What is Pittsburgh-Style Steak

What is Pittsburgh-Style Steak

What is Pittsburgh-Style Steak

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Philadelphia, PASteak Rare Pittsburgh - When you ask a steakhouse about the rareness of a steak, you might be surprised to learn that Pittsburgh style is actually a variation of rare. In Pittsburgh, rare means that the outside of the steak is charred but still rare on the inside.

Pittsburgh Rare: Unveiling the Secrets of the City's Signature Steak

"Pittsburgh rare, or "Pittsburgh-style," is a unique and flavorful steak preparation that has become synonymous with the Steel City's culinary heritage. While its exact definition may vary, this style is characterized by its charred exterior and raw or rare interior, creating a contrasting texture and taste that has captivated steak enthusiasts for generations.

The Art of the Open Flame:

The key to achieving Pittsburgh rare lies in cooking the steak over an open flame at extremely high temperatures. This intense heat sears the exterior of the meat, creating a flavorful crust while leaving the interior virtually untouched. The result is a steak that is both tender and juicy on the inside, with a smoky, charred flavor on the outside.

A Culinary Legacy Rooted in Industry:

While the origins of Pittsburgh rare are not definitively documented, the style is often associated with the city's steel mills. It's believed that steelworkers, with their limited lunch breaks, would cook their steaks directly on the hot metal surfaces of the mills, achieving a quick and satisfying meal.

Today, this technique has been refined and adapted by restaurants and home cooks alike. While traditionally prepared with a thick-cut ribeye or New York strip steak, the Pittsburgh rare method can be applied to other cuts of beef as well.

How to Cook Pittsburgh Rare at Home:

While achieving the perfect Pittsburgh rare requires skill and precision, it's not impossible to replicate at home. Here's a simplified guide:

  1. Prep the Grill: Preheat your grill to the highest possible temperature. If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high. For charcoal grills, use a chimney starter to get the coals burning hot.
  2. Sear the Steak: Once the grill is scorching hot, place the steak directly on the grates and sear for 1-2 minutes per side. The goal is to achieve a dark, charred crust on the exterior.
  3. Finish in the Oven (Optional): If you prefer a slightly warmer center, you can finish cooking the steak in a preheated oven at 450°F for a few minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness.
  4. Rest and Serve: Allow the steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a tender and flavorful bite.

Whether you're a Pittsburgh native or a visitor eager to experience the city's culinary traditions, trying a Pittsburgh rare steak is a must. Its unique combination of char and tenderness makes it a truly unforgettable dining experience.

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