Medium Rare (130°-140°F)
A “medium rare” steak will be warm in the center. The steak will begin firming up on the exterior, but will remain very soft and tender in the center.
The coveted medium-rare doneness has long been the goal of the steak and prime rib home cook. It is the optimal cook temperature of meat because of the tenderness and flavor it brings. Attaining this grilling and roasting goal can be quite the challenge. Using an instant-read thermometer, like the Thermapen, and cooking to temperature makes it a lot simpler.
Temperature Tip: Medium rare is 130-135ºF internal temperature.*
Just as important as knowing the temperature for medium rare, is knowing that meat will continue to cook for a few degrees after you pull it from a heat source. For this reason, you should actually pull your steaks from the heat 2 or 3°F below your target final temperature.
For example, if you want a final doneness temperature of 133°F, pull each steak from the heat when it shows a lowest temperature reading of 130°F. The steak temperature will continue to rise about 3°F while the steaks rest before serving. A full roast will rise as much as 10°F after being pulled from the heat depending upon the intensity of the cooking environment (a hot oven will spur more carry-over cooking than a relatively cool smoker cooking “low and slow,” for example).
*The Medium Rare temperature range of 130-135ºF is our chef-recommended temperature for medium rare. Check out other Chef-Recommended, ThermoWorks Approved temperatures to learn about other target temperatures for meat and other foods.
Ideal Temperatures for Steak Doneness
Depending on your desired level of doneness, your steak needs to reach a specified internal temperature:
- Rare: 120°–125°
- Medium Rare: 130°–135°
- Medium: 140°–145°
- Medium Well: 150°–155°
- Well Done: 160°–165°
However, keep in mind that you’ll need to remove the steak from the heat source when it’s about five degrees away from the temperature you want to achieve. That’s because the steak will continue to cook for a few more minutes after you take it off the grill or out of the pan!
Now, let’s take a look at each steak temperature in more detail.
Medium Well Steak: 150° to 155°
Inside a medium well steak, the meat is hot and only has a slightly pink hue in the very center, with little to no color on the edges. On average, this steak’s internal temperature reaches between 150° and 155°, so you’ll need to take it off the grill or pan as soon as it reaches 145°.Then give it 5-10 minutes to rest and finish the carryover cooking process before enjoying that first bite.
Medium Rare (130°-140°F) A “medium rare” steak will be warm in the center. The steak will begin firming up on the exterior, but will remain very soft and tender in the center.
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