It is standard advice to bring steaks to room temp before grilling. (Actually meat generally, and I absolutely agree w.r.t. roasts etc, but I am talking aout steaks on the grill here). I like a pretty hard sear on the outside and almost rare inside ... well-rare as opposed to medium-rare. I find it easier to do this (without ending up with well-medium) if I start with the steak at a cooler temperature. Is this wrong?

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    Not if it's working for you. Aug 8, 2019 at 18:59
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    It's a clever idea, but your doneness naming system is not well-known. Medium-rare/medium rare does not describe two properties of the meat (outside and inside). It merely means that the internal temperature of the meat is between rare and medium (130–140 °F). The idea of describing the exterior and interior with one term is interesting, but you should probably use language that doesn't overlap so much with the common doneness terminology.
    – Juhasz
    Aug 8, 2019 at 22:26
  • America's Test Kitchen had similar success to keep the inside nice and rare. They were even cooking frozen steak : cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/…
    – Joe
    Aug 9, 2019 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Giving your steak a hard sear in a ripping hot cast iron pan (which usually is heavy enough to hold a lot of heat) probably takes a minute or two on each side. I personally find that throwing steak directly from the fridge into the pan, seasoning before I put it in the pan, will give me a sear no problem, but the interior won't have time to come up to the temperature I want - about 55-57 °C (130 to 135 degrees F)for medium rare, 49-51 °C (120-125 F) for rare. That's why I rest it for about 20-30 min before searing, during which I do my other prep work. If your method gives you the internal temperature you want, no problem.

I think you will get a steak that is cold in the middle though if it's too big, i.e., if it is heavier and thus needs more time to warm up internally, even in a very hot pan.

  • Sorry I should have explained this is using a gas grill which does not get to quite that heat. I normayuly get my steaks 1.5 inches thick.
    – RFlack
    Aug 8, 2019 at 23:17
  • Temperature control on a grill is generally trickier, lttle easier with gas than charcoal. One problem here is that the only direct heat comes from the grate on the grill, the rest is hot air basically. Still, if you can make the steak as you like it and it's not cold on the inside, go for it.
    – John Doe
    Aug 9, 2019 at 19:52

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