Everyone likes their steak prepared at a certain level of doneness, which refers to how thoroughly the fresh beef cut is cooked. A variation of just a few degrees and seconds on the grill can have a significant impact on flavor, juiciness, and texture. Below is a rundown of each level of doneness to help you discover which is right for you.
A Complete Guide to Steak Doneness
A rare steak is cooked to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The center is bright red or pink, which can be off-putting to some people. Rare steak holds onto a lot of fat, so opt for a lean fresh beef cut like sirloin. Pair rare steak with a cabernet sauvignon to achieve a smooth, light flavor.
Medium-rare is the most popular doneness. The meat is still tender and flavorful and slightly pink in the middle. It has an internal temperature of 130 degrees, and popular cuts include filet mignon and New York strip. Medium-rare steaks still hold some fat and are best enjoyed with bold-bodied wines like a Napa cabernet.
Medium steaks are cooked to 140 degrees to 145 degrees, the level the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends. This doneness tastes similar to that of medium-rare steaks though is less tender and not as juicy. T-bone steaks are often served medium. Because more of the fat has melted, zinfandel and similar wines are recommended.
Medium-well steaks are perfect for children. The meat is less juicy though often easier to chew because there’s less moisture. These fresh beef cuts can have a more robust flavor and pair well with pinot noir and even fruity wines for the adults.
Well-done steaks have an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Almost all of the moisture and fat have been cooked off, making the meat much tougher. This can further emphasize flavor, however. You can complement a well-done steak with a dark red wine or bring it to the forefront with a lighter, fruitier wine.
For the ideal results, contact Corcoran Farm Freezer Beef to get some of the top freezer beef in Chillicothe, OH. They raise all of their cattle locally and are a Certified Angus Beef Feedlot Partner. They offer beef by quarters, halves, or whole pieces. Visit their website to learn more, and call (740) 253-0138 to speak with Dennis. Connect on Facebook for news and updates.