How to Cook a Steak Medium Rare

Whether you are cooking a rib eye or sirloin, achieving a medium-rare steak requires attention to the cooking process. A properly cooked medium-rare steak has a pink interior and slightly red center with juices flowing as you cut or bite into it, resulting in a tender and moist finish.

Grilling or Frying

Cook a steak on a grill or in frying pan. A grill allows the fat to drip off the steak, while a pan retains the fat, which retains flavor. A non-stick, heavy bottomed pan gets extra-hot, making it ideal for cooking a steak. Ensure the pan is large enough to contain the entire steak for even cooking. If you go the grill route, place the steak in the center of the grate, directly above the heat source.

Selecting Oil

Pick an oil that can withstand high temperatures and maintain its flavor, such as vegetable oil. Pour 1 teaspoon cooking oil directly into the pan or oil the steak directly. Ensure the pan or grill is hot before you begin cooking the steak. When the cooking oil is hot enough, it starts separating in the pan .

Cooking the Steak

Season both sides of the steak with a pinch of salt and black pepper and place it in the pan or on the grill.


Season the steak moments before cooking it because salt draws out the moisture.

For a 1 1/2-inch-thick filet steak, cook each side for 3 1/2 minutes on each side for a medium-rare finish.

Place a meat thermometer in the center of your steak; a medium-rare steak should have an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees F. Alternatively, use a finger to press down on the steak; a medium rare will be slightly bouncy but not soft or firm to the touch.


USDA recommends a safe temperature for beef cuts is 145 degrees F and a three-minute period to rest the meat after cooking.

Let the steak rest for about 4 minutes before serving. This allows the meat to redistribute its juices for a moist steak.

References & Resources