We all want our meat to be well done, right? Well, not really. Different people have different say on how done their choice of meat is. Doneness is somewhat a measure of how your cut of meat is thoroughly cooked. Most of the time, when we speak about doneness, the first thing that comes out to mind is either a roast or a steak for beef. Although it is commonly used for steaks and roasts for beef, doneness can also be applied to lamb, pork, poultry, veal, and even seafood. But for now, we will talk about steaks' common gradiations.
Beef's color before cooking should be red. As it is cooked, it turns from red to pink to gray to brown to black. During the cooking process, the amount of myoglobin, which is a red liquid but is not blood, and other juices decreases. Due to the changes in the oxidation of iron and heme group in the myoglobin protein, the color of meat also changes.
I got a table for steak doneness from USDA, please see below.
|Term||Description||Temperature range||USDA recommended|
|Rare||red center; soft||125–130 °F|
|Medium rare||warm red center; firmer||130–140 °F|
|Medium||pink and firm||140–150 °F||145 °F and rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Medium well||small amount of pink in the center||150–155 °F|
|Well done||gray-brown throughout; firm||160 °F+||160 °F for ground beef|
|Overcooked||blacken throughout; hard||>160 °F|
Doneness of a meat is an individual's choice. To achieve your desired doneness, you may refer to the temperature range above.