5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

Guide on Degrees of Meat Doneness

When ordering a steak at a restaurant, it’s very common to hear the waiter ask how cooked we would like it. However, it can be very hard to request exactly what we have in mind due to all the doneness levels that exist.

5-Minute Crafts has prepared this useful guide to teach you the different degrees of meat doneness and their main characteristics. Just remember that experts in food safety recommend a minimum internal temperature of 145ºF for beef steaks to destroy all the harmful germs they may have.

Note: All cooking times are for steaks that are 6-8 ounces, and about 1-inch thick.

Blue rare

  • Also known as very rare or “bleu.” It’s only cooked on the outside, while the center remains almost raw, which gives it a cold and soft texture. Its internal temperature should be 115ºF — 120ºF.
  • To cook a blue steak, sear the piece of meat at high temperature for 1 minute on each side, and 2 seconds on the edges. Remember that the inside is supposed to look uncooked and remain cool. If you want to warm it up, put it in the oven at a low temperature.


  • The inside is warm and 75% red, while the surface is seared, giving it a tasty flavor. This doneness degree is perfect for low-fat steaks. The internal temperature should be 125ºF — 130ºF.
  • To get a rare steak, cook it for about 2 minutes on each side, and 2 seconds on the edges at a high temperature.


  • The inside is 50% red and pink between the crust and the center. Its texture is slightly firm but still very tender and juicy. The internal temperature should be 130ºF — 140ºF.
  • To get a medium-rare steak, cook each side for 3.5 minutes at a high temperature.


  • The inside is pink and slightly red. Although it has a firm texture, it’s still tender and juicy. The internal temperature should be 140ºF — 150ºF.
  • To cook a medium steak, sear it for 4 minutes on each side at a high temperature.


  • It’s slightly pink in the center, without any juice flowing. It has a tougher texture than the previous steaks, but it can still be tender in the inside. The internal temperature should be 150ºF — 155ºF.
  • To get a medium-well steak, cook it for 5 minutes on each side at a high temperature.


  • It has a totally brown center. Its texture is firm and well-cooked and it can feel drier than the previous steaks. The internal temperature should be 160ºF or more.
  • To get a well-done steak, cook it for 6 minutes on each side at a high temperature.
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