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The quick guide to steak doneness


You’ve ordered a medium rare steak at a restaurant, but the order arrives resembling a medium well doneness.

Cooking steak to the correct doneness can be a tricky affair, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. A rare steak isn’t just slightly cooked on the outside and raw inside, it should have the right internal temperature and correct browning on the surface.

It’s easier these days to get steaks right even at home with ovens like the Electrolux Inspiration steam oven. Its built-in food probe helps to accurately measure the internal temperature of your steaks, while its slow cooking function can cook any number and size of steaks just the way you like it. Now all you need to do is familiarise yourself with the criteria for each level of doneness.

Bleu rare

Internal temperature: 46–49°C

This very rare doneness is for the true carnivore who loves raw meat but has it cooked just a little to be polite. Bleu rare is achieved by searing both sides of the steak in very hot oil or butter for about one minute on each side.

Bleu rare steak should feel very soft when touched.  When sliced, the interior colour should be dark red, nearly unchanged from that of raw meat.


Internal temperature: 50-55°C

Rare Steak
By essgee51
For true carnivores, a rare steak is for lovers of raw steak, but has it slightly cooked to be polite.

A rare steak should be warm through the middle, browned around the sides and lightly charred on the surface. It is done by searing the steak for about two minutes per side.

Rare steaks are soft to the touch, with a dark, bright red centre.

Medium rare

Internal temperature: 55-57°C

The doneness of choice for culinary professionals, medium rare steaks should be warm through the middle and pink inside with a red centre. The sides of a medium rare steak should be well browned, with the top and bottom charred to a dark brown.

This is achieved by grilling the steak at a high temperature for two to three minutes per side. The result should have a firm surface, but soft in the middle.


Internal temperature: 60-65°C

When cooking for a large group, this is the doneness that is likely to please most.  Medium steaks should have a thick band of light pink in the middle, but is more browned than pink. The steak’s side should be rich brown, while the top and bottom are charred darkly.

Grill medium steaks over high heat for five to six minutes per side. The meat will feel slightly tender to the touch.

Medium well

Internal temperature: 68-74°C

Medium well steaks have a hint of pink only in the very centre of the steak. The surface of the meat should be dark brown, with good charring on the top and bottom.

Grill this steak over high heat for one minute per side before cooking it on medium heat for five to six additional minutes per side. The steak will feel stiff and only slightly squishy in the centre.

Well done

Internal temperature: 77°C and above

Well done steak
By chrissuderman
A well done steak is one of the hardest to cook. Care is needed to ensure it is not over- or undercooked.


The doneness of steak for the squeamish. Well done steaks do not have any hints of pink throughout and should be browned through but not burnt on the outside.

Doing a well done steak properly without overcooking requires some skill. The steak needs to be grilled over a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes per side, or seared on each side for one minute before being finished in the oven at 160°C for 12 to 15 minutes.

This steak should feel solid to the touch and yield clear juices with no pink meat when sliced.

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