Pittsburgh Style Steak Vs Black And Blue

Pittsburgh Style Steak Vs Black And Blue: An In-Depth Comparison

When it comes to steaks, there are a plethora of cuts, seasoning, and cooking styles to choose from. Two popular styles that have gained notoriety over the years are Pittsburgh-style and black and blue steak. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences between these two styles of steak.

Pittsburgh-style steak is also commonly known as “black and gold” steak. This cooking style originated in the Steel City, Pittsburgh. It is charred on the outside, while the inside remains tender and juicy. The secret to achieving the perfect Pittsburgh-style steak is a high temperature cooking method. The steak is typically cooked on a hot, cast iron skillet, then finished in the oven to achieve the perfect temperature. The result is a well-seared exterior that locks in the juices and flavors.

Black and blue, on the other hand, is a style of steak that is seasoned and cooked differently. It is essentially a rare to medium-rare steak. It is cooked at a high temperature for a short period, so the exterior is blackened while leaving the inside rare. The steak is then finished with a blue cheese or other seasoning to add to the flavors.

Now that we’ve got an understanding of the basics let’s take a closer look at each style and their unique characteristics.

Pittsburgh Style Steak

Pittsburgh-style steak is an old-school cooking method that dates back to the early twentieth century. The main secret of this method is the high-temperature cooking that leads to a crispy outer crust with a crunchy charred texture. The caramelization process, which adds flavor and texture, happens when meat is seared at high temperatures.

The trick to a perfect Pittsburgh-style steak is using a skillet that can withstand high heat levels. The surface of the pan must be smoking hot before placing the steak. The chef should avoid adding any oils or butter to the skillet, as this could create splatter and negate the effect of the high heat.

The steak is then cooked for a few minutes, ensuring that it gets a nice, crunchy char on the outside. Once the outer layer is perfect, the steak is flipped, and the other side is cooked until it’s seared with a crusty exterior. The steak is then placed in the oven for a few more minutes, until it’s cooked to the preferred level of doneness.

Pittsburgh-style steak is the ideal cooking method for thick cuts of meat like rib-eye, porterhouse, or T-bone. It’s said that this steak method is perfect for people who love the taste of charcoal-grilled steak but don’t have an outdoor grill.

Black and Blue Steak

Black and blue steak is a newer cooking method, and it’s also known as “Pittsburgh rare.” The steak is cooked briefly for about two minutes, ensuring that the outside is blackened. The steak is then topped with a flavoring, typically creamy blue cheese or a similar pungent seasoning.

The blackened exterior may seem unappetizing, but the process doesn’t harm the steak’s flavor or texture. The interior remains juicy and tender, which is the most significant reward when eating steak.

The nature of this cooking process makes it ideal for the rib-eye, filet mignon, strip steak, and T-bone. The outside of the steak is seared to form a crust while the inside remains rare to medium-rare. This method creates the ideal temperature gradient for these cuts of meat, perfect for people who love extremely tender steak.

How to Make the Perfect Steak at Home

Whether you prefer a Pittsburgh-style or a black and blue steak, we’ve got the right tips for you to make the perfect steak at home.

1. Choose your meat correctly- Choose a steak that is well-marbled with fat, as this enhances the texture and flavor of the meat.

2. Preheat your skillet- Preheat your skillet for around 10-12 minutes until it is hot enough to cook the steak.

3. Add seasoning- Add salt, pepper, and any other preferred seasonings to the steak before placing it in the skillet.

4. Cook the steak- Cook the steak to your preferred rareness, flipping it every minute or so to cook evenly. The steak’s thickness determines cooking time, but a general rule of thumb is around 3-4 minutes on each side.

5. Let it rest- Let the steak rest for around five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute, leaving the steak tender and moist.


In conclusion, both Pittsburgh-style and black and blue steaks have proven to be firm favorites among steak enthusiasts. These unique cooking methods add their unique taste and texture, making the steak experience an adventure.

Whether you prefer a well-seared exterior or a rare, juicy interior, both steak styles can be prepared at home with enough knowledge and practice. So, it’s all up to personal preference – Pittsburgh-style or black and blue steak? The choice is yours.