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The Levels Of Doneness Of Steak – How Do You Like Yours?

Do you like your steak well done? Maybe medium or perhaps blue?

There are no set rules for how steak should be cooked and different people have different preferences.

Medium rare is quite popular because you get the taste and texture around the edge, but there is plenty of tenderness and juice on the inside.

But there are many more levels of doneness of steak.

What Are The Levels Of Doneness Of Steak?

There are a few levels that people like their steak to be done at. You have well done with no pink color, medium, medium well or medium-rare are cooked somewhat with different levels of pink meat, and rare or blue is basically raw with just a fast fry on each side at a high temperature.

Rare steak

Rare Steak

Now, this doneness of steak isn’t my favorite.

It is the least asked for doneness of steak and is best for those who like their red meat cooked as little as possible.

A rare steak has a brisk charring on the outside area and just warmed through on the inside.

When looking at a cut piece of rare steak, you should see red in the middle, and the sides should be just browned.  

You should aim for an inside temp of 120 to 130 Fahrenheit.

Medium rare

Medium Rare Steak

This is the type of doneness that chefs are happy to serve. This is created by cooking the meat until the meat inside is nearly pink.

So you still want to see red, but the overall meat has mostly turned pink.

You want to get a nice brown color on the outside and be getting a little caramelized on the bottom of the steak. When touched, the steak should offer some spring.


Medium Steak

If you are unsure how those you are cooking for like their steak, this is the best one to go with.

This type of doneness will give you more brown than pink.

You should only have a nice line of pink directly in the middle of the meat.

Nice caramelized outside that is well done but avoid any charring. To the touch, the meat needs to feel stiff.

Medium Well

Medium Well Steak

If you prefer less pink, the better, then this doneness could be a good option to go with. You want most of the meat to be brown with the slightest bit of pink that can be seen.

A dark surface is good.  This steak should not leave any blood when cutting into it, and it should be solid but squishy when a good amount of pressure is applied.

Cook your steak until you get an inside temperature sitting around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check this with a food thermometer.

Completely Well Done

Well Done Steak

Some people are not afraid to give some negative feedback to well-cooked steak.

There are also many chefs who hate cooking steak to this degree and believe it ruins the meat and shouldn’t be done.

The problem with this type of doneness is the fact you need to cook the steak for a long period of time.

This can dry the steak out significantly. You can also run the risk of burning or overcooking the top and bottom.

Cook well-done steak on low heat for longer to avoid drying it out. This steak shouldn’t have any give you want it solid.

Using Touch To Determine Doneness of a Steak

Using tongs, press the outside of the steak when it is close to the cooking time, and that can help you tell if the steak is done.

If the steak is quite soft, you are sitting in the category of rare. If you are getting a more springy feel, then it is most likely medium. Quite solid means most likely well done.


 When it comes to getting enough practice for cooking the perfect steak, it will take time.

The longer you cook the steak, the harder it is to keep it juicy and tender.

Steak can be cooked how you prefer, whether in a pan, on the BBQ, or on a grill. Some people even chuck the steak in the holes to give it a more slow-cooked style.

If cooking for other people, take on some practice for how they prefer their steak cooked. You will be serving up perfect steak every time once you get the hang of it.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Levels Of Doneness Of Steak

What Is The Main Difference Of Steak Doneness?

The internal temperature is what sets the steaks apart from each other.  Each steak doneness requires a different internal temperature to be reached.

Which Is The Best Steak Doneness?

Both medium and medium-rare are the most asked for types of steak doneness. This is thought to be the best cooking temp for steak if you want to keep the steak tender and juicy. The inside temperature is sitting between 135 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit at this doneness level.