I like a good Pittsburgh Style steak. No… strike that. I LOVE a Pittsburgh Style steak. In my book, the only way to eat it is Pittsburgh Rare… or as some call it, Pittsburgh Style Steak. Now that’s a term that I had not heard until I became a Pittsburgher. I’ve since discovered that the term “Pittsburgh style steak” or “Pittsburgh rare” is also used when you cook a steak Pittsburgh style. Since I was a little boy, I’ve always loved rare meat. It’s just juicier and more flavorful. So growing up, I learned to order my burger, or steak, or lamb rare.
One night, in my 20s… I was out with friends at a good steak restaurant in Pittsburgh, and ignoring the usual protests (you see, it’s rare you find someone who loves rare steak as much as I do) about the dangers of eating under-cooked meat, I ordered it… rare. “As rare as you’ll cook it.” was my usual tag line. “Oh… you mean Pittsburgh rare, like a Pittsburgh Style Steak,” said my server. I was confused. “What’s the difference?” I asked. “If you like a great steak… you’ll like it Pittsburgh rare… you live here and you’ve never heard of a Pittsburgh style steak?” she said. I was all in. And she was all right.
I was served a delicious ribeye steak, charred on the outside with that crunch flavor, and soft, delicious and very rare on the inside, all juicy and perfect. Heaven. I’ve probably ordered hundreds… no… thousands of steaks at many steak houses in Pittsburgh… and every time, I order my steak Pittsburgh rare. Now if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then this article is not for you…
What is Pittsburgh Rare? Is it the same as a Pittsburgh Style Steak?
This is the easy part. A steak Pittsburgh style, or Pittsburgh rare, is basically burned on the outside at a very high temperature. Char-grilled on an open flame until almost black. If the heat is high enough, it seals the outside layer of meat, containing all of the juices and flavor on the inside of the steak leaving it soft, buttery rare.
Where does Pittsburgh Rare come from?
This is the tough part. There are many local legends as to the origin of the term “Pittsburgh Rare” or “Pittsburgh Style Steak”. The most common revolves around the region’s steel mills. It’s said that steel workers would cook steak on a piece of the cooling metal. The temperature of which was so high that it would almost instantly char the outside of the meat, and since it happened so quickly, they couldn’t leave it on for more than a minute or so, as it would actually burn. It’s said that they would bring the uncooked steaks to work and throw them on the molten steel tubs. It would burn the outside almost immediately and then drop off. To finish, they would toss the other side against the same tub. Some stories cite the short 30 minute lunch and the high heat of the steel mill blast furnaces. Another story is that they would sear the meat with a welding torch. Sounds fun. And delicious as well.
There is a local story that circulates regarding The Colony Restaurant, which opened in 1958. This legend says that a diner’s steak was burnt by accident, and the cook decided to call it “Pittsburgh Style” when confronted with the error. While the restaurant claims the story is true, the cook, the year it happened and the diner have never been revealed.
There is even another story that says a local slaughterhouse opened a steak restaurant in front during the depression. Those who could afford it, would choose their cut of meat from the live cow, and it would be immediately seared to kill any bacteria and then served, with the inside still being rare. Thus the beginning of a Pittsburgh Style Steak.
What Type Of Meat is Best for a Pittsburgh Rare Steak?
That’s easy. Any. Just kidding. The best type of meat for a Pittsburgh stlye steak is probably Filet Mignon, due to it’s soft texture. It’s the prime cut, of course. However, I’ve had a good ribeye steak cooked Pittsburgh rare, and even a Pittsburgh rare New York strip steak at one of Pittsburgh’s best steak restaurants. Heck, you can even try to cook a good hamburger Pittsburgh rare if you want. I’ve ordered it that way and they have delivered.
How to Cook A Pittsburgh Style Steak At Home?
First, make sure your steak is completely thawed and at room temperature. This is the only way it works right. If you’re using a grill, make sure the heat is as high as it can go, and let the grill reach a very high temperature. For a 1-inch steak, place it on the grill and sear it for about 60-90 seconds, or until you notice the outside charring. Immediately turn it over and repeat the process. That should about do it. You can season with salt and pepper at that point. Don’t let it rest too long, not more than 2-3 minutes before you serve.
If you are not using a grill or open flame, it’s very hard to do unless you have a cast-iron skillet, and even then, its difficult to get the same char on the outside, so I recommend an open flame if at all possible. And of course, remember the warnings about eating raw or under-cooked meats. Make sure you are using the freshest meat possible from a trusted source. There you have it… a beautifully cooked Pittsburgh style steak! Bon appetit!
Of course… what goes better with steak than potatoes? Here are a few places with the best french fries in Pittsburgh.
What are the Best Steak Restaurants in Pittsburgh? Will they cook a Pittsburgh Style Steak?
Glad you asked! We’ve written about the best places for steak in Pittsburgh, and it’s one of our more popular posts. You can read all about the best steak restaurants in Pittsburgh right here.
Do you have other posts on Great Restaurants in Pittsburgh?
Of course! We’ve put together a list of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh for every meal and every occasion.
Where have I had a Pittsburgh Style Steak in Pittsburgh?
That’s easy. Almost everywhere. Since I live in Pittsburgh, there is hardly a restaurant that doesn’t understand when I order a steak Pittsburgh rare… I want a Pittsburgh style steak. What you have to watch out for, however, is the fact that not every chef or cook completely understands how to cook a Pittsburgh style steak. So don’t be surprised if your steak is not perfect. Most of the upscale restaurants will char the outside correctly, leaving the inside rare and perfect. Local Pittsburgh restaurants also know what Pittsburgh Style means as well. Those are your best bet!
Here are a few different definitions of a Pittsburgh Style Steak or a Pittsburgh Rare Steak that I’ve found online:
Pittsburgh Style Steak
Pittsburgh Style Steak is a unique steak preparation that originated in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s a style of steak that has a unique, charred flavor that is sure to tantalize the taste buds and leave diners wanting more. The steak is typically served medium-rare, but can be customized to fit individual tastes.
The preparation of Pittsburgh Style Steak begins with a high-quality cut of steak, such as a rib-eye, New York strip, or sirloin. The steak is then rubbed with a blend of herbs and spices and left to marinate overnight. Once the marinade is complete, the steak is placed on a high-heat grill to create the signature charred flavor. The steak is then flipped and cooked to the desired level of doneness.
What makes Pittsburgh Style Steak so special is the marinade. The blend of herbs and spices helps to deepen the flavor of the steak, while the charring process adds a smoky, intense flavor to the steak. This combination makes for a delicious steak that is sure to be a hit with any steak lover.
The dish is popular in the Pittsburgh area, where it has become a local favorite. It is often served at restaurants, as well as for special occasions. Pittsburgh Style Steak is a great way to add a unique flavor to any steak dish, and is sure to be a hit with anyone who tries it.
Pittsburgh Style Steak is a unique steak preparation that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. If you’re looking for a unique steak experience, try Pittsburgh Style Steak. The steak is marinated in a blend of herbs and spices and then grilled on high heat to create the perfect char and flavor. Pittsburgh Style Steak is sure to be a hit with any steak lover, so don’t miss out on this unique steak experience. Try steak Pittsburgh style today!
Pittsburgh Rare Steak
Are you a fan of steak? If so, then you should definitely sample Pittsburgh style steak at least once in your life! Pittsburgh style steak is a unique way of cooking steak that originated in the Steel City itself, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The iconic style of steak is prepared by searing the steak with a blowtorch. This method of cooking is known to give the steak a slightly crispy outer layer while keeping the inside juicy and tender.
When it comes to steak pittsburgh style, the cut of steak is typically a strip or ribeye, but it can also be prepared with filet mignon or sirloin. The steak is heavily seasoned with salt and pepper and then placed on a hot grill to sear and lock in the juices. Once the steak is seared on both sides, it is then moved to a cooler spot on the grill and cooked to the desired doneness.
The final result of steak pittsburgh style is a steak with a crispy, slightly charred crust and a juicy, tender center. The steak is served with a light sauce and a side of vegetables, or sometimes, with a side of fries or mashed potatoes. Pittsburgh style steak is beloved by locals and visitors alike, and is available in many restaurants throughout the city.
The key to preparing pittsburgh style steak is to use high heat and to be mindful of the time spent cooking. High heat is important to create the signature crispy crust while should not be cooked too long to ensure the inside remains juicy and tender. If you are looking for a unique way to enjoy steak, then Pittsburgh style steak is the way to go!