“A fine steak is cooked to no more than a medium-rare doneness,” according to an old saying passed down from generations of meat-eaters. Medium-rare steaks are considered by many to be the ideal steak.
For numerous cuts of steak, grilling is perhaps the most common cooking method. However, it’s no secret that durations for grilling steaks tend to vary substantially depending on the cut and its thickness, as well as the degree of doneness desired.
However, even though there may be no definitive answer as to how long to properly grill a steak, the instructions in this article should guide you to achieve the best possible results. Learn how to cook your steaks to medium-rare perfection by following all the helpful tips and guidelines we’ve provided in this article.
Steak Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Medium Rare Steak on Grill
Pay attention to the following helpful tips and cooking guidelines in order to get the best results when cooking medium rare steaks on the grill:
Recognizing a medium-rare steak – A medium-rare steak cut should typically attain a maximum temperature of 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit in terms of heat. A medium-rare steak should also be visually pink to red in the middle and warm to the touch. The steak cut will not be red, raw, or undercooked meat, contrary to popular opinion. Instead, it typically has a pale pink center and is generally safe to eat.
Flip your steaks for uniform cooking – It’s critical to not only turn your steaks over on the grill but also rotate and move them around the grill during the cooking process. This movement will ensure even cooking because some portions of the grill tend to heat up faster than others.
Another tip for uniform cooking is to let your steaks sit for a while before grilling them. Steak cooked straight from the fridge most often cooks unevenly. As such, it’s advised that you allow 30 minutes for your steaks to come to room temperature before grilling.
Measuring doneness – Instant-read thermometers are by far the most efficient and precise way to determine the internal temperature of a steak. To achieve an accurate reading, push the thermometer into the steak’s thickest section. To avoid overcooking, we recommend checking the temperature immediately after searing and then checking again a few minutes later.
Ideal cooking duration – Steaks should be medium-rare and juicy after 3 to 5 minutes on each side on a hot grill or pan. The issue with this method is that not all grill types, pans, or ovens are created equal, therefore steak cooking durations can vary greatly.
Timing also tends to vary depending on the kind of steak being grilled, as well as how thick the cut is. We have provided some guidelines in the table below that should help you get perfectly grilled medium-rare steaks, regardless of the steak cut.
Keep in mind that while it’s good to have an idea of the right timing to follow, a meat thermometer will probably serve you better because it’s very accurate in assessing doneness and preventing overcooking.
Additional note on timing – Steaks will typically continue to cook even after being taken off the grill, so it’s advisable to remove them after it has reached about five degrees below the desired temperature. Due to residual heat, the steak’s internal temperature will rise up to the required temperature for medium-rare doneness as it rests.
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Cooking Time for Medium Rare Steak on Grill
Below are useful guidelines to keep in mind when cooking a medium-rare steak on the grill:
|Steak type||Cooking time for medium-rare results|
|Flank steak||4 to 6 minutes per side|
|Skirt steak||3 to 5 minutes per side|
|Ribeye steak||4 to 6 minutes per side|
|Filet mignon steak||5 to 6 minutes per side|
|Sirloin steak||4 to 5 minutes per side|
|Tri-tip steak||5 minutes per side over direct heat, then 7 to 10 minutes per side over indirect heat|
|Strip steak||6 minutes per side|
- Allow 20 to 30 minutes for the steaks to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat your grill, whether it’s charcoal or gas (both work well with steak!). Before you start grilling, ensure that the heat is high.
- Use some oil to brush the two surfaces of the steaks, then season them properly using your preferred seasoning or rub. You could also massage your steak rub into the steak when you’re ready to start cooking.
- Place the steaks on top of the grill near the heat source. Allow for a 3 to 5-minute sear on one side, till a brown, crunchy crust forms. With tongs, turn the steaks over and repeat the searing process on the other side.
- The length of time you should grill your steak generally depends on the cut you choose as well as its thickness. As soon as a meat thermometer inserted into the grill’s thickest portion reaches 135 degrees for medium-rare, remove the steak from the grill. If after searing both sides your steak is still rare, transfer it to a low-heat region of the grill, place the lid down, then wait a few minutes for the heat to finish cooking the steak’s interior
- Allow the steaks to rest for 5 to 10 minutes on a cutting board, allowing the liquids to working their way back into the flesh for the perfect steak.
- Slice and serve your steaks as you please, with whatever sides of your choosing.
Do you want to attempt a recipe for grilling the ideal steak for dinner? You can use rib eye, boneless strip, porterhouse steaks, or whichever cut you choose in the above-described recipe. You may also marinate the steaks overnight and grill them the next day.
This meal feeds four people, but you can grill as many as you want because leftovers store nicely (if you manage to have any). If you would like some more recipe ideas to get the perfect results when cooking a medium-rare steak on the grill, we recommend that you check out this video recipe.