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A medium rare steak helps ensure your steak is tender and juicy and retains a lot of its natural flavor. However, the key to cooking a cut of steak perfectly medium rare is to know the correct medium rare steak temperature. In order to reach the proper cooking temperature for a medium rare steak, you will need a meat thermometer, such as a ThermoPro Digital Instant Read Thermometer, along with the following steak temp chart for perfectly medium rare steaks every time.

Why Do We need to Care About the Temperature When Cooking Steak?

To ensure your meat is safe, the USDA recommends steaks be cooked to a safe internal temperature and then allow it to sit for about 2 to 3 minutes before cutting and serving. Undercooked meat can contain harmful bacteria, such as Staphylococcus Aureus, E Coli, and Salmonella, which if consumed can cause various food-borne illnesses. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that meat is always cooked to the proper internal temperature, so that any pathogens are killed, before both consuming and serving it to others.

steak cooking temp

Steak Temp Chart

The safe cooking temperature for steaks varies based on the steak cut, how thick or thin the cut is, and the desired degree of doneness, which the following the following information will help you with.

Steak Surface Cooking Temperature

Thinner cuts of steak require a hotter cooking temperature, while thicker cuts are best cooked on low heat. Before cooking the steak, allow the cooking surface to heat to the desired temperature.

cooking steak temp

• For a 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick steak – 325°F to 400°F, depending on the cooking method. If using a grill, observe when the medium coals contain a thin layer of gray colored ash. Once the medium-low coals contain a thick layer of gray colored ash, typically indicates the temperature is between 325°F to 350°F.

• For a 1/2-inch thick steak – 425°F to 450°F, depending on the cooking method. If using a grill, observe when the coals are medium hot and slightly covered with ash.

Steak Cuts

To turn steaks, use a pair of tongs to reserve the steak’s juiciness. You should also be sure to turn the meat halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking on both sides.

Steak TypeSizeDonenessCooking TimeInternal TempFinal Temp
Filet Mignon Steak1-inch, thickmedium rare4 minutes on both sides130°F135°F
Ribeye Steak1 1/4-inch, thickmedium rare8 minutes on both sides130°F135°F
Flank Steakmedium rare6 to 8 minutes, rotate it once130°F


(After Resting)

Flat Iron Steakmedium rare5 to 7 minutes on each side130°Fbetween 135°F to 145°F
Beef Tenderloin Steak3/4-inchmedium rare7 to 9 minutes on both sides130°F to 140°Fbetween 135°F to 145°F
1-inchmedium rare5 to 7 minutes on both sides140°F145°F
T-Bone Steakmedium rare7 to 10 minutes on both sides125°F130°F
Porterhouse Steakmedium rare5 minutes on the first side and then turn it and allow it to cook for another 4 minutes130°Fbetween 135°F to 145°F
New York Strip Steak1-inch, thickmedium rare7 minutes on both sides130°F135°F
Sirloin Steak1 1/4-inch, thickmedium rare8 minutes on both sides130°F135°F

Checking the Internal Temperature

To check the internal cooking temperature of the meat, insert a digital instant-read meat thermometer, such as the ThermoPro Digital Instant Read Cooking Thermometer, through the side of the steak until it reaches the center. Remove the steak once the center reaches the desired temperature. To allow the meat to continue to cook to the desired temperature and to retain the meat’s succulence, let the meat to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting.

thermopro checking internal steak temp

Assessing a Medium Rare Steak

A medium rare steak should be very pink in the middle and just browned around the outer part, and it should still be slightly warm in the middle. When you touch it, it should also give only slightly to the touch and begin to tighten up.

medium rare filet cooking temp

As with all meat, for a medium rare steak, allow the meat to cook to just about 5°F to 10°F below the desired temperature and then remove it and allow it to rest until it reaches the correct temperature for medium rare steak, which is between 135°F to 145°F. As the steak sits, it will continue to cook, also known as carry-over cooking, up to about 10°F internal cooking temperature. Therefore, it is important to remove the meat just before it is done to ensure a medium rare steak.

As a rule of thumb, the larger or thicker the cut of meat, and the higher the cooking temperature, the more built up heat will be in the meat, hence the more the internal temperature will rise during the resting stage due to carry over cooking. Therefore, the meat needs to be removed from the heat at an internal temperature that is lower than the desired final cooking temperature because it will continue to cook due to residual heat. Otherwise, it will become overdone.

Ensuring the right temperature of medium rare steak, using a meat thermometer along with this steak temp chart, not only helps make certain your meat is safely prepared, but it also helps maintain its tender texture and juiciness for chef worthy steaks that your family and friends will adore. For best results, allow the meat to come to room temperature prior to cooking, which also helps ensure the right temperature of medium rare steak. You should also spray the skillet with nonstick cooking spray, or add a pat of butter to the skillet for beautiful searing.

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