We’ve all been there: You pull a steak out of the fridge, put it on the grill and then spend an hour flipping it back and forth to see if it’s done. Or worse, you grab a microwave oven-friendly steak from the freezer and are left wondering why your dinner isn’t quite as delicious as you had hoped. So we’re here to help! Let us walk you through how long you should cook each type of steak based on its thickness and desired level of doneness.
If you like your steak rare, cook it for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. The temperature of the steak should be 120°F to 125°F when done. You can check this by using an instant-read thermometer, which will tell you when your steak has reached its desired doneness.
The best way to cook a rare steak is with high heat–we recommend grilling or broiling the meat at 450°F (or 425°F if using an oven).
Medium-rare steaks are cooked to an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees F. They have a warm red center, but the outer edges are still cool to the touch. The steak will be pink in the middle and very tender when you cut into it, with little to no blood on your plate or cutting board (unless you’ve got a rarer steak).
Medium steaks are the perfect size for a meal, and they’re one of the most common cuts. A medium steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. The best way to check that it’s done is with a thermometer–you can insert it into the thickest part of the meat, or just take its temperature in several places if you don’t have access to an instant-read thermometer.
Once your steak has reached this internal temperature (which will probably take about 8 minutes on each side), transfer it from heat onto a plate or cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch slices against the grain and serving alongside roasted potatoes and green beans seasoned with olive oil and garlic powder
If you’re looking for medium-well steaks, the cooking time will depend on your steak’s thickness. For example, a 1-inch thick steak should be cooked for 3 to 4 minutes per side and a 1.5-inch thick steak should be cooked for 4 to 5 minutes per side.
We’ve got a chart to help you determine the perfect cooking time for your steak.
To use the chart, simply find your desired doneness and follow the corresponding cooking time.
We recommend using this chart for steaks that are 1 inch thick or less. If your steak is thicker than 2 inches, you may want to consider cooking it in two batches–one side at a time–so as not to over- or undercook it by too much.
We hope this chart will help you cook the perfect steak. If you’re still struggling, feel free to refer back to our article on how long it takes to cook different cuts of meat.