Traditional recipes

Rare, Medium, and Well-Done: Which is Best?

Rare, Medium, and Well-Done: Which is Best?

We’re firm believers that no steak should ever be cooked well-done

For maximum flavor and juiciness, cook or eat most steak at medium doneness or less.

Rib Eye. This super flavorful and super juicy cut of prime rib is tender when it’s cooked to no more than medium doneness. Rib eye is best when it’s cooked medium-rare; that’s about 6-8 minutes for a 1-inch-thick steak.

(Credit: Flickr/stratman² (2 many pix!))

Sirloin Steak. Sirloin is a lean cut of meat, so it can easily become tough if it’s overcooked. For a tender, juicy sirloin steak, don’t cook the meat past medium doneness. If you have top sirloin, it’s best served rare.

(Credit: Flickr/LeMeridien Hotels and Resorts)

Filet Mignon. Filet mignon is a cut of meat from the heart of the tenderloin. It’s well known as a fork-tender cut of beef. To fully enjoy filet mignon, cook the steak to medium doneness or less, but we recommend medium-rare.

(Credit: Flickr/Kurt VanderScheer)

T-Bone Steak. T-bone steak is a cut that consists of both from the strip loin and tenderloin. If you like your steak cooked to a higher degree of doneness, this is a good cut to choose; T-bone steak is most flavorful and juicy when cooked medium-rare to medium.

(Credit: Flickr/DaMongMan)

New York Strip Steak. This flavorful steak from the heart of the beef loin is best served medium-rare; that’s about 6-8 minutes of cook time for an average strip steak.

(Credit: Flickr/Jon Gales)

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

How Should You Order Your Steak?

A rare steak has a core temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit and features a seared, dark outer layer and soft, bright red inner layer. Rare steaks are often hot on the outside, and warm to cool on the inside. A rare cut of beef will often still carry some blood, and may even appear a bit raw on the inside however, the outer portion should look cooked.


There are three sub-categories of medium steaks: medium-rare, medium, and medium-well. Medium-rare steaks have a seared, brown outside and a reddish-pink inside with a core temperature of 130 degrees. Meat that is medium has a grayish-brown color throughout, except for a pink band in the center medium steaks rarely have any blood, and the core temperature is around 145 degrees. Medium-well steaks are feature a dark color throughout, except for a thin line of pink in the center. You can expect medium-well steaks to have a 155-degree core temperature.


When meat is well-done, it is thoroughly cooked, and has an entirely grayish-brown color, with no pink or red. Meat that is well done is cooked to 165 degrees, and it has a tougher texture than medium or rare varieties.

Which Is Right for You?

Ultimately, the temperature of your steak is a matter of preference. There is no nutritional difference between these cooking temperatures regarding protein and iron content however, meat that is under-cooked can increase your risk of contracting salmonella. For taste and texture, rare and medium steaks are juicier and retain seasoning better, and many chefs recommend choosing medium to medium-rare for thicker cuts of beef to optimize flavor.

If you are craving a nice piece of steak, head down to Western Sizzlin Restaurant. Located in Russellville, AR, this steakhouse specializes in family dining, catering, and buffet. To check out their menu and nutritional information, visit the website or call (479) 968-1757 today to make reservations and ask about specials.

The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This "Medium Rare" Chicken Recipe

We're all for New Year's resolutions and #cleaneating goals, but Australian Facebook user Morgan Jane Gibbs took her resolutions to a whole new level of gross last week when she posted this photo of barely-cooked chicken to her page.

"Just made chicken medium rare chicken strips," Gibbs wrote. "They're so good can't believe ive neever tried it like this before. Can't wait to dig into this with my homemade salad and veges. #healthy #newyearsresolution #clean #cleaneating"

Excuse us for just one second&hellip

When her friend responded to her post "I like my chicken with less salmonella," she wrote back, "it's chicken not salmon? [sic]" That's right about the time we realized that she was totally trolling us all.

Even though she was totally joking, a majority of the Internet seemed to miss her sarcasm and responded quickly with their disgust.

The post made the rounds again that weekend when another Facebook user tookGibbs's post and it went viral.

The craziest thing about this whole "medium-rare chicken" saga is that is actually a dish served in Japan called chicken tataki, which is seared over hot coals and served mostly raw. Gibbs seems to have sourced the image from this blog post reviewing a restaurant in Shizuoka City, Japan.

So how is it okay to eat raw chicken in Japan and not suffer the consequences of salmonella? Apparently if the chicken is sourced "from local farmers who raise the birds in hygienic conditions, and ensuring the lowest amount of time between the bird being killed and the meat being served," it makes it slightly less risky, according to

Either way, we don't recommend attempting to make this at home.

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How to Grill a T-bone Steak Medium Rare?

It’s important to learn an approximate t-bone steak grill time for medium-rare. That’s because medium rare enthusiasts are often the most demanding of steak lovers. That’s not a scientific fact, but I’ve found it to be true by trial-and-error. Medium rare steak lovers consider grilling a medium-rare steak properly as proof of grilling and culinary skills.

The steak should be removed from the refrigerator a half-hour before grilling. The steak should be wiped dry and seasoned to taste. For medium-rare, try grilling a t-bone steak on a gas grill at a temperature of medium-high. I prefer about 10 minutes of total cooking time, but I cook the meat on the first side for six to seven minutes, repositioning the steak to get a good grill mark pattern.

On the backside, I grill the steak for three to four minutes and check the temperature with a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer by sticking it into the thickest part of the meat. The medium-rare temperature is 135 degrees to 140 degrees.

The unique t-bone cut should be taken into account when grilling your steak. That means keeping the sirloin side on the hottest part of the grill and the loin side over a cooler area.

You can use your choice of simple seasonings or special blends on the outside of the meat before grilling. You should always let the meat rest for five minutes before you cut or serve it to give the juices enough time to redistribute throughout the meat.

How to rest steak

After cooking, the meat should rest at room temperature for approximately five minutes (but not longer than 10) before serving. This allows the fibers of the meat to reabsorb the juices, resulting in a moist and tender steak.

To rest, place the cooked steak on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Leave for five minutes.

You will notice some juices on the plate &ndash these are know as &lsquoresting juices&rsquo, and can be poured over the steak before serving for extra flavor.

Medium Rare


Temperature: 135 degrees

What it looks like and how to cook it: As with a rare steak, the center of a medium rare steak is still red. But it's warm, rather than cool. A medium rare steak should be grilled for about eight to 10 minutes and flipped every three to four minutes, Bates says.

"Depending on the thickness of the cut, if I still see some redness showing through the outside of the cut, I'll flip it onto both sides once again for a quick sear," the chef explains. The texture of this steak is slightly less soft than a rare cut, but still very tender.

Steak Grilling Guide

We have been asked many times on our Facebook and Twitter pages - How do I know when my steak is done? If you are like me and love a juicy medium rare rib eye then there is no way you want to cut into that amazing steak to find out it is done medium. or worse well done!

We have some awesome guides for you to know when to pull that steak off the grill whether you do it by internal temp or time. You can also download a guide here.

Want to know more?

Cooking venison steaks is pretty straightforward. Check out the rest of this section of our website for more deer meat recipes that will have your taste buds tingling. If you want to know more about our farm-raised venison at Stagison or you are looking for somewhere to buy high-quality venison then get in touch with us today. Visit our online Venison Shop to buy your own tasty cuts such as our delicious Venison Medallions. You can also call us on 01337 830237 or email us here. Happy cooking!

Why Eating Red Meat a Little Rare Is Not Only Okay, It Tastes Better

If there’s a group of people that are absolutely averse to red meat cooked, it’s Muslims.

I get it. Many of us come from cultures where rare meat is not really eaten, meaning it’s not something we’re really used to.

But here’s the thing: red meat when cooked a little bit rare, is not only totally fine to eat, it’s delicious. Allow us to convince you why less done red meat is not only all good but something you should try your next cookout or steak night.

Reason #1: It’s not blood

[Photography: Saqib Shafi, unless otherwise noted]

Fancy explanation: It’s protein-laden water called myoglobin. Red meat muscle tissue is high in amounts of myoglobin, which appears more red than, say, poultry like chicken or turkey.

Simple explanation: That stuff is just meat juices, locked away in the cells of the meat.

Besides, an animal’s blood is drained when it’s slaughtered, especially for animals slaughtered in the Halal way. So, the term “bloody steak?” It’s painting a wrong picture. The more red cooked red meat is, the more of that meat-juice it has.

Reason #2: It’s not raw

“This is still raw!” many Muslims incorrectly say when they see medium rare meat. It’s not raw, though.

Raw meat is uncooked. It has a very red and shiny look to it. Rare meat is cooked. It has has a more pink, opaque and set look. Side by side, you can tell the difference.

It also helps to get to know the temperatures at which red meat is cooked and served.

Doneness Temperature Cooked or raw
Frozen raw beef 0 °F Raw
Refrigerated raw beef 38 °F Raw
Body temperature of cattle 101 °F Raw
Rare 120 °F Cooked
Medium Rare 130 °F Cooked
Medium 140 °F Cooked
Medium Well 150 °F Cooked
Well Done 160 °F Cooked

See how once the temperature of meat gets rare, that’s when people start to feel safe eating it?

That’s because once meat reaches rare temperatures, that’s when the muscle structure changes begin to take place. Imagine if your own muscle tissue reached 120 °F internally (okay, don’t imagine that). That would do quite a number on your insides.

Bottom line, meats cooked to rare are, in fact, cooked. Not raw.

Reason #3: You end up eating the red stuff, anyway

[Photo: David Uglielmo /]

Wrong. Think about it. That meat-juice that was red is still in the meat. It just dried out and turned grayish-brown as your meat was cooked to well done.

It never really went away. You’re still eating that “stuff.” Just, instead of in a luscious form that happens to be red in color, you’re eating it in a dried up form that’s a dull hue of gray-brown.

Why not eat it more juicy and enjoyably?

Reason #4: It’s not unsafe

Steak tacos with medium rare grass-fed Halal beef from Crescent Foods

Ever heard this before? “Meats should be cooked to well done in order to be considered same to consume.”

That comes from a recommendation from the USDA which recommends cooking red meat to 160 °F, or well done. This temperature gets the meat hot enough where it’s practically guaranteed to kill off any harmful pathogens that happened to be in the meat.

But that recommendation is for commercially ground meats. As in the stuff that’s sold at non-Halal grocery stores or served in many non-Halal restaurants. Anyone who eats Halal would never have to worry about this meat.

For whole cuts of meat like steaks or roasts, though? The USDA actually recommends 145 °F, or medium, as totally safe to consume.

For the Halal eater, as long as your supplier of Halal meat is sourcing good quality animals that aren’t sick or carrying disease at the time of slaughter, you shouldn’t have to over-worry about food safety.

Take my favorite Halal brands of beef in Chicagoland, for example: Zabihah Halal Meat Processors and Crescent Foods. They source quality red meat, which offer meat which is either antibiotic free or something close to it. That means they don’t That means if a cow or lamb was sick, they’re not slaughtering it and selling it to me.

And my go-to butcher, Mediterranean Market in Lombard, IL? They practice super clean, best practices in handling their meat with big open display counters for customers to see. When I get ground meat from, I know they’ve handling it right.

All these things you can ask from your respective supplier and butchers, too, and make your meat all the more safe to consume.

Reason #5: It tastes better

It’s true. And there are three reasons why.

Juicier. At medium rare or medium, red meat only loses up to 20% of its juices. With well done meat, the meat loses up to 45%. That’s more than double the amount of juiciness just gone, a tragedy for expensive cuts and steaks.

More tender meat. Well done meat eaters know, their steaks are pretty darn tough. So they either drown their steaks in sauces, or even do things like apply tenderizer to the meat before cooking. Why? Because as meat is cooked to well done its muscle fibers toughen up significantly. Cuts for steak are naturally tender and will remain that way, as long as you don’t overcook them. Keep them medium rare to medium and the meat will practically melt in your mouth.

More flavorful meat. The hallmark of meat’s flavor, especially red meat, is in its fat. At temperatures of around 140 °F, fat just begins to melt and soften. Continue cooking to well done at 160 °F, however, and much of that fat render out of the meat leading to even more moisture loss and what was soft and delectable at 140 °F will become rubbery and tough. Cooking meat to only medium rare or medium at the most means juicier most flavorful meat.

Our appeal to you: Try more rare red meat

All this being said, I do admit that doneness of meat is primarily a personal preference. However, I also believe a lot that preference is driven by misconceptions such as the ones addressed above and cultural norms. It would be one thing if someone has tried both in unbiased ways and concluded they absolutely love more done than less done red meat.

But if you’re someone who’s totally averse, on the fence, or actually curious, we request you to try eating your beef a little less cooked than well done. Your taste buds will reward you.

You don’t have to jump down to totally rare meat, which not a lot of people even like. Try medium-well, and work your way down to medium, great for fatty burgers, and eventually medium-rare, best for steaks, if you’re interested. The amount of extra juiciness and flavor will totally be worth it.

But rest assured, eating your red meat a little on the red side is not only fine, after trying it you’ll agree that it’s delicious.

Watch the video: Meat Doneness Explained, from Rare to Well-Done (December 2021).