The Chefs Temp Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Steak: Temperatures, Ordering, and Buying
To know about the steak temperature chart, let’s first know what a steak is. A steak is a meat portion of beef that consists of muscles. Usually, the hindquarters or the upper back part of the animal are affected. These muscles are soft and mostly marbled with fat. Steaks are slices of thick muscles cut across their grains. Let’s see the different cuts, the internal temperature at which the steak has to be cooked, and various tips to order them in a restaurant and some tricks to cooking them at home, with a clear knowledge of the steak temperature chart and, importantly, how to measure the temperature using a meat thermometer.
All about Steaks and Meat Thermometers
Temperature plays a main role in deciding the doneness of a steak. Based on the temperature, the serving of a steak as per doneness may vary from blue to well done. There are many different cuts of steak, like sirloin, rib eye, porterhouse, New York cut, T-bones, and filets. Irrespective of the cut, the cooking temperature guidelines are the same. Of course, different cuts would be better suited for different types of serving. That’s why a meat thermometer is a must when cooking steak. First, one should know what the steak temperature is all about.
When the steak is seared at 110°F(43℃), it is a blow because only the outer part is cooked in a hot pan or grill, and the inner temperature of the meat will be cool and uncooked. Cooking the steak at 120°F(48℃) to 130°F(54℃) results in a “rare steak,” which has warmer red meat inside. Cooking the steak with an internal temperature of around 130°F(54℃) to 145°F(62℃) is known as medium-rare. Whereas if it is done at 145°F(62℃) to 160°F(71℃), it is a medium steak. A well-done steak is cooked at 160°F(71℃) to 170°F(76℃). These temperatures should be measured using a meat thermometer. Judging by color will often lead to overcooking or sometimes undercooking. The USDA does not recommend cooking meat at a temperature lower than 145°F145°F(62℃). Using an instant-read meat thermometer would be more convenient as the temperature difference between the doneness of different types of steak is around 5 to 10 degrees only. An instant-read meat thermometer would give the readings instantly, that is, within seconds. One thing that must be noted is that even after removing the meat from the fire, the meat will still be cooking within it and will have a temperature rise. So, it is always better to take the steak out of the fire at 5 to 7 degrees lower than what is needed. Using the best meat thermometer would be helpful for this.
Different Steak Cuts
The following are the common types of steak cuts:
- Sirloin: The tenderness of this type of steak differs depending on its location. The upper sirloins are more tender than the lower ones. It has chewy skin inside it. That is not liked by many. That’s why its cost is somewhat lower than other steak cuts. It has less fat content in it, so health-conscious people would prefer it more.
- Rib-eye: The rib-eye steak has two parts, namely the eye and the cap. This type of cut is preferred by most people. It is marbled nicely with fat throughout the meat. It is very soft and gives off a beautiful aroma. Getting a steak that has a well-marbled eye and a thick cap would be a perfect choice.
- The New York strip is the most popular one. It is more flavorful and very soft. The strip steak with even marbling is a better choice than the New York strip.
- Filet: also known as fillet mignon, it has somewhat less flavor than the rib eye or the New York strip. It is a cut made from the tenderloin. The available portion of a fillet in a whole piece of meat is relatively small. So it costs more.
- T-bone: As the name implies, we can understand that it’s a meat cut that comes with a T-shaped bone. There is often a small amount of filet, which makes cooking troublesome for beginners as the fillet will get overcooked before the steak gets to the required temperature.
- Porterhouse: It is the T-bone steak, which has a good amount of filet. So while cooking this kind of meat, one should take into account that there are two types of muscles, and cooking this steak by the reverse sear method would be best suited.
Grilled, baked, or cooked in a pan or on the BBQ, an electronic meat thermometer is always the best tool to get the desired doneness of the steak.
Order Steak Like a Pro
Often, people get disappointed when their expectation of a steak is not met in a restaurant. It is because of the wrong way one orders the steaks. If one wishes to have a medium steak and would refer to the waiter as a steak that is pink inside, it is a vague statement. If one wants to get a steak with medium doneness, it is good to say medium, or it would be better to say the preferred temperature, as reading this article makes one aware of the different temperatures as per the steak temperature chart. As most restaurants do use digital thermometers nowadays, it would be a nice call to ask for the desired temperature.
When selecting a steak, it is always advisable to select one that is well-marbled as the fat content in between the muscles will get melted while cooking and will add more flavor to the steak. A better knowledge of the steak temperature chart and using a meat thermometer to know the temperature of the steak would help cook every cut of steak more deliciously.
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