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Food & Drink Stages of Steak

How do you have your steak? We all like our steak cooked differently, whether that’s rare and juicy or the tougher texture of well done. We’ve outlined how to cook the perfect steak and achieve the different stages of steak doneness – so you can create your own restaurant quality steak supper at home! Click on the steak levels of cooking infographic below to download our easy guide.

Steak cooking levels

Steak Doneness

Typically, there are six stages of steak doneness, which are all based on temperature, texture, colour and flavour. Achieving each of these is super easy – you just need to get the timing right when cooking steak at home!

Stages of steak doneness:

  • Blue (bleu)
  • Rare
  • Medium Rare
  • Medium
  • Medium Well
  • Well Done

Note: the following cooking times are given for 6-8oz steak with approx. 1-inch thickness.

How To Cook Blue Steak

Otherwise known as “bleu”, blue steak is a mark of French tradition. Achieving blue steak is simply a case of cooking cold meat under a high temperature for a very short period of time – just long enough to lightly sear the outside.

If you’re used to steak doneness further up the scale, blue steak may be difficult to achieve if you’re giving it a go for the first time. But surely steak needs longer under the heat before you can eat it? In actual fact, all a blue steak needs is a minute on each side, and a couple of seconds on each edge. Don’t worry about the inside looking raw – this is what blue steak is supposed to look like.

Top Tip: serve your blue steak with baked French fries for a truly indulgent supper. The crunchiness of the fries will contrast beautifully with the softness of blue steak.

How To Cook Rare Steak

Rare steak takes a fraction longer to cook than blue steak, but you can certainly tell the difference in tenderness!

To achieve the perfect rare steak, cook each side for approximately two minutes. Like with the blue steak, cook each edge for a couple of seconds. This makes sure the inside is around 75% red, with a bit of blood still oozing.

Looking for the perfect rare steak accompaniment? When chips feel like too much, opt for the classic onion ring. The onion’s flavour compliments the savoury essence of rare steak, and the batter will add a satisfying crunch to the plate.

How To Cook Medium Rare Steak

Cooking medium rare steak takes around seven minutes – 3.5 minutes on each side. Any longer and it will be medium!

The objective with medium rare steak is to achieve an inside that looks half pink, half brown in colour. If you’re going to dabble in cooking each different stage of steak doneness, you’ll be able to compare the insides of each and see how the colours change depending on steak cooking times.

Another delicious steak accompaniment is a serving of fresh, roasted vegetables. Aside from adding bursts of colour to the plate, you’ll unleash a whole variety of flavours when you pair steak with tomatoes, peas, peppers, or even runner beans!

How To Cook Medium Steak

Tougher than the previous stages of steak, medium steak is still a palatable favourite. To achieve this stage of steak doneness, you’ll need to cook each side for four minutes.

But what to look for on the inside? A medium steak usually has a small amount of juice flowing, and will have a strip of pink through the middle, normally no more than 25%.

How To Cook Medium Well Steak

As you can probably guess, steak cooking times are getting longer now. To achieve the perfect medium well steak, you’ll need to cook it for a grand total of ten minutes – five on each side.

The inside of medium- well steak should have a faint hint of pink colouring, but shouldn’t have any juices oozing from it. The meat has a much tougher texture and outer, but is still ever so slightly tender in the middle.

Going the whole hog? Serve your medium well steak with some creamy mash – perhaps with some wholegrain mustard mixed through it. This will break up the texture on your plate while the mustard’s taste compliments the flavours of your medium well steak.

How To Cook Well Done Steak

A well done steak takes approximately 12 minutes to cook. Six minutes on each side is all it will need – be careful not to leave it on the heat for any longer, as you’ll struggle to take a bite!

Well done steak is a lot drier compared to the rarer stages of doneness. This is a much-loved stage of doneness for some people, whereas others prefer a bit more moisture to their meat. Depending on your preferences, you could also apply a dollop of mayonnaise to well done steak while the meat is hot, just to soften it slightly.


What are you waiting for? Treat yourself or a loved one to a perfect home-cooked steak… at just the right level of doneness they desire! Grab everything you need for a restaurant quality steak supper from your nearest convenience store.