medium rare steak

Creating a restaurant-quality medium rare steak at home is an art that combines precision, technique, and a touch of culinary passion. With the right guidance, you can achieve a steak that rivals the finest steakhouses. Here’s a comprehensive, detailed guide to help you cook the perfect medium rare steak in your kitchen.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

The foundation of a great steak starts with the right cut. For a medium rare steak, ribeye, filet mignon, New York strip, and porterhouse are excellent choices. These cuts are known for their marbling, tenderness, and flavor.


Ribeye steaks are rich in marbling, which makes them juicy and flavorful. The fat content ensures that the steak remains tender and moist during cooking.

medium rare steak

Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is renowned for its tenderness. This cut has a mild flavor but melts in your mouth, making it a favorite for those who prefer a tender, lean steak.

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New York Strip

The New York strip is a perfect balance between tenderness and flavor. It has less marbling than a ribeye but still offers a satisfying taste and texture.

medium rare steak


The porterhouse steak is a combination of filet mignon and New York strip, separated by a T-bone. This cut offers the best of both worlds in one steak.

Preparing the Steak

Bring to Room Temperature

Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Allowing the steak to come to room temperature ensures even cooking.


Generously season both sides of the steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can also add garlic powder, onion powder, or other favorite spices for additional flavor. Let the seasoning penetrate the meat for at least 10 minutes before cooking.

Cooking Methods


Pan-searing is a popular method for cooking a steak to medium rare. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Preheat the Pan: Use a heavy-bottomed skillet, such as cast iron, and heat it over high heat until it’s smoking hot.
  2. Add Oil: Add a high smoke point oil, like canola or vegetable oil, to the pan.
  3. Sear the Steak: Place the steak in the pan and let it sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Flip the steak and sear the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Check the Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. For medium rare, the temperature should be 130-135°F (54-57°C).
  5. Rest the Steak: Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy steak.


Grilling adds a smoky flavor to the steak, enhancing its taste. Here’s how to grill a steak to medium rare:

  1. Preheat the Grill: Heat your grill to high, around 450-500°F (232-260°C).
  2. Oil the Grates: Brush the grill grates with oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Grill the Steak: Place the steak on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Check the Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 130-135°F (54-57°C).
  5. Rest the Steak: Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Sous Vide

Sous vide is a method that cooks the steak evenly and precisely. Here’s a guide to sous vide cooking:

  1. Season the Steak: Season the steak as usual and place it in a vacuum-sealed bag.
  2. Set the Temperature: Set the sous vide cooker to 130°F (54°C) for a medium rare steak.
  3. Cook the Steak: Immerse the bag in the water bath and cook for 1-3 hours.
  4. Sear the Steak: After cooking, remove the steak from the bag and pat it dry. Sear it in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes per side to develop a crust.
  5. Rest the Steak: Let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving.

Finishing Touches


During the last minute of cooking, you can baste the steak with butter, garlic, and herbs (like thyme or rosemary) to add an extra layer of flavor.


Slice the steak against the grain to ensure each bite is tender. Cutting against the grain shortens the muscle fibers, making the steak easier to chew.

Serving Suggestions

Pair your medium rare steak with classic sides such as garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, or a fresh garden salad. A robust red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, complements the richness of the steak.

Tips for Success

  1. Use a Meat Thermometer: An instant-read thermometer is crucial for achieving the perfect medium rare doneness.
  2. Resting is Key: Never skip the resting step, as it ensures the juices redistribute throughout the steak.
  3. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: If you’re cooking multiple steaks, cook them in batches to maintain high heat in the pan.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Overcooked Steak

If your steak is overcooked, try reducing the cooking time. Remember, the steak will continue to cook slightly even after it’s removed from the heat.

Underseasoned Steak

Ensure you season your steak generously. Don’t be afraid to use more salt and pepper than you think is necessary.

Uneven Cooking

For evenly cooked steak, make sure it’s at room temperature before cooking, and use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature.

By following these steps and tips, you can master the art of cooking a restaurant-quality medium rare steak at home. Enjoy the process and savor the delicious results!

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