Guide to Steak Temperatures:

We all know that medium-rare is the perfect steak temperature, but is it really?

While steak doneness depends on everyone’s preferences, there are a few key difference between the five steak temperatures.

First, let’s talk about the degrees of doneness


Rare: A slight sear, with a touch of brown around the edges, red center.

120-130 F

Medium Rare: Seared, pink center with thin brown edges.

130-135 F

Medium: Brown edges, with slightly pink center.

135-145 F

Medium Well: Seared throughout, a touch of pink in the center.

145-155 F

Well Done: Cooked throughout, brown.

155-165 F


It is always important to be careful when dealing with rare steak. When the meat is ground, this is when it is unsafe to eat rare since it is exposed to outside bacteria. However, a steak is perfectly safe eaten rare or medium rare. In fact, who doesn’t love a perfectly juicy steak?

Bacteria lives on the outer surface of the steak so even a short period of cooking the steak will kill off any bacteria. A meat thermometer should be used to optimally measure the doneness of your steak to avoid any contamination.

So whether you order your steak medium rare or well done is completely up to you! However, there will be a huge difference in the tenderness and flavor profile of the meat, so choose at your own risk.

Most popular steaks like filet mignon and ribeye are the most juicy and tender at medium rare or medium.