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From Rare to Well-Done: Your Guide to Steak Doneness

How long should you cook your steak for the best taste and texture? How do you know when your steak is done? Is it medium-rare or well-done? There are many things that you need to consider when cooking a steak, but when it comes to cooking a perfect steak, there are no set rules for what is considered to be the best steak doneness level.

According to chefs, a medium-rare level of doneness for any type of meat result in a perfect combination of tenderness, juiciness, and crispiness on the edges.

Medium-rare steak

What are Different Steak Doneness Levels?

Generally, steaks are differentiated based on 5 levels of steak doneness according to temperature, colour, texture, and flavour. Let me share a secret with you, achieving each of these steak doneness stages is super easy - you just need to get your timing right!

Levels of steak doneness:

  • Rare

  • Medium-rare

  • Medium

  • Medium-well

  • Well-done

Steak doneness levels

Rare Steak

Rare steak can be distinguished by its cool or warm red centers. Oftentimes, it might look like raw meat but cooked on the outside. Rare steak does not need to be cooked for very long, you need to cook each side for about 2 minutes to achieve a perfectly rare steak. You might want to cook each edge for a couple of seconds to make sure that the steak is 75% red with a little bit of blood inside.

Medium-Rare Steak

Medium-rare steak is warm with a pink-to-red center. This steak is usually soft and juicy on the inside, and firm on the outside. Medium-rare steaks should be cooked for about 3.5 minutes on each side. When cooking a medium-rare steak, you need to strive to achieve half pink and half brown inside. The result is a steak with the perfect amount of tender chewiness.

Medium Steak

Medium steak has a strip of pink in the middle usually with more shades of grey-brown than pink. This steak is tougher than the previous levels of steaks, but still one of the favourites of the majority. To cook perfect medium steak, you need to cook each side for 4 minutes. Medium steak has less juiciness in comparison to earlier stages of steak doneness.

Medium-Well Steak

Medium-well steak is mostly grey-brown but still with a hint of pink in the middle. It is still a juicy steak but with no blood oozing inside. As you can already guess, you need to cook for longer to achieve a higher level of steak doneness. To cook perfect medium-well steak, you need to cook each side of the steak for 5 minutes. You need to strive to get a hint of pale pink in the middle, but it shouldn't be juicy. Medium-well steaks usually have a rougher texture but at the same time slightly tender centre.

Well-Done Steak

Well-done steaks are of grey-brown colour with no pink colour at all. To get a perfect well-done steak, you need to take each side for about 6 minutes. Any longer than that will result in a steak that you will not be able to bite through. Well-done steaks are a lot drier compared to other levels of steak doneness. However, it is still one of the much-loved levels of steak doneness.

How do you prefer your steak? Selected by De La Valley, explore our meat selection to cook yourself a perfect steak!

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