Cooking times and meat doneness


The first step for success in the kitchen is to buy a good product and then, knowing the secrets of meat doneness. With these tips, you will be a great host and chef for your guests in a dinner party, so pay attention to this short guide to meat basics:

The temperature of the meat

One of the most reliable indicators to know if your meat is done as you wish is the temperature. The best and most accurate way to do it is to buy a meat thermometer.

Meat is in the rare range when the internal temperature is between 40ºC and 48ºC. The guests have to decide to choose for a rare or medium-rare piece. For a medium done meat, the temperature is between 50ºC and 59ºC, and it will be well-done up to 60ºC.

Cooking times depend on how thick is the meat cut and how rare our guests like the cut. If you decide not to use a thermometer and trust in the outside appearance, read the following tips below:

T-bone steak

meat doneness

T-bone usually have 4cm thick or more. For rare doneness in the first case, we will need cooking it for 3 minutes and a half, distributing heat for each side, to sear the cut.

If we want medium doneness we will use 3 minutes and a half for one of the sides and one more minute and a half for the other. A well done T-bone steak is done with 4 minutes on one side and turning to cook for 2 more minutes. Don’t forget to let it rest for about 3 minutes and a half before serving.

If our T-bone is more than 4cm thick, cooking time increases. We will need 4 minutes and a half for a rare piece, distributing heat for both sides, and 4 minutes plus 2 more minutes for medium doneness. For a well-done result, cook one of the sides for 4 minutes, turn the steak, and cook for 3 minutes, to leave it to rest 3 minutes and a half again.


meat doneness

Entrecote thickness is around 2 to 3 cm. It is a lighter option than a T-bone steak but needs some specific times for a juicy result.

Cook it for both sides just for a minute and a half if you want it rare. For a medium done entrecote, cook for 3 minutes both sides and, for a well-done piece, almost 4 minutes. Rest for 2 minutes and a half.

Try to turn the entrecote just once to cook it for each side but sealing the juices inside the meat at the same time.


meat doneness

Tenderloin cut is special and is divided into chateaubriand, turnedó and filet mignon, with 3 or 4cm thickness.

Cook it 2 minutes and a half, both sides, for rare doneness and 3 minutes and 15 seconds for medium. If you rather prefer a well-done tenderloin, cook it for 3 minutes and half and rest for 1 minute.


meat doneness

A hamburger is quite different from the other meat cuts we were reading about. It does not exist what we will call a “rare” burger but we can talk about medium meat doneness. Another choice is a well-done burger, almost overcooked outside and cooked inside.

For a 2 or 3 cm thickness and a medium result, cook over heat or in the oven for 3 minutes and, in this case, for a well-done piece of meat, add 2 minutes and 45 seconds more. Rest for almost a couple of minutes.


Duck meat is smaller than most of the ordinary meat cuts, but you need to be accurate with cooking time, cause it is very easy to dry it out instead of cooking a delicious breast. For a 400gr piece, you will need 1 minute and a half in case you are looking for a rare result. Cook for 2 minutes for medium and 2 minutes and a half one side plus 1 and a half more minutes for a well-done fillet.


meat doneness

Tuna fish cooking times need all your attention. The fine flesh as its best needs to be well-done on the outside and almost rare inside. For a tuna tatami, medium meat doneness, cook for 2 minutes, one side, and 1 more minute on the other side.


Salmon cooking times are very similar to tuna but, in this case, fillets are usually less thick, around 3 cm. For a juicy and tasty fish, cook 2 minutes and a half and let it rest at least 45 seconds.

Knowing cooking times for your meat and fish cuts is essential to enjoy a high-quality restaurant food made at home. And it is almost imperative to serve the best dinner to you and the ones you love. A good dinner is a good place for love and emotions.

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