General Question

anonyjelly16's avatar

Is it healthier to have a steak "well done" rather than "rare" or "medium"?

Asked by anonyjelly16 (744points) May 18th, 2008

Someone told me yesterday that its bad for one’s health to have steaks that are not well done.

Can anyone point to any scientific evidence on this subject?

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10 Answers

joeysefika's avatar

I wouldnt have thought so; I do love the bloody steak!

amandaafoote's avatar

It’s also bad for ones health to have steaks that aren’t cooked thoroughly, you can get diseases easier

PupnTaco's avatar

If anything, it’s worse for your health to eat meat that is well-done or burnt – it contains carcinogens.
Just get meat from a reputable butcher and cook it medium-rare.

shilolo's avatar

Please no flames from the vegetarians.

Disregarding the taste effects (I personally prefer medium to rare), there are two good reasons to cook meat to well-done. One, when animals are slaughtered, the method does not always result in a sterile end product. Thus, bacteria from the animals intestines can spill and contaminate the meat. Such bacteria include E. coli 0157, campylobacter jejuni, salmonella and shigella. Two, eating the undercooked meat of animals can lead to taeniasis. If you eat infected raw beef, you can get Taenia saginata, and raw pork leads to Taenia solium. In the US this is not common because meat (for the most part) is inspected, but much more common worldwide.

A more severe form of pork tapeworm is called neurocystercercosis, which occurs when you eat the eggs from human feces. Thus the classic infectious diseases board exam… How did the Hassidic Jew get neurocystercercosis (since he doesn’t eat pork)? From eating food contaminated with someone else’s feces.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Yes rare steaks can be risky. Anything between the temperature 41 degrees and 140 degrees F considered the food danger zone. This is where bacteria grows the best so it is important to either have food chilled below 41 or heated above 140. A rare steak is only 120 degrees on the inside so you increase your risk of catching a food borne illness. Your not out of the food danger zone until Medium which has an internal temp of around 140–145.

That being said i could really go for a black and blue steak right about now. YUM.

nagilum's avatar

It’s healthier not to eat red meat at all.

Magnus's avatar

Well done is healthier in the way that there’s less bacteria. But my best guess is that a rare stake has longer protein strings and has soaked up less of the fat used to prepare it.

ebenezer's avatar

I believe steaks do not need to be cooked through. Just the outside needs to be cooked well. Ground beef needs to be cooked more thoroughly.

LauratheRockStar's avatar

Avoid the carcinogens of burning your meat but make sure that it’s brought up to at least 155 degrees F in the center.

Cooking at a:
Low temp makes a moister steak. Higher temp makes it more likely to char.

gooch's avatar

Many bacteria are killed (denatured) at higher tempertures.So from that point of view I suppose so, but the longer a steak is exposed to smoke the more carcinogens it absorbs so thats bad also…choose your poison.

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