Doneness refers to the extent a piece of meat is cooked, based on internal temperature, level of natural juices, and the color of the meat after being cooked. It is strongly recommended for most meats to be cooked well done, the most thorough level of cooking.
Unlike other cuts of meat, various levels of doneness are acceptable for a steak. While it is recommended to cook most meats well done for safety reasons, the extent that a steak is cooked is based largely upon personal preference.
- Well done means the steak is thoroughly cooked, with no pink.
- Medium-well steaks are cooked rather thoroughly, though a small trace of pink is still present in the steak.
- Medium steaks are cooked in the middle of the scale, with a moderate amount of pink.
- Medium-rare steaks are prepared with a significant amount of pink in the steak, though not to the extent of a rare steak.
- To order a steak or other meat rare means for it to be only lightly cooked.
- Blue rare steaks are temporarily seared on the outside, but are completely raw on the inside.