How To Tell If Steak Has Gone Bad?

If you’ve been wondering how to tell if the steak has gone wrong, you have come to the right place. The most apparent sign of spoilage is the smell. Your steak should be greasy and have a distinct smell, such as cheesy. If the meat smells sour or even ammonia-like, it’s time to throw it out.


First, look for the presence of a slimy layer around the steak. This is a sign of spoilage, as the steak may have been improperly stored. The best way to store steak is in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag. A slimy or cheesy surface, a dark color, and a stale smell are also signs of spoiled meat.

Steak Nutrition Fact


How To Tell If Steak Has Gone Bad?

Check out some below points to notice if your steak has gone bad:

A Bad Smell 

Take a whiff of your raw steak if you suspect it’s past its prime. What do you smell? It should have a metallic odor to it. It’s not particularly palatable in and of itself, but it’s also not revolting.

Steak that has gone off has a strong odor that will make your nose hairs curl. Although the actual scent varies, a cheesy odor is a famous description, and it’s also not a particularly tasty cheese.

The odor of steak has been described as ammonia, rotten eggs, or just plain “sour” by others.

It’s worth noting that dry-aged steak smells a little like cheese because of the lactic acid concentration in the muscle fibers. Fortunately, there are several ways to determine if your steak is better off in the trash or on the grill.


It’s a prevalent belief that if your steak has become half brown or grey, it’s no longer edible. Exposure to oxygen can produce color changes in raw beef, but it’s not a huge concern. A few grey or brown spots on a steak don’t automatically mean it’s terrible.

However, if there is a lot of brown or grey in your hair, this cut may be too late. Spots of green or yellow, on the other hand, strongly imply that they should be discarded.

Slimy to the Touch

To the touch, an excellent raw steak should be wet. However, if a film is on the surface, it could indicate that the steak has seen better days.

Scrub the steak with a clean finger. If it feels sticky or slick, it’s a sure sign your steak isn’t cooked correctly. Whether it’s slimy or not, wash your hands after performing the touch test.


Use-by Date Has Passed

A geologist I know (well, he’s my big brother) once said that putting a “use by” or “best by” date on salt is ridiculous. Salt from mines could be millions of years old, but it should last a few years in your cupboard.

This is not the situation with steak, which is highly perishable, regardless of its storage.

Look for a “sell-by” or “use-by” date on the packaging.

The sell-by date is the last day the store can sell the steak while allowing the client enough time to prepare and enjoy it.

The use-by date (sometimes known as the “best before” date) is the last day the steak is likely safe to eat. That usually happens a few days after the sell-by date has passed.

That isn’t to say your meat isn’t edible after expiration. Or even the day of the event, and it’s merely another metric to aid in your decision-making.

If the “use-by” date passes you by and you don’t have time to cook the steak, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer until you’re ready.

It’s Dried Out

As I previously stated, an excellent raw steak should be moist, and it will also feel mushy and velvety to the touch. On the other hand, a terrible steak will be dry and hard, possibly sitting in a pool of its lost juices.

Even if a dry steak isn’t hazardous, it will almost probably be tasteless and chewy after cooking unless the marbling is exceptional. It’s possible that you’d be better off not spending your time on a dry steak.

Dry-aged steaks are hung to dry in a controlled environment, losing some moisture but gaining a lot of flavors. Don’t throw away your costly dry-aged steaks because they aren’t moist — they aren’t supposed to be!


Mold is rarely a good sign on your meal unless we’re talking about particular types of cheese.

There’s a lot of confusing and even contradicting information out there concerning rotting meat. Some people suggest scraping it off, while others suggest cutting it off. Others argue that a small amount of mold won’t harm you.

I subscribe to the “throw everything out” school of thought when it comes to myself.

Yes, certain types of mold can be dealt with by your digestive system (assuming it’s in good shape) without you even realizing it. On the other hand, Mold can be harmful in some cases, and you may become violently unwell, and ingestion of mold might be lethal in rare situations.

What’s The Best Way To Keep Your Steaks Fresh?

Despite what you may have read about people eating mammoth meat found in the arctic tundra, you can’t avoid the inevitable: steak will spoil.

However, this does not rule out the possibility of keeping your cherished steaks fresh and ready for as long as feasible.

Keep fresh meat refrigerated to extend its “use-by” date. If it’s pre-wrapped in plastic, keep it there until you’re ready to use it; grocery store meat is frequently filled with pumped-in CO2 to prevent microbial growth, and puncturing the plastic releases that exterior barrier.

On the other hand, a butcher’s steak is frequently wrapped in pink paper before being handed up.

If it’s not tightly wrapped, re-wrap it or place it together in a large freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal the hole. (For the ultimate airless storage, you could also use a vacuum sealer.)

As quickly as possible, place the steak in the refrigerator. Also, make sure your fridge is set to no more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. (I keep mine at 38 degrees Fahrenheit.)

If at all feasible, keep your steak in the back of the fridge for consistent chilly temperatures. In a refrigerator, cooling can be uneven, especially if the door opens and closes frequently.

What Happens If You Consume Poor Steak?

A rotten steak could include hazardous mold, germs, or poisons. While many are harmless or may be dealt with by the digestive system, there is always the possibility of becoming ill.

A lousy steak may also taste bad. While a terrible taste may not make you sick, it will make you disappointed.

Will Thawing And Refreezing A Steak Cause It To Spoil?

If a frozen steak has been successfully defrosted, refreezing it for later use is safe. The safest approach to defrost a steak is to keep it wrapped in its packaging and refrigerate until it thaws. Keeping the steak continuously below 40 degrees Fahrenheit eliminates the possibility of hazardous bacteria forming.

If you decide not to cook a defrosted steak, return it to the freezer as soon as possible and keep the packing airtight to avoid freezer burn.

While safely defrosting and refreezing a steak will not make it go wrong, it may affect the flavor when cooked.


Visual signs of spoiled meat include discoloration or a slimy substance on the surface. A spoiled steak is soft and discolored, and it will look discolored or slimy. It will also be smelly and discolored if your steak has gone wrong. The smell of spoiled meat can be a sour aroma. If the smell is unpleasant, you should discard it and wait for the smell to disappear.

The color of a steak may not necessarily indicate spoiledness, and it is perfectly edible if it is red or brown. The color of a steak depends on two proteins: myoglobin in the muscle and hemoglobin in the blood. If your steak has dark brown or discolored spots, you should throw it away. Likewise, if it smells sour, the meat has gone wrong.