Steak Temperature Guide

Use this steak temperature guide to help you determine the best steak doneness for you!

Let’s be honest. There are fewer things better than a well-made steak. Now you can master the art of steak perfection right in your backyard. Whether using a grill or a cast-iron skillet, this guide will help you cook a phenomenal steak. Before you start, you should know your preferred steak doneness (rare, medium-rare, medium, etc.). When in doubt, opt for medium-rare. Keep in mind that this is a learning process, so it might take a few cookouts to get the timing and temperature right. 


Let your steak come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Do not, I repeat, do not thaw your steaks in the microwave. I recommend taking them from the freezer the night before and placing them into the refrigerator to thaw. 


Season your steak right before cooking—this step is crucial for forming a delicious, flavorful crust. I recommend using one teaspoon of salt per pound of meat. A salt and black pepper rub will work wonders, but you can add savory items like onion or garlic powder to the mix. Apply seasonings onto both sides of the steak, don’t forget the edges! Cook as directed.  


Have a good quality instant-read thermometer ready to check the internal temperature. Check the steak by inserting the thermometer midway into the center (or thickest portion) of the steak.   

Steak Temperature Guide


Rare: An internal temperature of 120 degrees F. or 50 C. The center should be bright red and cool (or just barely warm), and springy to the touch. The texture is quite tender, and chewy.

Medium-Rare: An internal temperature of 130 degrees F. or 55 C. The middle of the steak is bright red and warm, though not quite as springy. This temperature is considered the gold standard for steak doneness.

Medium: An internal temperature of 140 degrees F. or 60 C. The steak center appears bright pink and feels firm. 

Medium-Well: Look for an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. or 65 C. The center should appear primarily brown with a faint pink color.

Well Done: Anything over 160 degrees F. or 70 degrees C. Center is brown, and the steak is quite firm with a dry texture.


Photo by: NewAfrica/Depositphotos

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