Steak Internal Temperatures & Cooking Times

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Don’t let creating a delicious, tender steak at home intimidate you, especially a pellet grill steak! It can seem challenging to cook your steaks to the correct temperature at home when you usually order them from a restaurant. You receive your NY strip steak cooked to the perfect temperature every time at a restaurant, so it’s not dry and tough or too undercooked.

Creating a pellet grill steak at the ideal steak temperature is not as challenging as you may think. By cooking steaks using the information in the steak cooked chart section below, you’ll be able to tell when your meal (steak on pellet grill) is ready to eat.

Skip the dried-out or raw steak by following the guide below, with cooking times included.

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    How to Tell When Your Beef is Done

    The first step in deciphering when your beef is done is deciding which level of doneness best matches your tastes. There are options to enjoy blue steak (less cooked than a rare steak) through a well-done cook. As the steak continues to cook, its texture, consistency, and color will change. So, a rare steak will taste and feel different than a well-done steak.

    Once you’ve decided on the correct doneness that appeals to your taste buds, it’s time to start grilling. Figuring out when your beef is done is easy when using a thermometer. Each level of doneness coincides with a different internal temperature. For example, if you’re looking for a medium-rare cook, you should aim for a reading of 125°F.

    The below guide will help guide you on which temperature to aim for when cooking beef.

    How to Tell When Your Beef is Done

    Steak Temperature Chart

    Whether you’re creating pellet grill steak or steak on the stovetop, you can use the below temperature guide to decide when your steak is ready to take off the heat and cut into. The level of doneness ranges from dark red in the middle and quite juicy to completely cooked through and a light brown interior.

    When taking the temperature, insert the thermometer into the middle of the steak for a more accurate read.

    steak temperature chart

    Blue Steak

    As noted above, blue steak is one step below rare. It’s not common for people to ask for this level of doneness as most aren’t aware of it. However, it does exist, and you can request a blue steak or blue rare steak at your favorite restaurants.

    Achieving a blue steak means adding a steak to a grill or pan for a few seconds until the exterior has a nice brown color. The interior remains completely raw and purple, though slightly warmed. Keep the internal temperature at 108°F for this type of steak doneness.

    blue steak

    Rare Steak

    Rare steaks have a cool, red center and only stay on the grill or pan slightly longer than a blue steak. Aim for 125°F for rare steaks.

    You shouldn’t spend so much time on the grill with this one. Two and a half minutes of grilling on each side will do nicely.

    rare steak

    Medium-Rare Steak

    Medium rare is one of the best steak rare levels, especially if you get your steak to the optimal medium-rare steak temperature. It offers the perfect juiciness and is recommended by most professional chefs and restaurants. Expect a reddish-pink center and seared outside when you reach the optimal medium-rare steak temp. Keep the temp of medium-rare steak at 135°F, for three minutes and a half on each side for the best results. Keep the cooking time at four minutes, thirty seconds on each side for the best medium steak.

    Medium-Rare Steak

    Medium Steak

    Once you hit medium, you should not have any red in the middle of the steak. At this point, the center will be pinkish, and the internal temp should read 145°F. If you’re not a fan of how juicy medium-rare is, this level of doneness is a great option for you.

    Medium Steak

    Medium-Well Steak

    With medium-well steaks, you’ll still have a light pink center. However, you’ll notice that there’s no pink on the outside of the steak. A medium-well temp for steak is at 150°F, and you should cook each side for five minutes, thirty seconds.

    Medium Well Steak

    Well-Done Steak

    Well-done steaks have minimal pink in the center. At 160°F for six minutes and thirty seconds on each side, you’ll have a well-done steak ready to slice.

    Well-Done Steak

    Steak Cooking Tips

    Now that you know the proper temperature to cook a pellet grill steak or any steak let’s get into some cooking tips to enjoy the best steak every time.

    1. Don’t cook steak from a frozen or cold state. Leave your steak out to rise to room temperature before cooking so that your steak cooks evenly. This step will take about 30 minutes.
    2. Cook your steaks at 5°F below your desired temperature. Then, let your steaks sit off the heat for about 10 minutes. As the steaks sit, they will continue to cook, leaving you with finished steaks at your desired level of doneness.
    3. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature every time.

    Need some additional tips on cooking with a pellet grill and creating a perfect steak? Check out our article How to Smoke Steaks on a Pellet Grill for more information.

    STEAK DONENESS CHART

    Conclusion

    Now you can create a perfectly cooked steak every time! Use the steak temperature information above next time you make a pellet grill steak, stovetop steak, or oven steak.

    Make your grilling experience cooking steak even better by using high-quality grilling equipment from Z Grills. We stock wood pellet grills, various pellet options, and all the grill cookware you could need.

    Wood Pellet Grill

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