Is Medium Rare Steak Safe? Debunking Myths And Facts

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Steak enthusiasts often debate the ideal level of doneness for steak, and one of the most discussed options is medium rare. Some people swear by its juicy tenderness, while others express concerns about its safety. So, is medium rare steak safe? Let’s check out the answer right below!

Is Medium Rare Steak Safe To Eat? 

Medium rare steak is generally safe to eat. Medium rare is the best level of doneness for steak since it perfectly balances safety and flavor. However, it should not be served to several subjects, like toddlers and pregnant women, since they are more sensitive and have to follow safer dietary rules.   

What is a medium rare steak? 

A medium rare steak is a cut of beef that is cooked, with or without searing, to a specific level of doneness achieved through cooking beef to a particular internal temperature and appearance

Here are several features of a medium rare steak: 

  • Internal temperature: Medium rare steak is cooked to an internal temperature that falls within the range of 55 to 60°C (130 to 140°F). This temperature results in a center that retains a pink to reddish color.
  • Color and texture: The hallmark of medium rare steak is its appearance. The exterior is usually seared to create a flavorful crust, while the interior maintains a pink or reddish hue. The texture is tender, and the meat remains juicy, delivering a flavorful and succulent eating experience.

Medium rare steak is popular among steak lovers due to its delicate balance between a lightly seared exterior and a warm, pink center. It is known for delivering a combination of tenderness, juiciness, and natural meat flavor that many find highly appealing.

what is a medium rare steak
Medium rare steak

Is medium rare steak safe for toddler?

While medium rare steak is generally safe for adults when cooked correctly, it might not be a safe dish for a toddler because of some reasons, including:

  • Digestive system: Toddler’s digestive systems are still in the developmental stage, making them potentially more susceptible to foodborne illnesses if they consume undercooked meat.
  • Choking hazard: steak can be tough and challenging for toddlers to chew, which increases the risk of choking. 

Thus, if you want to introduce steak into your toddler’s diet, you should choose a higher doneness. A medium or medium-well level of doneness (with an internal temperature of 63-71°C or 145-160°F) is often recommended for young children. 

is medium rare steak safe for toddler

Is medium rare steak safe for pregnancy?

Unfortunately, consuming medium rare steak during pregnancy is generally not recommended since it can make you sick and harm your baby’s health. Here are the reasons: 

  • Bacterial risk: Medium rare steak, typically with a pink or reddish center, signifies that the meat hasn’t been cooked to a high internal temperature. This increases the chances of harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella surviving in the meat, posing a potential risk to both the pregnant and the baby.
  • Toxoplasma risk: Cooking steak to medium rare temperatures may not eliminate the risk of parasites like toxoplasma. Toxoplasma infection during pregnancy can lead to a condition known as toxoplasmosis, which can have adverse effects on the developing baby.
  • Safety Precautions: During pregnancy, it’s crucial to adopt extra precautions regarding food safety. This includes refraining from consuming undercooked or raw meat, following proper food handling and hygiene practices, and ensuring that meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature.

You might also wonder whether pregnant women can eat medium steak or not. Generally, if the internal temperature of a medium steak is below 145°F, it might be unsafe for pregnant women. Conversely, a medium steak with an internal temperature exceeding 145°F is typically safe for pregnancy consumption.

is medium rare steak safe for pregnancy
Pregnant woman

Why Should You Eat Medium Rare Steak? 

OK, if you are not pregnant or use medium rare steak for your toddler or your dog, there is no reason to refuse this flavorful and juicy dish. Here are some reasons why it is a popular choice for numerous steak enthusiasts: 

  • Tenderness and juiciness: Medium rare steak is prized for its tenderness and juiciness. Cooking the meat to this doneness level retains more of its natural moisture, resulting in a delectably juicy and succulent texture.
  • Flavor preservation: Cooking steak to medium rare allows it to preserve its natural flavors. The Maillard reaction, which occurs during searing, enhances the steak’s taste without compromising its inherent flavor profile.
  • Texture balance: Medium rare steak strikes a delightful balance in terms of texture. The exterior is seared to a slight crispness, while the interior remains soft and tender, offering a pleasing textural contrast.
  • Myoglobin contribution: The pink or reddish center of medium rare steak owes its color to myoglobin, a protein found in muscle tissue. Myoglobin enhances the steak’s visual appeal and contributes to its rich taste.
  • More vitamin A & B6: From a health perspective, opting for less-cooked steak may have some advantages. Rare to medium-cooked steak contains ample amounts of vitamins A and B6, making it a nutritious choice. Additionally, perfectly cooked steak is an excellent source of essential minerals like iron, which play a vital role in maintaining the health of your muscles and skin. 
why should you eat medium rare steak
Reasons to eat medium rare steak

Tips On Cooking A Perfect Medium Rare Steak

The internal cooking temperature is the most important note while cooking medium rare steak. However, there are also other tips you should know to have the safest but delicious medium rare steak: 

  • Choose quality steak: begin with a high-quality steak, such as ribeye, filet mignon, or New York strip, to ensure excellent flavor and tenderness. 
  • Allow steak to reach room temperature: Take the steak out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. This helps ensure even cooking.
  • Use a meat thermometer: To ensure precision, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding contact with the bone. Aim for an internal temperature of approximately 55-60°C (130-140°F) for medium rare.
  • Let the steak rest for about 5-10 minutes: This resting period allows the meat’s juices to become less thick, increasing the likelihood that they will stay within your steak when you take that first perfectly cooked, medium-rare bite. 
tips on cooking a perfect medium rare steak
Perfect medium rare steak


Is medium-rare steak safer than well-done?

Medium-rare steak is not safer than well-done steak regarding food safety. Both medium-rare and well-done steaks can be safe to eat if they are prepared and cooked correctly.

Is medium-rare steak actually raw?

Medium-rare steak is not considered raw. When you cook a steak to medium-rare, it reaches a specific internal temperature that ensures it is safe to eat while retaining a pink or reddish center. This cooking process involves heating the steak to an internal temperature typically between 55 to 60°C (130 to 140°F).

Why is medium-rare steak healthy?

Grass-fed beef is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The less cooked your steak is, the greater the potential benefits of these healthy fats. Fatty acids play a role in lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Is medium rare steak safe for dogs?

Feeding a dog medium rare steak can be risky and is not recommended.


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