How to Cook Pittsburgh-Style Steaks

Pittsburgh is famous for many things: steel mills, football and Pittsburgh-style steak. The Pittsburgh rare steak is also known as the "black and blue" steak because it is charred "black" on the outside but rare and bloody -- or "blue" -- on the inside. This method of cooking a steak is not as easy as it might seem. Anyone can burn a steak, but few home cooks can char the outside yet leave the inside perfectly rare. Properly cooking a Pittsburgh rare steak requires very hot temperatures and a brief cooking time.

A steak on an iron frying pan. Credit: Lisovskaya/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Preheat your cast-iron skillet on high heat. Let the pan heat on the burner for five minutes, or until water sprinkled in the pan sizzles and evaporates. Pour the oil into the pan when the pan is hot.

Step 2

Place the steaks in the pan, one inch apart. Cook the steaks for two minutes. Turn the steaks and char the other side for two minutes.

Step 3

Take the temperature of the steak with a meat thermometer. The inside should be 100 to 110 degrees, which is cool and uncooked.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 eight-ounce or larger thick-cut steaks, such as sirloins or T-bones

  • Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil

  • Cast iron pan

  • Spatula

  • Meat thermometer


The pan must be extremely hot or the steaks will not char correctly and you will overcook the center of the steaks before you achieve the proper char on the outside.

Do not pour the oil into the pan until just before you cook the steak or the oil may overheat and cause a grease fire.

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