Our Steak is “Rare”-ly Well-Done

Throughout the millennia, there have been epic battles of opinion that have raged without resolution. Gothic vs Renaissance architecture, Adams vs Jefferson, Ford vs Chevy. I swear that the Romans and the Greeks must have bickered about who made better columns.

Get your columns here

I imagine them setting up stores across the street from each other, arguing about stone composition and load bearing capacity. Good times.

In the modern world, one debate that wracks every family is the doneness level of steak. “Well is the only way!” cries one person, while another snaps back, “If it isn’t mooin’ rare when you bring it to me, it’s burnt!”. Then the compromiser of the group suggests we all just make them medium, and both sides pummel him with potato salad and bottles of condiments.

Let’s put the pitchforks and torches away for a second and take a look at what each doneness level means. The scale is based on the internal temperature of the meat, where rare is the coolest and well-done is the warmest. By heating the middle of the meat more, it changes the eating experience.

Beef doneness chart

I’m impressed this guy could grill them on a fork to these varying levels of doneness. Art.

A rare steak will have an internal temperature of 125 F, medium-rare 130 to 135 F, medium will be 140 F, medium-well will be 150 F, and well-done will be 160 F. While there are many ways to estimate doneness, the only fool-proof way is to take the internal temperature of the steak. Stick the thermometer into the side of the steak (not the top!) and take a temp.

So which one is the best? It depends on your opinion. For me, eating a rare steak makes me feel like a coyote with a fresh bunny, just a little too undone. I’ll take mine medium-rare to medium. My wife is one of the rarer the better crowd (what a woman).

My mother has always wanted hers well done. She’s the only one who wants this out of any in the family. We don’t know what went wrong. But, lately she’s trended towards medium well to even medium, so maybe she’ll see the light ;).

But really folks, it doesn’t matter how you like your steak done. The key is that you like steak. Because really, is there any other meat that you can throw a little salt and pepper on, grill it up quick, and have a meal fit for a king? Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!



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