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How to Cook a Steak ‘Pittsburgh Style’

The ‘Pittsburg Style’ Steak, also known as the ‘Pittsburgh Rare’ or ‘Black & Blue’, has been a popular preference of cooking for steak throughout the years. The steak is typically charred on the outside while remaining juicy and red on the inside. It is said this method was named after the city of Pittsburgh, PA for its sooty and black apperance. There are a couple of different methods to best achieve this style.

The cut of steak you use should be about 1 1/2 inch thick. Porterhouse, Strip, or another premium cut is desired. It is also suggested to trim the fat from the steak before cooking.

Crispy Black

The crispy black method is very simple. You will cook the steak in the regular fashion. Just before it is done, approximately one minute before, you remove it from the cooking surface and hold it with tongs or another untensil. You will need to hold the steak about 1/2 inch above the heat source turning it until the surface is charred. It should be crispy black on the outside and rare on the inside. You can control the amount of char depending on how soon you hold them above the heat source.

Charred Around the Edges

This method is a little different but you can accomplish the same goal. You can season and prepare the steak according to your preference. This requires a measure of tempature to best reach the ideal result. You will cook the steak on high heat and continuously turn it. The inside tempature should reach about 125 degrees while the outside surface of the steak should be well browned and charred around the edges.

Grilled Perfection

The grilled method requires that you use a large industrial grill or outside grill to bring it to perfection. You will set two different grill zones. One zone needs to be at 800 degrees and the second zone should be at 500 degrees. You will cook one side at a time. The steak should be first set on the 800 degree side to cook for approximately 1 minute then transferred to the 500 degree side to cook until done. You will then repeat this for each side.


Graham C. Gibbs
Here's an old soul, a heart that belongs in the Dust Bowl era and a brain wave on the beating pulse of current art, technology & culture.