Over 35% Of People Prefer Their Steak Cooked This Way

When we envision the perfect cut of steak, we don't all picture the same thing. For example, while ribeye may be the most popular cut, there's also much to be said for a beautiful filet mignon. And when it comes to the perfectly cooked steak, that's just as controversial. In fact, when we asked readers how they prefer steak to be cooked, 626 of you cast your votes. If you ask the USDA, there's absolutely a right answer, at least in terms of food safety: They recommend that steak be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. But that's not the last word in terms of preference.

Certified Angus Beef explains exactly what the specifications are for the range of steak-cooking temperatures. Steaks cooked rare have an internal temperature of 125 degrees and a cool, red center. Medium rare means a temperature of 135 degrees and a warm, red center. Medium is achieved at 145 degrees, achieving a warm, pink center, while medium well reads 150 degrees with a slightly pink center. Well-done is 160 degrees with little or no pink in the center.

How do you like your steak cooked?

The steak temperature that garnered the most votes was medium rare, with 223 of the votes — nearly 36%. The next favorite is medium, with 158 votes, or 25%. Medium well came in third with about 19%, or 118 votes. Fourth place is reserved for well-done, with nearly 15% of the respondents, or 93 votes. The least favorite cooking temperature for steak is rare, which received only 34 votes, or about 5%.

Perhaps the most important question, though, is how to determine when your steak is ready to your liking. The best — and also most obvious — answer is to correctly use a meat thermometer. We've all been in situations when we don't have our full arsenal of cooking tools and we have to find another method. Healthline explains the hand test for cooking steak, in which different parts of your hand correspond to different levels of doneness. Be careful, though, because Healthline points out that the hand test isn't foolproof. If you're stuck without a meat thermometer, they suggest cutting into a steak to assess its doneness. That said, if you're confident enough in your preferred temp to have voted for it, chances are you've cooked it enough times that it's second nature by now.