as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. www.wikihow.com . First, check the packaging to see if there are any holes. Then, check if there are ice crystals that have formed on the steak. Another sign of freezer burn is a grayish-brown color.
If your steak has signs of freezer burn, don’t panic just yet. While you shouldn’t grill this piece up, as the taste and texture will be off, you can use it in a stew or cook it in a slow cooker.
How To Smell Your Breath
There is a way you can taste your breath, which will give you the same information as smelling it. If you’ve eaten something with a potent odor such as garlic or fish, and you can still taste it, chances are others can smell it on your breath too. Or if you have a condition such as dry mouth, or if you’re dehydrated, you may be able to taste your breath. Signs of dry mouth include thick, foamy saliva and a change in taste. A good rule of thumb is that if you have a bad taste in your mouth, it’s very likely the way your breath smells, too. Just rinse your mouth out with water, which washes away any food debris and stimulates the cleansing flow of saliva, and your usual dental hygiene routine after every meal.
A tried and true way to tell if you have bad breath
Get someone else’s opinion
Another way to check your breath is an obvious one. Just ask someone else what they think.
Actually, this makes a very good plan and is generally regarded as a reliable way to confirm a chronic breath problem. That’s because, as we described above, the human nose tends to ignore persistent odors, and even when doing testing like we describe above, it’s still sometimes hard for us to smell ourselves.
Another good reason
Beyond just not being able to detect our own malodor, there’s another reason why getting an opinion from someone else can be important.
There’s a bad breath classification termed pseudo-halitosis where the person suffering from it is under the impression that they have a breath problem but really don’t. Or at least not to the extent they think they do. (FYI: Classifying halitosis cases. Categories.)
So in cases such as these, asking someone else what they think can be very valuable in helping to lay to rest mistaken impressions and fears.