Rare or Medium- Rare: It’s a high-stakes decision
As a chef for over a decade, steaks have been an integral part of my cooking journey. In fact, it's one of my
favorite dishes. Not just mine but that of many a legend too. For instance, the iconic Julia Childs once
said, "The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." While she may have been
partially kidding, there's no denying that there are few things finer on the plate than some good steak.
But that's where a bit of confusion tends to occur.
Why? Well, there's more than one way to cook a good steak!
If you search for answers online, you'll find that there are four types Rare, Medium Rare, Medium Well, and
However, in my personal experience, there are only two right ways Rare and Medium Rare!
Before I get into the differences between these two, let's address why "well-done" is not always a job well done! In
fact, here are three reasons:
- The quality of the meat gets reduced so, no matter what type, cooking it this much takes away the specialty of the cut
- The texture of the meat becomes tougher (as it is cooked at an interior temperature of 160 F or more)
- The taste would be more grocery-level generic and lesser boutique restaurant-level unique
Now, let's get into the major differences between medium rare steaks and rare steaks.
MEDIUM RARE STEAK
145 degrees °F
125 degrees °F
2¼ minutes on each side
3¼ minutes on each side
Slightly tender and moist
Completely tender and juicy
Golden brown with a pink center.
Light brownish edges, pinkish towards the exterior, and reddish in the middle
Amazing consistency, very flavourful, and easy-to-eat
Mouth-melting experience, natural flavor profile, and charred without losing the softness
As you can see, medium rare and rare present two uniquely special experiences that only a good piece of steak can
offer. Whatever you choose will certainly affect the taste, the texture, and the overall sensory experience.
But there's a reason why steaks don't come cheap. They are a part of the higher echelon of meats that foodies all
over the world cherish and relish regularly. From picking the right restaurant to pairing the perfect wine, eating
steaks isn't about a single plate of meat. It's a whole dining experience.
So, the next time you order some good ol fashioned steak remember this piece of advice.
Go rare or medium rare.
Else, go home!
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