In this particular climate, there’s something that’s been bugging me lately. It’s been talked about to death, and our children’s children will perpetuate this argument. Most will agree with me, but let me be clear:

Steak should never be well-done.

charredsteak
How Trump likes his steak apparently. Image credit: FoodBeast

Now, I can be a raving lunatic and hammer out a long diatribe of how well-done steaks are figuratively the food equivalent of kicking puppies, but that won’t get my point across. I have to speak the language of the internet: in a list format that’s easily digestible (food pun!) while in the bathroom.

It ruins the texture

A great steak is usually done at a medium, shining a beautiful ruby red when you cut through it. Some will take it a notch higher or lower at medium well or medium rare, but most take it in this spectrum. This is the ideal range for optimal mouth feel, where turning the cooking level will destroy the soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It will be dry, and it will be grainy, making your jaw work overtime as though chewing through low-grade leather.

It ruins the flavour

When cooked incorrectly, steak will a charred mess, like a burnt ghost of what could have been. Even worse, it loses all of its natural flavour and tastes little better than the charcoal it’s been cooked upon. To make it edible, most people will drown it in BBQ sauce, which is an atrocity and frankly, just really not good. You may as well just drink it from the bottle.

It can literally give you cancer

Studies show that eating a greater amount of well-done meat will increase your intake of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are possible carcinogens. Colon tumors have shown to happen in lab animals when exposed to HCAs.

Think of the vegans

Omnivores like myself and vegans  will always stand at odds – they’ll get to have the morally superior high grounds, and we get the delicious food. Don’t ruin that by ruining your steak. It’s just wrong to wave your preference for meat like a proud flag, then waive your means to a good meal by burning good meat to oblivion.

It’s a social taboo

Try admitting to your friends and your family how you prefer your steak. It’s probably giving you some level of social anxiety, imagining the looks on their faces and sounds of disgust. All I can say is… they’re not wrong.

Finally, look at the image below.

medium-rare-steak-608x371
Image credit: Atlas Meat Steakhouse

Now look at the image at the top of this column.

Which would you prefer?

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4 thoughts on “Why Well-Done Is Rarely Considered Done Well

    1. I can definitely appreciate a great steak that is closer to well-done – if the meat has been prepared well. It just kills me when people drown it in marinade, take it from fridge to pan/grill, or don’t let it rest afterward. There’s a lot of finesse that can be used to elevate what can be considered a low/mediocre cut to an absolutely amazing meal.

      Like

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