How To Know If Steak Is Undercooked?

Feel the steak with a fork or tongs; if it is still squishy and not springy, it is likely undercooked.

How To Know If Steak Is Undercooked?

Cooking the perfect steak is an art and one that can be easily ruined if not done correctly. Knowing when a steak is undercooked can save you from eating a meal that underwhelms. Here are some guidelines to help ensure your steak will be cooked to perfection.

When using a thermometer, the internal temperature of the steak should be 145 F (63 C) or higher when cooking beef steaks, then they should be rested for 5 minutes before serving. A rare steak, which has an internal temperature of 120-125 F (49-51 C), should feel soft and cool to the touch and give slightly when pressing with your finger. A medium rare steak should have a slightly firm feel when pressing with your finger and the internal temperature should be 130-135 F (55-57 C). A medium steak should have a firmer feel with an internal temperature of 140-145 F (60-63 C), and should still have some pinkness inside. Lastly, for a well done steak, you want to press it with your finger and it should feel quite firm, with an internal temperature of 150 – 160 F (66 -71 C).

In addition to using a thermometer, one can also judge doneness by sight. Rare steaks appear light red in color throughout, medium rare is dark red on the outside and lighter red in the middle, and medium steaks are mostly pinkish brown on the outside with pale pink centers. If its not quite there yet and looks grayish brown throughout then its likely still undercooked for any preference.

Knowing how to tell if a steak is properly cooked helps take out much of the guesswork involved in preparing one of those classic meals everyone loves; by following our guidelines youll enjoy perfectly cooked steaks every time!

Appearance and Texture:

When examining the outside of steak, one of the first signs that it may be undercooked is its appearance. If the steak looks grayish in color, or if there is a thin layer of liquid on the surface, then the steak is likely still raw. Additionally, if the texture of the steak feels soft or mushy when you touch it, then this is another indication that it is not yet cooked.

Using A Thermometer:

Using a thermometer to check whether your steak is undercooked or not can be very helpful. If you are using a dial-reading meat thermometer, make sure to insert it into the thickest part of the steak and wait for 10 seconds before taking a reading. If the reading is below 140F (60C), then your steak is likely still undercooked. Alternatively, you can use an instant-read digital thermometer for a more precise reading. Again, insert it into the thickest part of your steak and wait for 10 seconds before taking a reading. If this reading is also below 140F (60C), then your steak is still undercooked.


Another way to tell if your steak is undercooked is by examining its color and taste of its juices. Steak that has been cooked properly will have slightly brownish juices when cut open with a knife. On the other hand, if these juices appear pinkish in color or have an unusual taste, then this could be an indication that your steak has not been cooked thoroughly yet. Additionally, you can also try tasting a small piece of your steak to see if it has reached its desired doneness level yet.


It’s important to pay attention to any unusual smells coming from your steak while cooking as well as after cooking it as these could be indicators that it may not be cooked properly yet. Before cooking your steaks, they should have a pleasant smell like fresh beef should have; however if they give off an unpleasant smell while cooking them or after they are done cooking them then this could mean that they are still raw or undercooked inside even if they look done on the outside.

Know The Different Levels Of Doneness:

Finally, knowing what different levels of doneness look like can help you ensure that your steaks are cooked properly and not undercooked. For example, when grilling steaks rare doneness level would mean that there will be some pinkish color left in the center with an internal temperature between 125F-130F (52C-54C). Medium Rare level would mean there will still be some redness in the center with an internal temperature between 130F-140F (54C-60C). Medium doneness level will have some slight pink color left in center with internal temperature between 140F-150 F(60 C – 66 C). Beyond medium doneness level means no pinkness left in center with internal temperature above 150 F (66 C).

Consult With An Expert

When it comes to knowing if steak is undercooked, it’s best to consult with a butcher or experienced cooks. A butcher can provide helpful advice on how to prepare the steak correctly, as well as the best way to cook the steak for maximum flavor and safety. Experienced cooks may also be able to provide helpful tips on how to avoid undercooking steak, and may even have a few recipes that you can try. Seeking help online can also be useful, as there are many websites that offer advice on cooking steak safely and properly.

Temperature Changes On Resting

One important way of checking whether steak is undercooked is by monitoring temperature changes during the resting time. During this time, the steak should remain at a constant temperature until it is ready to be served. If the temperature drops significantly during this time, then this could indicate that the steak is still undercooked and needs more cooking time. Additionally, checking for changes in color and appearance after resting can help determine if the steak has been cooked adequately or not.

Consequences Of Undercooked Steak

If a steak is left undercooked, there are some serious consequences that could occur. Eating raw or undercooked meat can increase the risk of food poisoning or other illnesses due to bacteria present in the meat which has not been killed through proper cooking techniques. Furthermore, consuming raw meat can also lead to gastrointestinal complications such as diarrhea and vomiting due to poor digestion of raw proteins from the meat. It’s therefore important to ensure that your steaks are cooked thoroughly before eating them in order to avoid any potential health risks associated with eating raw meat.

FAQ & Answers

Q: How can I tell if steak is undercooked?
A: You can tell if steak is undercooked by examining its appearance and texture. Examine the outside of the steak to determine its doneness. Look for a bright red color and feel of the meat for firmness or softness. You can also use a thermometer to check the inside temperature of the steak. Use a dial reading meat thermometer or instant read digital thermometer to check this temperature. Additionally, you can taste a small piece of steak, checking for its color and taste of the juices as well as smell it before cooking and after it is cooked. Knowing the different levels of doneness such as rare and medium rare will also help you determine if the steak is undercooked. If you need help, consult with an expert such as a butcher or experienced cooks or seek help online. Lastly, you can check for heat loss during resting time and changes in color and appearance after resting in order to make sure your steak is cooked properly.

Q: What should I do if my steak is undercooked?
A: If your steak is undercooked, it’s important that you cook it further until it reaches the desired level of doneness. Eating raw meat may put you at risk for food poisoning or other illnesses due to bacteria present in raw meat which could cause gastrointestinal complications.

Q: What are signs that my steak may be undercooked?
A: Signs that your steak may be undercooked include a bright red color on the outside, feeling soft when touched, an internal temperature lower than desired levels, unusual smells after cooking, uneven cooking on one side or core area being cooler than other parts, juices running out when cut into, change in color after resting time, etc.

Q: How do I know what temperature my steak should be?
A: Generally speaking, steaks should reach an internal temperature of 145F (63C) for medium-rare doneness level or 160F (71C) for medium doneness level before taking out from heat source. However, depending on your preference you could go higher up to 170-180F (77-82C) if desired without compromising food safety standards.

Q: What are some consequences of eating undercooked steaks?
A: The primary consequence of eating an undercooked steak is food poisoning due to bacteria present in raw meat which could lead to gastrointestinal complications such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme cases consuming raw meat could even lead to death so make sure your steaks are cooked thoroughly before serving them!

To determine if steak is undercooked, look for signs of pinkish color on the inside, check the temperature with a food thermometer, and cut into the steak to examine its texture. If any of these signs point to an undercooked steak, it is important to cook it further until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F.

Author Profile

Mark Clennon, a talented entrepreneur and Florida native, founded URBN FRESH upon relocating to New York City and discovering a lack of community within the creative scene. With a deep passion for music, art, and the creative process, Mark was motivated to create a space where like-minded individuals could come together and express themselves through these mediums.

URBN FRESH is the result of Mark's drive to cultivate a community where individuals can turn up and let loose in a safe and inclusive environment. By providing a platform for artists and musicians to showcase their talents, Mark has successfully established a unique space that fosters creativity, collaboration, and growth.

Mark's commitment to creating a vibrant community that celebrates art, music, and the creative process is truly admirable. He has successfully created a space where individuals can connect, collaborate, and thrive together. URBN FRESH is a testament to Mark's entrepreneurial spirit, and his dedication to building a community that celebrates individuality, diversity, and creativity.

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