Although some people may disagree, many feel that a steak tastes best when it is medium rare. Others prefer rare steaks, but you should never cook your steak past medium as reaching medium-well or well-done will ruin the flavor and texture according to most steak lovers. 

Levels of Steak Doneness


Well Done

This steak will be grayish-brown and not show any pink. It is usually slightly charred along the exterior and can be very difficult to cook. If you do not cook the steak on low heat and do so slowly, you will get shoe leather. 


Medium Well

This steak has a pale pink hint in the interior but mostly gray-brown. This is ideal for those who want a steak that is very slightly juicy, but doesn’t want any indication of blood within the meat. 



This steak will have a center with a band of pink that is more pronounced. There should still be a bit more gray-brown compared to pink.


Medium Rare

Medium rare steak is mostly pink or red in the center. It feels firm from the outside, but juicy and soft inside.



This has a warm or cool center and although it is close to raw meat, it is still clearly cooked from the outside. 


Very Rare or Blue

This steak is nearly raw, cool and red. It is barely cooked and is designed for the true carnivores. 

Why Choose Medium Rare Steak?

Those who say medium rare steaks are ideal because as you cook a steak over, it will get drier and tougher. A medium steak is the ideal way to maximize juiciness and tenderness, but still make sure that your steak has a warm center. Many people are also worried that meat which is well done will have more HCA, a potential carcinogen known as heterocyclic amines, compared to steaks which aren’t cooked that long. Rare steaks, however, just don’t taste good and may also have some bacteria. 

How to Tell If the Steak Is Medium Rare

Medium rare steaks will be warm in the middle and have a bit of red, but the center will still be mostly pink. The sides will be well browned with the bottom and the top a dark brown from charred. The surface of the steak will be firm while still being soft within. The internal temperature should be between 130 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit (or between 55 and 57 Celsius), but you can’t use a thermometer to tell if it’s done.

The best way to check the steak is to press down in the center using your finger while it is still on the grill. It’s not done if the steak feels mushy or soft and the finger sinks in, so wait another minutes. If there is a bit of give and will spring back, then you get a medium rare steak. A steak that is firm with no give is medium or farther along. Although it can take time to get used to checking the steak, just remember the rules for a medium rare one and you will get a delicious return.


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