A Simple Guide to Cooking Medium Rare Steak

If you’re a meat lover, mastering the art of cooking a medium rare steak is essential. There’s something truly luxurious about slicing into a perfectly cooked piece of beef that is seared on the outside, but still pink and juicy in the center. But achieving that ideal level of doneness can be a bit tricky. Luckily, this simple guide will walk you through the steps to create a mouthwatering medium rare steak every time. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking! ♨️

A Simple Guide to Cooking Medium Rare Steak | Cafe Impact
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Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

When it comes to cooking a mouthwatering medium rare steak, the first step is to choose the right cut of meat. A perfectly cooked steak starts with selecting a cut that suits your taste preferences and cooking method. Let’s dive into some key factors to consider when choosing the perfect steak.

Understanding Different Cuts

Steak comes in a variety of cuts, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. From ribeye to filet mignon, there’s a cut to satisfy every steak lover’s palate. It’s important to understand the different cuts available and how they affect the tenderness and flavor of the meat.

  • Ribeye: Known for its rich marbling and intense flavor, ribeye is a popular choice among steak enthusiasts. It’s cut from the rib section of the beef and offers a juicy and tender eating experience.
  • Sirloin: Often considered a leaner option, sirloin steak is cut from the rear back portion of the beef. It has a good balance of tenderness and flavor, making it a versatile choice for various cooking methods.
  • Filet Mignon: This cut is prized for its tender texture and mild flavor. It’s taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin and offers a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Filet mignon is often considered a luxurious choice.
  • New York Strip: Another popular choice, the New York strip steak comes from the upper back portion of the beef. It has a good amount of marbling, resulting in a well-balanced flavor and tenderness.

These are just a few examples of steak cuts available in the market. Exploring different cuts will help you discover your personal favorite for cooking a delicious medium rare steak.

Examining the Marbling

One important aspect to consider when selecting a steak is the marbling—those white streaks of fat found within the muscle fibers. Marbling plays a crucial role in enhancing the flavor and tenderness of the meat. The more marbling, the more flavorful and tender the steak will be.

When choosing a medium rare steak, look for cuts with a good amount of marbling. The fat in the marbling melts during the cooking process, infusing the meat with flavor and juiciness. It adds that perfect touch of richness to your steak, making it a true culinary delight.

Considering Thickness and Size

The thickness and size of the steak also play a significant role in achieving the ideal medium rare doneness. Opting for a steak that is too thin may result in overcooking, while a thick steak might not cook evenly.

Aim for a steak that is about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. This will allow for a nice sear on the outside while ensuring the center remains perfectly juicy and cooked to medium rare perfection. The size of the steak will depend on your appetite and the number of servings you plan to prepare.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose the right cut of steak for cooking a medium rare masterpiece, you’re one step closer to savoring a delicious steak that will leave your taste buds satisfied. Remember to consider the cuts, examine the marbling, and pay attention to the thickness and size for a delectable outcome. Happy cooking!

Preparing the Steak

Before you get started on cooking your medium rare steak, it’s crucial to properly prepare the meat. This involves a few essential steps that will ensure your steak turns out perfectly cooked and full of flavor. Follow these steps to prepare your steak like a pro.

Seasoning the Steak

One of the most important steps in preparing a medium rare steak is seasoning it properly. This helps to enhance the natural flavors of the meat and adds a delicious taste to every bite. To season your steak, generously sprinkle it with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also add additional herbs and spices according to your preference. Some popular choices include garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Remember to gently press the seasonings into the meat to ensure they stick well.

Bring the Steak to Room Temperature

Another crucial step in preparing a medium rare steak is allowing it to come to room temperature before cooking. This is essential for even cooking and desired tenderness. Take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the countertop for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will help the meat cook more evenly and result in a juicier steak. Keep in mind that if you skip this step and cook the steak straight from the fridge, the center may end up colder than desired.

Patting Dry and Removing Excess Moisture

Before you start cooking your medium rare steak, it’s crucial to pat it dry and remove any excess moisture. This step is especially important if you want to achieve a flavorful sear on the outside of the steak. Use a paper towel to gently pat the steak, removing any moisture or liquid. This will help the steak brown evenly and develop a delicious crust. Moisture on the surface can prevent proper browning and result in a less appealing presentation. Remember to be gentle while patting the steak to avoid squishing the meat and altering its shape.

By following these essential steps, you’ll be well on your way to cooking a perfect medium rare steak every time. Seasoning the steak, bringing it to room temperature, and patting it dry are crucial in achieving the desired texture and flavor. So take your time and enjoy the process of preparing your steak, as it will greatly contribute to the overall dining experience. Happy cooking!

Choosing the Cooking Method

When it comes to cooking a medium rare steak, there are several techniques you can explore. Each method has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider which one suits your preferences and available equipment. Let’s take a closer look at three popular cooking methods: grilling, pan-searing, and sous vide.


Grilling is a classic method for cooking steak and is favored by many for its ability to add a smoky flavor to the meat. To grill a medium rare steak, you’ll need a barbecue grill or a grill pan.

The first step in grilling a steak is to preheat your grill to high heat. This ensures that the steak cooks quickly and seals in the juices, resulting in a tender and flavorful cut of meat. Once the grill is hot, place the steak directly on the grates and cook it for about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. This cooking time will give you a perfectly medium rare steak with a slightly pink center.

One advantage of grilling is that it allows for a nice sear on the outside of the steak, creating a delicious crust. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on the steak while it’s on the grill to prevent overcooking and drying out the meat.


Pan-searing is another popular method for cooking a medium rare steak. This technique involves searing the steak in a hot skillet and finishing it in the oven.

To pan-sear a steak, start by heating a cast iron skillet over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then add it to the hot skillet. Sear the steak for about 2-3 minutes on each side to develop a nice crust. Once both sides are seared, transfer the skillet to a preheated oven and cook the steak for an additional 4-5 minutes for medium rare.

One advantage of pan-searing is that it allows for better control over the cooking process, as you can adjust the heat as needed. Additionally, pan-searing creates a flavorful crust while maintaining a juicy interior.

Sous Vide

Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, is a method of cooking steak in a temperature-controlled water bath. This technique involves sealing the steak in a plastic bag and cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature for a longer period of time.

One of the advantages of sous vide is its ability to cook a steak to the exact desired doneness, as the temperature can be precisely controlled. For a medium rare steak, set the water bath to around 130°F (54°C) and cook the steak for 1-2 hours. After the steak is done sous vide, it can be finished by searing it in a hot skillet or on a grill to give it a nice crust.

While sous vide can be a bit more time-consuming compared to other methods, it ensures consistent results and produces a steak that is uniformly cooked throughout. The steak is also incredibly tender and retains its natural juices.

In conclusion, when it comes to cooking a medium rare steak, there are multiple options to choose from. Whether you prefer the smoky flavor of grilled steak, the flavorful crust of pan-searing, or the precise doneness of sous vide, each method has its own unique advantages. It’s all about finding the technique that suits your taste and allows you to enjoy a perfectly cooked medium rare steak every time.

Monitoring Doneness Levels

When it comes to cooking a medium rare steak, it is crucial to understand the various visual and tactile cues that can help you determine the perfect level of doneness. By keeping an eye on these cues, you can ensure that your steak is cooked to perfection every time.

Using the Finger Test

The finger test is a simple yet effective way to check the doneness of your steak. To do this, you need to rely on the firmness of the meat. Start by touching your thumb and index finger together. Press the fleshy area at the base of your thumb with the index finger of your other hand. This is what a raw steak feels like. Now, touch your thumb and middle finger together and press the same area on your thumb. This is what a medium rare steak should feel like. The firmness should be slightly springy with a little resistance. If you want to cook your steak to a different level of doneness, you can use the remaining fingers to test the meat and compare its firmness.

It is important to note that the finger test is not as accurate as using a meat thermometer but it can give you a general idea of the doneness level of your steak.

Utilizing a Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer is a handy tool that can help you achieve the perfect medium rare steak. To use a meat thermometer, insert the probe into the thickest part of the steak, making sure that it does not touch the bone. Wait for a few seconds until the reading stabilizes. For medium rare, the internal temperature should be around 135°F (57°C). Remember that the temperature will rise a few degrees as the steak rests, so it is best to remove it from the heat source a couple of degrees below your desired doneness level.

Using a meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking steak and ensures that you have a perfectly cooked medium rare steak every time.

Understanding Color and Juiciness

Color and juiciness are also important indicators of the doneness of a medium rare steak. When cooked to medium rare, the steak should have a warm pink center with a slightly browned crust on the outside. The juices should be a reddish pink color and should be visible when you cut into the steak.

If the steak is too red and raw-looking in the center, it is undercooked and needs more time on the heat source. On the other hand, if the center is gray or brown with no pinkness, it is overcooked and has passed the medium rare stage.

By paying attention to the color and juiciness of your steak, you can ensure that it is cooked to perfection and has the desired medium rare doneness level.

In conclusion, monitoring the doneness levels of a medium rare steak requires an understanding of visual and tactile cues. Whether you choose to use the finger test, a meat thermometer, or rely on color and juiciness, these methods will help you achieve the perfect medium rare steak every time. So, go ahead and impress your friends and family with your cooking skills!

Giving the Steak a Perfect Rest

After cooking a medium rare steak, it is crucial to let it rest before serving. This often overlooked step is of utmost importance in enhanciing the flavors and tenderness of the steak. By allowing the steak to rest, you are ensuring a more enjoyable dining experience for yourself and your guests.

Resting Time Recommendations

The recommended resting time for a medium rare steak is approximately 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. However, the exact resting time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the steak. For larger cuts of meat, you may need to increase the resting time to ensure optimal results. It is always best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature before serving.

Benefits of Resting the Steak

The benefits of letting the steak rest are far-reaching. Firstly, it allows the muscle fibers to relax and reabsorb the juices that were pushed towards the center during cooking. This ensures a more evenly distributed and juicier steak. Additionally, resting the steak allows the internal temperature to stabilize, resulting in a more uniform medium rare doneness throughout the meat. This step also helps to retain the natural juices and flavors, making every bite more succulent and satisfying.

Proper Resting Technique

To properly rest a medium rare steak, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the steak from the heat source, whether it be a grill, stovetop, or oven.
  2. Place the steak on a cutting board or plate.
  3. Tent the steak loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
  4. Let the steak rest for the recommended time, allowing the juices to redistribute and the temperature to stabilize.
  5. After the resting period, the steak is ready to be served and enjoyed.

Following this proper resting technique will ensure that your medium rare steak is at its absolute best when it hits the plate. Remember, patience is key when it comes to achieving a perfectly cooked and rested steak.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about cooking a medium rare steak:

No. Questions Answers
1. How do I achieve the perfect medium rare steak? To cook a medium rare steak, start by preheating your grill or pan to high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then cook it for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C). Let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
2. What type of steak is best for cooking medium rare? The best cuts of steak for cooking medium rare are ribeye, filet mignon, and strip steak. These cuts are tender and have a good amount of marbling, resulting in a juicy and flavorful steak.
3. Is it safe to eat medium rare steak? Yes, it is safe to eat medium rare steak as long as it reaches the minimum internal temperature of 135°F (57°C) to kill any bacteria. However, it’s important to source high-quality meat from reputable suppliers to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
4. How can I tell if my steak is medium rare without a thermometer? If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use the touch test to determine the doneness of your steak. Gently press the center of the steak with your finger. A medium rare steak should feel slightly firm and spring back. Remember to let the steak rest before slicing into it.
5. Can I cook a medium rare steak in the oven? Yes, you can cook a medium rare steak in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and sear the steak in a hot skillet for a few minutes on each side. Then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the desired doneness is reached.
6. What are some good side dishes to serve with medium rare steak? Some delicious side dishes that pair well with a medium rare steak include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a fresh green salad. These sides will complement the flavors of the steak and create a satisfying meal.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you found this guide on how to cook a medium rare steak helpful and inspiring. Now that you have learned the techniques to achieve the perfect medium rare doneness, it’s time to put your cooking skills to the test and enjoy a steak that is beautifully pink in the center, tender, and full of flavor. Remember to choose high-quality cuts of meat and don’t forget to let your steak rest before slicing into it. Happy cooking, and we look forward to seeing you again soon for more delicious recipes and cooking tips! ️

How to Cook Medium Rare Steak

Learn how to cook a medium rare steak to perfection with this step-by-step guide.

  • 2 8oz ribeye steaks
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat your grill or pan to high heat.
  2. Season the steaks generously with salt and black pepper.
  3. Place the steaks on the grill or pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should read 135°F (57°C) for medium rare.
  5. Remove the steaks from the heat and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Slice the steaks against the grain and serve immediately.
Main Course
medium rare steak, steak cooking, cooking techniques

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