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Steak Doneness Temperature Guide for Every Preference

There’s definitely a science to grilling the perfect steak. Beyond tempering and seasoning the meat, the No. 1 thing to ensure you have a great steak is to make sure it’s cooked to your preferred level of doneness. For the uninitiated, that level of doneness or “temperature” is the thing you see on steakhouse menus: rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well and well done. Regardless of the cut of steak or the method of cooking steaks, the temperatures that are associated with each level of doneness remain consistent.
You may think that you can judge a steak’s level of doneness by feel, but there’s really only one way to tell for sure: by using an instant-read meat thermometer to take the internal temperature of the meat. Insert your thermometer through the side of the steak with the tip in the center of the thickest part of the meat. Make sure the thermometer is not touching bone or fat as that will affect the final reading. For the best cooked steak, remove it from the heat when it’s 5 degrees below your desired level of doneness; the steak will continue to cook as it rests.

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