How to Prepare Steak to Obtain a Rare to Well-Done Temperature

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Your guide on how to prepare rare to well-done steak for the ultimate flavor. Listing the grill time & temperature for each level of doneness!

How to Prepare Meat to Obtain a Rare to Well-Done Temperature

When it comes to preparing steak to your recommended doneness, several factors play a role. These include the type of steak, thickness, and the heat of the grill. However, always remember, the internal temperature will determine any type of steak’s doneness.

Grill Time & Temperature for Each Level of Doneness

Before placing steaks on the grill, be sure to clean and lightly oil to ensure they don’t stick.

Rare (very red-pink): 120°F-130°F. Estimated total cook time: 8 minutes.

Medium Rare (pink): 130°F-135°F. Estimated total cook time: 9 minutes.

Medium (light pink): 135°F-140°F. Estimated total cook time: 10 minutes.

Medium-Well: 140°F-150°F. Estimated total cook time: 11 minutes.

Well-Done: 155°F or above. Estimated total cook time: 12-14 minutes.

I recommend using a meat thermometer to help determine the temperature of your steak.

Tips to Prepare the Perfect Rare to Well-Done Steak

When it comes to preparing the perfect rare to well-done steak, follow these four tips.

  1. Purchase steaks that have good marbling. This marbling indicates fat between the muscles, which will provide a boost of flavor.
  2. Before placing the steak on the grill, pat it dry with a paper towel. This will allow the steak to get a nice crispy sear. Be sure to rub in your seasonings to soak up the flavor.
  3. Be sure to flip the steak halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  4. Remove the steak from the grill five degrees under your desired doneness. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes, placing foil over the steak to render a more tender, juicy steak. As the steak is resting, it will come up to the correct temperature for doneness.

My Favorite Steak Recipes

Have you tried my Steak Salad with Tangy Salad Dressing or Spicy Beef Pad Thai Bowl yet?


Food Safety and Inspection Service. Doneness Versus Safety | Food Safety and Inspection Service. (n.d.).

Riches, D. (2024, March 5). Your Guide to Steak Doneness. The Spruce Eats.

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