How To Cook A Rare Steak: Tips For The True Carnivores

Summer is here, nothing beats a juicy steak for your backyard barbecue. For true carnivores who want their steak almost raw but still cooked to perfection, rare is the way to go. But how to cook a rare steak can be a delicate process and can easily result in an overcooked or burnt exterior with a cold interior. Fear not, as we have gathered some tips and tricks from experts in the field to help you cook the perfect rare steak every time. So, fire up the grill and get ready to impress your guests with your rare steak cooking skills.

Understanding What Makes A Steak Rare.

Cooking a rare steak can be a challenge for many people. One needs to know the right cut of meat, cooking techniques, and how to ensure that the steak is cooked to perfection. According to Chew the Fat, an unorthodox cooking method can help one achieve the best steak.

The recipe, as shared by Andrew Janjigian in Cook’s Illustrated’s recent issue, advises cooking a steak in a non-stick pan on high heat for 2 minutes before flipping it every two minutes until it’s cooked to perfection.

Elizabeth Brownfield, a writer, and editor, agrees that getting the internal temperature of the meat right is the key to cooking the perfect rare steak. She recommends using an instant-read thermometer to test the internal temperature of the meat.

For those who prefer their steak rare, Derrick Riches, a grilling and barbecue expert, explains that it should be warm through the center, lightly charred on the outside, browned around the sides, and bright red in the middle. He advises cooking a 1-inch steak on a hot grill for 5 minutes and then flipping it for another 3 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 to 130 F.

To achieve the perfect rare steak, it’s essential to choose the right cut of meat based on marbling and flavor, prepare it well before cooking, and let it rest for some time before serving. By following the right techniques and using an instant-read thermometer, even the true carnivores can enjoy a perfectly cooked rare steak.

How To Cook A Rare Steak: Tips For The True Carnivores

Cooking a rare steak may seem simple, but it requires careful attention to detail to achieve the perfect result. Here are some tips to help you cook a rare steak that will impress even the most ardent carnivore:

How To Cook A Rare Steak

  • The first step in cooking a rare steak is choosing the right meat cut. Look for a high-quality piece of beef with plenty of marbling. Ribeye, filet mignon, and New York strip are all excellent choices for a rare steak.
  • Before you start cooking, make sure your steak is at room temperature. This will help it cook evenly and ensure that it stays tender.
  • When you’re ready to cook, use a high-heat cooking method, such as grilling or pan-searing, to give your steak a delicious crust. “I always ensure my pan is hot before adding the steak,” says Chef David Walzog. “And I let it cook on one side until I get a really good crust before flipping it.”
  • Use a meat thermometer to check if your steak is cooked to perfection. For a rare steak, the internal temperature should be around 130°F.
  • After you’ve finished cooking your steak, let it rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure that your steak is as juicy and flavorful as possible.
  • Serve your rare steak with a simple sauce or seasoning, such as salt and pepper or garlic butter, to let the flavor of the meat shine through.
  • When cooking a rare steak, it’s important to avoid common mistakes such as overseasoning or cooking it for too long. “Don’t be afraid to use salt and pepper, but you don’t want to drown the steak in a lot of other flavors,” says Chef Walzog.
  • Finally, remember that cooking a rare steak is an art, not a science. With practice and patience, you can master this delicious dish and impress your dinner guests with your culinary skills.

Picking The Right Cut Of Meat For A Rare Steak

When cooking a rare steak, picking the right cut of meat beforehand is essential, or your cooking efforts could go to waste. Here are some tips help you choose the perfect cut:

  • Look for a cut with good marbling:Marbling,” or the streaks of fat throughout the meat, helps to keep it moist and tender while cooking. Look for cuts like ribeye or New York strip that are known for their marbling.- Consider the thickness: A thicker cut of meat (at least 1 inch) is best for a rare steak, as it allows for a nice sear on the outside while keeping the center rare. Thinner cuts tend to cook through too quickly.- Choose the right grade: If possible, choose a cut with a higher grade, such as USDA Prime or Choice. These cuts have more marbling and tend to be more tender and flavorful.- Think about the cooking method: Consider what cooking method you’ll be using and choose a cut that works well with it. For example, a tenderloin steak is best cooked quickly over high heat, while a chuck steak is more suited for slow cooking methods like braising.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can select the perfect cut of meat for a perfectly cooked rare steak.

Preparing Your Steak Before Cooking

Before diving into the cooking techniques for a perfectly rare steak, it’s important to properly prepare your steak before cooking. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your steak is ready to be cooked to perfection:

  • Take your steak out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow for even cooking.- Use a paper towel to pat the steak dry before seasoning. Moisture on the steak can cause uneven cooking and prevent a good sear.- Season your steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides. For added flavor, you can also use a dry rub or marinade.- Consider dry aging your steak for a deeper, more complex flavor. This process can take several days and involves letting the steak sit uncovered in the fridge, which allows the meat to break down and intensify in flavor.- If you’re using a grill or a cast iron skillet, brush the steak with a high smoke point oil like canola or grapeseed before cooking to prevent sticking.- For thicker cuts of steak, consider using the reverse sear method. This involves cooking the steak in a low-temperature oven before searing it on high heat for a rare perfect finish.

As Chef David Walzog recommends, “Buy the best meat but get it thicker.” Remember to select the right cut of steak, and consider using certified high-quality beef like Certified Angus Beef or Niman Ranch for the best flavor and texture. By taking these steps to properly prepare your steak before cooking, you’ll be on your way to a perfectly rare steak every time.

Cooking Techniques For A Perfectly Rare Steak

Forores, a perfectly cooked rare steak is a thing of beauty. But achieving the perfect balance of sear on the outside and juicy, tender meat on the inside can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you master the art of cooking a rare steak:

  • Choose a thick cut of meat: A thicker steak is easier to cook to perfection than a thinner cut. Look for cuts like Porterhouse or T-bone for the best results.
  • Use high heat: To get a good sear on the outside of the steak, use a cast iron skillet and heat it until it’s smoking hot, then sear your steak on each side for a few minutes before finishing it in the oven to your desired degree of doneness.
  • Season generously: The outside of the steak is the only part that gets seasoned, so be sure to use plenty of salt and pepper to create a flavorful crust on the outside.
  • Let it rest: After cooking, let your steak rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and the meat to become more tender. Don’t cut into the steak immediately – it’s worth waiting!

As the Travel Food Guy says, “When it comes to cooking red meat, thicker is better… There’s a huge margin of error in cooking thin steaks, and if your meat guy has Prime, you’re probably going to pay $30 a pound for it, so splurge.” By choosing a thicker cut of meat and following these simple tips, you can cook a perfectly rare steak every time.

How To Check If Your Steak Is Cooked To Perfection?

To check if your steak is cooked to perfection, follow these expert tips:

  • Use a meat thermometer: Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak and check the temperature. For rare steak, the internal temperature should be 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium-rare, it should be 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium, it should be 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Check the color: Another way to check the doneness of your steak is by checking the color. For rare, the steak should be dark red with some red juice oozing out. For medium-rare, it should have a pinkish-red color with some pink juice. For medium, it should be pink with little to no juice.
  • Use the finger test: If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use the finger test. Press the center of the steak with your finger. If it feels soft and spongy, it’s rare. If it feels slightly firm with a little give, it’s medium-rare. If it feels firm, it’s medium.

As Chef David Walzog advises, “The biggest mistake people make is overcooking their steak.”
Remember, the perfect steak is seared outside and rare in the center. So, avoid overcooking it, as it will ruin the flavor and texture of the meat.

Resting your steak is vital in ensuring that the juices redistribute throughout the meat, rather than running out when you cut into it,” suggests Tony Naylor, food writer.

Once you have cooked your steak to perfection, make sure to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving it. This allows the juices to settle, making your steak juicier and more flavorful. Serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy your perfectly cooked rare steak.

Letting The Steak Rest And Serving It Right

After grilling a steak to the perfect level of doneness, it’s tempting to dig in immediately. But before you cut into that juicy piece of meat, it’s important to let it rest. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. Here are some tips for letting the steak rest and serving it right:

  • Let your steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into it. This time may vary depending on the thickness of the steak.
  • Avoid cutting into the steak too soon, as this will cause the juices to spill out, resulting in a dry steak.
  • “Resting is as important as cooking the steak. You want the juices to redistribute and recirculate back into the meat for a juicy, tender steak,” says grilling expert Derrick Riches.
  • Use a sharp, properly-sized knife to slice the steak against the grain. This results in a more tender steak.
  • “When serving steak, always slice it across the grain and at a slight angle. The meat will be more tender and look better on the plate,” advises Elizabeth Brownfield, a food editor, and writer.

Once you’ve sliced into your perfectly-rested steak, serve it with some of your favorite sides, like a baked potato or grilled veggies. Don’t forget to savor each bite and enjoy the flavors of your hard work.

Serving And Enjoying Your Rare Steak

Serving and enjoying a rare steak is an art that requires precision and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you master the perfect rare steak experience:

  • Let your steak rest. After cooking, let your steak rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to distribute evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak.- Cut against the grain. When slicing your steak, be sure to cut against the grain. This makes for a more tender bite and helps to prevent the meat from being chewy.- Use a quality steak knife. A sharp, high-quality steak knife will make all the difference in your eating experience. A dull knife can make cutting and chewing your steak a challenge.- Don’t overlook the importance of sides. A simple side of roasted vegetables or baked potato can complement the rich flavor of a rare steak.- Try a variety of dipping sauces. While some may argue that a perfectly cooked rare steak needs no sauce, trying different dips and sauces can add an extra layer of flavor. Consider trying a classic garlic butter sauce or a tangy chimichurri.- “The best steak is one that’s grilled over an open flame,” says Chef Kevin B. Thomson of the JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok. “Once you’ve grilled your steak to perfection, serve it with your favorite red wine or a cold beer for the ultimate carnivorous experience.”

Remember, cooking a rare steak can be intimidating, but with the right techniques and a little practice, you can enjoy a perfectly cooked steak that is full of flavor and tender to the bite.

Common Mistakes To Avoid:

When it comes to cooking a rare steak, a few common mistakes could ruin the experience for you. Here are some mistakes that you should avoid:

  • Not letting the steak reach room temperature: Before cooking, it’s important to let the steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. “This ensures that the entire steak is the same temperature throughout, so it will cook evenly, avoiding a burnt exterior while the interior is still cold,” says grill expert Derrick Riches.
  • Not using an instant-read thermometer: Checking the temperature of your steak is crucial to avoid overcooking. “Since the best way to determine when a steak is done is by checking the internal temperature of the meat, using an instant-read thermometer is key,” advises food writer Elizabeth Brownfield.
  • Overcrowding the pan or grill: “Don’t overcrowd the grill, else the steak will steam and not sear properly,” warns chef David Walzog.
  • Moving the steak around while cooking: “Avoid the urge to move the steak around. You want a good crust, and that means not moving the steak until it’s ready to flip,” says grill master Steven Raichlen.
  • Cutting into the steak too soon: “Allow the steak to rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. This will keep the juices inside and avoid a dry steak,” advises cook and author Ree Drummond.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be able to cook the perfect rare steak and experience its juicy and tender goodness.


Q: What is a rare steak, and why would someone want to cook it that way?
A: A rare steak refers to a lightly cooked steak with the middle still pink or red in color. People who prefer rare steak have a taste for almost raw meat but want it cooked as little as possible.

Q: How do you determine the doneness of a steak?
A: The best and most accurate way to determine the doneness of a steak is by using an instant-read thermometer. To test for the temperature, stick the thermometer probe away from fat, bone, or gristle in the thickest part.

Q: What is the recommended temperature for a rare steak?
A: The recommended temperature range for a rare steak is between 120 to 130°F (49 to 55°C).

Q: How do you cook a rare steak?
A: For a 1-inch steak, place the steak on a hot grill for 5 minutes. Turn and continue grilling for another 3 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 120 to 130°F.

Q: Is it necessary to let the steak come to room temperature before cooking?
A: Yes, it is essential for the steak to come to room temperature before cooking. This ensures that the entire steak is at the same temperature throughout so that it will cook evenly.

Q: How much should the steak be allowed to cook after it is removed from the grill?
A: It is important to keep in mind that meat will continue cooking with residual heat (carry-over cooking) even after it is removed from the grill by about 5 degrees. So, if you are going for a final internal temperature of 160°F, remove the steak from the heat at about 155°F.

Q: Are thicker steaks better for cooking rare steaks?
A: Thicker steaks are better for cooking a rare steak as they are easier to sear outside and keep the center still rare.

Q: What is the ideal thickness of a steak for rare cooking?
A: There is no ideal thickness for a steak, but thicker steaks are better for cooking a rare steak as they are easier to sear outside and keep the center still rare.

Q: What is the best way to cook a perfect rare steak every time?
A: The best way to cook a perfectly rare steak every time is to buy the best meat and get it thicker, let it come to room temperature, use an instant-read thermometer to determine the doneness, and allow for carry-over cooking after removal from the grill.


In conclusion, cooking a rare steak requires a certain level of knowledge and skill to achieve the perfect result. Grilling steak on charcoal is one of the best options for creating a rich and bold flavor in the meat, combining high heat and smoke and the signature charring associated with charcoal grilling. Dry-brining the steak with salt prior to cooking is highly recommended to ensure a flavorful and juicy steak. Creating two cooking zones in your cooking grill, one for searing the meat and the other for cooking it through will ensure that the meat is evenly cooked throughout the process, locking in the flavor and ensuring a great piece of meat when the grilling process is complete.

As Felicity Cloake suggests, patting the steak’s surface dry before cooking can help in the initial browning process. Additionally, seasoning the meat well with salt will help build up a delicious salty crust, according to the Hawksmoor Boys. However, French chemist Hervé recommends not salting the meat to prevent the juices from escaping the meat when muscular fibers are cut and open. Ultimately, how you season your steak depends on your taste preference.

Finally, the perfect steak requires resting before serving. Resting the steak allows the juices to settle, making the steak more flavorful and tender. As Meat | The Guardian suggests, warm meat and frequent flips are the two secrets to successful steak cookery. Allowing the steak to come to room temperature before cooking will help it cook evenly, and flipping it frequently will prevent it from overcooking on one side.

Overall, cooking a rare steak is all about attention to detail and taking the time to prepare and cook the meat properly. By following the tips and tricks shared above, you can enjoy a perfectly cooked rare steak that will satisfy all true carnivores.

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