Cook your steak to perfection - every single time
This will do the trick.
Editorial Team at Kitchen Stories
No one should avoid cooking steak for dinner, just because the thought of preparing it seems complicated. We will show you a few simple tricks to easily determine the various levels of doneness for beef. Not only Christmas table decorations can impress at social gatherings - a perfectly cooked steak will do so, too.
Searing a steak is all about retaining the meat's natural juice. Therefore, it is important to pat the meat dry with a towel before cooking.
Beef is usually cooked until it’s pink. The longer the meat cooks, the more juice it loses, which makes it become dry and tough. The right core temperature (inner temperature of the meat) is of great importance. A steak is cooked in little time, but at high temperature. Only if you reach the appropriate core temperature, germs will be killed effectively. Speaking of germs: before you start, wash your hands thoroughly with soap to make sure they can’t spread.
The level of doneness can easily be determined with the finger test. The texture of the area of skin below your thumb is comparable to that of a steak. This texture changes from soft to firm, depending on which finger you press your thumb against. By using the following guidelines, you’ll easily be able to determine how well-done your steak is.
Level I: Rare
If you cook the meat for approx. 2 minutes per side, the meat will be a bit cold and bloody in the center; on the outside pink. The meat juice should be dark red.
Test: press your thumb against your index finger. The cooked meat should be quite soft, just like the fleshy area below your thumb.
Core temperature: 45-55°C/ 113-131°F
Level II: Medium-rare
If you cook the meat longer, approx. 3 minutes per side, it will become pink throughout. The center will still be a bit raw; the meat very juicy. The skin will begin to appear lightly charred.
Test: lightly pinch together your middle finger and thumb. If the steak and the area of skin below your thumb feel the same, your steak is medium-rare.
Core temperature: 55-60°C/ 131-140°F
Level III: Medium
The meat should be only slightly pink in the middle and there shouldn't be any juice leaking. The outside should have a nice brownish char. The juice should be lightly pink. Medium-rare steak is very popular and what most restaurant owners prefer.
Test: press your thumb against your ring finger. The area below your thumb and the meat should feel pretty firm by now.
Core temperature: 60-65°C/ 140-149°C
Level IV: Well-done
After cooking the meat for approx. 5-8 minutes per side, the meat will be completely cooked through. Don’t be deceived by its grayish-brown, crispy outside: inside, the meat is delicious. There should only be a small amount of clear juice that comes out after you cut into the steak.
Test: press your thumb against your pinky finger. The meat, like the area of skin below your thumb, should be firm.
Core temperature: above 70°C/ 158°F
How well-done the steak is will depend on the thickness and weight of the cut of meat. Before serving, the steak should rest for about 5-8 minutes, so it won’t lose too much of its juice when you cut it.
How to cook the perfect steak
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To make sure nothing can go wrong, have a look at our “How to cook the perfect steak”video! Our outstanding method: we let the meat reach its perfect core temperature by cooking it in the oven at a low temperature first, before searing it on both sides. Due to the low temperature, the steak is gently heated and will not lose any of its precious juice.
Published on December 22, 2015