The Perfect Guide to Cooking Steak: Unlocking the Secrets of Steak Temperatures

When it comes to cooking steak, achieving the perfect level of doneness can be elusive. Ordering a steak at a restaurant is easy, but replicating that level of precision in your own kitchen can be a challenge. However, fear not! The experts at the renowned Chicago Steak Company are here to unlock the secrets of cooking steak to your desired temperature.

Is There a Perfect Steak Temperature?

The debate about the best level of doneness for steak is a hot topic. While personal preference plays a significant role, there is also some science behind it. Most steaks are best enjoyed at medium-rare to medium temperatures. This allows the fat within the cuts to render, enhancing the flavor and maintaining tenderness. Cooking a steak to rare or well-done can result in a less-than-optimal taste and texture.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Steak Temperature Doneness Levels

Cooking a steak to perfection involves choosing the right level of doneness. Each level offers a unique flavor and texture profile. Let’s explore the different steak doneness levels:

Blue Steak

Originating from French cuisine, blue steak is a rarity. Chefs lightly sear the outside, creating a crispy texture while leaving the inside raw. This steak is cooked to a temperature of 108℉, resulting in a purplish-red center.

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A rare steak features a deep red center that is juicy and slightly cooked. The internal temperature ranges from 120 to 125℉, with the steak being removed from the heat at around 115℉.

Medium Rare

Considered the golden standard, a medium rare steak boasts a warm, red center that retains the hallmark texture of a perfectly cooked steak. The temperature to aim for when removing a medium rare steak from the heat is 125℉.


For those who prefer a steak without visible redness, medium is an ideal choice. The meat is pink and warm, with only a light pink hue around the edges of the center. Remove a medium steak from the heat at around 135℉.

Medium Well

With a center that is lightly pink, a medium well steak offers a balance between tenderness and reduced juiciness. The average core temperature of a fully cooked medium well steak is about 155℉, but it should be removed from the heat at 145℉.

Well Done

Well done steaks are cooked to an internal temperature of 155℉. They have little to no pink color in the center. Perfecting medium well and well done steaks can be challenging, as overcooking can result in dry and chewy meat.

How to Determine Steak Temperature: The Right Way

To ensure an accurate temperature reading, it is recommended to use a reliable digital meat thermometer. This quick-reading thermometer prevents the risk of overcooking while you wait for the reading. Here’s how to use a thermometer effectively:

  1. Identify the thickest part of the steak, as it will be the coolest.
  2. Insert the thermometer’s probe into the thickest part at a slight angle, gradually moving it further into the steak. The temperature will drop, indicating the coolest part of the steak.
  3. Once the temperature stabilizes, you can determine whether the steak needs further cooking or if it’s ready to be removed from the heat. Refer to the steak temperature chart below, as the steak will continue to cook slightly while resting.
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No Thermometer? Try the Hand Method

If a thermometer is not available, there is a simple hand method that can provide a rough estimation of the steak’s doneness. Gently press two fingers into the middle of the beef’s surface and compare the squishiness to different positions of your hand. The firmness from thumb to index finger indicates rare, thumb to middle finger suggests medium-rare, thumb to ring finger implies medium, and thumb to pinky finger signifies well-done. Although not as accurate as a thermometer, this method can provide a general idea of doneness.

Doneness Temperatures vs Cooking Temperatures

It’s important to note that the temperature you desire for doneness is not the same as the cooking temperature. To achieve the desired doneness, remove the steak from the heat when it is about 5 degrees Fahrenheit below the target temperature. The residual heat will continue cooking the steak for a few minutes. Refer to the following guide for perfect cooking temperatures:

Steak Doneness Temperature (F) Temperature (Celsius) Notes
Blue Steak 110 – 115° F 43 – 46° C Cooler purplish center. Remove at 108° F
Rare 120 – 125° F 49 – 52° C Cooler red center. Remove at 115° F
Medium Rare 130 – 135° F 54 – 57° C Warm red center. Remove at 125° F
Medium 140 – 145° F 60 – 63° C Warm pink center. Remove at 135° F
Medium Well 150 – 160° F 65 – 71° C Light pink center. Remove at 145° F
Well Done 160 – 170° F 71 – 77° C Little to no pink center. Remove at 155° F

The Art of Patience: Let Your Steak Rest

As tempting as it may be, avoid cutting into your steak immediately after cooking. Allow the meat to rest for approximately 10 minutes. During this time, the juices will redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a flavorful and evenly cooked steak.

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In Conclusion

Say goodbye to overcooked steaks and embrace the art of perfectly cooked beef. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on subpar results. Order the finest steaks from the Chicago Steak Company, have them delivered to your door, and cook them with confidence using this comprehensive guide. Remember, achieving the perfect steak temperature is within your reach! So, fire up the grill or heat up the pan and treat yourself to a mouthwatering steak experience.

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