How To Tell If Steak Is Bad Before You Cook It

How To Tell If Steak Is Bad

Nothing is more disappointing than opening your fridge and discovering that your steak has gone bad, therefore you must understand how to identify when it is no longer safe to cook. You’ll be examining the sell-by date on the box, sniffing for that sour smell, inspecting the meat itself, and even feeling it.

You may suspect something is wrong with your steak as soon as you take it out of the refrigerator. However, it’s important to remember that just because your steak is a little brown or even gray doesn’t imply it’s spoiled; you should explore deeper.

If you want to avoid serving rotten steak, keep reading to learn how to tell if it’s bad!

How To Tell If Steak Is Bad

How To Tell If Meat Is Bad?

If you want to enjoy a nice steak supper, you should make sure the steak is fresh and of high quality. Unfortunately, there are some subtle indicators of rotten steak. Knowing the warning signs of poor steak will assist you in determining whether your dinner is safe. Here are several tell-tale indicators of a poor steak.


The smell is one of the best indicators of whether or not a steak has gone bad. A fresh steak should have very little smell, while an old steak may have a distinct sour odor. Before you cook your steak, use your nose to detect any strange smells that could signal a spoiled piece of meat. If it smells like ammonia, fish, bleach, or sewage, discard it immediately, as these are all signs that bacteria has started to take over the steak.


Texture can be a big sign of whether or not steak has gone bad. If you’re unsure about the freshness of your steak, it’s important to take a close look at its texture before deciding if it’s still safe to eat.

The surface of any fresh steak should have a smooth, slimy feel due to moisture and fat. If the steak is dry, firm, and hard when you touch it, then this could be an indication that it has gone bad. Additionally, if there is any discoloration on the flesh – such as patches of green or white – this is also an indication that the meat is no longer fit for consumption.


Taste is one of the most reliable ways to tell if steak is bad. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just beginning to explore your culinary skills, being able to detect when food has gone bad can save you from an unpleasant dining experience. When it comes to steak, use your taste buds to determine whether the meat has spoiled and should be discarded.

Fresh steak should have a pleasant smell and will not have any off-putting odor. Bad steak, on the other hand, may smell like ammonia or sulfur, which indicates that it has started decomposing due to bacteria growth. Similarly, fresh steak should have a mild flavor with no strong aftertaste, while tainted meat can taste sour or acidic due to its exposure to air and bacteria growth. If you experience either of these flavors when tasting your steak, it’s time to go in the garbage bin!

Date: Expiration Check

It can be difficult to tell when steak has gone bad, and it’s important to know how to check for spoilage. The expiration date on the package is a good place to start, but it’s not the only way to determine if steak is still safe for consumption. With just a few simple steps, you can learn how to check the freshness of your steak and ensure that it’s fit for eating.

  • First, look at the expiration date on the package.
  • If it has passed, discard the meat immediately, as there is no reliable method of determining whether or not spoiled meat will make you sick.
  • Give your steak a close inspection if the date has yet to expire.
  • Check if there are any signs of discoloration or an unpleasant smell—these could be indicators of spoilage.

Color & Shelf Life

With fresh steak, you should see a deep, reddish-purple hue. If your steak has turned gray or brown, it may be time to throw it out. The shelf life of raw steak depends on where and how it is stored. For instance, if your steak was kept in the refrigerator at 40°F or colder, it should last around three to five days before going bad, while frozen steaks can last for a few months up to a year, depending on the cut and quality of meat. It’s always best to use freshly purchased steaks within two days for optimal flavor.


When determining if steak is bad, temperature plays a key role. In general, raw meat should feel cool or cold to the touch. If it feels hot, then you may want to avoid eating it. It could be an indication that bacteria have begun to grow on the steak and make it unsafe for consumption.

Consider The Following Two Points Before Storing  Steak

  1. Checking Steak Quality

When buying steak, it’s important to know what to look for in terms of quality. Checking the steak for signs of spoilage or contamination can ensure your meal is both safe and delicious. The following tips will help you select the best steak possible when shopping for meat.

Begin by looking at the color of the steak. Fresh steaks are usually a deep red color with some marbling on them. If they are gray, brown, or yellowish, they may have started spoiling and should have been avoided. Next, take a sniff of the steak; it should have a pleasant smell that is slightly sweet and not sour at all – if it has an off-putting odor, then this could signify that it’s spoiled.

  1. Refrigeration & Freezing

Refrigeration and Freezing is an important factors to consider regarding food safety. Knowing the proper temperature for storing food can make a big difference between having a safe, healthy meal and one that could potentially cause illness. Proper storage of steak helps preserve its freshness, quality, and flavor. It also prevents bacteria from growing on the meat before it is cooked or served. Refrigerated temperatures should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal safety and quality, while frozen temperatures should remain at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. When storing steak in the refrigerator, use shallow containers or wrap it tightly with plastic so that air does not come into contact with the meat, which can cause spoilage.

Credit By Salty Tales YouTube Channel

Consult A Professional If You Are In Any Confusing

Knowing whether or not steak has gone bad can be difficult. It is important to understand the signs of bad steak in order to make sure that you are eating a safe and healthy meal. If you have questions about your steak, it is always best to consult a professional.

When trying to determine if your steak has gone bad, there are several key indicators that should be taken into consideration. The color of the meat should be bright red with no discoloration, and the texture should be firm and moist. The smell should also be pleasant, with no off-putting odors present. If any of these cues appear different, it may be wise to avoid consuming them.

In certain cases, it is also beneficial to contact a butcher or nutritionist for further assistance regarding food safety when handling steaks.


This article concludes that knowing the quality of the steak is an important skill. It requires knowledge about what a good steak looks like and how it should smell and taste. Being able to discern a bad steak from a good one can be done with practice and by using the tips outlined in this article. With proper care and storage, correctly assessing whether or not your steak has gone bad becomes much easier.

It’s important to remember that nothing beats the experience of buying fresh, high-quality steak from a trusted butcher or supplier. Doing so ensures you know exactly where your food comes from and can confidently enjoy delicious steaks without worrying about whether or not they’re safe to eat. Taking the time to learn how to tell if steak is bad will help ensure every meal is enjoyed safely and with peace of mind.

Related Content:


  • Troy Miller

    Hi! My name is Troy, and I'm the founder of Grill Taster. I have a lot of experience in grilling because I've been testing out products for over a decade. With almost ten years as a professional griller and help to thousands of aspiring BBQ masters, you can trust me to help you find the best grills and accessories on the market so that you don't have to waste time or money on junk. With my family enjoying some summertime fun just outside Carolina, we're all looking forward to your comments and questions!

Similar Posts