The beauty of steak is its versatility. It comes in dozens of cuts and grades, and can be served in a countless number of ways. As a result, a steak is often served with questions asked. It’s often the very first question asked. Steak lovers are particular about the way their steaks are cooked. To maintain your grill cred, it’s important to know how to cook each to perfection.
- Seared, blue rare or very rare: Cooked very quickly, the outside is seared, but the inside is usually cool and barely cooked. The steak will be red on the inside and barely warmed.
- Rare: 52°C (125°F) core temperature — The outside is gray-brown, and the middle of the steak is red and slightly warm.
- Medium rare: 55°C (130°F) core temperature — The steak will have a fully red, warm center. This is the standard degree of cooking at most steakhouses unless otherwise specified.
- Medium: 60°C (140°F) core temperature — The middle of the steak is hot and red, with pink surrounding the center. The outside is gray-brown.
- Medium well done: 65 °C (150 °F) core temperature — The meat is light pink in the center.
- Well done: 71°C (160°F), and above, core temperature —The meat is gray-brown throughout and slightly charred.
- Overcook: much more than 71°C (160°F) core temperature — The meat is dark throughout and slightly bitter.
*These temperatures and descriptions were adapted from the USDA guidelines for proper preparation of beef steaks.