Steak Temperature Tips: Achieve the Perfect Steak at Home

If you’re a Ruth’s Chris Steak House regular, you likely have your go-to order down pat, and it always arrives exactly the way you want it. But have you ever tried to master it yourself?

Luckily, the experts at Ruth’s Chris are here to help you achieve the perfect steak at home. One of the keys is cooking your steak to the right temperature to match your preferences. Read steak temperature tips from the steak experts at Ruth’s Chris below to learn how to cook your best steaks yet!

Ideal Temperatures for Steak Doneness

Depending on your desired level of doneness, your steak needs to reach a specified internal temperature:

  • Rare: 120°–125°
  • Medium Rare: 130°–135°
  • Medium: 140°–145°
  • Medium Well: 150°–155°
  • Well Done: 160°–165°

However, keep in mind that you’ll need to remove the steak from the heat source when it’s about five degrees away from the temperature you want to achieve. That’s because the steak will continue to cook for a few more minutes after you take it off the grill or out of the pan!

Now, let’s take a look at each steak temperature in more detail.

Rare Steak: 120° to 125°

Because it only gets cooked a bit, a rare steak’s center remains deep red, relatively cool, and extremely juicy. That said, rare steak is still safe to eat as long as its internal temperature is at least 120°. To reach this temperature, remove the steak when it reaches 115° and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Medium Rare Steak: 130° to 135°

A medium rare steak spends a bit more time on the grill for a warm, red center with dark pink edges. As a result, you’ll enjoy that quintessential soft steak texture. Without a doubt, medium rare is the most popular level of steak doneness. Therefore, you’ll want to hit that temperature sweet spot of 130° to 135°. To do so, remove the steak at 125° and then give it a few minutes before you slice into it to enjoy your first bite of perfectly cooked steak.

Medium Steak: 140° to 145°

If you don’t like to bite into red but still want to savor a tender steak, then you need to cook your steak medium. Inside, the meat is pink and warm, with lighter pink edges. To cook a medium steak, take it off the heat at 135° and let it rest while you finish setting the table. This will ensure your steak is the right level of doneness for your preference without being overcooked or dry.

Medium Well Steak: 150° to 155°

Inside a medium well steak, the meat is hot and only has a slightly pink hue in the very center, with little to no color on the edges. On average, this steak’s internal temperature reaches between 150° and 155°, so you’ll need to take it off the grill or pan as soon as it reaches 145°.Then give it 5-10 minutes to rest and finish the carryover cooking process before enjoying that first bite.

Well-Done Steak: 160° to 165°

A well-done steak spends the maximum amount of time on the heat, resulting in a center with no pink. If you want to cook your steak to this level of doneness, make sure to stop cooking it when the temperature hits 155°. You don’t want to overcook the meat, or else it can become chewy and dry. Instead, let it finish cooking off the heat for a few minutes while you finish getting dinner on the table. You’ll be amazed how a little patience really pays off and creates the juiciest possible steak.

Use a Digital Meat Thermometer to Get an Accurate Steak Temperature

So, how can you tell when a steak reaches the temperature you want? While you may be tempted to cut the steak open and look at the center, you will want to avoid that unnecessary action. Because color falls on a spectrum, it’s a vague indicator of doneness. Plus, you’ll lose tasty juices in the process.

Instead, use an instant-read digital meat thermometer to check the steak temperature.

To begin, find the thickest—and thus, coolest—part of the steak, typically in the center. Stick the thermometer’s probe there at a slight angle. Once the temperature reading stabilizes, you can decide whether your steak is ready to remove from the grill, pan, or whatever you’re cooking it on.

After removing the steak at five degrees under your desired temperature, don’t forget to let it rest for a few minutes so it can finish cooking!

Don’t Feel Like Cooking? Visit Ruth’s Chris for a Steak Dinner

If you’d rather sit back and relax while expert chefs prepare your steak for you, make a reservation at your nearest Ruth’s Chris Steak House for dinner this week. It’s time to savor a steak cooked to the perfect temperature every time.