Cooking the Perfect Steak at Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Steak Cooking Levels

  • The different types of steak cooking levels help you learn the difference between rare, medium, and well-done steak.
  • There are different methods of preparing the steak. Always follow the tips when cooking to prepare a delicious and juicy steak.
  • Resting and serving the steak is an important part of the preparation process. Allow the steak sufficient time to absorb the juices and flavors.

Steak is one of the favored meals among many generations. Many are drawn to the mouthwatering and juicy rare steak cooked at just the right temperature. However, these meals can often be costly because of the specific preparation process.

Luckily, chefs shared their secret to perfecting the best steak recipe, and believe it or not, it is all about timing. There are different levels of steak cooking, and depending on the taste and tenderness of the steak you want to achieve, you need to match it with the correct steak temperature chart. That’s the biggest mistake most beginners make. We did our research and found the secret, so keep reading to discover the levels of steak cooking.

Choosing the Right Steak Cut

chef cutting steak

You’ll find a whole range of steak cuts, all offering different flavors and prepared in different ways. There are 3 types of steak cuts you will definitely run across in a restaurant. To pick the one that most satisfies your taste buds, you will have to know the details about each.

  • Filet mignon (tenderloin): This steak cut comes from the tenderloin’s minor end. It contains low to no fats and is the cow’s most tender muscle. As a result, this meat melts into the mouth and has a buttery texture when cooked. However, since there are few fats in this part of the meat, the filet mignon doesn’t offer a strong or rich flavor.
  • Ribeye: Contrary to the filet mignon, the ribeye is rich in fats and offers too much flavor when cooked right. Moreover, the ribeye is the juiciest, allowing chefs to explore a lot of steak cooking levels. The ribeye has the most positive beef steak calories chart among all steak cuts.
  • Sirloin: This steak type is also short on fat or marbling from the muscles, but that medium-rare is among the most favored types of steak cooking levels. However, you must be really careful with the steak temperature. We will discuss steak temps and their importance in detail below.

Understanding Steak Cooking Levels

You may think there are only 2-3 types of steak cooking levels, but the truth is there are more. Here we will explore six different types.

  • Blue steak: The first place in the steak doneness chart is reserved for the blue steak. It includes a one-minute searing on each side in high heat. The taste is still raw or very red, and the internal beef temperature should be 115°F.
  • Rare steak: The rare steak is cooked for about 3 minutes per side. The internal rare steak temp should be 125°F. The meat on the inside is still red and raw, but on the outside, the steak begins to form a crust.
  • Medium-rare steak: The ideal internal temp for medium-rare steak is 135°F. The steak’s interior should be pink with a red hint. You will have to soar it for 4-5 minutes to achieve that.
  • Medium steak: For the medium steak, you need to soar the steak for 6 minutes. The internal beef temperature should reach 145°F. The texture begins to firm and become chewy.
  • Medium well steak: Soar the steak for 6-7 minutes on each side until the meat forms a crust on each side. Moreover, the internal medium well temp should not surpass 150°F.
  • Well-done steak: The final steak levels of cooking is the well-done steak. It is cooked for 12-10 minutes until the texture is firm and juiceless.

Preparing the Steak

Start by defrosting the steak to normal or room temperature. Once defrosted, be generous with the salt and the pepper. Massage the steak on both sides and leave it to rest. The beef steak ingredients for the marinade are optional, depending on the person’s preferences.

Many prefer to marinate beef steak in mustard and honey. For the pan, you’ll need butter or olive oil, and you may add thyme as a seasoning to enrich the flavor.

Cooking the Steak

cooking steak

How to cook Beef Steak? Well, you can cook your steak in several ways. The cooking time usually depends on whether you want it raw, medium, or well-done.

  • Grilling: This is the most common method suitable for all steak levels of cooking. Grill for up to 4-5 minutes until the steak becomes golden brown. You must be really alert to get the perfect sear because the meat here is in direct heat.
  • Pan-Searing: This is the most common home method. It only takes 2-3 minutes to sear the steak on each side, remove it from the heat, and brush it with olive oil.
  • Broiling: Cooking the steak in the oven is one of the most common ways to get the best steak. Preheat the oven, place the already seasoned and marinated steak inside, and cook for up to 4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steak.

Also, be more open to new steak flavors. Bistek, for example, is a FIlipino dish you have to try at least once.

Resting and Serving the Steak

well-plated beef steak

Leaving the steak to rest for a couple of minutes is essential as it contributes to the flavor. All levels of steak cooking have a specific time for resting the steak and then serving it.

Leaving the steak to rest allows the liquids and sauces to be evenly absorbed, enhancing the flavor. If you have a thinner steak, the general rule is to leave it up to 7 minutes to rest. For thicker steak cuts, up to 20 minutes is sufficient time.

When serving the steak, cut it against the direction of the muscle fibers.

Final Thoughts

There are different types of steak cooking levels. From blue to rare steak, medium to medium rare steak, to the well-done steak, the choice is yours. The secret of cooking your perfect steak is precise timing and temperature.

Choosing the right steak cooking level is based on personal preference. Whatever the choice, following the recommendations given by professional chefs will help you cook the perfect steak. We encourage you to try it out yourself and improve your culinary skills.

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