A fine steak should only be cooked to medium rare, according to a well-known proverb that has been passed down through generations of meat eaters. You might even say that a medium-rare steak is the ideal steak. While many steak lovers may be wondering what it exactly means when someone suggests cooking steaks to medium rare, some may be nodding their heads in silent acceptance of this wise suggestion. Learn how to prepare a perfect medium-rare steak by reading on.
What does medium rare mean?
The abbreviation “medium rare” is used to indicate how well-done a beef cut is. The broad definition is well and good, but without a few crucial points of reference, calling a steak cut medium-rare doesn’t really mean much. A medium-rare steak cut can be cooked to a maximum temperature of 49–54 degrees celcius. A medium-rare steak will appear warm to the touch and have a medium pink to crimson core. Contrary to popular opinion, the cut will have a pale pink centre that is safe to eat rather than red meat, undercooked meat, or raw meat.
Is it safe to eat a medium rare steak?
Many people worry about the pink color of their steaks. Is that a sign it isn’t fully cooked? Is it possible for bacteria to grow there? Medium-rare is often confused with rare, which is easily identified by its red color. It is important to understand that medium-rare steak is not the exact same thing as raw steak, or rare meat. If you have a high-quality piece of meat that has been properly cooked and stored in a safe manner, a medium rare ribeye won’t harm you.
A medium-rare steak is cooked at a safe temperature. Using a meat thermometer will ensure you cook the steak to the ideal temperature. It is best to stop cooking between 48° and 54°, then let it rest for a few moments. The heat keeps the steak’s temperature from rising slightly during this time. Your medium-rare steak should reach 54 degrees. This is safe.
How to check for Medium-Rare Doneness
Now that you know the basics of cooking a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak, let’s talk about how to apply it. You might end up with a medium-rare or medium well-done steak if you don’t know what to do to determine the doneness.
We recommend that you check the doneness of your steaks by using other methods to ensure it is tender and not charred. There are many tried-and-true methods to grill or cook steak medium-rare.
#1 Length of Time
The standby timing method is one of the most basic and straightforward methods to cook a steak medium-rare. Steaks should be cooked for 3-5 minutes on a hot pan or grill to ensure they are medium-rare and tender. This technique has a problem: not all grills or pans, ovens, or steaks are the same. Steak cooking times can vary greatly.
Grills that are just 20 degrees too hot or that have been in the oven for a few too long can make the difference between cooking medium-rare steaks and well-done steaks. For steaks less than 1 inch thick, the 3-5 minute guidelines will be applicable to a preheated pan or grill. To achieve medium-rare, thinner steaks will take less time and require more effort.
#2 The Handy Meat Thermometer
The modern meat thermometer is precise and accurate, whereas the traditional timing method is not. It’s easy to cook a medium-rare steak at the perfect temperature using either charcoal grilling, searing, and then baking or a different method.
Just insert the probe in the middle of the meat and make sure it is at the medium-rare temperature threshold (48-50 degrees celcius). You are now ready to enjoy your perfectly cooked steak! There are some limitations to using a thermometer to determine doneness, regardless of how sophisticated.
To insert a probe thermometer, you must first pierce the meat. This creates an escape route for vital juices. A thermometer can also be difficult to insert depending on the method of cooking. Modern thermometers use infrared technology to measure the temperature of the surface, which eliminates both of these problems. It’s not as useful for determining the internal temperature in a medium-rare steak.
#3 Expert Level “Touch” Technique
It can take some trial and error to find the right technique for grilling a steak to medium-rare perfection. However, the final technique for steak doneness is something that can be learned over time. It will not only produce a perfectly cooked cut every time but it will also impress your friends and family.
A medium-rare steak will give or have some squish when it comes to execution. Rare steaks will have a lot of squish, and it will leave an indentation from the place it was pressed. A medium-rare steak or one that has been cooked for longer will not give, or very little. Although it may take some trial and error before you master the “touch” method of cooking medium rare steaks, we have found that this method is the most effective for getting the perfect result every time.
This method can be used to check the doneness of steaks. Begin by holding your hand high and pointing your thumb at your thumb. Use your other hand to poke your thumb underneath your fleshy portion. This is how medium-rare steak should feel. Tip: To compare, feel your thumbs and tips with your other fingers. The more firm the fleshy portion feels, the closer it will resemble medium- or medium-well.
Once you have finished searing the steak, take it out and use a pair of tongs to hold it. Next, use one finger to poke at the thickest portion of the meat. Do you feel the meat feels like the fleshy portion of your palm? Your steak should be medium-rare if it does.