Achieving Culinary Perfection: A Comprehensive Guide to Steak Doneness at 145 Degrees

Steak, a culinary masterpiece, tantalizes taste buds with its delectable flavors and diverse textures. Understanding the intricacies of steak doneness is paramount to achieving the perfect dining experience. This comprehensive guide delves into the nuances of steak doneness, specifically focusing on the ideal internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Science of Steak Doneness

The doneness of a steak is determined by the internal temperature reached during cooking. As the steak cooks, the proteins within the meat undergo a series of changes, resulting in varying degrees of tenderness and juiciness.

Medium: The Ideal Doneness for Steak

An internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit corresponds to a medium level of doneness. At this temperature, the steak exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Tenderness: The steak is tender and juicy, with a slight resistance when cut.
  • Juiciness: The steak retains a significant amount of its natural juices, providing a burst of flavor with each bite.
  • Color: The interior of the steak is predominantly pink, with a thin gray band near the surface.

Achieving Medium Doneness

To achieve a medium doneness of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, follow these steps:

  1. Season the steak: Generously season the steak with salt and pepper, or your preferred blend of spices.
  2. Preheat the cooking surface: Heat a grill, skillet, or oven to the desired temperature.
  3. Sear the steak: Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side, or until a golden-brown crust forms.
  4. Cook to internal temperature: Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding any bones or fat. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Rest the steak: Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

Benefits of Medium Doneness

Medium doneness offers several advantages:

  • Optimal Flavor: The steak retains its natural flavors while developing a slight caramelization from the searing process.
  • Tenderness and Juiciness: The steak is cooked to a point where the proteins have softened, providing a tender and juicy eating experience.
  • Versatility: Medium doneness pairs well with a variety of sauces, toppings, and side dishes, making it a versatile choice for any occasion.

Understanding the intricacies of steak doneness empowers you to achieve culinary perfection. By cooking your steak to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, you can enjoy a medium-cooked steak that is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. Experiment with different cooking methods and seasonings to discover your preferred steak experience.

The minimum internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F, but for optimal texture, I like to cook the dark meat (legs, wings, and thighs) to 175 degrees F. Make sure the thickest part of the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F when measuring the internal temperature.

“Overcooking” tough cuts like chuck roast or brisket enhances their flavor. Although you will be cooking far above the recommended temperature for food safety, the optimal texture and moisture will be produced at these higher temperatures. There is a lot of dense fat and tight connective tissue in these tough cuts. These tissues start to degrade at about 195 degrees Fahrenheit, but they really soften between 200 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. While monitoring temperature with a thermometer is a good place to start, you can also feel someone to gauge their level of tenderness. The ideal temperature range for a brisket to be tender is between 198 and 204 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking a chuck roast to an internal temperature of 210 degrees F may be necessary if you want it to shred easily.

Intro here. See my Steak Temperature and Doneness Guide for additional details on steak temperatures.

Depending on what you’re cooking, seafood will have different internal temperatures. Whole filets, such as salmon or whitefish, must reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Aim for 155 degrees F when cooking shellfish, such as crab or lobster. Though I prefer to watch shrimp and know it’s cooked when it’s opaque throughout and in a loose “C” shape, shrimp must also be cooked to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.

To obtain the juiciest, most flavorful, and safest meat possible, it is essential to cook it to the proper internal temperature. Meat’s internal temperatures vary according to its type and cooking method.

Your Guide to Meat Temperatures: Steak

We have been discussing meat temperatures on social media all this week. Although we could combine all of the various meat temperature recommendations into a single blog post, that would be extremely long and boring to read.

Thus, in an effort to keep things succinct, sweet, and direct, we will be publishing a series of blog posts about meat temperatures.

First up: Steak!

At Char-Griller HQ, we have some strong beliefs about the ideal way to cook steak. Even though we make an effort to be objective, there are some situations where it is unavoidable. So here we go, your guide to steak temperatures.

Steak Degrees of Doneness | Temperature Guide


How well-done is 145 degrees?

For medium-rare the temperature should read 145°F and allow to rest for at least three minutes. For medium steaks the temperature should read 160°F, and well done is 170°F. After cooking, let steaks rest before serving.

What can be cooked at 145?

Note: There are three important temperatures to remember when cooking meat or eggs at home: Eggs and all ground meats must be cooked to 160°F; poultry and fowl to 165°F; and fresh meat steaks, chops and roasts to 145°F.

Is 145 F medium?

The USDA recommends steaks and roasts be cooked to 145°F (medium) and then rested for at least 3 minutes. To ensure food safety, ground beef should be cooked to a minimum 160°F (well done).

How done is a steak at 145?

One of the most common meat temperatures, Medium steak is cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It is still mostly tender but quickly approaching the almost dry stage. If you only like a little bit of pink in your steak, Medium is the way to go.

Leave a Comment