My partner and I always go to steak restaurants, tonight we went to a pub for a steak, I ordered a medium fillet mignon which is what I always order. The steak came out and it was dark brown the whole way through, no pink inside at all, so it was more well done than medium cooked. The colour was not medium and the taste wasn't medium.

I sent it back and the Chef claimed that due to the steak being aged its darker in colour when its cooked, so you wont get the pink medium look.

His 2nd cooking attempt resulted in my steak looking like medium normally looks like, it was pink in the middle and juicy not dry like the first steak I was given.

Is the chef correct in his statement about the aged steak or is this just an excuse ????

  • 1
    +1 for not accepting the steak that was not as you requested.
    – JoeFish
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 16:52
  • 4
    He was attempting to cover up his mistake and not look like a rookie. Aged meat is just as red in the middle as un-aged meat and while aged meat does get darker on the outside, what he's suggesting happened is that the individual steak was aged and they don't age meat pre-cut. Perhaps he's saying your steak was aged because he had it in the fridge for the past week and it lost all it's juices which does happen but if that's the case I wouldn't be wanting to eat that meat anyways as holding meat to that point usually causes nasty trips to the bathroom the next day. Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


That sounds ridiculous. I've eaten more than my share of steak and never heard that one. I also live in a city with lots of good beef and steak. The following should hold true whether it's aged or not.


  • 120 to 125 degrees F
  • center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion, and warm throughout
  • soft to touch

Medium Rare

  • 130 to 135 degrees F
  • center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion, and slightly hot
  • yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up


  • 140 to 145 degrees F
  • center is light pink, outer portion is brown, and hot throughout
  • yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up

Well Done

  • 160 degrees F and above
  • steak is uniformly brown or grey throughout
  • firm or hard to touch

Taken from here.

I'd probably accept a steak that was medium rather than medium rare, but if it was brown all the way through, then he overcooked it. You could send him to our multiple related questions...

Edit: I should clarify, an aged steak will be darker, but not so much that your meat doesn't have "ANY" red in it when cooked less than well done.

  • 3
    Agreed. Aged beef generally develops a dark outer 'crust', but the inside is still wet and red. The chef just forgot about it! Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 16:37

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