Medium vs. Medium Rare, which is better for you? (ANSWERED)

Medium vs. Medium Rare, which is better for you? (ANSWERED)

People have different preferences when it comes to the level of doneness. Medium and medium rare are common when referring to the level of doneness of a steak. So which of the two is better, medium or medium rare?

The decision on which one is better between two entirely depends on the person. Some people love their steaks bloody, while others love their meat well-cooked with no juices. So, medium and medium rare can be people’s favorite types of steaks. However, to find out which is better for you, it is essential to test both simultaneously.

When cooking your steak, having a quality thermometer comes in handy to ensure that you do not overcook or undercook your steak. Stay with me to the end for exciting facts on your steak’s best level of doneness.

Level of Meat Doneness

You must have heard of the doneness level if you love grilled meat or steaks. What does the level of meat doneness mean? This is the period and intensity to which the meat has been cooked. Usually, there are six levels of meat doneness: Blue rare, rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and lastly, well done.

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If a piece of meat cooks for a more extended period, it loses more moisture and tends to be drier. So, for instance, rare is a term used to describe a type of meat that has not been thoroughly cooked, and well done describes a piece that has been thoroughly cooked and with less moisture. It also tells that the meat has been cooked for a longer time.

Here is the description of every type of cooked steak or meat.

  • Blue rare – At this level, the meat is barely seared. It is prepared by flash frying for about 20 seconds on each side to cover the blood and juices of the meat. The piece is essentially very raw.
  • Rare meat is cool and red in the middle, while the outside is slightly brown. It cooks for only one minute on each side.
  • Medium rare – this steak is warm in the middle with a pinkish color at the center. It has a soft texture with many juices, and the outside is quite firm. Each side cooks for only two minutes.
  • Medium – a medium steak is brown on the inside while the outside looks dark brown. The middle of this piece has a clear pink band that has juices. Medium is cooked for three minutes on each side.
  • Medium well – the steak is well cooked, but it still has a slightly pink band in the middle. It is so much cooked, and thus its color is brownish gray. If you want to enjoy this type of steak, ensure that you serve it with your favorite sauce. Each medium well side is cooked for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Well done – lastly, we have the well-done steak. The inside and outside of well-done have no blood or any juices and are pink in color. It has been thoroughly cooked and thus does not have any running juices. To cook well-done meat, cook each side of the meat for 8 to 12 minutes each side.

What is the Difference Between Medium Rare and Rare?

Differentiating medium from medium rare is straightforward because the medium is cooked but not yet fully cooked, and the latter is cooked beyond medium. However, there are other differences, especially in taste, texture, and temperature. Let’s see other differences between medium and medium rare steaks.


For people who love a balanced flavor in their steaks, medium rare is the best option. However, both steaks have the same taste, and the medium tends to bring out a well-balanced beefy flavor. But, if you are for spicy meat pieces, then medium rare is the best option. The medium contains fewer juices than medium rare, and thus it will give you a dry taste together with the spices and marinade flavors.


The two look similar but very different in terms of texture. If you are new to this, then be sure that you will get confused when you see them. The medium tends to have a tough texture, meaning it is dryer than medium rare, which is very soft. However, this cannot be readily determined unless one touches the meat surface and feels the softness of both pieces.

In addition, medium rare is softer and contains a lot of juices. Therefore, if you prefer having a tender and juicier steak, medium rare is your thing. On the other hand, medium always has a lot of nutritional benefits than medium rare.


Medium steak is usually cooked past medium rare, which explains that medium rare tends to have a higher internal temperature than medium rare. Therefore, the medium is the best option if you like your steak cooked hotter. Medium internal temperature is between 135 degrees F to 155 degrees F.

Medium rare, however, is always cooked below medium levels. Thus it is cooked faster within a short period, and the internal temperature is always less. Medium rare temperature is always between 130 degrees F to 135 degrees F

Between Medium and Medium rare, Which is Safe to Eat?

Beef, lamb, and pork are safe in these two stages (medium and medium rare). Beef and lamb are always safe even if you eat them raw, but to be sure you are safe, a little processing won’t harm. A quick flash frying or curing is better.

Pork should be slightly cooked for it to be safe. It is not advised to serve rare pork because it is associated with dangerous bacteria. Therefore, to say that pork is safe, at least cook it to medium rare and ensure that the internal temperature ranges between 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F.

Poultry, on the other hand, should be well done. Before serving them:

  1. Ensure that the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F.
  2. If you want to retain their juices, do not go for the medium and medium rare options.
  3. Use the proper techniques to keep your poultry moist, but undercooking has never been among the methods.

Another exception that should never be cooked medium or medium rare is fish. These should either be served raw or well done. If you are wondering which fish can be served raw, here is one tuna.

How to Test the Level of Steak Doneness

The simplest way to determine the level of steak doneness is by measuring their internal temperatures. We recommend the use of a digital meat thermometer for this purpose. Just insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and let it rest for a few minutes. The higher the temperature, the more cooked the meat. Check out the Foodsguy for more details.

Is it Healthy to Eat Rare, Medium, or Medium Rare Steak?

Regarding which meat is healthier between medium and medium rare, there is not much difference because they all have almost the same amounts of nutrients. However, the only difference is that a more cooked piece of meat has more heterocyclic amines, potentially carcinogens. The latter is never good for the body. Therefore, it is always advisable to keep your red meat intake low.

Final Thoughts

Most of the time, deciding which meat is best for you becomes hard to determine because of the level of doneness confusion. Therefore, based on personal tastes and preferences, every person has a different type they call better than the other. 

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