Cooking Beef to the Right Doneness

Using a probe-style thermometer removes the guesswork from doneness. You get it perfect every time. Source: Micki Seibel, September 2012

Using a probe-style thermometer removes the guesswork from doneness. You get it perfect every time. Source: Micki Seibel, September 2012

What is medium-rare, exactly? What if you want another degree of doneness?

Well, my friends, here is a chart that will help you get your beef to the right temperature.

Note: These temperatures are the final, resting temperature of beef. That means you need to remove beef from the heat source (i.e. oven or stove) before it reaches the temperatures below as it will continue to cook and slowly rise in temperature as it sits.

How to Properly Check the Temperature

Insert an instant probe thermometer like the one pictured here into the center of the thickest part of the steak. You should insert it at a slight angle. Do not insert it parallel to the counter surface, and do not insert it into the fat.

Beef Temperature and Doneness Guide

DescriptionTemperature
RareThe steak is seared on the outside and warmed on the inside. The inside is red.135F/58C
Medium RareThe middle is pink fading to grey-brown near the surface.135-145F/63C
MediumThe very inside is pink fading to grey-brown through the rest150-160F/70C
Medium WellThe meat is mostly grey-brown with a hint of pink in the very center. The juiciness of the meat is greatly reduced at this level.160-170F/75C
Well DoneThe meat is grey-brown throughout. The juiciness and tenderness is greatly reduced. The may is often dry and chewy.170+ F/75+C

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