If your steak doesn’t look like before when out of fridge, you really need to be worried about it. These are not just mental illusions but may be something (bad)  really done with your steak.

For instance, if it smells or looks bad etc. But don’t throw it in trash before confirming its wastage. As it can’t be safe for longer time without fridge so spoilage can over come it easily.

If you eat bad or spoiled steak it will affect your health and causes stomach disturbance. You need to examine it well before cooking or eating. If there are doubts you should check more accurately before throwing it away. This article will help you find out the results of your bad steak (if).

Bad steak with smoker snicket logo

1) It has Passed Expiration Date :

The day steak or anything is made or prepared its expiry date is also written down on the packet. Butchers and shopkeepers keep an eye on these dates when bringing them to make available for people. Often, people are confused between “sell-by”  and “use-by” dates.

man's fingers pointing sell by date

Use-by date is about how long a steak can be freezed or cooked. So you can freeze it for suitable time and can enjoy it even after weeks. It can be spoiled in few days if you keep it without refrigerator for long in your room.

Sell-by date is how much time a butcher or shopkeeper can keep it or how long it is available for customers. You should check it carefully before buying it so you can bring a good stuff to home. In case, if date isn’t given you can save it for 3-5 days in refrigerator.

If you’re going to freeze it write purchasing date and freezing date on your own to keep in mind. It can be freezed for above 6 months according to FDA (food and drug administration). If your steak is expired you are destined to throw it in trash bin unluckily.

Here is the our best steak marinade recipe that makes your meat juicy and tender. It can be used with any kind of meat.

2) It has Slimy Texture :

If slime can be seen on the surface of steak it is a bad sign. It becomes soft and moist and will feel slippery to touch. The slimy texture is happened due to bacteria and your steak is destroyed.

You can’t grill it now. Although, bacteria can’t come over wholly at once. So check before cooking thoroughly. Before cooking you should make it confirm that no patches of slim are present on it. If you feel moist covering over it, don’t cook it.

Bad steak in hand

3) Discoloration has Done :

The color of meat is the result of two proteins :

  • Hemoglobin   
  • Myoglobin   

Hemoglobin is present in blood and Myoglobin is present in muscles and give red color to meat. Due to some chemical reactions its color changes to three stages.

red color meat

First of all, when an animal is slaughtered its color become purplish red due to contact with oxygen. Secondly, its color becomes cherry red and lastly, it comes up with brown color which is final.

It is a natural process and this color changing process is purely normal.  But if your steak is bad it will change its color to dull brown, yellow or sometimes green too. So if your eyes see these colors in steak it’s not able to be cooked and it’s time to throw it.

meat color 3 stages in colors

It is a natural process and this color changing process is purely normal.  But if your steak is bad it will change its color to dull brown, yellow or sometimes green too. So if your eyes see these colors in steak it’s not able to be cooked and it’s time to throw it.

4) It’s Dried :

If the steak looks dry or dehydrated it’s gone bad. If you see it juice less and dried it will affect your digestion and stomach. If you cooked or have eaten the dried steak it will have negative impacts on texture and flavor.

If you want to save it to use in better way then freeze it in a vacuum sealed bag to make it air tight. If you aren’t going to freeze it but putting in refrigerator for two or three days, store it in vacuum sealed container to persevere moisture. So it remains in good state to eat.

5) Giving Bad Smell :

When you put steak out of fridge you notice it’s not giving natural smell instead you feel rancid aroma? Your steak has gone bad. Smell can also tells you either your steak is eatable or wasted.

A good steak has slight odor of fleshy blood. But if you feel distinctive cheesy smell your steak has gone off. Fresh meat has metallic and light bloody smell. While bad steak has sour smell, like eggs an unpleasant aromatic effect. If you eat such rotten piece this will result in foodborne diseases.

man smelling raw steak

If Spoiled Steak is cooked – What are the Results?

When a steak is spoiled it becomes rich in bacteria like Bacillus, E. Coli etc. These bacteria make steaks unhealthy to eat. When it’s heated to cook some bacteria are killed due to heat but not all of them. Some can survive in heat till cooking.

These bacteria are harmful for intestine. So even when you cook a spoiled one it is not safe to eat. It becomes unsafe meat. It’s no longer able to be grilled and should be thrown away unfortunately.

It results in sickness, food poisoning accompanied by fever. When your body fight with pathogens it will take single day for recovery. If spoiled steak is cooked it will taste sour or bitter and rancid.

When spoiled steak is cooked if bacteria are killed, but toxins and spores are left in it which make it unsafe for eating. If you eat such rotten piece of meat and feel symptoms of illness immediately consult to your doctor.

Prevention for Meat Spoilage

Meat spoiles in ordinary environment don’t leave it in room temperature. Keep it at recommended temperature of 40°F. If kept in more temperature than this there are more chances of ruining. When get out of fridge, defrost the freezed meat by microwave so less bacteria can be grown.

Freezing can work for few weeks not more than this. Food is spoiled by light, oxygen, humidity, unbalanced temperature, food bacteria etc. Despite freezing, it also can be saved by:

Curing, which is the process of adding sugar, salt or nitrites for the purpose of preservation.

Dehydration, which is the process of removing water from the food products for preservation. Boiling, at high temperature that stops all enzyme activities. Boiled food is saved for a short time. And it should be stored in airtight container.

Canning, which is the process of keeping meat in sealed container and then heat up it to destroy microorganisms. Salting, by which microbes are killed and salt is used to persevere the beef or meat by keeping it dry.

Smoking, in this process wood chips are added to fire to give smoke to food for preservation. It also adds smoky flavor to meat, fish.


All the upper discussed points will greatly help you to find out either your steak is good or not. How you can judge the differences between good or bad steak. Keep it safe in sealed packing for longer use. Check its smell, color and other steps mentioned above. If they are present, just leave it in trash, not on your grill.

Spoiled steak should be thrown away and you are prohibited to eat it to make yourself save. So, if you find it not good, buy another one for yourself.


Raw steak has reddish pink color. It looks cherry red inside and outside. It is soft and mushy to touch. It is juicy and has shiny appearance. It may be greyish due to exposure to oxygen. It lightly smells like blood.

The color changing process is normal in freezing. Brown steak may be good but during extended storage it may be spoiled and shouldn’t be used. If color changes to brown it started to get ruined but not fully yet. But it’s better not to eat.

Meat can be stored to refrigerator for 3-5 days easily. It can stay OK for 3-4 days after cooking. However, if you freeze your steak it can be stored for up-to 4 months.

Yes. If you eat spoiled steak you can get stomach cramps and an upset digestive system. Because of the presence of bacteria that make you sick. You will feel symptoms of illness within 30 mints (may be). And it can be started from 1-3 days. So avoid it for better health.

The color changes because of oxidation process with contact to oxygen. Steak’s color gets darken that may be harmful to eat. Om other side, keeping in fridge or freezing will automatically changes its color and that’s normal.

Bad steak is slimy. It is slippery to touch or sticky when fingers touching it.  It slims before getting mold. Its color changes to yellow or green (sometimes). And it has bad aroma like ammonia.

When you eat bad steak it will result in food poisoning due to the presence of bacteria. Its symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain vomiting etc. Its severe form will convert it into diarrhea.

Rita Williams

I, with the help of my team, founded Smokers Snicket to help you cook the best product reviews and grilling recipes for your family. I started to smoke food when I was in high school. Back then, I’d smoke foods when I got the chance. However, I just loved the art of cooking over hot embers in the manner that our ancestors used to do. Now that I’ve gotten married and have children, it’s always fun to try out different recipes which is a great way for us to be adventuresome.

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