| | |

Is Milk Steak A Real Thing? – And How To Make It

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

If you’re hooked on the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, rest assured that you are not the only one!

This smart and sassy sitcom is a huge hit, with viewers enjoying the antics of “The Gang”, a group of friends running an Irish bar in South Philadelphia.

Along the way, many crazy culinary experiments occur, and one of these is the latest phenomenon on the block – milk steak.

But is milk steak a real thing? You’ll be glad to hear that yes, milk steak is a real thing! Milk steak was an idea invented for the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, although the plotlines never revealed what it is or how it was cooked. However, some clever chefs have figured out how to make milk steak, and we have the best recipe secrets for you here!

We know it might not seem like an obvious combination, but if we didn’t experiment, we’d never learn anything new.

So, keep reading, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about milk steak – including where jelly beans come into it!

Where Does Milk Steak Come From?

The TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has been a huge success over the last 16 years, with over 15 seasons under its belt.

This makes it the longest-running live-action comedy series in American television history, an accolade to be proud of!

The series follows a group of five misfit friends known as “The Gang”.

The main characters are the twins Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson), their legal father Frank (Danny DeVito), and their friends Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney).

This bunch of misfits run an unsuccessful Irish bar called Paddy’s Pub, located in South Philadelphia.

There is one reason that this show is such a hit, and that is because it crosses boundaries that other shows dare not touch!

The main characters are narcissistic, selfish, and unethical, hatching elaborate plans and conspiring against one another and others.

This results in the series covering topics rarely seen on television, with pretty much every show featuring a storyline guaranteed to bring laughter, shock, and amazement.

So, where does milk steak come into it? Well, many episodes of the show feature food, for a variety of reasons. And more often than not, these foods are weird, wonderful, or just downright disgusting.

Milk steak was first mentioned on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia in season five when Charlie is filling out an online dating profile.

When the question of what his favorite food appears on the list of questions, he wants to put milk steak down as his answer.

Later in the same episode, Charlie meets a date in the gang’s favorite restaurant. Overcome by nerves, he orders a milk steak to be served “boiled over hard, and a side of your finest jelly beans, raw”.

So, from this snippet of information, we can guess that the dish involves boiling a steak in milk. This might be a disappointment to those of you who were hoping that it was just a milk-based steak marinade!

And as for the raw jelly beans, your guess is as good as ours! Steak and sweets don’t seem like the most obvious of combinations, but then nothing on this TV show is ever quite normal.

We do wonder what happens if you cook a jelly bean though…

Milk steak appears in the show once again in series thirteen. Charlie has a ritual that involves only eating brown foods, in order to bring luck to the Philadelphia Eagles. He claims that milk steak is one of the foods required as part of this ritual.

As with most things on this TV show, we doubt that the producers intended that milk steak should become a real thing. However, we all like to experiment, and it was only a matter of time before milk steak became a reality!

What Does Milk Steak Taste Like?

If prepared correctly, and not boiled to ‘over hard’, milk steak should taste very much like a grilled steak.

The only difference is that you won’t get the seared outside that a grill gives you, so the entire steak will taste very much like the inside of a grilled steak.

Using milk to cook meat is not a new invention – in fact, milk marinades are very popular for cooking chicken dishes.

This is because milk contains a small amount of lactic acid, which will break down proteins and tenderize the meat

Another advantage of using a milk marinade is that it does not greatly change the flavor of the meat. Other acidic marinades such as vinegar and lemon have a strong taste, and we might not always fancy this with our meat.

Milk will give a much more tender cut of meat without making a huge difference to the flavor.

However, the recipe described in the show does not say that the steak is marinated in milk, so we’re just guessing here! But it would not do any harm to sit your steak in a milk marinade for a few hours before cooking.

In the TV show, the milk steak is boiled as part of the cooking process. Boiling a steak is a very new concept to us, so let’s look at what difference it might make to your steak.

Boiling is normally reserved for slow-cooking tougher cuts of beef, such as when making stews and casseroles.

Meat that is cooked over a slow heat for a long period of time, with plenty of liquid, will become so tender it will melt in the mouth.

However, it is possible to boil a steak with good results. Boiling will distribute the heat more evenly, so you will get steak which is cooked throughout without burning the outside.

Using a boiling liquid to cook steak can also be a good way to infuse the meat with flavor.

If you are thinking of trying to cook milk steak, you will need a good-quality cut of prime beef such as boneless ribeye or sirloin steak.

Cheaper cuts such as rump steak will probably become tough and chewy if boiled.

You might be wondering what sort of milk to use to cook your milk steak? Look for low-fat options such as 2% milk, as high-fat milk will become too thick during the boiling process.

We’d also suggest that you season the milk well, as the steak will take on flavors as it is boiled. Rosemary and garlic are always a good combination for this delicious cut of meat.

How Is Milk Steak Served?

We’re all familiar with the traditional sides dishes served with a juicy grilled steak. It wouldn’t seem right if we were served a steak in a restaurant and it didn’t come with fries, or mashed potatoes, or salad, or mac n’ cheese!

But we’re talking about It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia here, where nothing is ever quite normal. So what should a milk steak be served with?

Well, as Charlie says, “a side of your finest jelly beans, raw”

In all honesty, we’re not really convinced about this one! The combination of steak and sweets is not something that sounds like a taste sensation, but if you’re a die-hard fan of the show then you might be wanting to give it a try.

What isn’t entirely clear is how the jelly beans are served. Are they sprinkled on top of the steak, piled on the side of the plate, or served in a separate dish altogether? 

It might sound crazy, but if you’re going to do something as ridiculous as boiling a steak in milk then you might as well go the extra length and garnish your steak with jelly beans on top! 

The weird thing about jelly beans is that they don’t melt very easily. At the temperature food is normally served at, they would most like just become a bit soft, but would still hold their shape.

Now the only thing left to decide is what flavor of jelly beans to choose! And when it comes to jelly beans, the possibilities are endless. You could go with the original fruity mix, or venture into the weird and wonderful instead.

Milk Steak topped with chili and cocktail flavored Jelly Beans anyone?!

Personally, we’ll stick to fries and salad with our grilled steak, but if you give the authentic It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia recipe a go we want to know all about it!

Is Milk Steak Worth Trying?

Right, we need to get something straight here. This is a recipe for a prime piece of steak, BOILED. IN. MILK.

If that doesn’t sound wrong to you, then you need to take some time and think about what you’re doing!

In our opinion, a beautiful piece of steak should only be prepared in one way – seared to perfection on a hot grill. Just imagine that prime piece of meat, sizzling on the outside, tender and buttery on the inside. Absolutely delicious! 

And most of us like our steak to be relatively tender. The majority of people enjoy their steak cooked to either rare or medium-rare – the fans of well-done steak are few and far between.

However, Charlie orders his steak to be boiled ‘over hard’, which we can only assume is cooked right through and potentially very chewy.

So, if you’re thinking of cooking a milk steak, you might want to deviate slightly from the overcooked version preferred by Charlie. Unless you enjoy chewing on a piece of meat that resembles leather!

Do we think milk steak is worth trying? Well, if you’re going to cook it as described in the TV show, then no. It would simply be wrong to turn a beautiful piece of steak into something virtually inedible.

However, if you follow our tips to modify the recipe, then we think that milk steak is worth trying! Don’t expect it to come out anything like your grilled steak, but you should be able to produce a fairly tender piece of meat with a pleasant flavor.

And what about the raw jelly beans on the side? Well, we’ll leave that one entirely up to you!

How To Make Milk Steak

Right, so boiling a steak would not be the first choice of many people. Prime steak is one of the finest things in life, especially when seared on a hot grill. Cooking it in any other way just seems wrong on so many levels!

But, if we’re going to try to recreate milk steak as seen on the TV show, we may as well try to do it properly! So here is our step-by-step guide to cooking milk steak, with the essential side dish of jelly beans of course!

  • First, season your steak well with salt, pepper, and crushed garlic. It is vital to allow the steak to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Take a deep skillet and put it on medium-high heat. Add 2 inches of milk to the skillet and a sprig of rosemary. Bring the milk to a gentle boil, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the milk is simmering, add your seasoned steak to the pan.
  • Let the steak boil for approximately 6 minutes on each side. This will give you a medium-rare steak. If you prefer your steak well done or if it is thicker than 1 inch, cook it for 2-3 minutes longer.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the steak from the milk and place it on a warm plate. Cover and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • Season the steak again with salt and pepper before serving.

Milk steak should be served with the side dish referred to on the show – raw jelly beans! It might sound odd, but if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it properly.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over all the subtleties and nuances of this delicious dish, let’s take a look at a few more of our favorite recipes from this show!

1. What is Fight Milk?

Fight Milk is a fictional drink created on the TV sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. And when you find out what the ingredients are, we think you’ll agree that it is better if it stays fictional!

One of the main characters of the show, Charlie, created Fight Milk as a money-making venture.

He decided to exploit the growing crow population in Philadelphia, and alongside his friend Mac they created an alcoholic, dairy-based protein drink, aimed at the bodyguard market.

And what are the ingredients of this drink? Well, we hope you’re not eating right now, as it is pretty gross!

Fight Milk is made from a mixture of crows eggs, milk, and vodka – an alcoholic “crowtein” drink. A later version of the drink also included crow fecal matter. Yuck!

Surprisingly, in the surreal virtual world of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the drink was incredibly popular with fighters and bodyguards.

However, as with all good things in this chaotic TV series, Fight Milk ultimately meets a sticky end when the fighters who had consumed it started testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Mac and Charlie then revealed that they pumped their Fight Milk with human growth hormone, which was the cause of the positive tests.

As anyone who watches the show regularly will attest, this immoral behavior is perfectly normal for the characters of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia!

So, when it comes to Fight Milk, this is one of those things which definitely falls into the “don’t try this at home” category!

2. What is Riot Punch?

This is another drink from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia that we’d suggest you avoid!

Riot Punch is a highly alcoholic beverage, normally consumed before a potential riot.

So basically, it is a fairly strong drink to get you pumped up before a big fight! It is designed to be inconspicuous so you can consume it in public without anyone suspecting that you are drinking an alcoholic drink.

If you promise not to get involved in a mass brawl, we will share with you how Riot Punch is made. But please remember that this drink is very alcoholic, and must be consumed in moderation (or, ideally, not at all!).

The magic blend of drinks to make a Riot Punch cocktail is a mix of grain alcohol and punch.

Grain alcohol is a highly potent spirit, and is normally a clear liquid with has no color or smell. It tastes fairly innocuous at first but gives a fiery kick when swallowed. And at 95% ABV, this isn’t something you drink for the taste!

This highly alcoholic liquid is mixed with a punch to make Riot Punch. The most popular choice is a highly-colored soft drink, such as Kool-Aid.

You can also add additional liqueurs, such as Blue Curacao, and fresh fruit juices such as pineapple or orange.

3. Is Rum Ham a real thing?

Using marinades to flavor ham is not a new thing, and nor is the use of strong alcoholic drinks in cooking to add flavor. And when it comes to adding rum to ham, the two really are a perfect match!

Made popular by the TV sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, rum ham definitely is a real thing and more and more of us are giving it a try.

Now, as with everything on this extreme TV series, their version is completely over the top! In fact, the ham featured on the show now has its own cult following and is rapidly approaching legendary status.

The invention of Frank Reynolds, rum ham is a whole uncooked ham soaked overnight in rum. There are more edible iterations of this simple recipe, but if it’s good enough for Frank, it’s good enough for us!

4. What is a Grilled Charlie?

This famous grilled cheese sandwich is the creation of the fictional character Charlie in the TV sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Now, we know that most of you are more than familiar with what a grilled cheese sandwich is, but we bet you couldn’t guess the ingredients for this one if you tried!

Charlie is very particular about his Grilled Charlie, and gives specific instructions about the ingredients and the order in which they should be used. So, here is exactly what goes into and onto a Grilled Charlie, as described in the TV show:

“Peanut butter outside, chocolate inside! Butter inside, cheese outside!”

Now, it doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to realize that this version of a grilled cheese sandwich is a disaster waiting to happen.

And although we are not told at which stage the different ingredients are added, we cannot fathom a way to successfully make a sandwich with the ingredients in this order!

So, to give you the best possible chance of making a Grilled Charlie which is not a disintegrating mess, we would suggest that you put the butter on the outside of the sandwich, and all the other ingredients on the inside.

And yes, we know this isn’t how Charlie intended it, but we’d like you to have a sandwich you can actually eat!

If you want to see how all these recipes are made, make sure to check out this video from Andrew Rea over at Binging With Babish!

Milk Steak

Milk Steak

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

The ambiguous invention of Charlie from the hit show "It's Always Sunny In Philidelphia", this recipe is sure to wow any reader of your internet dating profile!


  • 12 oz. sirloin
  • 2% milk
  • Rosemary
  • Crushed garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. First, season your steak well with salt, pepper, and crushed garlic. It is vital to allow the steak to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Take a deep skillet and put it on medium-high heat. Add 2 inches of milk to the skillet and a sprig of rosemary. Bring the milk to a gentle boil, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once the milk is simmering, add your seasoned steak to the pan.
  4. Let the steak boil for approximately 6 minutes on each side. This will give you a medium-rare steak. If you prefer your steak well done or if it is thicker than 1 inch, cook it for 2-3 minutes longer.
  5. At the end of the cooking time, remove the steak from the milk and place it on a warm plate. Cover and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Season the steak again with salt and pepper before serving.


Make sure to serve with a side of raw jelly beans.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 962Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 332mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 98g

Up Next: The 5 Best Oils To Fry Chicken Wings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *