steak doneness guide

So you've selected the perfect steak, seasoned it well and now it's time to cook it. Not sure how to achieve the perfect level of doneness?

Steaks have different thicknesses and characteristics depending on cut and quality. To achieve that perfectly cooked steak at home, get your thermometer handy and follow the guidelines below.

degree of steak doneness
 
 

Rare: 
Characteristics: Seared on the outside showing bright red color center. Center is slightly cool.
Internal Steak Temperature: 125–130 °F

Medium-Rare:
Characteristics: Seared on the outside with the center showing a red color, slightly firmer than rare.  
Internal Steak Temperature: 130–140 °F

Medium:
Characteristics: Firm with pink center. 
Internal Steak Temperature: 140–150 °F

Medium-Well:
Characteristics: Small amount of pink in the center
Internal Steak Temperature: 150–155 °F

Well-Done:
Characteristics: No pink, firmer meat
Internal Steak Temperature: 160+ °F

It's always best to rest a steak after cooking for the juices to redistribute into the meat. Place the steak on cutting board and cover with a piece of foil so not too much heat is lost. How long to rest?  A good guideline to follow is to rest 5 minutes for every inch of thickness. A thicker steak will need more resting time than a thinner steak.

 

To learn about how long you should cook your steak to achieve a certain doneness, read Grill Times & Steak Temperature for Steak.

To check out new recipes and cooking tips, view our How to Cook Steak Guide.