Have you ever walked down the meat aisle and notice all the different cuts of beef swimming in a bright red liquid? Off the cuff, you might think it’s blood. It’s crimson, seeping from raw meat, so it stands to reason that it has to be blood right? Well, it turns out, it’s not blood at all.
Tech Insider’s latest video sheds some light onto the mysterious red liquid that encompasses packaged meat.
When meat is transported from distributor to the seller, it’s typically frozen to ensure it makes it to the destination without going bad. The red liquid is actually a combination of thawed water and myoglobin mixing together in the thawing process.
Myoglobin is a chemical protein found in the beef’s muscles, and is essentially what gives meat its red color. Because the ice crystals rupture muscle cells, they carry some myoglobin along during the thawing process.
Another contributing factor to the reddish liquid that wasn’t shown in the video, is that some meats are given an injection of saltwater in a process known as “plumping” that’s supposed to make for juicier cuts of meat.
So the next time you fire up the grill, and your steak is sitting there in a pool of red liquid, you now know that it’s not blood.