There are many different internal temperatures to cook steaks, but the two most popular, by far, are medium and medium rare. How are they different? Is one better than the other? Is one better suited to certain steaks over others? Let’s compare these two cooking temperatures to help you decide which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
- What is medium rare temperature?
- What is medium temperature?
- Are certain meats better than others at medium or medium rare?
- Can a steak transition from medium-rare to medium while resting?
- Why would someone prefer a medium steak over medium rare?
- Must-read related posts:
What is medium rare temperature?
Medium rare is considered the ideal internal temperature for a steak by most die-hard steak lovers. It results in a steak that is cooked through, but still juicy and full of flavor. The steak will be pink in the center and slightly red on the outside. The internal temperature of a medium rare steak should be between 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is medium temperature?
A medium steak is one that has been cooked slightly longer than a medium rare steak. The internal temperature of a medium steak should be between 140 – 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The steak will be more browned on the outside and less pink in the center than a medium rare steak. While this temperature will result in a less juicy steak, it will still have plenty of flavor.
–> Learn More: Steak Temps 101 – What You Need To Know
Are certain meats better than others at medium or medium rare?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as different people have different opinions on what makes the perfect steak. However, most people agree that a steak that is cooked at a lower temperature, like medium rare, will be more tender and juicy than a steak that is cooked at a higher temperature, like medium.
Can a steak transition from medium-rare to medium while resting?
Yes, you will have some cooking still happening, even while off the grill. As the steak rests, the center will continue to rise in temperature. So that ever-so-slightly overcooked medium-rare steak could be full-blown medium doneness after 5 to 10 minutes of resting time. Lean towards “less is more” when you’re trying to get a delicious medium-rare steak. Anticipate that few degrees of heat “extra” after cooking steak, and plan accordingly.
–> Learn More: Steak Resting Time – Why It Matters To Cooking Meat
Why would someone prefer a medium steak over medium rare?
There are a few reasons why someone might prefer a medium steak over a medium rare steak. One is that a medium steak is less likely to be undercooked, which can happen with a medium rare steak if it is not cooked properly. Some simply don’t like the texture of a rare or medium-rare steak and prefer their meat to be cooked slightly more. If this is the case, then a medium steak would be the better option.
Another reason is that a medium steak will be more evenly cooked throughout, while a medium rare steak may be more well-done on the outside and rarer in the center.
Some people also prefer the taste of a medium steak over a medium rare steak, as they find that, even while it is less juicy, they like the touch of chewiness a medium steak brings to the table.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. These two steak temperatures sit right next to one another, so they have more in common than rare vs. well done. Most who overcook their medium-rare steak to medium still enjoy their meal. And for those who prefer medium, simply place the steak back on the grill for a minute or two more to cook it to the proper temperature.
Must-read related posts:
- Marbling In Steak 101: Learn all you need to know about marbling and how it helps make juicier steak.
- Which Steaks Have The Most Fat? Want a juicy cut? These are the ones to eye.
- Learn Your Steak Cuts: Where do your favorite steaks come from on a cow?